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Book review

A book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is merely described (summary review) or analyzed based on content, style, and merit.[1]

A book review may be a primary source, an opinion piece, a summary review, or a scholarly view.[2] Books can be reviewed for printed periodicals, magazines, and newspapers, as school work, or for book websites on the Internet. A book review's length may vary from a single paragraph to a substantial essay. Such a review may evaluate the book based on personal taste. Reviewers may use the occasion of a book review for an extended essay that can be closely or loosely related to the subject of the book, or to promulgate their ideas on the topic of a fiction or non-fiction work.

Some journals are devoted to book reviews, and reviews are indexed in databases such as the Book Review Index and Kirkus Reviews; but many more book reviews can be found in newspaper and scholarly databases such as Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index , and dscipline-specific databases.


Photios I of Constantinople has been called "the inventor of the book review" for his work, Bibliotheca.[3]

Types of reviews

Academic reviews

Academic reviews are both a form of academic service and a contribution to the academic literature.[4] They are frequently published as a section or part of academic journals.[5] They help the profession understand what has been happening in their profession, and work on the emerging intellectual challenges of their field.[4] However, not all academics are incentivized to take on the work required in a book review, because they are often not rewarded for that work.[4] Book reviews can be used to predict which monographs are likely to have subsequent citations.[5]

Newspaper and magazine reviews

Newspaper reviews became prominent in the 18h century, as a form of reader responses[6]

In academic criticism, popular book reviews in newspapers and magazine reviews are often used to evaluate the relative audience and impact of books during a period.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Princeton (2011). "Book reviews". Scholarly definition document. Princeton. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  2. ^ Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (2011). "Book reviews". Scholarly definition document. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Archived from the original on September 10, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  3. ^ Reynolds, L. D. and N.G. Wilson (1991). Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature (3rd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 321. ISBN 0-19-872145-5.
  4. ^ a b c Runnels, Curtis (January 1994). "Book Reviews". Journal of Field Archaeology. 21 (3): 357–390. doi:10.1179/009346994791547544. ISSN 0093-4690.
  5. ^ a b Gorraiz, Juan; Gumpenberger, Christian; Purnell, Philip J. (2014-02-01). "The power of book reviews: a simple and transparent enhancement approach for book citation indexes". Scientometrics. 98 (2): 841–852. doi:10.1007/s11192-013-1176-4. ISSN 1588-2861.
  6. ^ Lavin, Matthew J. (2020-01-30). "Gender Dynamics and Critical Reception: A Study of Early 20th-century Book Reviews from The New York Times". Journal of Cultural Analytics. 5 (1). doi:10.22148/001c.11831.
  7. ^ Lavin, Matthew J. (2020-01-30). "Gender Dynamics and Critical Reception: A Study of Early 20th-century Book Reviews from The New York Times". Journal of Cultural Analytics. 5 (1). doi:10.22148/001c.11831.

Further reading

  • Chen, C. C. (1976), Biomedical, Scientific and Technical Book Reviewing, Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, NJ.
  • Ingram, Helen M.; Mills, Penny B. (1989). "Reviewing the Book Reviews". PS: Political Science and Politics. 22 (3): 627. doi:10.2307/419632. JSTOR 419632.
  • Katz, Bill (1985). "The Sunny Book Review". Technical Services Quarterly. 3 (1–2): 17–25. doi:10.1300/J124v03n01_03.
  • Lindholm-Romantschuk, Y. (1998). Scholarly book reviewing in the social sciences and humanities. The flow of ideas within and among disciplines. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.
  • Miranda, E. O. (1996), "On book reviewing", Journal of Educational Thought, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 191–202.
  • Motta-Roth, D. (1998), "Discourse analysis and academic book reviews: a study of text and disciplinary cultures", in Fortanet, I. (Ed), Genre Studies in English for Academic Purposes, Universitat Jaume, Castelló de la Plana, pp. 29–58.
  • Nicolaisen, J. (2002a). "Structure-based interpretation of scholarly book reviews: a new research technique". Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science. pp. 123–135. Archived from the original on Aug 18, 2005.
  • Nicolaisen, Jeppe (2002). "The scholarliness of published peer reviews: A bibliometric study of book reviews in selected social science fields". Research Evaluation. 11 (3): 129–140. doi:10.3152/147154402781776808.
  • Nielsen, Sandro (2009). "2. Reviewing printed and electronic dictionaries: A theoretical and practical framework". Lexicography in the 21st Century. Terminology and Lexicography Research and Practice. Vol. 12. pp. 23–41. doi:10.1075/tlrp.12.04nie. ISBN 978-90-272-2336-4.
  • Novick, Peter (1988). That Noble Dream. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511816345. ISBN 9780521357456. S2CID 158050677.
  • Rampola, Mary Lynn (2010). "Critiques and book reviews", A Pocket Guide to Writing in History, Sixth Edition, pp. 26–28.
  • Riley, L. E. & Spreitzer, E. A. (1970), "Book reviewing in the social sciences", The American Sociologist, Vol. 5 (November), pp. 358–363.
  • Sabosik, Patricia E. (1988). "Scholarly reviewing and the role of choice in the postpublication review process". Book Research Quarterly. 4 (2): 10–18. doi:10.1007/BF02910823. S2CID 144380238.
  • Sarton, G. (1960). "Notes on the Reviewing of Learned Books". Science. 131 (3408): 1182–1187. Bibcode:1960Sci...131.1182S. doi:10.1126/science.131.3408.1182. PMID 17773924.
  • Schubert, A.; Zsindely, S.; Telcs, A.; Braun, T. (1984). "Quantitative analysis of a visible tip of the peer review iceberg: Book reviews in chemistry". Scientometrics. 6 (6): 433–443. doi:10.1007/BF02025830. S2CID 32648183.
  • Snizek, W. E. & Fuhrman, E. R. (1979), "Some factors affecting the evaluative content of book reviews in sociology", The American Sociologist, Vol. 14 (May), pp. 108–114.
  • Spink, Amanda; Robins, David; Schamber, Linda (1998). "Use of scholarly book reviews: Implications for electronic publishing and scholarly communication". Journal of the American Society for Information Science. 49 (4): 364–374. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-4571(19980401)49:4<364::AID-ASI6>3.0.CO;2-3.
  • Zuccala, Alesia; Van Leeuwen, Thed (2011). "Book reviews in humanities research evaluations". Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 62 (10): 1979–1991. doi:10.1002/asi.21588. hdl:1887/17652. S2CID 33669460.
  • Quotations related to Book review at Wikiquote
  • "Book reviews" at The Writing Center - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Book review
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