About Us

The Book Shark began as an independent book review website created by Cindy Pinto and Donna Long in 2002.

From the beginning our goal was not only to write great reviews, but also to recognize the most well-written books we read each year with an award.  We named this prize the Gustine Awards in honor of the main character in one of our favorite books—The Dress Lodger, by Sheri Holman.  Awards have been given out yearly since 2002 in three categories: fiction, nonfiction, and memoir.

We occasionally write opinion pieces on book-related issues that concern us, but we do not cover publishing industry news or gossip.  And unlike most book reviewers, we don’t limit the books we cover to the new or soon-to-be-published categories.  We review every book we read, which means classics and older obscure titles sometimes show up on The Book Shark along with the latest releases.

About Cindy and Donna
Cindy received a BA in English Literature from Whitman College, in Washington State.  She studied psychology in graduate school and is currently at work on her first novel, The White Moth.  Cindy has been writing book reviews since 2002 and is the editor-in-chief of The Book Shark.

Donna entered the field of publishing at Scholastic in New York, where she edited books for seven- to ten-year-olds.  After moving to the west coast, she worked for a literary agency and then Ten Speed Press before spending several years as a freelance proofreader and copyeditor. Donna now teaches writing at a state university. She is the author of The Best Dog in the World, which was published in 2007 by Ten Speed Press, and is at work on a novel titled The Boy.

Genres we enjoy:
Literary fiction
Nonfiction—on a vast range of topics, but of particular interest are:

Nature/Environmental issues
History (especially pre-industrial period, American frontier, and revolutions)
Plagues and natural disasters

Genres we sometimes read:

Young adult
Graphic novels
Self help

Genres we never read:
Science fiction
Short stories