17 Book Review Examples to Help You Write the Perfect Review

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17 book review examples to help you write the perfect review.

17 Book Review Examples to Help You Write the Perfect Review

It’s an exciting time to be a book reviewer. Once confined to print newspapers and journals, reviews now dot many corridors of the Internet — forever helping others discover their next great read. That said, every book reviewer will face a familiar panic: how can you do justice to a great book in just a thousand words?

As you know, the best way to learn how to do something is by immersing yourself in it. Luckily, the Internet (i.e. Goodreads and other review sites , in particular) has made book reviews more accessible than ever — which means that there are a lot of book reviews examples out there for you to view!

In this post, we compiled 17 prototypical book review examples in multiple genres to help you figure out how to write the perfect review . If you want to jump straight to the examples, you can skip the next section. Otherwise, let’s first check out what makes up a good review.

Are you interested in becoming a book reviewer? We recommend you check out Reedsy Discovery , where you can earn money for writing reviews — and are guaranteed people will read your reviews! To register as a book reviewer, sign up here.

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What must a book review contain?

Like all works of art, no two book reviews will be identical. But fear not: there are a few guidelines for any aspiring book reviewer to follow. Most book reviews, for instance, are less than 1,500 words long, with the sweet spot hitting somewhere around the 1,000-word mark. (However, this may vary depending on the platform on which you’re writing, as we’ll see later.)

In addition, all reviews share some universal elements, as shown in our book review templates . These include:

  • A review will offer a concise plot summary of the book. 
  • A book review will offer an evaluation of the work. 
  • A book review will offer a recommendation for the audience. 

If these are the basic ingredients that make up a book review, it’s the tone and style with which the book reviewer writes that brings the extra panache. This will differ from platform to platform, of course. A book review on Goodreads, for instance, will be much more informal and personal than a book review on Kirkus Reviews, as it is catering to a different audience. However, at the end of the day, the goal of all book reviews is to give the audience the tools to determine whether or not they’d like to read the book themselves.

Keeping that in mind, let’s proceed to some book review examples to put all of this in action.

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Book review examples for fiction books

Since story is king in the world of fiction, it probably won’t come as any surprise to learn that a book review for a novel will concentrate on how well the story was told .

That said, book reviews in all genres follow the same basic formula that we discussed earlier. In these examples, you’ll be able to see how book reviewers on different platforms expertly intertwine the plot summary and their personal opinions of the book to produce a clear, informative, and concise review.

Note: Some of the book review examples run very long. If a book review is truncated in this post, we’ve indicated by including a […] at the end, but you can always read the entire review if you click on the link provided.

Examples of literary fiction book reviews

Kirkus Reviews reviews Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man :

An extremely powerful story of a young Southern Negro, from his late high school days through three years of college to his life in Harlem.
His early training prepared him for a life of humility before white men, but through injustices- large and small, he came to realize that he was an "invisible man". People saw in him only a reflection of their preconceived ideas of what he was, denied his individuality, and ultimately did not see him at all. This theme, which has implications far beyond the obvious racial parallel, is skillfully handled. The incidents of the story are wholly absorbing. The boy's dismissal from college because of an innocent mistake, his shocked reaction to the anonymity of the North and to Harlem, his nightmare experiences on a one-day job in a paint factory and in the hospital, his lightning success as the Harlem leader of a communistic organization known as the Brotherhood, his involvement in black versus white and black versus black clashes and his disillusion and understanding of his invisibility- all climax naturally in scenes of violence and riot, followed by a retreat which is both literal and figurative. Parts of this experience may have been told before, but never with such freshness, intensity and power.
This is Ellison's first novel, but he has complete control of his story and his style. Watch it.

Lyndsey reviews George Orwell’s 1984 on Goodreads:

YOU. ARE. THE. DEAD. Oh my God. I got the chills so many times toward the end of this book. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high expectations AND be nothing at all like I expected. Or in Newspeak "Double Plus Good." Let me preface this with an apology. If I sound stunningly inarticulate at times in this review, I can't help it. My mind is completely fried.
This book is like the dystopian Lord of the Rings, with its richly developed culture and economics, not to mention a fully developed language called Newspeak, or rather more of the anti-language, whose purpose is to limit speech and understanding instead of to enhance and expand it. The world-building is so fully fleshed out and spine-tinglingly terrifying that it's almost as if George travelled to such a place, escaped from it, and then just wrote it all down.
I read Fahrenheit 451 over ten years ago in my early teens. At the time, I remember really wanting to read 1984, although I never managed to get my hands on it. I'm almost glad I didn't. Though I would not have admitted it at the time, it would have gone over my head. Or at the very least, I wouldn't have been able to appreciate it fully. […]

The New York Times reviews Lisa Halliday’s Asymmetry :

Three-quarters of the way through Lisa Halliday’s debut novel, “Asymmetry,” a British foreign correspondent named Alistair is spending Christmas on a compound outside of Baghdad. His fellow revelers include cameramen, defense contractors, United Nations employees and aid workers. Someone’s mother has FedExed a HoneyBaked ham from Maine; people are smoking by the swimming pool. It is 2003, just days after Saddam Hussein’s capture, and though the mood is optimistic, Alistair is worrying aloud about the ethics of his chosen profession, wondering if reporting on violence doesn’t indirectly abet violence and questioning why he’d rather be in a combat zone than reading a picture book to his son. But every time he returns to London, he begins to “spin out.” He can’t go home. “You observe what people do with their freedom — what they don’t do — and it’s impossible not to judge them for it,” he says.
The line, embedded unceremoniously in the middle of a page-long paragraph, doubles, like so many others in “Asymmetry,” as literary criticism. Halliday’s novel is so strange and startlingly smart that its mere existence seems like commentary on the state of fiction. One finishes “Asymmetry” for the first or second (or like this reader, third) time and is left wondering what other writers are not doing with their freedom — and, like Alistair, judging them for it.
Despite its title, “Asymmetry” comprises two seemingly unrelated sections of equal length, appended by a slim and quietly shocking coda. Halliday’s prose is clean and lean, almost reportorial in the style of W. G. Sebald, and like the murmurings of a shy person at a cocktail party, often comic only in single clauses. It’s a first novel that reads like the work of an author who has published many books over many years. […]

Emily W. Thompson reviews Michael Doane's The Crossing on Reedsy Discovery :

In Doane’s debut novel, a young man embarks on a journey of self-discovery with surprising results.
An unnamed protagonist (The Narrator) is dealing with heartbreak. His love, determined to see the world, sets out for Portland, Oregon. But he’s a small-town boy who hasn’t traveled much. So, the Narrator mourns her loss and hides from life, throwing himself into rehabbing an old motorcycle. Until one day, he takes a leap; he packs his bike and a few belongings and heads out to find the Girl.
Following in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and William Least Heat-Moon, Doane offers a coming of age story about a man finding himself on the backroads of America. Doane’s a gifted writer with fluid prose and insightful observations, using The Narrator’s personal interactions to illuminate the diversity of the United States.
The Narrator initially sticks to the highways, trying to make it to the West Coast as quickly as possible. But a hitchhiker named Duke convinces him to get off the beaten path and enjoy the ride. “There’s not a place that’s like any other,” [39] Dukes contends, and The Narrator realizes he’s right. Suddenly, the trip is about the journey, not just the destination. The Narrator ditches his truck and traverses the deserts and mountains on his bike. He destroys his phone, cutting off ties with his past and living only in the moment.
As he crosses the country, The Narrator connects with several unique personalities whose experiences and views deeply impact his own. Duke, the complicated cowboy and drifter, who opens The Narrator’s eyes to a larger world. Zooey, the waitress in Colorado who opens his heart and reminds him that love can be found in this big world. And Rosie, The Narrator’s sweet landlady in Portland, who helps piece him back together both physically and emotionally.
This supporting cast of characters is excellent. Duke, in particular, is wonderfully nuanced and complicated. He’s a throwback to another time, a man without a cell phone who reads Sartre and sleeps under the stars. Yet he’s also a grifter with a “love ‘em and leave ‘em” attitude that harms those around him. It’s fascinating to watch The Narrator wrestle with Duke’s behavior, trying to determine which to model and which to discard.
Doane creates a relatable protagonist in The Narrator, whose personal growth doesn’t erase his faults. His willingness to hit the road with few resources is admirable, and he’s prescient enough to recognize the jealousy of those who cannot or will not take the leap. His encounters with new foods, places, and people broaden his horizons. Yet his immaturity and selfishness persist. He tells Rosie she’s been a good mother to him but chooses to ignore the continuing concern from his own parents as he effectively disappears from his old life.
Despite his flaws, it’s a pleasure to accompany The Narrator on his physical and emotional journey. The unexpected ending is a fitting denouement to an epic and memorable road trip.

The Book Smugglers review Anissa Gray’s The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls :

I am still dipping my toes into the literally fiction pool, finding what works for me and what doesn’t. Books like The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray are definitely my cup of tea.
Althea and Proctor Cochran had been pillars of their economically disadvantaged community for years – with their local restaurant/small market and their charity drives. Until they are found guilty of fraud for stealing and keeping most of the money they raised and sent to jail. Now disgraced, their entire family is suffering the consequences, specially their twin teenage daughters Baby Vi and Kim.  To complicate matters even more: Kim was actually the one to call the police on her parents after yet another fight with her mother. […]

Examples of children’s and YA fiction book reviews

The Book Hookup reviews Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give :

♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 5 stars! I can’t imagine how challenging it would be to tackle the voice of a movement like Black Lives Matter, but I do know that Thomas did it with a finesse only a talented author like herself possibly could. With an unapologetically realistic delivery packed with emotion, The Hate U Give is a crucially important portrayal of the difficulties minorities face in our country every single day. I have no doubt that this book will be met with resistance by some (possibly many) and slapped with a “controversial” label, but if you’ve ever wondered what it was like to walk in a POC’s shoes, then I feel like this is an unflinchingly honest place to start.
In Angie Thomas’s debut novel, Starr Carter bursts on to the YA scene with both heart-wrecking and heartwarming sincerity. This author is definitely one to watch.
♥ Review: The hype around this book has been unquestionable and, admittedly, that made me both eager to get my hands on it and terrified to read it. I mean, what if I was to be the one person that didn’t love it as much as others? (That seems silly now because of how truly mesmerizing THUG was in the most heartbreakingly realistic way.) However, with the relevancy of its summary in regards to the unjust predicaments POC currently face in the US, I knew this one was a must-read, so I was ready to set my fears aside and dive in. That said, I had an altogether more personal, ulterior motive for wanting to read this book. […]

The New York Times reviews Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood :

