Harriet Klausner

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Harriet Klausner (born c.1952)[1] is a reviewer of books and a newspaper columnist.[2] She was the #1 ranked reviewer on Amazon.com until October 24, 2008, when the company began a new ranking system. On December 8, 2011, Amazon removed the "Classic Reviewer Ranking" and Klausner is no longer a Top Ranked Reviewer.[3]


Klausner grew up in the Bronx and her father was an employee of McGraw-Hill.[4] Klausner is a former librarian with a master's degree in library science who is proficient in speed-reading.[4] Reportedly "ailments keep her home and insomnia keeps her up". She currently resides in Atlanta.[1]

Klausner professes in her online profiles to read two books a day,[5] but a profile of her in Time in 2007 reported that she reads four to six books per day.[6] This article named Klausner in its top 15 list of the "web generation's movers and shakers".[6] Per an interview published in The Wall Street Journal in 2005, she states that her goal for reviewing is to bring attention to "lesser-known" authors who "don't have a publicity machine behind them. That's the whole purpose of my doing this on Amazon".[4]


As well as posting many reviews on the Amazon website, Klausner also posts reviews on several other websites, including Barnes & Noble; Books 'n' Bytes; SFF Net; on-line magazine Of Ages Past; and SF Site.[7][8][9][10][11]


Klausner has been criticized by those who question whether she actually reads the books she reviews, given the time taken to read a book and the number of reviews Klausner publishes per day.[5] Additionally, every book she reads is given a 4 or 5 star review.[5] Stanley, her husband, has said: "She's soft, I won't deny that."[1]

Author John Birmingham deliberately included a character called Harriet Klausner in his novel Designated Targets. It was noted that Klausner made no mention of this in her review, casting doubt on whether she had fully read the book.


  1. ^ a b c Streitfeld, David (22 December 2012). "Giving Mom's Book Five Stars? Amazon May Cull Your Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Mayfield, Kendra (2002-07-01). "Harriet the Online Book Reviewer". Wired. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  3. ^ "Harriet Klausner profile on". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  4. ^ a b c Kaufman, Joanne (March 29, 2005). "A Novel Heroine". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c Vick Mickunas (March 29, 2007). "The Mysterious Harriet Klausner". Dayton Daily News. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Grossman, Lev (December 16, 2006). "Harriet Klausner". Time. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  7. ^ "Harstan's User Profile - Barnes & Noble". My.barnesandnoble.com. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  8. ^ Harriet Klausner. "Books 'n' Bytes Contributors: Harriet Klausner". Books 'n' Bytes. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  9. ^ "Harriet Klausner Reviews". sff.net. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  10. ^ "Book Reviews". Of Ages Past. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  11. ^ Harriet Klausner (2001). "The SF Site Featured Review: Arslan". Retrieved 2009-03-26.