Writing Reviews for Readers' Advisory Kindle Edition
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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