Alice Crewe (a last name she’s chosen for herself) is a fairy tale legacy: the granddaughter of Althea Proserpine, author of a collection of dark-as-night fairy tales called “Tales From the Hinterland.” The book has a cult following, and though Alice has never met her grandmother, she’s learned a little about her through internet research. She hasn’t read the stories, because her mother, Ella Proserpine, forbids it.
Alice and Ella have moved from place to place in an attempt to avoid the “bad luck” that seems to follow them. Weird things have happened. As a child, Alice was kidnapped by a man who took her on a road trip to find her grandmother; he was stopped by the police before they did so. When at 17 she sees that man again, unchanged despite the years, Alice panics. Then Ella goes missing, and Alice turns to Ellery Finch, a schoolmate who’s an Althea Proserpine superfan, for help in tracking down her mother. Not only has Finch read every fairy tale in the collection, but handily, he remembers them, sharing them with Alice as they journey to the mysterious Hazel Wood, the estate of her now-dead grandmother, where they hope to find Ella.
“The Hazel Wood” starts out strange and gets stranger, in the best way possible. (The fairy stories Finch relays, which Albert includes as their own chapters, are as creepy and evocative as you’d hope.) Albert seamlessly combines contemporary realism with fantasy, blurring the edges in a way that highlights that place where stories and real life convene, where magic contains truth and the world as it appears is false, where just about anything can happen, particularly in the pages of a very good book. It’s a captivating debut. […]

James reviews Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight, Moon on Goodreads:

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of the books that followers of my blog voted as a must-read for our Children's Book August 2018 Readathon. Come check it out and join the next few weeks!
This picture book was such a delight. I hadn't remembered reading it when I was a child, but it might have been read to me... either way, it was like a whole new experience! It's always so difficult to convince a child to fall asleep at night. I don't have kids, but I do have a 5-month-old puppy who whines for 5 minutes every night when he goes in his cage/crate (hopefully he'll be fully housebroken soon so he can roam around when he wants). I can only imagine! I babysat a lot as a teenager and I have tons of younger cousins, nieces, and nephews, so I've been through it before, too. This was a believable experience, and it really helps show kids how to relax and just let go when it's time to sleep.
The bunny's are adorable. The rhymes are exquisite. I found it pretty fun, but possibly a little dated given many of those things aren't normal routines anymore. But the lessons to take from it are still powerful. Loved it! I want to sample some more books by this fine author and her illustrators.

Publishers Weekly reviews Elizabeth Lilly’s Geraldine :

This funny, thoroughly accomplished debut opens with two words: “I’m moving.” They’re spoken by the title character while she swoons across her family’s ottoman, and because Geraldine is a giraffe, her full-on melancholy mode is quite a spectacle. But while Geraldine may be a drama queen (even her mother says so), it won’t take readers long to warm up to her. The move takes Geraldine from Giraffe City, where everyone is like her, to a new school, where everyone else is human. Suddenly, the former extrovert becomes “That Giraffe Girl,” and all she wants to do is hide, which is pretty much impossible. “Even my voice tries to hide,” she says, in the book’s most poignant moment. “It’s gotten quiet and whispery.” Then she meets Cassie, who, though human, is also an outlier (“I’m that girl who wears glasses and likes MATH and always organizes her food”), and things begin to look up.
Lilly’s watercolor-and-ink drawings are as vividly comic and emotionally astute as her writing; just when readers think there are no more ways for Geraldine to contort her long neck, this highly promising talent comes up with something new.

Examples of genre fiction book reviews

Karlyn P reviews Nora Roberts’ Dark Witch , a paranormal romance novel , on Goodreads:

4 stars. Great world-building, weak romance, but still worth the read.
I hesitate to describe this book as a 'romance' novel simply because the book spent little time actually exploring the romance between Iona and Boyle. Sure, there IS a romance in this novel. Sprinkled throughout the book are a few scenes where Iona and Boyle meet, chat, wink at each, flirt some more, sleep together, have a misunderstanding, make up, and then profess their undying love. Very formulaic stuff, and all woven around the more important parts of this book.
The meat of this book is far more focused on the story of the Dark witch and her magically-gifted descendants living in Ireland. Despite being weak on the romance, I really enjoyed it. I think the book is probably better for it, because the romance itself was pretty lackluster stuff.
I absolutely plan to stick with this series as I enjoyed the world building, loved the Ireland setting, and was intrigued by all of the secondary characters. However, If you read Nora Roberts strictly for the romance scenes, this one might disappoint. But if you enjoy a solid background story with some dark magic and prophesies, you might enjoy it as much as I did.
I listened to this one on audio, and felt the narration was excellent.

Emily May reviews R.F. Kuang’s The Poppy Wars , an epic fantasy novel , on Goodreads:

“But I warn you, little warrior. The price of power is pain.”
Holy hell, what did I just read??
➽ A fantasy military school
➽ A rich world based on modern Chinese history
➽ Shamans and gods
➽ Detailed characterization leading to unforgettable characters
➽ Adorable, opium-smoking mentors
That's a basic list, but this book is all of that and SO MUCH MORE. I know 100% that The Poppy War will be one of my best reads of 2018.
Isn't it just so great when you find one of those books that completely drags you in, makes you fall in love with the characters, and demands that you sit on the edge of your seat for every horrific, nail-biting moment of it? This is one of those books for me. And I must issue a serious content warning: this book explores some very dark themes. Proceed with caution (or not at all) if you are particularly sensitive to scenes of war, drug use and addiction, genocide, racism, sexism, ableism, self-harm, torture, and rape (off-page but extremely horrific).
Because, despite the fairly innocuous first 200 pages, the title speaks the truth: this is a book about war. All of its horrors and atrocities. It is not sugar-coated, and it is often graphic. The "poppy" aspect refers to opium, which is a big part of this book. It is a fantasy, but the book draws inspiration from the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Rape of Nanking.

Crime Fiction Lover reviews Jessica Barry’s Freefall , a crime novel:

In some crime novels, the wrongdoing hits you between the eyes from page one. With others it’s a more subtle process, and that’s OK too. So where does Freefall fit into the sliding scale?
In truth, it’s not clear. This is a novel with a thrilling concept at its core. A woman survives plane crash, then runs for her life. However, it is the subtleties at play that will draw you in like a spider beckoning to an unwitting fly.
Like the heroine in Sharon Bolton’s Dead Woman Walking, Allison is lucky to be alive. She was the only passenger in a private plane, belonging to her fiancé, Ben, who was piloting the expensive aircraft, when it came down in woodlands in the Colorado Rockies. Ally is also the only survivor, but rather than sitting back and waiting for rescue, she is soon pulling together items that may help her survive a little longer – first aid kit, energy bars, warm clothes, trainers – before fleeing the scene. If you’re hearing the faint sound of alarm bells ringing, get used to it. There’s much, much more to learn about Ally before this tale is over.

Kirkus Reviews reviews Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One , a science-fiction novel :

Video-game players embrace the quest of a lifetime in a virtual world; screenwriter Cline’s first novel is old wine in new bottles.
The real world, in 2045, is the usual dystopian horror story. So who can blame Wade, our narrator, if he spends most of his time in a virtual world? The 18-year-old, orphaned at 11, has no friends in his vertical trailer park in Oklahoma City, while the OASIS has captivating bells and whistles, and it’s free. Its creator, the legendary billionaire James Halliday, left a curious will. He had devised an elaborate online game, a hunt for a hidden Easter egg. The finder would inherit his estate. Old-fashioned riddles lead to three keys and three gates. Wade, or rather his avatar Parzival, is the first gunter (egg-hunter) to win the Copper Key, first of three.
Halliday was obsessed with the pop culture of the 1980s, primarily the arcade games, so the novel is as much retro as futurist. Parzival’s great strength is that he has absorbed all Halliday’s obsessions; he knows by heart three essential movies, crossing the line from geek to freak. His most formidable competitors are the Sixers, contract gunters working for the evil conglomerate IOI, whose goal is to acquire the OASIS. Cline’s narrative is straightforward but loaded with exposition. It takes a while to reach a scene that crackles with excitement: the meeting between Parzival (now world famous as the lead contender) and Sorrento, the head of IOI. The latter tries to recruit Parzival; when he fails, he issues and executes a death threat. Wade’s trailer is demolished, his relatives killed; luckily Wade was not at home. Too bad this is the dramatic high point. Parzival threads his way between more ’80s games and movies to gain the other keys; it’s clever but not exciting. Even a romance with another avatar and the ultimate “epic throwdown” fail to stir the blood.
Too much puzzle-solving, not enough suspense.

Book review examples for non-fiction books

Nonfiction books are generally written to inform readers about a certain topic. As such, the focus of a nonfiction book review will be on the clarity and effectiveness of this communication . In carrying this out, a book review may analyze the author’s source materials and assess the thesis in order to determine whether or not the book meets expectations.

Again, we’ve included abbreviated versions of long reviews here, so feel free to click on the link to read the entire piece!

The Washington Post reviews David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon :

The arc of David Grann’s career reminds one of a software whiz-kid or a latest-thing talk-show host — certainly not an investigative reporter, even if he is one of the best in the business. The newly released movie of his first book, “The Lost City of Z,” is generating all kinds of Oscar talk, and now comes the release of his second book, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,” the film rights to which have already been sold for $5 million in what one industry journal called the “biggest and wildest book rights auction in memory.”
Grann deserves the attention. He’s canny about the stories he chases, he’s willing to go anywhere to chase them, and he’s a maestro in his ability to parcel out information at just the right clip: a hint here, a shading of meaning there, a smartly paced buildup of multiple possibilities followed by an inevitable reversal of readerly expectations or, in some cases, by a thrilling and dislocating pull of the entire narrative rug.
All of these strengths are on display in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Around the turn of the 20th century, oil was discovered underneath Osage lands in the Oklahoma Territory, lands that were soon to become part of the state of Oklahoma. Through foresight and legal maneuvering, the Osage found a way to permanently attach that oil to themselves and shield it from the prying hands of white interlopers; this mechanism was known as “headrights,” which forbade the outright sale of oil rights and granted each full member of the tribe — and, supposedly, no one else — a share in the proceeds from any lease arrangement. For a while, the fail-safes did their job, and the Osage got rich — diamond-ring and chauffeured-car and imported-French-fashion rich — following which quite a large group of white men started to work like devils to separate the Osage from their money. And soon enough, and predictably enough, this work involved murder. Here in Jazz Age America’s most isolated of locales, dozens or even hundreds of Osage in possession of great fortunes — and of the potential for even greater fortunes in the future — were dispatched by poison, by gunshot and by dynamite. […]

Stacked Books reviews Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers :

