Tara Cheesman-Olmsted is an active member in a growing online community dedicated to promoting international authors & books in translation. Her reviews can be found across the internet – including the sites The Rumpus, Literary Kicks, Necessary Fiction & Harriet (the blog of the Poetry Foundation). She was a panelist at the 2015 PEN World Voices Festival in New York City and is a voting member of the National Book Critics Circle. Since 2009 she’s written the blog BookSexy Review under the pen name tolmsted.
BookSexy Review is the project of Tara Cheesman-Olmsted (a.k.a. – tolmsted), an American reader with a taste for international fiction. I live in the Eastern United States with my husband and two dogs (all booklovers in their own, special ways) in a small house filled to the roof joists with books.
I’ve been an avid reader all my life and, as a result, my reading tastes are wide-ranging. But, as of 2011, my attention has shifted to books in translation and international authors.
The impetus for change occurred while reading the Iranian author Shahriar Mandanipour’s novel Censoring An Iranian Love Story. Mandanipour’s wonderful book proves that cultural identities can be represented and made accessible through literature. That it is possible to gain some insight into a different culture’s motivations and values by reading their books. And that an author can accomplish this in a book without sacrificing experimentation, complexity or entertainment value. After this experience I began seeking out books in translation.
An unfortunate by-product of my compulsive reading habit is the need to connect people with books they’ll love. I see myself as a literary matchmaker whose friends are tired of being set up. (This wouldn’t be a problem if they’d read faster!) Once they revolted I was faced with a decision: lifetime banishment by my nearest and dearest or start a blog. BookSexyReview was born.
Below are some highlights from over the years:
- Was a guest on The Readers podcast as part of their Summer Book Club
- Hosted a Walter Moers’ Blog Tour
- Was excerpted on Harriet: the Poetry Foundation’s blog
- Took part in Triple Choice Tuesday at the blog Reading Matters
- Contributed a review to Literary Kicks
- Hosted some of my favorite bloggers in the series The Rise of the Short Story
- Was a guest on the Mookse & the Gripes podcast to discuss the year’s Best Translated Book Award and Nancy Mitford’s The Sun King
- Contributed reviews to the review sites Necessary Fiction and Literary Kicks
- Participated in Women In Translation Month
- Was a panelist on the shadow jury for the 2015 DSC Prize
- Was interviewed by my good friend Lori (at TNBBC) for The Spark
- Sat on a panel with other translation bloggers at the PEN World Voices Festival
- Took part in the 2nd Women In Translation Month
- Contributed my first review to The Rumpus
BookSexy Review is a general book review blog with a focus on fiction, literary fiction & non-fiction. I currently only accept books by international authors and translations, mostly small press, for review. I am always happy to receive requests from publicists and authors. Please send them to email@example.com .
Acceptance of a review or advance copy does not guarantee a review (favorable or otherwise).
All reviews will be fair and all opinions expressed will be my own (unless otherwise noted). Because I review both fiction & non-fiction, in multiple genres and areas of interest, I may sometimes do background research or cross-reference the book with other books by the same author, on the same topic, etc. Part of the fun of writing BookSexy is making these kinds of connections. Ultimately, books will be reviewed on their own merit and with the author’s intentions always in mind.
BookSexy Review is a completely non-profit venture. No review or advance copies will ever be sold for personal financial gain.