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Book Reviews (Humanities)  

Last Updated: May 11, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Book Reviews

A review usually appears within a year or two of a book's publication. Some reviews are long and scholarly, and can provide important information about a book's style, quality, and the credentials of the author. Other reviews may just give a summary of a book's content and plot; in either case, a review is a contemporary, critical reaction to a book, often reflecting the reviewer's own tastes or that of the prevailing current critical opinion.

Reviews are distinct from the more in-depth analysis of literary criticism, which usually appears long after a book's publication.

To find a book review, it is important to know:

  • author's full name
  • title of the book
  • year of publication

Remember that:

  • The great majority of books are never reviewed at all.
  • Reviews do not always appear the same year in which the book was published. You may have to check indexes for a year or two following the publication date.
  • Indexes and databases usually cover certain dates. If your book was written in 1925, for example, you will need to use an index to sources that include that date.

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