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Book Reviews  

This guide points you to different sources for finding book reviews.
Last Updated: May 18, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Book reviews are important resources for your research because they help you to:

  • Evaluate a book for purchase or reading.
  • Survey the reactions to a book at the time of publication.
  • Provide summaries of a book's contents.

Book reviews found in popular publications (daily newspapers, or magazines like The New Yorker or The Atlantic Monthly) usually are written with the expectation that readers are looking chiefly for a recommendation about whether the book is worth reading or not. These reviews usually appear soon after the book has been published. On the other hand, book reviews in academic publications are written with the expectation that many readers will have already read the book, and are looking for a detailed evaluation of its merits and flaws. These reviews can appear several years after the book's publication.

Free Book Review Sites

  • New York Times Book Review
    Search and view book reviews from 1981 to present. For older book reviews, search the Historical New York Times (see "Best Starting Places" tab.)
  • ALA Booklist
    Browse the current issue for free.
    Collects book reviews from major online media sites that are available without having to register at a site or pay to read them.

General Guides to the Reviewing Process

To locate books about the reviewing process, try searching BobCat for the following: book reviewing (in Subject).  Below are two recommended books.

  • Walford, A.J., ed. Reviews and Reviewing: A Guide. 1986
    The chapter on "The Art of Reviewing" is both a how-to for reviewers and a guide to critically analyzing book reviews. Bobst Ref1 PN98.B7 R5 1986
  • Lindholm-Romantschuk, Ylva. Scholarly book reviewing in the social sciences and humanities. 1998
    Bobst H61.8 L56 1998

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