The Art of Book Reviewing
The 5 Steps:
- Give some context for the book
- Begin with description: What makes this book particularly itself?
- Provide some quotations from the book so we can get a feel for it
- Explain why we should spend time with the book ourselves
- End with an overall argument
GIVE SOME CONTEXT
Tell us a bit about the author, the type of book it is, the kind of writing it reminds you of. Little contextual details can set the scene and help situate the reader.
BEGIN WITH A DESCRIPTION
A review isn’t a space to like/dislike but to allow the reader to make up their own mind.
Explain the book’s key ideas/plot points (avoid spoilers!) and its stylistic/formal features.
PROVIDE SOME QUOTES
If you’re trying to share the book, the book’s own words are a great starting place. React to and explain the: show us what you see in them.
EXPLAIN WHY OTHERS SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
You care enough about this book to spend time reviewing it. What makes you care? Why might it matter to a reader? What does it allow us to think, feel, or see?
END WITH AN OVERALL ARGUMENT
Think about what the reader might learn from your review even if they don’t read the book. Tell us something that sums up the book’s place in our world, or even tell us something important about books and writing.
Share your review!
• Post to http://narmo.milne-library.org/
• Tweet to @getreviewing with hashtag #narmo
• Instagram yourself with the book and tag @geneseo_narmo
• Let the publisher/author know!
• Come up with your own way of sharing the review
• Host a reviewing event at a local library/bookstore/school
NaRMo is about readers coming together to share books. Write to us with your ideas or what you’ve been up to at firstname.lastname@example.org