How to Write a Book Review

Book Review Format

This is a simple format for writing a book review. There are several ways to review a book. This is one way, in its most basic form.

Step 1: Lay a Foundation (aka Introduction)

To introduce the book, consider telling how you came to find it, why you were interested or why you wanted to read it.

Please don't say "The Book" by "What's His Name," author and all around nobody of consequence or otherwise great guy. Rather, start the readers mind on a journey.

So, how did you come across the book? Did the author grovel and beg you for a review as a quid pro quo for giving you the book, a dozen cookies and a cup of coffee?

Please note, if I sent the wrong kind of cookies, please contact support (er eh, me) and we will get the right ones out right away. If the coffee spilled in the mail, please accept our apologies.

Build up the book by starting with a story, your story of how you came to be here, reviewing the book. Here you start telling the audience about the book before you share their opinion.

Step 2: Build the Walls (aka Summarize the Book)

Here you will be writing the description of the book along with a brief summary. Think of this as a synopsis of the book. What is the book about and how does it help people.

You might even be able to get fodder from the back of the book, just acknowledge that the description is from the book.

When writing the summary, do not be a spoiler. Leave that for the person reading the book. Your job is just to wet the appetite for those reading your review so that they will want to read the book. You want to give your reader a taste of the sandwich and then pull it away, so that they have to get the book to finish the meal.

Step 3: Lets Get Critical

Now it is time for you to look at the work with a critical eye. Everything else is the bread, this is the meat of the sandwich.

For the objective part, what did you see, feel or touch in or from the book.

There are two parts, the subjective and the objective. For instance, I read a book with awesome information but it was poorly written. The key, if you can get past the poor writing, it will prove to be very helpful. In other words, it is worth reading, as painful as it may be to read it.

For the subjective, what did this help you to feel? What emotions welled up inside you from reading this?

Over all, how did this help you? What practical or concrete information did it provide.

What did this help you to know?

Interestingly, if you have a contrary view from the rest of the world, be honest. Be yourself. I was amazed that one of the reviews of my first book was very negative, or at least from one standpoint. The reviewer said the book was very depressing.

Those who were privileged to hear that review wanted to know how and wanted to read it all the more. Only your honest review will help.

Love it or hate it, be honest about it.

Step 4: Your Thoughts

So, what do you think? This is a nuts and bolts review of your review. Think of this as a summary of your summary with your opinion.

What do you think? Your last word? Read it or not?

More on How to Write a Book Review

Speech Writing may give some additional help in writing a great book review. The Write a Book Review Public Speaking Website

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Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
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