Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded
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Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  598 ratings  ·  80 reviews
On September 13, 1998, John Scalzi sat down in front of his computer to write the first entry in his blog "Whatever" -- and changed the history of the Internet as we know it today.

What, you're not swallowing that one? Okay, fine: He started writing the "Whatever" and amused about 15 people that first day. If that many. But he kept at it, for ten years and running. Now 40,0...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published 2008 by Subterranean
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Rockettes, Rockstars and Rockbottom by Keltie ColleenMusings on Minutiae by Weston LocherI Think All Men Are Gay! by Jewc BurgerTexts from Bennett by Mac LethalYour Hate Mail Will Be Graded by John Scalzi
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I really like John Scalzi as a blogger—his recent post on the big Amazon Fail had me in stitches—but I don’t think his blog posts work as a book, or at least they don’t as they’re arranged here. The decision to put the posts in a random order means that there’s never any sense of progression to his thoughts; too many posts on the same topics are included; and his frequent, mildly condescending posts on How to Be a Successful Writer and Lead a Successful Life made me feel shitty. Obviously, it’s...more
I'm a recent reader of Whatever, Scalzi's blog, and I've enjoyed reading his posts over there, so I picked up this book. I'd hoped there would be some more commentary in line with the title--a point-by-point dissection of hate mail addressed to him--but it's actually a collection of previously published blog entries, most of which I hadn't read before.

My reaction is mixed. I enjoy his writing style and find his prose fairly accessible, if a bit wordy. His tone is sometimes self-congratulatory, w...more
Misha Husnain Ali
I expected a lot from this book. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have never read John Scalzi's blog before this book.

I was warned in the foreword, but the lack a theme to the arrangement of the posts in this book was a little jarring. The posts included in this book seemed to revolve Scalzi's random musings on various subjects such as:

* American Politics: These were mostly thoughts about Clinton, Bush and Gore. Non-Americans like me may find these a bit dull. There were also a few posts abou...more
A collection of blogerity (shut up, I can make up words in my own reviews) well worth reading.

"Best Cheese of the Millenium" (12/27/99) is my absolute favorite piece in this book. It made me laugh so hard I woke my daughter who was sleeping upstairs! Of course several other essays were funny, too. But don't think this is an entirely humorous book.

Some bits were deeply touching. Personal stories and even reflections on certain news items stirred empathy and were illuminating.

Some were, well, pol...more
I got a little annoyed at the idea of buying an anthology of a hundred or so blog posts, but it says that's what this is right on the back cover, so that goof's on me, even if nobody bothered to fix an embarrassing number of typos in the conversion to print. Scalzi is a strong writer and his feel for metaphor is usually solid. My criticisms of this book fall along two main lines:

1) I'd have liked to have seen greater diversity in the posts that were included - seems like many of the posts here...more
Nicholas Whyte
"[return][return]This is a compilation of Scalzi's writing from his blog, essentially a set of rants and thought pieces on various subjects. I only became aware of his blog when I featured on it myself, but his writing is entertaining (more than his fiction, for my taste). Some of his pieces are very memorable - my favourites were his funny pieces on Scooby Doo and cheese (sadly neither is archived online), and his more thoughtful pieces on poverty and R...more
Lianne Burwell
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Unlike Sleeping Naked is Green (one of the other books I've read this year that started as a blog), this is more of a traditional collection of blog posts, printed verbatim. But John Scalzi is an engaging writer with a biting sense of humor.

The only thing I would have liked was more of a sense of cohesion. There was no organization, with the posts neither organized by original date or by subject matter. It comes across as completely random. On the other hand, that...more
I had a little trouble with the format of this book at first, but then I grew to really appreciate it. Most of the essays/blogs are like 3 pages long, and, during this really busy period of my life, it was great to pick up the book I'm reading after 2 days and not feel completely out of the loop.

I found a lot of wisdom in this book. He gave credence to a lot of things that I think about that just sound too crabby to most people. I now have a line that I will use on the Haters: "My Jesus forgive...more
A great compilation of Scalzi's blog posts, many of which are still well worth a reread even for regular visitors to his site. I enjoyed the scatter-shot organization and mental massage of jumping from topic to topic and not in chronological order; at first, I wanted topics lumped together so as to follow threads of discussion and argument. The book works much better as is, almost like a cocktail party discussion that flows from one topic to the next and back again.