I’ve heard a lot of great things about Malcolm Gladwell’s writing. Friends and co-workers tell me that his subjects are interesting and his writing style is easy to follow without talking down to the reader. I wasn’t disappointed with Outliers. In it, Gladwell tackles the subject of success – how people obtain it and what contributes to extraordinary success as opposed to everyday success.
The thesis – that our success depends much more on circumstances out of our control than any effort we put forth – isn’t exactly revolutionary. Most of us know it to be true. However, I don’t think I’m lying when I say that most of us also believe that we if we just try that much harder and develop our talent that much further, it will be enough to become wildly successful, despite bad or just mediocre beginnings. Not so, says Gladwell.
Most of the evidence Gladwell gives us is anecdotal, which is my favorite kind to read. I can’t really speak to how scientifically valid it is, but it sure makes for engrossing listening. For example, did you know that successful hockey players are almost all born in January, February, or March? Kids born during these months are older than the others kids when they start playing in the youth leagues, which means they’re already better at the game (because they’re bigger). Thus, they get more play time, which means their skill increases at a faster rate, and it compounds as time goes by. Within a few years, they’re much, much better than the kids born just a few months later in the year. Basically, these kids’ birthdates are a huge factor in their success as adults – and it’s nothing they can do anything about. If anyone could make hockey interesting to a Texan who only grudgingly admits the sport even exists, it’s Gladwell. […]

Quill and Quire reviews Rick Prashaw’s Soar, Adam, Soar :

Ten years ago, I read a book called Almost Perfect. The young-adult novel by Brian Katcher won some awards and was held up as a powerful, nuanced portrayal of a young trans person. But the reality did not live up to the book’s billing. Instead, it turned out to be a one-dimensional and highly fetishized portrait of a trans person’s life, one that was nevertheless repeatedly dubbed “realistic” and “affecting” by non-transgender readers possessing only a vague, mass-market understanding of trans experiences.
In the intervening decade, trans narratives have emerged further into the literary spotlight, but those authored by trans people ourselves – and by trans men in particular – have seemed to fall under the shadow of cisgender sensationalized imaginings. Two current Canadian releases – Soar, Adam, Soar and This One Looks Like a Boy – provide a pointed object lesson into why trans-authored work about transgender experiences remains critical.
To be fair, Soar, Adam, Soar isn’t just a story about a trans man. It’s also a story about epilepsy, the medical establishment, and coming of age as seen through a grieving father’s eyes. Adam, Prashaw’s trans son, died unexpectedly at age 22. Woven through the elder Prashaw’s narrative are excerpts from Adam’s social media posts, giving us glimpses into the young man’s interior life as he traverses his late teens and early 20s. […]

Book Geeks reviews Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love :

WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
SUBJECT: 4/5
CANDIDNESS: 4.5/5
RELEVANCE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
“Eat Pray Love” is so popular that it is almost impossible to not read it. Having felt ashamed many times on my not having read this book, I quietly ordered the book (before I saw the movie) from amazon.in and sat down to read it. I don’t remember what I expected it to be – maybe more like a chick lit thing but it turned out quite different. The book is a real story and is a short journal from the time when its writer went travelling to three different countries in pursuit of three different things – Italy (Pleasure), India (Spirituality), Bali (Balance) and this is what corresponds to the book’s name – EAT (in Italy), PRAY (in India) and LOVE (in Bali, Indonesia). These are also the three Is – ITALY, INDIA, INDONESIA.
Though she had everything a middle-aged American woman can aspire for – MONEY, CAREER, FRIENDS, HUSBAND; Elizabeth was not happy in her life, she wasn’t happy in her marriage. Having suffered a terrible divorce and terrible breakup soon after, Elizabeth was shattered. She didn’t know where to go and what to do – all she knew was that she wanted to run away. So she set out on a weird adventure – she will go to three countries in a year and see if she can find out what she was looking for in life. This book is about that life changing journey that she takes for one whole year. […]

Emily May reviews Michelle Obama’s Becoming on Goodreads:

Look, I'm not a happy crier. I might cry at songs about leaving and missing someone; I might cry at books where things don't work out; I might cry at movies where someone dies. I've just never really understood why people get all choked up over happy, inspirational things. But Michelle Obama's kindness and empathy changed that. This book had me in tears for all the right reasons.
This is not really a book about politics, though political experiences obviously do come into it. It's a shame that some will dismiss this book because of a difference in political opinion, when it is really about a woman's life. About growing up poor and black on the South Side of Chicago; about getting married and struggling to maintain that marriage; about motherhood; about being thrown into an amazing and terrifying position.
I hate words like "inspirational" because they've become so overdone and cheesy, but I just have to say it-- Michelle Obama is an inspiration. I had the privilege of seeing her speak at The Forum in Inglewood, and she is one of the warmest, funniest, smartest, down-to-earth people I have ever seen in this world.
And yes, I know we present what we want the world to see, but I truly do think it's genuine. I think she is someone who really cares about people - especially kids - and wants to give them better lives and opportunities.
She's obviously intelligent, but she also doesn't gussy up her words. She talks straight, with an openness and honesty rarely seen. She's been one of the most powerful women in the world, she's been a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, she's had her own successful career, and yet she has remained throughout that same girl - Michelle Robinson - from a working class family in Chicago.
I don't think there's anyone who wouldn't benefit from reading this book.

Hopefully, this post has given you a better idea of how to write a book review. You might be wondering how to put all of this knowledge into action now! Many book reviewers start out by setting up a book blog. If you don’t have time to research the intricacies of HTML, check out Reedsy Discovery — where you can read indie books for free and review them without going through the hassle of creating a blog. To register as a book reviewer , go here .

And if you’d like to see even more book review examples, simply go to this directory of book review blogs and click on any one of them to see a wealth of good book reviews. Beyond that, it's up to you to pick up a book and pen — and start reviewing!

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30 of My All-Time Favorite Books (That You Might Love, Too)

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Looking for a read that might just become one of your favorite books? Try this reading list of my all-time favorite books that you might love, too. My list includes fiction and nonfiction favorites, as well as new books, older books, and much-loved classics.

Have you ever been asked to name your favorite book –and found yourself a loss for words?

Readers often find this to be an impossible question. How on Earth can anyone choose one favorite book?

I can’t. You probably can’t. But, I can give you a list of 30 of my favorite books .

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you’ll probably recognize many of these books–since they are favorites, I tend to mention them frequently.

If you’re new here, this list is a great place to start to decide if our reading tastes align.

Some of the reads that made my list are common favorite books –award winners, a few classics , and popular favorites worth reading. Others are under-the-radar books that I absolutely love and hope others will read.

My list includes fiction and nonfiction favorites and a mix of old and new releases–even a few favorite books from my childhood.

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What makes a book a favorite.

It can be tough to define what makes a favorite book to read, but for me, it’s a gut feeling. I know when I’ve found one.

  • They’re the books that immediately pop into my head when I think about why I love reading so much.
  • They’re the books on my shelf that I’m drawn to, again and again .
  • They’re the books that give me a twinge of happiness or excitement to read again , anytime I see them.
  • They’re the books with my favorite book characters , the ones I’ll never forget, who made me think or fascinated me.
  • They’re the books by my favorite authors , who can always be counted on to deliver a riveting story.

I read more than a hundred books every year. Most of them I don’t remember very well. The ones that stay with me–those are my favorite books of all time.

I hope you’ll add at least a few of these books to your “to-be-read” list and that they become favorites for you, too.

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30 of my all-time favorite books, body and soul.

Author: Frank Conroy

Body and Soul  tells the tale of Claude Rawlings, a six-year-old piano prodigy discovered by chance as he roamed the streets of New York on his own. Claude, left alone while his mother works as a taxi driver, learns the piano and makes friends with a music store owner.

His genius propels him to fame and riches–and eventually into a crisis of creativity and obsession. A sweeping and utterly immersive story, one I can’t wait to read again. More info

Boy Swallows Universe

Author: Trent Dalton

Eli Bell adores his dysfunctional family , but when the violence of his parents’ drug business comes to their house, everything goes wrong. His stepfather vanishes and his mother is imprisoned. Eli strives to rescue his mother, discover what became of his stepfather, become a crime journalist, and live up to his potential as well as taking down the local drug kingpin.

Gritty and brutal, with magical elements that only add to the epic feel, this utterly absorbing novel is one of my  favorites of 2019  and the  decade . 

Author: Tiffany McDaniel

Betty is the sixth of eight children growing up in poverty in Breathed, Ohio, a small town in the Appalachian foothills. Despite the violence in and out of their home, her Cherokee father’s fanciful tales open her eyes to the natural world and the power of narrative, which serve as escapes from daily responsibilities. Each family member is plagued by overt racism from society and hidden terrors within the family in various ways.

This stunning book combines literary lyricism with an Appalachian voice. It was my favorite book of 2020 . More info

A Job You Mostly Won’t Know How to Do

Author: Pete Fromm

When Taz’s young wife Marnie dies in childbirth, he is consumed by grief –and left to raise his newborn daughter without her mother. Taz struggles to navigate a world he no longer recognizes, controlled by the baby’s needs, floating through a fog of exhaustion, love, and hopelessness–but held up by a stubborn cast of stoic Montana characters.

Reading this beautiful, emotionally resonant novel just feels like grieving–it brought me to tears several times. This flew under the radar a bit but was one of my favorite books in 2019 –I absolutely loved it. More info

The Handmaid’s Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood

Despite being a big fan of the Hulu series, this is actually a favorite from my teen years. Atwood’s dystopian story of a society where women are oppressed and valued only for their ability to procreate blew my young mind. Of course, by now, the story of Offred and her life as a handmaiden is widely known (and the garb frequently employed in feminist protests), but it’s worth reading or rereading the source material.

Be sure to read the sequel,  The Testaments , as well. It’s not quite as explosive as  The Handmaid’s Tale,  but Atwood’s resolution is fascinating (and different from the show). More info

The Handmaid's Tale, Unbroken, and Once There Were Wolves, some of my favorite books, on a shelf

Author: Diana Gabaldon

In 1945, English combat nurse Claire Randall walks through a circle of standing stones in Scotland. Suddenly, she is in 1743, running from the Redcoats and at the mercy of a suspicious clan. As she tries to get back to the 20th century, Highlander Jamie Fraser emerges as an ally and protector. But, as she and Jamie grow closer, Claire has to decide where, when–and with whom–she wants to be.

The doorstopper , soapy historical fiction books in this series are sheer immersive fun. They kept me occupied for several months–perfect escapist reading. (And when you’re done, watch the show–it’s also great!) More info

For Outlander Fans

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The secret history.

Author: Donna Tartt

At an elite New England college, a small group of classics students and their eccentric but compelling professor form an insular society, striving for elitism and often toeing the line of morality. They eventually cross it when they kill one of their own. You learn about the murder on the first page, then follow the twisted tale of how it came to be.

None of the characters in this big book are likable, but they are compelling in their insularity and self-destructiveness. I love  The Secret History , but it is divisive–people seem to either love it or hate it. More info

A Little Life

Author: Hanya Yanagihara

JB, Malcolm, Willem, and Jude are four college friends who live in New York and are trying to make it on their own.  A Little Life  takes the reader through the perspectives of each friend before landing on Jude. Soon it becomes clear that Jude is struggling with profound physical and emotional wounds stemming from a horrifying and traumatic childhood. As years and decades pass, the friends struggle to understand his trauma and help him heal.

