About my reviews: I try to take each work that I review on its own terms. Sometimes it has to contend with the protocols of the genre as well (I do a lot of science fiction and fantasy), and sometimes it has to contend with my idea of a cogent argument (for nonfiction). That may help to explain why I may seem less than enthusiastic about a book in a review and still give it a fairly high rating -- it does what it set out to do, and does it well, even if that goal wasn't so highbrow.
I also tend to root for works that I think deserve to be better known. Why else have a public forum? (I will also shred things that I think are garbage. You're spared that here, pretty much -- everything I do here is volunteer, so if I don't want to waste time on it, I don't, unless I think people need to be warned. There are, however, choice examples of overt contempt at both Green Man Review and Rambles.)
Speaking of science fiction and fantasy -- I've been reading it for a long time. Not only did I grow up with it, but it grew up with me, from the Golden Age through the New Wave, cyberpunk and now slipstream, from Tolkien and Leiber through Michael Moorcock, Samuel R. Delany and Glen Cook, and now I'm discovering a whole new generation -- Jonathan Lethem, Jeff VanderMeer, Elizabeth Bear, Kage Baker. Heady stuff, and at its best it's still the most exciting reading around. I think by now I have a good handle on what it's about.
I've gotten to be a pretty demanding reader and listener. I want stuff with an edge, a bit of a challenge, something I have to work at a little. Otherwise, why bother?