Plant's Review, in its first incarnation, was a Northwest-based book review covering books of all times. Our approach mixed reviews of new and old books, based on the rationale that people don't read only the latest best-sellers (or even the latest small press releases).
Our intent was to provide an alternative, independent viewpoint on books of all types, from children's books to biographies, from science to religion, keeping in mind that good writing does not always manifest itself solely in the form of "literature," and that not all "literature" is good in the first place.
We relied heavily on some of the best freelance writers in the region, who provided us with what I still think is some of the finest review writing around, about books they were interested in. That interest (positive or negative in tone) shows in the reviews we ran. Combining them with the truly amazing artistic and illustrative talents of my friend Eric Rewitzer, and others he recruited as art director, the support and skills of my wife and literary editor, Barbara Moshofsky, and Eric's wife Elizabeth Rewitzer, Plant's was a striking contrast to the blandness (both literary and visual) of other reviews.
Like so many other literary/artistic endeavors, Plant's was largely a labor of love. And love is not cheap. We closed up shop after five issues, shortly after being acknowledged by both The Library Journal and Publisher's Weekly. No one mourned the loss more than myself, who had spend several years in preparation to the project assembling the money (meagre as that was), talent (well, most of them did come to me), and production capability.
I'm not a big fan of the written word on screen. Most of the multimedia presentations that purport to be "better than a book!" leave me dry (there's even a review about that in here), but as someone who's been involved with computer technology for twenty years, and who's been online for fifteen, the growth of interest in and capabilities of the World Wide Web caught my eyes. So here are selected items from the entire run of Plant's Review of Books, with a few notes and additions. I will continue to add as much as possible, once I've had the opportunity to track down authors and secure permissions. And then we'll see about publishing some more.