A Little Life  is another divisive book. It’s a tough read because of the subject matter, so it’s definitely not for everyone. However, it’s also emotional, immersive, and a stunning literary feat–you’ll find it among the favorite books of many fans of literary fiction. More info

  • 15 Things You Didn’t Know About A Little Life
  • 11 Devastating Books Like A Little Life

For A Little Life Fans

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Little Women

Author: Louisa May Alcott

The well-loved tale of four sisters and their brave mother who live in modest circumstances in Concord, Massachusetts, while their father is away as a chaplain during the Civil War continues to enchant.

That Louisa May Alcott herself didn’t much like the story is beside the point. Jo stands as a rebellious feminist icon, while the dramas, joys, griefs, and relationships of the sisters stand as enduring symbols of comfort, devotion, and perseverance. This is a childhood favorite and comfort read to this day. More info

Related : When Childhood Favorites Turn Dark

The Great Believers

Author: Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers is a historical novel that centers on two time periods: 1980s Chicago and 2015 Paris. With the 1980s AIDS epidemic as the backdrop, The Great Believers plunges readers into the crisis and the aftermath. This is a kind of grief on a massive scale, from the young men in Chicago’s gay community to the people they left behind, mourning the death of so many. Makkai skillfully weaves in an art history thread among several other tragedies, including world wars and terrorist attacks, to attest to the people and talents stolen by these catastrophes. A fantastic, emotional read and finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–do not miss it. More info

Related: 11 Things to Know About  The Great Believers : The Story of the Story

A Little Life, an all-time favorite book

Author: Ann Patchett

A band of young terrorists invades a party at the vice-presidential mansion of an unnamed South American country, taking hostages. A world-famous soprano, a Japanese business magnate, and diplomats from various nations are among the captives. The days and months go by as lines become blurred, friendships form, and tensions mount and subside–and rise again.

I loved the weaving of art, relationships, and suspense in this gorgeous novel.  Bel Canto  was my first introduction to Ann Patchett; it cemented her as one of my favorite authors. More info

Related: 11 Books to Read if You Love Ann Patchett

The Shell Seekers

Author: Rosamund Pilcher

This cozy read is so much more than its premise would have you believe: When Penelope learns that her father’s painting is worth a small fortune, her adult children have their own ideas about how she should handle the news.

The Shell Seekers  revisits various eras in Penelope’s life, including her Bohemian youth during World War II. Penelope is a fascinating character, and I adored the slow unveiling of her life told in decades. More info

All Creatures Great and Small

Author: James Herriot

I adore James Herriot’s telling of his life as a country veterinarian in Yorkshire–the books in this series are warm, funny, and touching. To me, they epitomize cozy reading .

Herriot spares himself no embarrassment but is keenly observant and sensitive as he interacts with the characters who pepper his stories—both human and animal, by turns eccentric, sad, and inspiring. True comfort reading; I also enjoyed the PBS series based on the book. More info

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Author: Betty Smith

You’ll never forget Francie Nolan, the young,  bookish , resourceful protagonist of  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  Growing up in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn and caught between her dreamer of a father and her work-worn, practical mother, Francie is self-aware and a keen observer of people and the life around her. Even when life grinds her down, Francie seeks beauty and truth.

This is a favorite of so many readers, and it’s a book worth reading again and again. More info

  • 11 Moving Books Like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • 30 Must-Read Classics by 20th Century Women

Author: Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken  is the book that showed me that nonfiction books  could  be on my list of favorite books. This tale of Louis Zamperini’s trials during World War II is so harrowing, you’ll have to remind yourself that it’s not fiction.

It seems impossible that one person could survive all that he did: a plane crash, months at sea on a raft, shark encounters…and that’s just the start. Laura Hillenbrand is a master of narrative nonfiction. More info

A stack of my favorite books

Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ifemelu and Obinze plan to move to the United States after leaving a Nigeria ruled by soldiers. But 9/11 prevents Obinze from joining Ifemelu, and they pursue their own identities over more than 15 years apart. Now living in a nation where her race is defining in ways that it wasn’t in Nigeria, Ifemelu embraces academics while grappling with her own blackness for the first time.

Obinze, on the other hand, lives in hazardous uncertainty in London as an undocumented immigrant. When they finally meet again, they must decide whether they can live together in a new Nigeria. Clever, insightful, and filled with excellent writing. More info

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Author: Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the Rain  was one of the novels that lured me back to reading in my post-grad-school burnout. I’ve always liked dogs , so this book about Enzo, a philosophical dog who regrets his lack of thumbs and enjoys riding in race cars with his human, was an automatic buy for me. Enzo will make you laugh and cry while he reflects on his life and anticipates his death.

It’s difficult to resist the imagining of dogs’ deep personalities, and Enzo is especially appealing. It should go without saying that you’ll need your tissues, but it’s well worth it. More info

Author: Cormac McCarthy

The Road is a renowned post-apocalyptic tale that depicts the bleakest possible future. A man and his young son walk toward the coast across a desolate wilderness, unsure if they will discover anything better than what they’ve left. It’s a difficult read, but it will get anyone thinking about the paths that may lead us to such a future—and what comes next when we get there.

The imagery in this book will stay with you forever, and the stark beauty and odd  hopefulness  bring a particular poignance to the darkness. More info

The Language of Flowers

Author: Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Victoria has aged out of the foster care system and finds work in a flower shop, where she discovers a unique talent for matching people with the perfect flowers. The cover and description of this book initially didn’t grab my interest, but it turned out to be a hopeful, unputdownable story about the families and paths we make for ourselves, even when the cards seem stacked against us. More info

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

Author: Katherine Boo

Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo went deep into a Mumbai slum to tell the tales of the residents of Annawadi, a slum squeezed on all sides by the city’s expansion and sitting ironically in the shade of a billboard that reads “The Beautiful Forevers.” The families’ ups and downs are vividly portrayed, reminding the reader of the individual challenges and systemic roadblocks that prevent them from rising above their circumstances.

Eye-opening and so well-told that I had to double-check that it wasn’t fiction–one of my favorite nonfiction books. More info

Books I Love journals to record your favorite books

Into the Forest

Author: Jean Hegland

When the power goes out with no explanation and no indications that it will return, Nell, her father William, and sister Eva must endure in their isolated woodland home. Their connections to one another and the natural world around them grow stronger in their isolation.

Into the Forest  is a bit under-the-radar as far as dystopic and post-apocalyptic fiction (though there is a film starring Elliot Page and Evan Rachel Wood), but it’s a great choice if you enjoy survivalist tales. The characters have some life circumstances that enable their survival, but their path to incorporating nature into their lives is gradual and realistic. Good for contemplating, “What would I do?” More info

We Were the Lucky Ones

Author: Georgia Hunter

We Were the Lucky Ones is the incredible tale of a Jewish family in Poland during World War II, when parents, five adult children and their spouses, and their young children were each trying to survive as the world around them crumbled.

Their stories of survival and the power of family, the horror of World War II, and the importance of gratitude will stay with you forever. One of the best World War II books I’ve ever read and definitely must-read  historical fiction .

Once There Were Wolves

Author: Charlotte McConaghy

Inti arrives in Scotland to oversee the reintroduction of wolves in the Highlands. Her twin sister Aggie is with her, but shut-in, non-verbal, and coping with trauma from her past. Inti believes in the wolves, but the locals are afraid for their safety and livestock, and when a man is discovered dead, their concerns appear well-founded.

I LOVED this gorgeous, atmospheric novel with fantastic characters and relationships; it’s terrific on audio.  Eco-fiction  is a new favorite genre, and I’ve heard McConaghy’s  Migrations  is also a must-read–it’s now on my TBR. More info

Readers Love:

Preview of the printable Reading Challenge Journal

The Overstory

Author: Richard Powers

This 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner completely blew me away. Powers builds an ambitious work that begins with a series of seemingly unrelated tales, some going back more than a century, and each rooted in a tree. The “understory” eventually leads us to several main characters.

These disparate characters come together in a larger-than-life narrative that’s a call to activism, a meditation on our place in the world, and an awe-stricken view of the complex lives and resilience of  trees . One of my favorite books of the last decade . Like the giant redwoods in the story, it’s both impressive and eye-opening. More info

Wolf Hollow

Author: Lauren Wolk

Annabelle, a bright 12-year-old, is satisfied with her life in school and on her family’s farm until Betty arrives in town. Betty quickly establishes herself as a cruel bully who hates Annabelle and everyone connected to her, especially Toby, a reclusive World War I veteran who has befriended Annabelle and her family.

As the stakes rise, Annabelle’s strength and compassion are put to the test. I love the spare but incisive writing in this Newbery Honor wining- middle grade novel . More info

Author: Yaa Gyasi

The family lines of two half-sisters born in Ghana 300 years ago are recounted in this multi-generational novel. One is married to an English slave trader, while the other is enslaved. Each chapter focuses on a new descendant, demonstrating how past events and injustices reverberate through future generations’ lives and struggles.

An astonishing, emotional novel that demonstrates how the descendants of slaves continue to be oppressed by the institution of slavery, Jim Crow, and systemic  racism , even 150 years after abolition. More info

The Heart’s Invisible Furies

Author: John Boyne

Born to an unwed mother in Ireland in the 1940s, Cyril is adopted by Charles and Maude Avery. But, from an early age, Cyril knows he’s different: not a “real Avery” and not attracted to girls like his friends.

We follow Cyril through his life from childhood and twenties, hiding in a repressive Dublin to a more open existence in middle age in Amsterdam and New York. Cyril’s quest for identity, belonging, acceptance, and family is by turns amusing, aggravating, and heartbreaking. He’s an unforgettable character, and I loved this big story. More info

The Pillars of the Earth

Author: Ken Follett

At first, a story about building a cathedral in Middle Ages England sounded kind of dull–but wow, was I wrong. This massive tome is filled with drama and intrigue, evil characters, romance, political maneuvering, and fascinating history. It’s a bit of a historical soap opera, on par with  Outlander , in the best possible way. Highly readable , hard to put down, and also a bit of a guilty pleasure–one of my favorite books for a fun read.

The others in the series– A Column a Fire ,  World Without End ,  and the prequel  The Evening and the Morning –are also worth reading. I didn’t find them quite as riveting as  Pillars , but they are still a fun return to the high drama of Kingsbridge. More info

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Author: Khaled Hosseini

While I loved Hosseini’s The Kite Runner , this tale of two women brought together under oppressive circumstances in Afghanistan sticks with me even more. As dangers grow inside and outside of their house, their relationship and resourcefulness see them through.

