Battistella, Edwin: how to write a compelling book review

Battistella, Edwin

How to write a compelling book review‘, OUPBlog, 11 August 2015

We normally write and/or publish the things but this seemed such good advice we thought we’d post it for the edification of all. The author kicks off thus:

Book reviews are an essential but unappreciated genre. Reviewing is much more than service journalism. Book reviews are the first thing I look at in the Sunday paper, the first section I turn to when I get the latest issue of an academic journal. For publishers, reviews are an important way of getting the word out about books they believe in. For authors, reviews are much needed feedback, giving them both a sense of how their peers view their argument and validation that their work has not gone unread. For book reviewers themselves, writing reviews is an exercise in thinking about other peoples’ thinking and writing about other peoples’ writing.

Battistella then presents eight hints. They are useful. Our only quibble is that credible lists have odd numbers of points – five, seven, even nine – or, at a pinch, ten. Still, recommended for a quick read.


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