Dear Professor Piece-of-Work,
Yes, I'm talking to you. You who wrote that one book with a somewhat controversial and certainly intriguing thesis. It's not anywhere near any of my own research interests, but I assigned it to my grad students, because it's interesting, and has plenty to both agree and disagree with. It's also great for grad classes because it's not overly long, and the writing and ideas are really accessible. I like that book.
But I never really liked you. I mean, to be fair, I only met you once at a conference, when I was a grad student, and you a junior faculty member fresh out of That One School. But you were by turns condescending and rude to me on that occasion, and it stuck with me. This even colored my reaction to your picture on the faculty website -- I couldn't help imagining you thinking "I'll wear this outfit and pose just so; that will make me look intellectual, and possibly just a little dangerous."
Okay, that last bit is probably just me projecting. But the following is not: in the years since your first book came out, you've taken the opportunity to review just about every book even remotely related to your subject, and you've manage to subtly but thoroughly trash every one of them. Sure, there was the obligatory two-sentence paragraph at the tail end of every one saying how people should definitely read the book in question. But everything leading up to that point was intended to disparage the book under review. I haven't read every review you've written, but every one I have read kinda follows this pattern.
Which is why I giggled with unworthy, shameful delight when I read a recent review of your second book. Did you read it? Uh-huh.
Sorry, but even in academia, a little human decency and (dare I say it?) humility goes a long way.