I am both intrigued and distressed by the circumstances of many Afghan women–and this book is especially timely with the Taliban again in power. Highly recommended. More info

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

The Orphan Master’s Son

Author: Adam Johnson

The Orphan Master’s Son is the tale of Pak Jun Do, the son of a man who runs an orphan work camp in North Korea. As Jun Do (“John Doe”) grows up he rises through the ranks of the North Korean hierarchy, moving closer to Kim Jong Il and the woman he loves. This is an illuminating, thrilling, and horrifying look at life inside North Korea.

I was riveted; this is one of my favorite books that has stayed with me and I still think of it frequently even years after reading it. More info

I have to know: what are your all-time favorite books? Please share in the comments!

30 All-Time Favorite Books That You Might Love, Too

Allison is a dedicated book lover, writer, and lifelong learner with an undeniable passion for books and reading. As the founder of Mind Joggle, she helps busy, overwhelmed women reclaim their mental space and make books a transformative part of their lives. She holds an Ed.M in Technology in Education from Harvard University and a BS in Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota.

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The 10 Best Book Reviews of 2023

Parul sehgal on james ellroy, merve emre on italo calvino, namwali serpell on "hit me" novels, and more.

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Good book criticism is booming right now. I have at least some degree of confidence in saying this because for the past six years, I’ve been keeping track of my favorite reviews to prepare for these annual roundups, and my 2023 longlist was by far the biggest and most difficult to narrow down.

We’ve lost venues for writing about books (RIP Astra ), but we’ve gained some as well, including a few we feared were dead (welcome back, Bookforum ). But publications aside, the sheer number of critics who take reviews seriously as a genre of creative nonfiction—with attention to style, momentum, humor, and surprise—feels to me like it’s only getting bigger.

Here are my 10 favorite book reviews of 2023, though it easily could have been 100.

Brought to you by Book Marks , Lit Hub’s home for book reviews.

Parul Sehgal on James Ellroy’s The Enchanters ( The New Yorker )

Sehgal is still the GOAT when it comes to writing ledes. This one might be my all-time favorite of hers.

“In the spring of 1995, dozens of snakes appeared on the beaches of Southern California. Panic. A Biblical curse, some held, to punish the wicked. ‘California has been given so many signs: floods, drought, fires, earthquakes lifting mountains two feet high in Northridge,’ the California congresswoman Andrea Seastrand declared. ‘Yet people turn from His ways.’ The Los Angeles Times made soothing noises, counselling against the curse theory. But the obvious person to consult would have been a native son of Los Angeles who saw geography as destiny, who specialized in snakes of all stripes, and whose characters find, in natural disasters, their only competitors in the making of mayhem.”

The Written Word and the Unwritten Word

Merve Emre on Italo Calvino’s The Written World and the Unwritten World , translated by Ann Goldstein ( The New Yorker )

Emre and Calvino are a dream pairing on the level of Scorsese and DiCaprio. I also love her use of second person, which can be as difficult as a broadsword to wield well.

“The bookstore in your neighborhood sits on a busy corner. You pass it on your walk to work in the mornings, and on your walk home in the evenings, and although you sometimes admire the clever geometries of its window display, rarely do you take a closer look. But, not long ago, the sight of a particular book made you pause. Your eye lingered on its pure-white cover and on a curious shape cut into it. Without thinking, you walked into the store. The clerk was working at her computer. The other customers were leafing through books lifted from the great pyramids of new releases on the front table. No one paid any attention to you.”

Phillip Maciak on Jaime Green’s The Possibility of Life ( The New Republic )

I rarely laugh out loud when reading criticism, but Maciak made it happen in this take on one of my favorite books of the year.

“I remember being considerably less excited about seeing Ellie’s dad than Ellie was when I saw Contact in high school… Likewise, I recall being similarly disappointed when Jessica Chastain unravels the mysteries of the universe in Christopher Nolan’s own visually arresting wormhole epic Interstellar, only to realize that the unseen intelligence transmitting messages to her was also, if you can believe it, her long lost father Matthew McConaughey. Are there any aliens out there who don’t look like our dads? My kingdom for a xenomorph!”

Manhood Josh Hawley

Ginny Hogan on Josh Hawley’s Manhood ( The Nation )

Hogan is the other critic who made me laugh out loud this year, right from the first paragraph.

“Josh Hawley, best known for fleeing a mob he helped incite, has written a book on manhood. In Hawley’s defense, he began writing the book before everyone found out about the running-away situation. But it was, unfortunately, after he did the running.”

review of favourite book

Namwali Serpell on 10 recent novels ( New York Review of Books )

Serpell’s criticism is written with the same striking, fluid precision as her fiction. It’s impossible to stop reading her once you start. She also coins a new phrase here, ambisextrous .

“Lately there’s been a spate of novels written by young women that have a remarkably similar plot. I’ve been calling them the ‘hit me’ books. Let’s be less incendiary: let’s call them the ‘remaster novels.’”

Michelle Hart on Emma Cline’s The Guest ( Los Angeles Times )

I love it when a critic instills a sense of the author’s style into their own writing, as Hart does here.

“They say not to use high beams in fog. The water vapor refracts the intense glare of headlights back toward the driver in a way that actually decreases visibility. Best, then, to use low light. This is the vibe of a story by Emma Cline, who writes so luminously about the haziness of female desire that even the most revelatory moments unfold in a sort of soft focus.”

Ayesha A. Siddiqi on Zadie Smith’s The Fraud ( Bookforum )

First of all, Bookforum is back! What a treat. Covering a book by a literary powerhouse like Smith is no small task, and Siddiqi adds crucial context on how The Fraud conflicts with Smith’s other writing about art.

“The way Smith treats every detail in her book as equally important forecloses The Fraud ’s potential and exposes how ill served Smith is by her philosophy on fiction. After years of deriding the shallowness of treating art as a site of radical struggle, Smith is left with a book that falters as art because of how shallowly it treats political consciousness.”

When the Smoke Cleared

J. Howard Rosier on Celes Tisdale’s When the Smoke Cleared ( The Nation )

Rosier is one of our clearest-eyed critics of historical fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and an expert at weaving past narratives together with new insights.

“The smoldering embers of a failed revolution hang over When the Smoke Cleared , a collection of poems by Attica inmates along with Tisdale’s journal entries from the period, as well as a searing introduction by Nowak. Among the many strengths of this anthology is a blunt acknowledgment of the uprising as part of much larger historical mechanisms: namely, the last gasps of the civil rights movement and the nation’s violent reaction to Black liberation.”

Malavika Praseed on Abraham Verghese’s The Covenant of Water ( Chicago Review of Books )

Praseed brings her own experience and historical knowledge to bear in this concise but nuanced look at Verghese’s first novel in 15 years.

“Kerala is a complex region, anchored by its history of multiple religions, competing political ideals, and creative legacy. I have seen these firsthand in myriad visits to my grandmothers’ houses, and heard the stories my mother and father often tell. Verghese brings all these elements to the forefront with numerous plotlines concerning the Saint Thomas Christian faith, the rise of Communism in Kerala, and the inclusion of literary and artistic characters.”

Lauren LeBlanc on Ali Smith’s Companion Piece ( Los Angeles Times )

LeBlanc accomplished the feat of getting me interested in a book I had unfairly dismissed as an optional “spin-off” of Smith’s seasonal quartet.

“It is remarkable to be alive at the same time as Scottish writer Ali Smith. No one else, I would argue, captures our ongoing contemporary nightmare in a manner that is both expansively imaginative and the perfect mirror of its abrupt absurdity.”

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REQUEST A BOOK REVIEW

5 Star Book Review Seal

We review manuscripts, published and unpublished books, eBooks, audiobooks, poetry books, comic books, graphic novels and short stories. Your review will be posted on our site, KOBO, Books-A-Million, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. In addition, our reviewers often post reviews to their blogs and social media sites. Your review will also be indexed by search engines like Google, which recognizes our reviews and formats them with their starred rating, just like Amazon and Goodreads.

All 5-star reviews receive a FREE "Five Star" digital seal for your website and a high-resolution version for your book cover. Our seal can be seen on book covers from indie authors to iconic publishers like Simon & Schuster. All reviews come with a Readers' Favorite Review Page and a host of free features to help you promote your book and your new review.

Unsolicited testimonial from Nicky VanValkenburgh, self-published author

As a result of my Readers' Favorite Review Page, a journalist invited me to do a radio interview, which led to many other radio shows! Now I am networking and selling more books than I ever imagined! Thanks so much!

All book review features are FREE

  • Review Page with features to get your book noticed.
  • Review listed in the Readers’ Favorite app for readers.
  • Review posted to popular websites and search engines.
  • Review announced to 500k libraries, bookstores, schools.
  • Donate books with our Book Donation program.
  • Get more reviews with our Review Exchange program.
  • Get more reviews and fans with our Free Book program.
  • Get help and share information in our Author Forum.
  • Get advertising & fans with our Monthly Book Giveaway.

TRUSTED BOOK REVIEWS

Free Book Reviews for authors

Readers' Favorite has been awarded the Association of Independent Authors Honoring Excellence award, which recognizes businesses and organizations that offer exceptional products and services for independent authors.

Best Websites For Authors Award

Readers' Favorite is the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. We have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and are very proud to be fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

Childrens Book Database

Readers’ Favorite's book reviews and book awards have been accepted into the CLCD, a world leader in the collection of professional reviews and awards data, providing our authors with free exposure to a huge variety of literary professionals, libraries, schools, publishers and book sellers. Some restrictions apply.

National Book Critics Circle

Readers' Favorite is a proud member of the National Book Critics Circle, Founded in April, 1974, which honors outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism and literature.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

On behalf of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and especially on behalf of the children and their families, we want to thank Readers' Favorite and its authors for your kindness and generosity.

BOOK REVIEW OPTIONS

Free, express and multiple review options.

Reviews are so important for authors, not only to assist them with advertising but to give the author valuable feedback on their work. Readers' Favorite was founded to help authors acquire these quality reviews. We provide several review options; all come with a Readers' Favorite review page and all the features listed below in the BOOK REVIEW FEATURES section. Our reviewers are avid readers who will select your book for review the same way they would if they were purchasing it from a bookstore so you can be sure you will receive a fair, honest review from someone interested in your book.

Free Book Review for Authors

Free Book Review

By far, most of what we do is provide free book reviews to authors. In fact, we provide hundreds and even thousands of free reviews each month to authors from all over the world, from independent authors to best sellers and celebrities. However, even with over 1,500 reviewers we are not able to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for free reviews.

Although we cannot guarantee that all books will receive a review, more than half of the books submitted for a free review will receive one within three (3) months. Some books are reviewed in less than a week while others are never selected for review. As a company, we play no part in the time it takes for a book to receive a review because we do not assign books to reviewers; they select them from a detailed list. Reviewers search through the genres they are interested in, read your description, look at your cover, and can even read a portion of your book to ensure it is something they are interested in reading. We designed this process to mimic that of a bookstore to ensure you get a reader who represents your core audience.