Whether your a writer, a read...more
Jared Millet
An entertaining, thoughtful, amusing and altogether random sampling of blog entries from John Scalzi's Whatever. While a lot of the blog posts(especially the Dubya entries) now lack the punch they had when they were relevant, many of the others are on topics timeless enough (author advice, notes on fatherhood, why "The Final Countdown" was the worst hair-metal song ever) that they're still worth the read. Of course, since the book isn't arranged topically, you never know what you're going to get...more
Apr 06, 2014 Booksy rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of John Scalzi
Recommended to Booksy by: boing boing?? can't remember
Shelves: 2014, non-fiction, essays
I had no idea who Scalzi is in the writing world, but I liked the sound of the title so I picked it up. This book is definitely readable and there's nothing wrong with it, I would just say that it's pretty dull. It's a compilation of various blog posts that Scalzi has written for a presumably popular blog.

Scalzi comes across as a pretty normal family guy who happens to have some liberal points of view and apparently gets attacked quite often in the comments of his blog, so some of the essays are...more
"Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded" is a collection of blog posts from Scalzi's internet blog "Whatever" and the compilation results in an entertaining and humorous read. The blog posts are on random topics with no real order in the book, but I found that perfectly acceptable. I quite enjoyed the experience of reading this book; it's funny, thought-provoking, and just a nice light read. I alternated between reading large chunks of the book at a time and reading just 1 post or so when I had the time,...more
Let's say 3.5 stars. Scalzi is generally pretty entertaining, and I found most of the essays engaging and often very funny. The book is marred, in my opinion, by the absolutely stunning numbers of typos and its (intentionally) haphazard organization. I mean, I know it's a collection of blog posts, and thus not carefully edited, but if you're going to publish the damn thing and charge me for something I could read for free if I felt like browsing the archives of the blog for a while, go ahead and...more
One of the funniest books I have read in a long time. Acerbic is about the best way to describe it.
Tom Nixon
A delightful collection of essays from science fiction author John Scalzi's blog Whatever, Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded covers topics ranging from politics, writing and everything in between and it is a fascinating, well-written collection that makes you think and makes you laugh and honestly makes you want to read more of Mr. Scalzi's books as well as making his blog, Whatever appointment viewing on your daily travails through the internet.

Some standout moments: 'The Lie of Star Wars As Entert...more
Anna-Maria Crum
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of blogs. Scalzi has put together a fascinating time capsule of the country from 1998 to 2008. I really appreciated that the blogs aren't in numerical order. A blog from 2008 could be followed by one from 1999. It heightened the differences in the US. What a difference a decade can make. I had forgotten a lot of the important issues of the time. It was also fun to see Scalzi's speculation on how things would turn out when I already knew the outcome. Kind of l...more
Scott Rhee
Back in 1998, sci-fi author John Scalzi started up a blog, long before anyone knew what the hell a blog was. Aptly named Whatever, Scalzi's blog was a forum for him to write about anything, from politics to movies to feminine hygiene products to personal finances to, well, whatever... Still going strong (check his latest on, Scalzi's witty little essays have garnered praise and ire from a steadily-growing fanbase, and some of his most memorable entries have been publishe...more
I'm not sure what possessed me to pick up this book. I've never read any book by Scalzi, and I've never read his blog. I guess the title was interesting, it won a hugo, and hey what the hell, I figure I'd give it a shot.

I guess the thing that grates on me most about bloggers is when they offer up strong opinions and then say that they don't care what anybody thinks of them. Could anything be more disingenuous? There's a place for writing things when you don't want to hear other people's opinions

This book is a collection of posts from his blog (called "Whatever") from 1998-2008. It covers an interesting assortment of topics, from personal relationships and nerdy interests, to politics and world events. It is fascinating to read, especially since it spans the "growing up" years of my life. For me it was interesting to read about these events from an adult's perspective, when I had experienced most of them as a child or teen.

However, I have to say, if you are one to be easily offended, th...more
Why am I so torn about this book?((actually, a compilation of posts from his "Whatever" blog, dating from 1998-2008) On the one hand, he's hilarious and smart and insightful. I got to meet him at C2E2 this year and he was very personable and sweet (although I have a feeling he would take exception to being called sweet. But then, I was like one of those manga girls with the stars for eyes. So there's that). I particularly like his posts on writing. I could never be a writer. I'm glad there are o...more
Steven Cole
Well, you've sure got to hand it to Scalzi for monetizing his blog... A book of old blog posts is a dream that every blogger must have.

