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Book Reviews

Book Reviews: Getting Started

              Margaret Laurence Fahrenheit 451 Tell_tale Heart Litle Women  Beautiful Losers 

What is a Book Review?

Book reviews describe, analyse, and evaluate a book by examining its content, style and merit. 

A book review is usually reviewed in the year that it was published or the following year. Book reviews can be found in different resources depending on the subject. They are published in journals, magazines, and newspapers. Depending upon where they are published, reviews can be written by academics, librarians, journalists, writers, or practitioners in the field and may appear in a variety of lengths and styles.  
To find book reviews, you will need the following information.
  • Author
  • Title of the book
  • Publication date of the book
Once you have this information, you will need to search the most appropriate database or print index. So first ask the following questions. Is it a current or historic work?  Is it a popular title or more scholarly? 
Scholarly books are reviewed in academic journals and are written by academics. As these reviews place the work in the context of current scholarship, they can take several years to be published. 
Popular reviews usually appear at the time of publication in order to promote sales of the book and  and often do not critically evaluate the material.
Not all books are reviewed and those from small publisher companies are often not reviewed by major reviewing sources.

Book Reviews & Literary Criticism

What are the differences between book reviews and literary criticism?
Book reviews are generally evaluative as opposed to criticism which is an in-depth exploration of the ideas or significance of a work.
A book review will often have a brief summary and an evaluation on whether you should buy it or not. Criticism is more of a serious analysis of some aspect of a work, usually written by a scholar in the field.
Literary criticism is the evaluation, analysis, description, or interpretation of literary works. It is usually in the form of a critical essay and is written years later after the book is published.