If you are interested in a guaranteed review, getting your review back more quickly or would like multiple reviews of your book, please look at our Express and Express Package options using the tabs above. Although many review companies charge hundreds of dollars for a single expedited review, our Express Reviews start at just $59 and include a Mini-Critique and free advertising. At Readers' Favorite, we are trying our best to give authors more bang for their buck.

2 Week Express Review + EXTRAS - $59

Only about 65 percent of free review requests are selected for review within 3 months. Many can take longer or not receive a review at all. An Express Review guarantees your book will be reviewed in 2 weeks.

In addition to all the regular free features our reviews come with, our Express Reviews also include a Mini-Critique completed by your reviewer with ratings on 5 key areas of your book and free advertising of your new review in our Featured Book rotator, which directs interested visitors to your Readers' Favorite Review Page.

Guaranteed review completed in 2 weeks.*

Mini-critique of your book that provides ratings on 5 key areas: appearance, plot, development, formatting and marketability.

One month of advertising in our Featured Book rotator , which is seen by thousands of daily visitors, including agents, publishers, publicists, bloggers, journalists and regular readers.

* Paying for an Express Review only affects the turnaround speed of your review(s) and in no way impacts the quality or rating. Your book must be available on Amazon (your book does not need to be on Amazon now to be reviewed, we just have to wait until it is on Amazon before we can post your review publicly) and receive at least 4 stars (on at least one review for multiple Express Review Packages) to have your review posted on our site and to be put in our Featured Book rotator. Additional review time may be necessary for books over 350 pages.

3 Express Reviews + EXTRAS - $129

In addition to all the features of our Free and Express Reviews, our Review Packages provide multiple reviews of your book for a true consensus on its quality, as well as special discounts for our International Book Awards Contest. All of your reviews are performed by reviewers who select your book the same way they would from a bookstore and are completed in 2-3 weeks.

3 Guaranteed reviews completed in 2-3 weeks.*

3 Mini-critiques of your book that provide ratings on 5 key areas: appearance, plot, development, formatting and marketability.

3 months of advertising in our Featured Book rotator , which is seen by thousands of daily visitors, including agents, publishers, publicists, bloggers, journalists and regular readers.

BONUS: Enter our Award Contest and you can select 1 extra category for your book to compete in for FREE ($65 value).

5 Express Reviews + EXTRAS - $199

In addition to all the features of our Free and Express Reviews, our Review Packages provide multiple reviews of your book for a true consensus on its quality as well as special discounts for our International Book Awards Contest. All of your reviews are performed by reviewers who select your book the same way they would from a bookstore and are completed in 2-3 weeks.

5 Guaranteed reviews completed in 2-3 weeks.*

5 Mini-critiques of your book that provide ratings on 5 key areas: appearance, plot, development, formatting and marketability.

5 months of advertising in our Featured Book rotator , which is seen by thousands of daily visitors, including agents, publishers, publicists, bloggers, journalists and regular readers.

BONUS: Enter our Award Contest and you can select 2 extra categories for your book to compete in for FREE ($130 value).

Featured Book Rotator

Featured Book Rotator

Our Featured Book rotator is on our home page and at the top left of every page on our site that is designated for readers (which means it will appear on 99% of the pages on our site) and rotates randomly through all our Featured Books. When a book cover is clicked, it will take the visitor to the book's Readers' Favorite review page.

It is positioned to attract the attention of our thousands of daily visitors, who are looking to find a good book to read. We are also frequented by agents, publishers, publicists, and journalists who want to view reviews we have done for their authors, to submit new review requests, or to see our newest award-winning authors.

We do not sell this advertising space, it is provided as a perk for purchasing our Express Review and Writing services to help authors promote their book. By not selling the space we keep the number of images down, which provides those in the rotator more screen time.

BOOK REVIEW FEATURES

We only post 4 and 5 star reviews.

We use a standard 5 star rating system and only post reviews we have awarded a 4 or 5-star rating. Our goal is to help authors with positive advertising for their books and to provide insightful reviews to help readers find the perfect book by a new or established author.

If you receive a poor review our reviewer will point out any issues with your story to help you make it better. Once you have revised it, we will be happy to review it again for free. We were the first review company to not post negative reviews and are proud to have been a part of making it an industry standard.

You may use as much or as little of our review as you wish. We write at least 250 words to provide you with plenty of material to pick quotes from. You will have a simple link to your Review Page featuring your book title like this one for actor/comedian and now award-winning author Jim Carrey, https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/how-roland-rolls . This link is not only user friendly, but it dramatically increases the searchability of your book title and review in search engines.

Your review will be posted on our site, KOBO, Books-A-Million, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Your review will be indexed by search engines like Google, which recognizes our reviews and formats them with their starred rating just like reviews from Amazon and Goodreads. You can see an example with David Baldacci's book, Hell's Corner .

Review Page to display your review

Jim Carrey Book Review, How Roland Rolls

Your Review Page will display your book cover and have an Amazon purchase link as well as optional links like to your Book Trailer on YouTube, your Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest pages. You can also add your biography and photo to your review. Our photo upload system will automatically resize your uploaded picture and maintain its aspect ratio so it looks as great as you do.

At the bottom of your Review Page, there is a section where visitors can post their own reviews/comments about your book using our comment system and/or Facebook's comment system. You can also use this section to post all your other reviews for your book so they are all on one central review page.

Your Review Page also includes a Social Networking bar so you and your visitors can post your review to Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as Tweet it or Pin it to Pinterest. These buttons are automatically populated with your book cover and review so when people use the links all your review information is there and ready to be advertised.

Inclusion in the CLCD literature database (some restrictions apply)

Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database

The CLCD (Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database) houses the world’s largest collection of professional reviews and awards data for Children’s and YA titles. They are the leading resource for independent information about Children’s and YA titles and are used by countless literary professionals and thousands of institutions ranging from universities and colleges to public and K-12 libraries.

Readers’ Favorite's book reviews and book awards have been accepted into this database, which provides our authors with exposure to thousands of library professionals, educators and students as well as a large number of publishers and book sellers. If you have a Children's or YA book and receive a Readers' Favorite 4 or 5 star review, and your book is available on Amazon (now or in the future), your book and review will be listed in the CLCD database. There is nothing you need to do.

If you win any Readers' Favorite award level in our Annual Book Award Contest, your listing in the CLCD will be automatically updated to display your award, setting your book apart to the countless literary professionals who use the database.

PLEASE NOTE: currently this feature is only available to Children's and YA titles. However, we are working to expand this opportunity to all our genres through other databases. When this happens, all qualifying reviews in our database will be submitted.

NEW - Get more reviews with our Review Exchange and Free Book programs

Book Review Exchange Program

Our Review Exchange program allows authors to obtain more reviews and exposure by getting a review of their book in exchange for a review of another author’s book.

Free Book Program

NEW - Our Free Book program allows authors to obtain more reviews and exposure by providing a regular reader with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review.

Your participation in both programs is enabled by default, but you can disable either of them at any time from your Author’s Area. When enabled, our Review Exchange and/or Free Book button will appear next to your book everywhere on our site, including on your Review Page. The Review Exchange button lets other authors know you will consider reading and providing an honest review of their book in exchange for them doing the same for your book, and the Free Book button will let readers know that you will consider providing them with a free copy of your book in exchange for an honest review.

There is a Contact link on your Review Page whereby authors and readers can send you a message about their interest in either of these programs. You can use this same method to contact other authors about exchanging reviews with them. The Contact link is also available to agents, publishers, publicists, journalists and other visitors who want to contact you. The system allows people to email you without revealing your email address to maintain your privacy.

Give to schools and charities with our Book Donation program

Book Donation Program

As discussed in our Review Exchange and Book Donation sections, one of the best ways to get new readers and reviews is to give away some copies of your book. To that end, we have created the Readers' Favorite Monthly Book Giveaway . If your book is on Kindle you can create a Kindle Gift for your book. When you do, it will generate a Gift Claim Code that you will enter in your Readers' Favorite Author Area. Your book will then show up on our Monthly Book Giveaway page; it's that easy!

Our giveaway receives premium advertising placement on the left side of every page of our site used by visitors and readers. This ensures that it will be seen by the countless readers, authors, agents, publishers and journalists who visit our site, driving quality readers to the Monthly Book Giveaway page and providing you with great advertising for your book!

If they are interested in your book, they will select it as one they would like to win. They can choose as many as they like. At the end of the month we will pick one winner who will get all the books they selected. We will email them your Kindle Gift Claim Code so they can get their free copy of your book, then we will email you so you can submit another Gift Claim Code if you would like to keep your book on the giveaway page.

If your book was not chosen, it will remain on the giveaway page until someone wins it. If readers who were interested in your book do not win, they may still be interested enough to purchase a copy! If someone does win your book, it will count as an Amazon verified purchase and a verified review if they post a review on your Amazon page, which is what we ask them to do.

In addition, you will get a special link that will take people to the Giveaway page and display your book right at the top so they can easily find and select it. This is a great marketing tool to introduce readers to your book while giving them a chance to win a copy.

Although this is a free Readers' Favorite feature, you will still need to purchase a copy of your book from Amazon to give it as a gift. We hope that the advertising you receive from being on the giveaway page, which includes new readers discovering your book, winning a copy, reading it and hopefully reviewing it on Amazon, will be enough compensation to consider this a good way to help promote your book.

You will be able to activate this free feature from your Author Area as soon as your review is complete. And if you see books you like in the Giveaway you can enter to win as well.

Get help in our Author Forum

Author's Forum

Our Author Forum is a community of authors providing support for one another. It is a positive environment where you will find plenty of marketing strategies and advice, as well as tips on honing your craft. It is custom made to be easy to use and features your picture, book cover, and a personal signature with all your posts.

Just as Readers' Favorite does not post negative reviews to maintain a positive atmosphere for authors and readers, we do not allow negative posts about people, services or companies in our Forum. Instead, authors are encouraged to focus on the positive and offer advice on where to go instead of where not to go and what services to use, instead of what not use.

Win Prizes

To thank our authors for posting helpful information, we choose 1 author each month who has contributed to the Forum and award them with a prize. Winners can choose a 5 Express Review package ($199 value) or a free entry into our Annual Book Award Contest with up to 4 categories ($284 value). The Author Forum is completely free, like all our Review Features, and you will have access to it as soon as you submit your book for review or enter our Annual Book Award Contest.

Press Release about your review or award

Although we do offer a fee based, discounted Press Release service to all our authors who receive a 4 or 5-star review or whom place in our annual contest, we also provide a complete press release for you to use free of charge. It is properly formatted to industry standards and contains all pertinent and required information, including your review or contest placement. You can simply copy the press release and paste it to all your social media sites, website, blog, etc. or you can use it at another press release service of your choice. It is completely free and will be available in your Author Area as soon as your review is complete.

