Answered By: Library Staff
Last Updated: Mar 22, 2016     Views: 291

A book review is a critique of a specific work (fiction or non-fiction, popular or literary), usually written at the time of the work's publication. 

To begin, you must have the following information:

  • Title of the book
  • Name of Author
  • Date of first publication

1. On the Web:

  • Amazon.com has synopsis and review excerpts for most titles in their database, though not suitable if full-length review is needed.

2. Databases Some of the Databases accessible from our Databases Page will lead you to book reviews; no single product of ours has all of the book reviews, so you may need to try more than one:

2A. Academic Search Premier (available from our Databases Page)

Place the title of the book in quote marks in one of the search boxes and the last name of the author in another search box:

screen shot from ebsco academic search elite
then scroll down the page and click on "book review" in the Document type pulldown before clicking the search button:

screen shot from ebsco academic search elite
Once you click on the "Search" botton you will hopefully have some listings for book reviews that you can read. You may need to use the Find It! button to get to the full text of the review.

 2B. Proquest Databases (Available from our Databases Pages under "P").

Place the title of the book in quote marks in one of the search boxes and the last name of the author in another search box, and in the third type in "Book Review": screen shot from Proquest Databases
If you get results, you will probably get a lot of reviews to other books; examine the results carefully for relevant items. You may need to use the Find It! button to get to the full text of the review.

2C. JSTOR

JSTOR is particulary good for older books, not just fiction, but many other disciplines as well. Available from our Databases pages under "J". With JSTOR, use an "ADVANCED SEARCH":

screen shot of JSTOR advanced search form with title of book in quotation marks and last name of author added in second search box

3. Other Databases. Books in special interest fields are often reviewed in specialty journals. You can search for reviews in these journals using subject specific Databases from our Databases Page.

Some of the sources on this page were taken from Finding Book Reviews (Cal State Stanislaus)

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