Finding Book Reviews

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Finding Book Reviews

Book reviews are different from literary criticism. A book review is an article that describes and sometimes evaluates a book. Reviews may be anywhere from a couple of sentences to several pages in length. They may be descriptive, critical, and analytical, but are not considered literary criticism. Literary criticism is typically written by scholars, and contains a more in-depth analysis, evaluation, or interpretation of a specific work or a comparison of multiple works. If you need literary criticism, see the guide how to Find Literary Criticism.

Book reviews are typically written closer to the time the book was originally published, while literary criticism appears in later years. For example, reviews of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald appeared in 1925 or 1926 (right after the novel was published), while literary criticism about the novel continues to be written today. If you are looking for a review, try looking within about 3-4 years after a book was published; for example, if a book was published in 1998, it is suggested that you look in the volumes from 1998 through to 2002 for reviews.

Library Databases

Academic Search Premier
Select book review from the Document Type limiter and then search for your book.

Expanded Academic ASAP
Search for your book like a normal search. After you get some search results, you can limit the Document Type to book review.

JSTOR
Contains many book reviews for specific subjects and disciplines. Under the search boxes, you can limit the Type to review.

LexisNexis Academic
You may have to changed the date to All Available Years in order to find older book reviews. Search for your book title and then you limit to just book reviews by expanding the Subject link on the right side of the page.

Project MUSE
To find book reviews, choose Advanced Search and use the pulldown menu under Limit Search and By Type to select Review.

Print Resources in the Library

Book Review Digest
Location: Reference Collection (call number: Z1219.B72)
Access by author, title, and subject. Excerpts of reviews are included. Note: Most of the reviews indexed in this publication do not come from scholarly, academic journals. The Library has volumes 1905-1999.

Book Review Index
Location: Reference Collection (call number: Z1035.A1 B66)
Includes reviews from over 500 periodicals. Author and title indexes are provided. Does not include excerpts of the reviews.

The New York Times Book Review
Location: Newspaper (call number: AN1. N44)
Older issues are available in microfilm. You can also search the online version of the New York Times Book Review from 1985 to present.

Children's Literature Review: Excerpts from Reviews, Criticism and Commentary on Books for Children and Young People
Location: Reference Collection (call number: PN1009.A1 C5139)
Includes book review citations from numerous children's books.

The New York Review of Books
Location: Newspapers (call number: AP2. N655)
Older issues are available in microfilm.

TLS, The Times Literary Supplement
Location: Newspapers (call number: AP4 .T45)
Older issues are available in microfilm.