Review announced to 500,000 libraries, bookstores, and schools across America

Each month we announce the reviews we completed that month to 115,000 libraries, 85,000 bookstores and 300,000 schools (elementary through high school) nationwide. We use a white-listed email company that professionally maintains these lists to ensure they are current and accurate. This powerful mailing can not only lead to sales and recognition, but schools and libraries can request donation copies from your Review Page for even more exposure and reviews.

One of the reasons we receive such a good response from this mailing is because we have a Book Donation program that allows these nonprofit organizations to request free books from our authors, which makes our monthly mailing a free resource for great new books! The smaller book stores on our list are always looking for fresh new books to liven up their shelves, and often contact authors about stocking their books. But this mailing doesn’t just help you for the one month you are in it, the email reminds the recipient that most of our authors participate in our Book Donation program and encourages them to look through our website for more books they may be interested in.

Although this service can normally cost hundreds of dollars, we are offering it free of charge with your review. It does not matter which of our review services you use (free or Express), you just need to receive a 4 or 5-star review. Once we have created a Review Page for you on our site you will be scheduled for the following month’s announcement email. There is nothing you need to do or pay, it is all automatic and free.

Due to the large volume of reviews we do each month, it is not possible to list each new book in the email, instead we list the genre your book can be found in. The recipient can use the link to view all the new books in the genres they are interested in. All our genre categories list the newest books first, to make it easier for regular visitors to our site looking for new books. To visit our genre lists, just click any of the genres under the search bar at the top of any page on our website.

BOOK REVIEW FAQS

What can be submitted for review.

We review manuscripts, published and unpublished books, eBooks, audiobooks, poetry books, comic books, graphic novels, and short stories. Your work must be complete, written in English, and fit into one of our 150+ genre categories. You can submit a book with AI-generated material, but you must let us know in the Book Description box on our form what portion of your book is AI-generated. Currently we do not accept erotica books that are mostly sex with no substantial plot.

If you receive a review of 4 stars or more and your work is currently available for purchase on Amazon (your book does not need to be on Amazon now to get your review, we just have to wait until it is before we can post your review publicly), we will post your review on our site, KOBO, Books-A-Million, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Your book must currently be on those sites for us to post your review.

You can submit your book to us in the following formats in order of preference: PDF, Kindle (MOBI), Microsoft Word (DOC, DOCX), RTF, and ePUB. If you have a different file format like Open Office or Word Perfect, or you have any trouble attaching your book to our Review Request form, just complete the form without attaching your book and your confirmation email will have instructions on how to easily send us your book file.

How to submit a sequel for review

If you are entering a sequel that is not standalone, where you need the reader to have some information from the previous book(s), then please add a short synopsis of your previous book(s) to the beginning of the Book Description field of our Review Request form below. If there is not enough room, add the synopsis to the first page of your book file.

If you would like the same reviewer(s) to review your entire series, please submit the first book in the series and if you like the review and reviewer, then you can submit the next book and contact us (click the Contact menu at the top of our website) and let us know you would like the same reviewer. Although we do not assign books to reviewers, they always enjoy reading books by authors they have reviewed for before, especially a series.

Who are your reviewers?

We have over 1,500 reviewers who are as varied as the stories they read. They are not literary experts but regular readers with a passion for reading and helping new and established authors with honest reviews of their work. When you submit the Review Request form below, it is sent to all our reviewers for selection. We do not assign reviews, we provide our reviewers with detailed information about your book so they can choose stories they are interested in.

This process is designed to closely mimic the purchasing process at a bookstore, providing you with a quality, honest and genuine review from exactly the type of person who would have normally purchased your book.

Ratings are given on a 5-star scale:

5 STARS – Excellent: I loved this book. 4 STARS – Good: I enjoyed this book.

If a book receives less than 4 stars no official review is given. Instead, the reviewer will write constructive criticism to let the author know what problems they had with the book and offer any suggestions they may have to improve it. This will be about the size of a regular review and will be sent to the author privately; it will not be posted publicly. We are here to help authors, not hurt them.

Although we as a company do not interfere with what rating a reviewer gives a book, as the rating must be what the reviewer feels is appropriate, we do monitor the average ratings of our reviewers to ensure they are being fair and honest about their ratings to maintain the integrity of our reviews.

When you receive a review from Readers' Favorite, the first line of the review indicates who your reviewer was so you can look them up on our About Us page. Knowing the type of person who provided your review can help you understand the potential demographics of readers who will enjoy your book. This also benefits the reviewer by giving them proper credit and recognition for their work and time.

Because it is critical that reviewers provide quality reviews, we invite you to Review your Reviewer. When your review is complete, you will be able to login to your Author's Area and rate your reviewer on a 5-star scale and provide a short review, just as they did for you. Your feedback is presented to the reviewer to help them improve their skills, the same way book reviews help authors improve theirs. The information is also passed to the Readers' Favorite staff to help us ensure the quality of our reviewers and reviews. If you would like to join the Readers' Favorite Team, please fill out our Reviewer Application .

How long does it take for a review?

By far, most of what we do is provide free book reviews to authors. In fact, we provide hundreds of free reviews each month to authors from all over the world from independent authors to best-sellers and celebrities. However, even with over 1,000 reviewers we are not able to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for free reviews.

Although we cannot guarantee that all books will receive a review, more than half of the books submitted for a free review will receive one within 3 months. Some books are reviewed in less than a week while others are never selected for review. As a company we play no part in the time it takes for a book to receive a review because we do not assign books to reviewers; they select them from a detailed list. Reviewers search through the genres they are interested in, read your description, look at your cover, and can even read a portion of your book to ensure it is something they are interested in reading. We designed this process to mimic that of a book store to ensure you get a reader who represents your core audience.

If you are interested in a guaranteed review, getting your review back more quickly or would like multiple reviews of your book, please look at our Express and Express Package options in the BOOK REVIEW OPTIONS section above.

Book security

When a book is submitted to us for review or our contest, all our reviewers/judges will be able to see the book details you provided to help them choose your book, but they must select your book for review/judging before they will have access to your book file. Once your book is selected it is removed from the list and the only people who have access to it from that point on are the reviewer/judge and select admin staff. Once the book file is no longer needed it is deleted from our system.

We have done hundreds of thousands of reviews since we launched in 2009 and are used by all the big publishers and have never had an issue with piracy. All our reviewers are vetted and provide a government-issued ID so we can verify their identity and so we can cooperate with law enforcement should there ever be an issue with an author's book. We also have a litany of systems in place to track and monitor our books to ensure their security.

Generally, authors have nothing to fear when submitting their books to reputable review companies because their books are not of interest to pirates yet. Pirates do not need to work for a review company to steal book files. They can buy the Kindle version of the bestselling book on Amazon and use common DRM cracking software to copy it in 10 minutes or they could simply buy the paperback version and use a standard OCR scanner to scan each page and have a PDF in about an hour.

Using these methods, they can steal and sell James Patterson's new book or all the Harry Potter books, the choices are unlimited. With review companies, almost all the books are unknown or not even publish-ready yet. And it's not about quality, they don’t care how good your book is, they just want something they can sell, which means books that are at the top of Amazon’s sales lists because those are books people are currently talking about and searching for.

However, if you would feel better securing your book file a bit, there are a couple of things you can do: you can add a watermark to your pages, just please be sure it is light enough not to interfere with the reader’s ability to clearly see the text. You can also password protect your PDF, just be sure to provide us with the password in our Book Description box when you submit it to us so the reader can access it.

BOOK REVIEW REQUEST FORM

If your book is on Amazon, please enter your Amazon 10-digit (not 13-digit) ISBN or ASIN number, otherwise leave this box blank. You can find this information in the Product Details section on your Amazon page. Then click the Search Amazon button and we will add your book cover from Amazon to this form for you. PLEASE NOTE: Your book does NOT have to be published or on Amazon to receive a review or enter our contest, and you can update this information at any time.

Please enter the Author Name associated with this book. This can be your legal name or a pen name. This is the name we will use to identify the author of this book.

If you are the agent, publisher, publicist or other representative for this author and would like to be notified when the review for this book is complete, please enter your email address.

Please select the type of book you are submitting: audiobook, children's book, poetry book, short story/novella or collection of short stories, fiction or non-fiction book.

You can upload your book in the following formats listed in order of preference: PDF, Kindle (MOBI), Microsoft Word (DOC, DOCX), LibreOffice (ODT), RTF, and ePUB. To re-upload, click the X and choose a new file.

Please provide an Audible code for a free audiobook copy of your book and the link to redeem the code. If you are requesting multiple reviews you will need to provide multiple codes. You can also provide a Dropbox or Google Drive link to your audiobook files but they must be accessible to anyone with the link and the link must not expire (you can disable the link once your review(s) is complete).

Just like any reader, our Reviewers use the description of your book to determine if they want to read it. The more compelling your description, the faster your book will get reviewed. If you already have a blurb or description of your book on Amazon, you can copy and paste it here or write something new.

Please indicate if your book has explicit language, sexual situations, graphic violence or any other unique qualities. This will ensure you get the right reviewer for your book.

If you are attaching your book cover, you can upload it in the following formats listed in order of preference: JPG, JPEG, GIF and PNG. To re-upload, click the X and choose a new file.

PLEASE NOTE: We are currently experiencing a high volume of Express Review requests. Although most are being completed on time, it may take an extra week or two to complete some Express Review orders. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

review of favourite book

"On behalf of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and especially on behalf of the children and their families, we want to thank Readers' Favorite and its authors for your kindness and generosity." -- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

review of favourite book

"Thank you Readers’ Favorite and your authors for supporting Dare to Care Food Bank. We lead our community in feeding the hungry and conquering the cycle of need. Generous partners like you help make our work possible." -- Dare to Care Food Bank

Forbes

Book Review Writing

Book Review Examples

Cathy A.

Book Review Examples to Help You Get Started

Published on: May 25, 2019

Last updated on: Nov 16, 2023

Book Review Examples

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How to Write a Book Review - A Step By Step Guide

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Share this article

Are you in desperate need of some assistance to up your book review writing game? 

We know that penning down a review can come off as a tricky challenge, but do not worry!

To help you write book reviews that carry the essence of the book and engage readers, we have collected a handful of book review examples in this blog. 

The included examples will enable you to understand different writing styles and approaches taken toward book review writing . So, you can use your words effectively to craft the perfect book review.

Let’s kickstart things off!

On This Page On This Page -->

Good Book Review Examples for Students

You might be a professional writer, or you may not have any experience in writing book reviews. Rest assured, we’ll show you how to write perfect book reviews with the help of a sample template and great examples.

See this template to know what you should include in your book review: 

Book Review Template

Here is a good book review example for 4th-grade students:

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!

