Writing Book Reviews

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Presented at the Southern Alberta Library Conference March 4 & 5, 2011 Lethbridge, Alberta

Presented at the Southern Alberta Library Conference March 4 & 5, 2011 Lethbridge, Alberta

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Transcript

  • 1. Writing Book Reviews Share your expertise and interact online with library users
  • 2. my book reviewing experience...
  • 3. Why write book reviews?
    • Highlight new additions to the collection
    • Draw attention to specific areas of the collection
    • Help readers find books that interest them and are worth their time
    • Exercise your critical thinking and creative writing skills
    • Broaden your own reading horizons
    • Free Books!
  • 4. What should a book review accomplish?
    • Tell the reader what the book is about
    • Evaluate strengths and weaknesses
    • Tell the reader why they may or may not be interested in reading the book
  • 5. Points of interest
    • Fiction:
      • Pacing
      • Characterization
      • Storyline
      • Setting
    • Non-Fiction
      • Subject
      • Level of detail or depth
      • Style
      • Organization
  • 6. How to read in order to review fiction
    • Ask yourself the following questions as you read:
      • Who is the intended audience? Is the book appropriate for this audience?
      • What is the tone of the narrative?
      • What is your response to the book? Is it satisfying to read?
      • Is the pace satisfying?
      • Do you like the characters?
      • Does the book remind you of others by the same author or in the same genre?
      • Are there any major gaps in the plot?
  • 7. How to read in order to review non-fiction
    • Ask yourself the following questions as you read:
      • What is the book about? What is the scope?
      • What level of expertise is needed to use the information in the book?
      • Who will find this most useful?
      • Is the book readable as well as accurate?
      • Is the book illustrated? Are the illustrations suitable and effective?
      • What is missing from the book?
      • Is the info in the book well organized?
      • What are the credentials of the author?
  • 8. The structure of a review
    • Typically a review can be separated into these main parts:
      • Introduction – introduce the book in such a way that it grabs the reader’s attention
      • Brief summary – outline main points of the book (can include short quotes)
      • Evaluation - analyze and discuss style, characterization, tone, pacing, etc.
      • Conclusion – summarize your ideas and recommend (or not)
  • 9. Remember...
    • Make notes as you read
    • Keep your reader in mind
    • Don’t spoil the ending
    • Analyze, critique, and compare. Don’t just summarize
    • Readers want information as well as your opinion
    • Be fair and objective
    • Be honest
  • 10. Reviewing online
    • BiblioCommons
      • http://lethlib.bibliocommons.com
    • Websites for your reviews:
      • www.goodreads.com
      • www.librarything.com
      • www.amazon.ca
    • Create your own blog:
      • www.blogger.com
      • www.wordpress.com
    • Blogs that review:
      • http://blog.booklistonline.com
      • www.thechildrensbookreview.com
      • www.thestorysiren.com
  • 11. Get published Bookmarks Quill & Quire Booklist
  • 12. Start writing!
    • If you have any further questions or would like a copy of this presentation please send me an email [email_address]
    • Happy reviewing! 