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There’s no reason you
can’t review a book with class and professionalism.A book review is a description, judicious
analysis, and an evaluation of the quality, gist, and impact of a book.It’s so important to realize . . . a book
review is not a retelling. It’s not a book report or a summary.
A book review should
focus on the book's purpose and content. How did the book affect you – the
reader? You should evaluate the
strengths and weaknesses of the how well the author told his/her story. Your review should include a statement of
what the author has tried to do, evaluate how well he/she has succeeded, and
present evidence to support your appraisal.
There’s no right or
wrong way to write a book review. Face it, book reviews are highly personal and
reflect the opinion(s) of the reviewer. Your review can be as short as 50-100
words, or as long as 1500 words, depending on the purpose of the review.
I might add a
personal note here – “If you can’t say something nice, maybe it’s best left
unsaid in public.” If you truly dislike
a book, that’s okay, not every book we read will be our favorite. But chastising a book in a review could make
or break an author. Is that your intent?
I would hope not. If I don’t care for a book I’ve read, I let
it go. It’s not necessary to berate or
trash the book or the author.
following is a simple guide for writing a book review that works.
1.Write a statement including basic information
about the book: title, author, type of book.
2.Write a sentence indicating point of
view and genre.
3.Evaluate the quality of the writing
style by using some of the following standards: consistency, clarity, creativity,
strength, pithiness, development, and even fluidity.
4.Ask yourself does the story reach the
5.To me the most important question to
ask yourself – then review from your heart – “how did this book affect me?” Did
you have preconceived notions about the subject matter and now they’ve changed or
perhaps they’re reinforced due to this book?
6.Did the book realize its goal(s)?
7.End your review with the oh-so-important,
‘would you recommend this book to others’? Why?
Remember, your review should include a
brief summary, analysis, and comment on the book’s content. Include your general conclusions. If you feel
strongly to make a statement, use specific references and quotations to support them. And always
end with a comment of support and referral.
A Master Passion - A Founder's Marriage Angelica, older sister to Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, was a piece of work. Perhaps you've met someone like her--enchanting, intelligent, daring, filled with boundless energy, bubbling over with wit. She was also a champagne tastes kind of gal who brought the party along with her, brightening any room she entered. Men and women alike adored her. She had admirers not only in America, but in France and in Britain, too, among them the leading lights of the time. The French Statesman Talleyrand, the Whig Leader, Charles Fox, the play-write Richard Brinsley Sheridan, as well as Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, and the Marquis de Lafayette were among the many luminaries who fell beneath her spell. We can no longer see the glamor in this picture of her and her first child, painted by Trumbull. Fashions in beauty change. In one letter to his father-in-law, Hamilton speaks of Angelica and his wife Elizabeth as "our b…
As a writer
I know the power of words, and I’m constantly searching for the right words to
make my stories live. But recently I discovered the word “feminism” has been
misunderstood. I had no idea until daughter Andrea received a rude response
after she admitted she was a feminist. Made me wonder, why has this word been
demonized? Dictionary.com defines feminism as “advocating social,
political, legal and economic rights for women equal to those of men.”
Merriam-Webster has a similar definition. The term feminism originated in 19 century
France, I learned. A second-wave began in the United States during the early 1960s
with Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine
Mystique. Friedan wrote this book after talking with friends, who had
given up their careers to become housewives. These women felt unfulfilled in
their domestic roles, Friedan claimed. She blamed women’s magazines, run by men,
for encouraging women to become mothers and housewives, rather than career
women. A dif…
I grew up in
an engineering family and worked many years at Boeing. There, great flying
machines are built to stay in the air for literally hours and hours and jet halfway around the world without refueling. This is well engineered
stuff. With that in
mind, I’ve always considered the human body a high maintenance machine. It is
fragile and can’t take much without breaking down. It must regenerate (sleep) for
a huge amount of its shelf-life. It requires hours of upkeep, always needs wiping
down or, over the years, completely submersed in water with gallons of soap.
The human body must be constantly refueled which produces prodigious amounts of
venting waste. This turns out to be an expensive, never ending maintenance slog.
have thunk this a good design? Not me. I’d really like a conversation with the
designer and tell him my thoughts on how the human body could be improved. But
with that conversation unlikely, I’ll have to stew over poor engineering. Let’s take
one of the abo…