|(alice image ~ public domain)|
But what about factors the author can control – like religion, political leanings, and friendships? Are those fair game? What about where the author lives, grew up, or went to school, or what they do for a day job? Extracurricular activities? Taste in music, other books, desserts?
Or should readers evaluate a book in a vacuum? Should it be judged solely by the contents between its covers – not how and where and why it came into existence, and by whom?
In one sense, certainly. A book should be able to stand on its own, out of the context of its creation. However, elements like an author's background and beliefs absolutely impact what an he/she writes. So shouldn't they be fair game in the thoughtful discussion of his/her books?
It's interesting to think about, at any rate. Either way, there's one thing to keep in mind. What the majority of authors reveal online is just one facet of themselves; a persona composed of carefully selected life-slices. Some authors share quite a bit, while others share very little. But in every single case, there's a whole lot more behind the curtain.
Where's the line between not personal, personal and too personal in book reviews?