How to write a book review??

As I mentioned in my first post, I’ve only recently gotten back into blogging at the urging of my friend.  I want this to be a book blog. 

I’ve started purusing the book blogs out there and I’m quite impressed. People are putting in a great deal of time into their reviews. 

What my question is, what makes a good book review on a book blog?  What are people out there looking for in a book review?  I like a quick synopsis and, basically, a thumbs up or a thumbs down. 

Any helpful hints about book blogging would be appreciated!


14 responses to “How to write a book review??

  1. Yeah, some book bloggers are very talented and can write circles around me!

    I love it when a reviewer gives a synopsis of a the book, their opinion and maybe a little extra something (could be that they watched the movie version and rate it too, or found the authors website and linked to it, or mentioned why they liked or disliked the book cover). I’ve even seen one blogger who links to other bloggers with opposite opinions of the book, just so you get another opinion)!

    I do spend some time writing my reviews and generally revise and rewrite many times before I publish. Yeah, I’m weird like that! Off to bed (see you tomorrow night for book club)!

  2. Hi!

    I take a look at Stephanie’s blog every now and then and saw her link to your new blog. I tend to write my book reviews pretty quickly and mostly read over them once…maybe. Perhaps that’s why I end up with typos? 🙂 But I tend to give a synopsis and thumbs up or down. If it is an author I have read before, I might compare it to some of their other books. Or maybe compare to other books/authors in the same genre in case someone likes a particular author and is looking for something new to read.

    I am on LibraryThing and I tend to post links to my blog book reviews on there. I think I have seen some increased traffic since I’ve started doing that.

    Good luck! I’ll add you to our blog list.

  3. Hi, I read such a variety that I think my reviews are different for each one! I can tend to stress out about the quality of my reviews when I start comparing to other incredible bloggers…. Which brings me right back to THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN. fun for ME. So I just write whatever and if you like it, great. And if not, try me later?! I need to be reminded to give better synopsis of the actual story, especially if I didn’t like the writing style.

    I hope you enjoy blogging about books and I WILL be back to visit again soon.

  4. I wanted to welcome you to the book blogging world! I found you over at Stephanie’s blog (The Written Word). Happy blogging….I hope you enjoy it, for me it is great fun!

  5. oh, about book reviewing…this is actually a question I have been wanting to post on my blog as well. I don’t think there is any set way it should be done, but I always enjoy it when the reviewer gives me all the info straight away at the top (e.i title, author, page number, and rating if they choose to rate it) then I can know at a glance how they feel about the book, and for some reason I like that.

    After writing a review if I really enjoyed the book I tend to feel like I didn’t really get the review right. The book was just too good. I don’t mind if the book was bad…but it is when the book was exceptional that I worry that I am slighting it.

    this is a great question, I need to ask it too!!

  6. I’m relatively new to the whole book blogging this too — I just started in January. I don’t know if I have much advice for you on writing reviews, but I’ll be anxious to read what everyone else says. Congrats on your endeavor!

  7. Hi – Came over from Stephanie’s to welcome you to the book bloggers crowd 🙂
    There are some wonderful book reviewers in blogland. Some write very detailed analysis and I enjoy reading those but on a personal level I prefer to do a synopsis and say a bit about what I liked or didn’t. Hopefully just enough to let readers make their own opinion on whether they’d still like to read the book or not.
    Anyway, hope you enjoy book blogging!

  8. I’m learning how to write book reviews, too. One thing I’ve noticed as I read book reviews, I like a quick synopsis (not too many spoilers!) with an opinion. If the review is shorter, I tend to read more of it.

    I like Stephanie’s idea of adding the author’s website or a comment on a movie based on the books.

    One last thought. I really like a review that has a quote from the book, to get a feel of the language. It helps to know if it will be a lyrical read (interpreted “Take your time and savor it”) or a light, easy read (“Rest your weary mind”).

  9. What I look for in a review (and I always try to do this with mine) is do a very short synopsis of the book, without giving too much away. Then, a couple of paragraphs outlining what you liked or didn’t like about the book.

    Welcome to book blogging!

  10. Welcome to book blogging! I’m coming up on 6 months of doing it (which I find hard to believe!), and it’s definitely been a nifty adventure.

    As for what I look for in a book review, I like a good general synopsis without any spoilers, a thumbs up or thumbs down (but more importantly, the *reasons* for liking/not liking it – I mean, maybe you don’t like certain things about a book that I *do*), and I’m definitely one that looks for (and attempts to include in my own reviews) at least one quote from the book itself – it’s a great way to give the sense of the writing and let excellent books “speak for themselves.” I’m all too aware that my reviews can’t always capture the feel of a book, so why not let the book itself do the work? Besides, it’s kind of fun keeping an eye out for that sentence that’s so great that it’s *begging* to be quoted.

    Hope you enjoy the whole book blogging thing – I definitely have! 🙂

  11. I keep a notebook near while I’m reading and write down my thoughts as they come. If I don’t do this I sometimes forget relevant points I want to make in my review. I don’t usually write my own synopsis — I’d rather list the book description (from the back of the book) and then assess it in my own words.

  12. I just found your site and am thoroughly enjoying it so far. I’m new to book blogging as well. When I write my thoughts about a book I’ve just read, I provide a little background and just talk about whatever struck me the most as I was reading it. Sometimes I go in depth if I have a lot to say, sometimes not. It just depends on how strongly I felt about the book.

  13. Pingback: 3 Ways to Get Me to Read Your Book Review - YAnnabe

  14. In addition to the trackback above, I just wanted to drop a comment and say thanks for starting this discussion! I listed some of my book review nice-to-haves in a blog post and was able to link here for more ideas. 🙂

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