How to Write a Book Review
by Bill Asenjo

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A book review describes, analyzes and evaluates. The review conveys an opinion, supporting it with evidence from the book.

Do you know how to write a book review? I didn't. And even though I knew I didn't, that didn't stop me from firmly inserting my foot in my mouth by agreeing to conduct a book review writing workshop for my local Barnes & Noble. I blithely assured myself it would simply be a matter of picking up Book Reviews for Dummies, or something to that effect. Au contraire. It's easier to find information on bomb-making than book review writing.

So I did what any other resourceful writer on deadline would do; I panicked. Well, for a moment. Quickly composing myself I scrounged the library and internet for every conceivable source that even hinted at the term "book review." What follows is the result of my gleaning.

Before reading, consider:

Points to ponder as you read the entire book:

Writing the Review:

Writing a Fiction Book Review

Note: You don't have to answer every question -- they're suggestions!

Points to Ponder:

Your personal experiences

Your opinion

Your recommendation

Things to Bear in Mind:

Don't be intimidated by famous authors -- many have written mediocre books.

Don't review books by people you know, love, or hate.

Do you want to be a book reviewer? Start by doing. Write book reviews for local newspapers. If they don't have a book review section, start one.

If you have a specialty -- romance, mystery, dark fantasy -- cultivate it, become an expert.

Copyright © 2002 Bill Asenjo
This article may not be reprinted without the author's written permission.


Bill Asenjo, PhD, CRC began writing seriously to maintain his sanity while completing his PhD dissertation, His work appears in publications ranging from Chicken Soup for the Soul to SUCCEED and the Gale Medical Encyclopedia. He conducts writing workshops for Barnes & Noble, Kirkwood Community College, Office Depot and teaches freelance writing at Kirkwood Community College. In a former lifetime -- before multiple brain tumor surgeries -- Bill had been a bartender, New York City cabdriver, college dropout, and construction worker, among other less-illustrious occupations.

 

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