- Series: Booklist Publication
- Paperback: 109 pages
- Publisher: Amer Library Assn Editions (December 22, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0838910173
- ISBN-13: 978-0838910177
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,757,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Writing Reviews for Readers' Advisory (Booklist Publication)
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(Editor’s note: It is Booklist policy that a book written or edited by a staff editor receive a brief descriptive announcement rather than a full review.) Based on a series of workshops Hooper presented to public libraries across the country, Writing Reviews for Readers’ Advisory offers expert advice on the review-writing process. Chapters cover topics such as the difference between reviewing and criticism, how to determine what a book is about and how good it is, what makes a good review, and what makes a good reviewer (“No overwriting allowed”; “Be critical, not crabby”). Quotations from reviews, personal stories and anecdotes, and Hooper’s own examples, called “Hooper’s Reviews,” illustrate his points. Joyce Saricks has contributed a chapter on audiobook reviewing, “a topic of burgeoning importance”—and not the same as reviewing books. In the appendixes, Hooper explains the difference between reviews and annotations and discusses his favorite reviewers. --Mary Ellen Quinn
About the Author
Brad Hooper is the Adult Books Editor at Booklist, the flagship review journal of the American Library Association, which is published in Chicago. He has a Bachelor of Arts in European History and a Master of Science in Library Science, both degrees from Eastern Illinois University. He has also done graduate work in European History at the University of Illinois. He regularly speaks about reviewing and has conducted review-writing workshops for public librarians across the country. He is the author of The Short Story Readers' Advisory (ALA Editions, 2000); The Fiction of Ellen Gilchrist (Praeger, 2005); Read On...Historical Fiction, Libraries Unlimited (2006); and The Fiction of Alice Munro (Praeger, 2008.)
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Top customer reviews
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Indeed, as a veteran of the word-wars myself, both on the writing and receiving end -- for the three books I've written -- I was hesitant to pick-up and read a book that I thought would be a bland rehashing of a well-worn topic. Instead, I was favorably impressed by the approach and thoughtful suggestions that Brad Hooper brings to the reader.
Just as an entry in a subject encyclopedia helps a library user get an idea of the range, scope and boundaries of a specific topic, I found Hooper's outline of the various target markets of books reviewers and his descriptions of how each differs one-from-the-other very helpful. I tend to lean toward writing descriptive, slightly evaluative reviews, so it was helpful to see how he would approach writing a review for a website, a library handout or newsletter, a library blog, for a libary book club, for the local newspaper or for library colleagues, in a different manner for each.
Then, there's the problem a lot of us who have degrees in English have, and that's walking that fine line between writing a book review and not straying back into writing an essay that's really literary criticism. Hooper offers a good contextual explanation that should be required reading for all of us. His discussion of our audience, the length of our review and how to handle pre-versus post publication reviews, as well as what questions one should answer in the review, style and -- that bug-a-boo question that haunts us all -- whether to write a negative review at all, are all most helpful.
Bottom line? If you're truly interested in learning what makes a good book review and/or how to become a good reviewer, consider this little book an excellent seminar-in-print. It's well worth the time !
R. Neil Scott, MBA/MSLS
Middle Tennessee State University