Why do I need a book revew?
Book reviews can provide valuable information on a given topic. They usually contain a summary of the reviewed book's content, provide comparisons with similar works and most importantly feature a critical evaluation of the book's main points. Most reviews are relatively brief, perhaps two to four pages. You can use book reviews for your research in numerous ways:
· To help you to evaluate a book, find out what the author’s main line of argument is, and/or discover how the book has been received by experts in the field.
· To explore the works of a particular author.
· To browse reviews on a given topic and become more familiar with the literature in a particular area of study. This might be particularly useful if you are writing a literature review.
· To develop a bibliography on a particular topic.
Try to read more than one review for a given book as reviews can be highly subjective. A second review might provide a very different perspective.
A word of caution about book reviews. Many titles, in particular many academic titles are never reviewed. There are many reasons why a particular book does not receive a review: the topic is too specialized, the book does not stand out enough to have received a review, or it just slipped through the cracks. In addition, book reviews for academic books may not appear until a couple of years after the original publication date (especially reviews published in academic journals).
The following list includes several of the major databases available at the Stevens-German Library that include either full text book reviews or citations of book reviews. On the right hand side there are some instructions on how to limit the search to book reviews within the given database. Unless otherwise noted you can search all these databases by author, title or subject / keyword with the limit set to book reviews.
If you ever have difficulties finding book reviews, don’t hesitate to ask a reference librarian!