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Finding Book Reviews: Locate Book Reviews

Yeah, Amazon has book reviews, but they are not from respected sources. Check these out instead.

Where to start?

Book reviews are a valuable aid in the study of a particular book.  They can be used if you: 

  • need a critical evaluation of a book
  • want to know what subject matter a book covers
  • want to choose books to read in a subject area

The length of a book review may vary; some are only 50 words long, others are lengthy articles written by authorities in the field.  These are often ‘state of the art’ reviews which summarize and evaluate the current literature on a subject.

HOW TO LOCATE BOOK REVIEWS

 Special indexes are available to help you locate book reviews.  In order to use them you will need to know:

  •  the author's name
  • the title of the book
  • the year the book was originally published

 The date of publication is especially important because reviews usually appear soon after the book is published.  The date can be found on the back of the title page.  When more than one date is given, use the earliest date unless your edition is a major revision or a new translation.  If you do not have all the necessary information, you may find it in the Online Catalog or other bibliographies.  For more assistance consult a Reference Librarian.

Other Sources

This Guide was adapted widely from the original Cornell Guide.  Their current guide has more information:  http://guides.library.cornell.edu/bookreviews

Look here

Indexes           Book Review Digest.  1905 to date.

Arranged alphabetically by author of the book reviewed, it contains selected book reviews in about 75 American, Canadian and British periodicals and gives brief descriptive notes, quotations from selected reviews with exact references to periodicals in which the reviews appeared, as well as references to other reviews.  Has a cumulative index, 1905-1974.

 Indexes           Book Review Index.  1965 to date.

 Listed by author with abbreviated citations to reviews in more than 470 publications.  Reviews indexed are to any type of book that has been published, includ­ing poetry and children's books.  The BRI user will be able to locate reviews of textbooks, novels, reference books, works in foreign languages, periodicals, newspa­pers, and many other publications. 

If your book is so new that reviews have not yet been listed in an index, consult recent issues of the New York Times Book Review; TLS, the Times Literary Supplement; New York Review of Books; Time and other reviewing sources – including our three main large full text databases. 

 

BOOK REVIEWS ON SPECIAL SUBJECTS

 If you have difficulty finding a review, you could try one of the more specialized sources listed below.  Often these sources are very slow to review books; the reviews may appear years after the book was published.

 Indexes           Business Periodical Index.   (and through WilsonWeb)

 August 1972 - July 1975 reviews are listed under the subject heading "Book Reviews" in the main part of the index.  Since August 1975 reviews have been listed at the back of each issue.

 Indexes           Education Index.   (and through WilsonWeb)

 July 1969 - June 1975 reviews are listed under the subject heading "Book Reviews" in the main part of the index.  Since July 1975 reviews have been listed at the back of each issue.

 Indexes           General Science Index.  (and through WilsonWeb)

             Reviews are listed at the back of each issue.

 Indexes           Humanities Index.   (and through WilsonWeb)

             Reviews are listed at the back of each issue.

 Indexes           New York Times Index.

             Reviews are listed under the subject heading "Book Reviews".

 Indexes           Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature.    (and through WilsonWeb)

 Prior to March 1976 reviews were listed under the author's name.  Since March 1976 they have been listed alphabetically (by author) at the back of each issue.

 Indexes           Social Sciences Index.    (and through WilsonWeb)

             Reviews are listed at the back of each issue.

 Online             Academic Search Premier or MasterFile Premier.  (online)

 Reviews can be found in both of these databases.  You will need to choose the “Advanced Search” tab first, and then select “Book Review” in the “Document Type” box.  Next put an author or subject in the search box at the top of the page.  The result list should include both citations to book reviews as well as full text of reviews.

 If you have difficulty finding a book review, consult a Reference Librarian.