But believe it or not, the book is quite readable. Essentially, it's a collection of short essays. And while the entries here read pretty much the same as they read on his blog, the time *I* carve out for reading a book is both longer and less chaotic than the time I carve out for blog reading. So the essays become easier to reflect upon and somehow more enjoyab...more
You're probably not going to like the same pieces I do here, just because they cover such a broad range of topics. This does demonstrate nicely why I read Whatever and why I read Scalzi's fiction. I like his voice, his sense of humor, his pragmatism, and his occasional scathing tone. He writes much like the Spouse, I think, whose writing I'm very fond of. Although the much-touted love of Journey is points-off.

My favorite bits: why some Christians should be called Leviticans, why every political...more
About the only negative I would have for this book, like many collections of short essays/blog posts, is that it is likely better to be read in a piecemeal, "I have five spare minutes", fashion than straight on through. This might be especially true for this book which is not arranged with any particular organizing theme. As a reflection of the originating blog, that makes sense but it does lend a jarring senstation to some of the transitions between chapters. Some of the material is dated as we...more
This collection of columns (blog posts) by writer John Scalzi is funny, thoughtful, and entertaining. Overall, I think it's a great read. I do caution that it was published in 2008, and that some of the posts, which go back to 1998, are no longer particularly cogent. Also, he decided to randomly order the essays, which I don't think was the best editorial decision. He reasoning- that he wrote these pieces as he thought of them and wanted to display that same sense of randomness- doesn't really h...more
Aspen Junge
Pro tip for those who choose to correct the grammar in library books. Please use a pencil, rather than a felt-tip pen, because the pen will bleed through to the other side of the page. (Think about that for a minute--- copyediting a book titled "Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded.")

John Scalzi is a former journalist, technical writer, science fiction author, and blogger. This collection of essays is from his blog, Whatever. Scalzi takes the opportunity to opine on everything from parenting, important...more
I've heard a lot of references to John Scalzi in recent years and decided to start my exploration of his works with this collection of blog posts. Most of them were less than four pages long, so it was a good book to pick up and read in short bits, but I found that I would read "just one more" before I put the book down, so I went through it fairly quickly. Some of the posts were humourous, some very serious. There were stories about his family life, his work life, advice for other writers, some...more
This is a wonderful collection of short essays from John Scalzi's blog. They average about three pages in length each, making them perfect to pick up and read two or three a day. The writing is of excellent quality, and the topics are by turn quite serious and completely off-the-wall wacky. I found myself agreeing with his strongly-held and powerfully-presented opinions more often than not, even when I was occasionally offended at first. The entries are presented in a completely random format wh...more
John Scalzi was blogging long before that was even the word. This book is a collection culled from the ten years of his Whatever blog. It won the Hugo this year for best related book.

The posts cover a range of topics from fatherhood to politics to writing to whatever(the reason for the title of the blog) happened to catch his eye that day.

Funny, intelligent, practical advice for the writer, he will make fun of himself at the drop of a hat. Opinionated, he cares not a whit what one might think of...more
Mike Ehlers
Even tho this book won a Hugo, I wondered if I wanted to read a collection of entries from a blog I already follow daily. I gave it a go since I've only been following "Whatever" for a few years. I'm glad I did.

Scalzi is an engaging writer. While reading, I sometimes thought the man was right on the money, other times I thought he was full of it, but the writing was always interesting, and even fun, to read. I'm not sure I totally liked the random order of the entries, but I have to admit it did...more
I thought this was really funny. I love pointed, witty humor and many of the WHATEVER posts collected here are chock full of witticisms.

Some of the entries are serious in tone - supporting gay marraige, advice for young writers (and the financial advice could be applied to everyone...note to self...) - and I appreciated those all the more due to the posts with surrounding levity.

Two regrets. 1) would have loved to see more of the comments/hatemail, and 2) while I appreciated the thought behind t...more
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John Scalzi, having declared his absolute boredom with biographies, disappeared in a puff of glitter and lilac scent.

(If you want to contact John, using the mail function here is a really bad way to do it. Go to his site and use the contact information you find there.)
More about John Scalzi...
Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) Redshirts The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2) The Last Colony (Old Man's War #3) Fuzzy Nation

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