Book Review Examples for Middle School Students

Reading reviews written by others can help you get a feel and flavor of good book reviews. Learning how to write a perfect book review can help students to:

  • Critically analyze a text
  • Give a personal opinion on the text
  • Improve analyzing and critical thinking skills 

Here are some interesting book review examples suitable for middle school students. 

Book Review Example for Middle School Students

Book Review Example for Kids

Book Review of Any Book in 300 Words

Science Book Review Example

Book Review Examples For High School Students

Below, you can also find some good book review examples for high school students. These real-life examples can help you get a clear understanding of the standard book review format that you should follow.

Book Review Example for High School Students

Book Review Examples for Class 9

Book Review Example for Grade 10

Book Review Examples for College Students

As a college student, you are required to demonstrate that you have examined the book from different angles. The points you raise in your book review need to be supported with clear facts and evidence.

The following are some interesting critical book review examples for college students to learn how to write a perfect review. 

Book Review Example for Class 12

Short Book Review for Students

Conclusion of Book Review Example

Short Book Review Examples for Fiction Books

Fiction book reviews follow the same basic formula as writing book reviews of any other genre. For your help, we have compiled exciting examples of fiction book reviews that you can get valuable assistance from. 

Short Book Review Example for Fiction Books

Book Review of Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

“The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert is a work of fiction and falls into fantasy and young adult fiction genres. The novel revolves around fantastical fairy tales, and magical realism, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy.

Here is an example of a comprehensive review of the book Hazel Wood:

Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!

Non-Fiction Book Review Examples

For reviewing a non-fiction book, you are required to describe the book and summarize major points of interest. You should evaluate the author’s contribution to a subject that you may know very little about.

Here is a great non-fiction book review example to help you come up with a critical perspective on a text. 

Non-Fiction Book Review Example

Hopefully, with the help of the above examples, you get a better idea of how to write a perfect book review.

To wrap it up, Writing a great book review is a tricky task, no matter if you are a high school, college, or university student. Book review writing might seem like a simple task, but it requires excellent analyzing and critical thinking skills.

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The 20 most popular books of all time, according to Goodreads members

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  • Goodreads is the world's largest platform for readers to rate and review books.
  • Below are the 20 most popular books of all time, ranked by Goodreads members. 
  • Want more books? Check out the most popular books of 2021, based on Goodreads .

Insider Today

Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers to rate and review their favorite books and authors , track their reading, participate in challenges, and discover new book recommendations. No matter what you like to read, you can find it on Goodreads along with tons of fellow readers who love the same books. 

With millions of ratings and community reviews, readers are encouraged to share their opinions to help others determine their next read. We used the number of ratings of each book to determine the most popular books amongst Goodreads members, so whether you're curious if your favorite book made the list or are looking for a new read with millions of recommendations , here are the top 20 most popular books on Goodreads. 

The 20 most popular books of all time on Goodreads:

"harry potter and the sorcerer's stone" by j.k. rowling.

review of favourite book

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $6.98

With nearly 8 million ratings, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is the most popular book of all time on Goodreads and has sold over 120 million copies. In this first book of the "Harry Potter" series, readers meet a young orphan boy who learns he's a wizard and begins his magical training at Hogwarts, a special school for witches and wizards.

"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

review of favourite book

"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $11.69

With almost 7 million ratings on Goodreads, "The Hunger Games" is the first book in a young adult dystopian series where the country is divided up into districts that annually select one boy and one girl to fight to the death in a highly publicized arena. When Katniss's little sister is chosen for the games, she volunteers in her sister's place and immediately begins training before entering the deadly arena.

"Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer

review of favourite book

"Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.16

"Twilight" is an iconic young adult vampire romance novel about a high school girl named Bella who falls in love with a mysterious boy named Edward and quickly finds out he's a vampire. As the threat of a nearby nomadic vampire looms, Bella chooses to be with Edward and discovers the secrets of his world, despite the nearly constant risks to her life. 

"To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

review of favourite book

"To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.19

"To Kill A Mockingbird" is an American classic from 1960, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and frequently voted as one of the best books of the 20th century . It's about a young girl named Scout who's growing up in a time of racial division, amplified as her lawyer father defends an innocent Black man wrongly accused of a horrible crime. 

"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $5.97

First published in 1925, "The Great Gatsby" is a classic Jazz Age novel about millionaire Jay Gatsby and his love for Daisy Buchanan. Narrated by Gatsby's neighbor, Nick Carraway, the novel follows Gatsby's shady business dealings, extravagant parties, and pursuit of Daisy's affection. 

"The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green

review of favourite book

"The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $6.10

In this absolute tear-jerker, Hazel is battling a terminal cancer diagnosis, offered a few extra years by a miracle medical advancement. In her cancer support group, she meets Augustus Waters and they immediately begin to fall for each other in this tragic and beautiful young adult love story. 

"1984" by George Orwell

review of favourite book

"1984" by George Orwell, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.48

In this novel predicting a dystopian future from its original publication in 1949, Winston Smith is living in a totalitarian world defined by strict mass surveillance and inundating propaganda. Winston works at the Ministry of Truth, rewriting history to fit the government's narrative, and can't help but wonder what the world was truly like before the revolution. 

"Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

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"Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $5.47

"Pride and Prejudice" is an 1813 romantic classic about Elizabeth Bennet, a young woman who is pressured to marry a wealthy man in order to provide for her family. She meets the brooding Mr. Darcy, with whom she begins a witty but civilized sparring banter as they slowly fall for each other in this novel about the influences of class and the importance of being true to yourself. 

"Divergent" by Veronica Roth

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"Divergent" by Veronica Roth, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.46

In the dystopian science fiction world of "Divergent," all 16-year-olds must devote themselves to one of five factions in society, each dedicated to a virtue. Beatrice Prior is torn between staying with her family and being true to herself, so she makes a daring and shocking decision, thrusting her into an intense initiation and transformation while keeping a potentially deadly secret and discovering the growing conflict within her seemingly flawless society. 

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" by J.K. Rowling

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"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" by J.K. Rowling, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.78

When a murderer named Sirius Black escapes the wizarding world's highest security prison, rumor says he's headed to kill Harry since the dark Lord Voldemort's downfall was his as well. Even with the soulless prison guards searching the castle for Sirius, danger seems to follow Harry at every turn. 

"The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien

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"The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $14.37

This fantastical classic introduces readers to magical Middle-Earth where Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, sets out on a quest to win a treasure guarded by a dragon. Initially written for the author's children, this adventure novel is a prequel to the epic "Lord of the Rings" series and is a charming favorite with over three million ratings and 1.6 million five-star reviews on Goodreads.  

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" by J.K. Rowling

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"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" by J.K. Rowling, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.98

In the final book of the "Harry Potter" series, Harry and his two best friends are on a cross-country journey to find the final answers that will help them defeat the dark wizard Lord Voldemort. Cumulating in an epic and devastating battle at Hogwarts, this intense novel closes the fantastical series with a shocking and emotional resolution. 

"Animal Farm" by George Orwell

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"Animal Farm" by George Orwell, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.48

"Animal Farm" is a classic satirical novel about a group of mistreated farm animals who rebel against the human farmer to take over the farm and attempt to create a system where all animals are free and equal. But when the community is betrayed and collapses under a single dictator, the animals' hopes for equality diminish. 

"The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank

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"The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.35

Written by Anne Frank during the Nazi occupation of Holland, this diary is a firsthand, nonfiction account of the two years Anne and her family spent hiding in a secret annex of an old office building. With thoughtful insight and emotional impressions of the time, Anne's diary is a testament to her courage during the final years of her life. 

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by J.K. Rowling

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"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by J.K. Rowling, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $6.98

Before returning to Hogwarts for his second year of school, Harry receives an ominous message of the danger that awaits him if he's to return. Needing to escape his dreadful aunt and uncle, Harry ignores the warning and happily returns to school — until students begin to turn to stone and a strange voice in the wall means Harry might be the only one who can save them.

"The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

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"The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $5.21

"The Catcher in the Rye" is a young adult classic about a 16-year-old boy named Holden Caulfield and his three-day adventure through New York City. Heavily impacted by his experiences, Holden is an example of teenage rebellion as he navigates complex feelings about innocence, connection, and loss. 

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" by J.K. Rowling

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"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" by J.K. Rowling, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $6.92

In this fourth book of the "Harry Potter" series, Hogwarts is one of three schools participating in a Triwizard Tournament where one representative witch or wizard from each school must complete three extremely challenging tasks. When Harry's name is picked in addition to the three competitors, he must compete in the tournament, despite not knowing how he was entered. 

"Angels & Demons" by Dan Brown

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"Angels & Demons" by Dan Brown, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $16.20

"Angels & Demons" is the first book in the "DaVinci Code" series, a thrilling mystery novel where readers meet world-renowned symbologist Robert Langdon as he's called to help explain the mysterious symbols left seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. His research takes him through an intense investigation that leads him towards a deadly vendetta from the Illuminati. 

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson

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"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.19

In this international psychological thriller, Henrik Vanger is a billionaire whose niece disappeared over 40 years ago. Still searching for answers, he hires Mikal Blomkvist, a renowned journalist who recently lost a libel lawsuit, along with Lisbeth Salander, a mysterious but brilliant computer hacker. As the duo digs deeper into the investigation, they uncover a complex weave of family and financial secrets in this captivating Swedish thriller. 

"Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins

review of favourite book

"Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.98

The second book in the "Hunger Games" saga follows Katniss and her public love interest, Peeta, after their historic arena win. Though they should be celebrating, rumors of a growing rebellion infuriate the Capitol and threaten their safety in this fast-paced, science-fiction sequel.

review of favourite book

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9 New Books We Recommend This Week

Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times.

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It’s too early to know the full story behind the mass shooting at yesterday’s Super Bowl parade in Kansas City, but for the back story — the broader context of America’s love affair with guns and the resulting steady drumbeat of horrific incidents — you might look to two of our recommended books this week: Dominic Erdozain’s “One Nation Under Guns” and Jonathan M. Metzl’s “What We’ve Become,” which take cleareyed but different approaches to the country’s gun culture and its intractable challenges.

Also up this week, we recommend a couple of big biographies, of the choreographer Martha Graham and the Marxist revolutionary Frantz Fanon, along with a memoir of undocumented immigration and a true-crime history about a 1931 murder that exposed a network of political corruption. In poetry, we recommend Mary Jo Bang’s latest collection, and in fiction we like new novels by Paul Theroux and the British writer Dolly Alderton. Happy reading. — Gregory Cowles

ONE NATION UNDER GUNS: How Gun Culture Distorts Our History and Threatens Our Democracy Dominic Erdozain

This galvanizing polemic by a historian appalled at American gun violence scrutinizes the historical record to show where contemporary interpretations of the Second Amendment have departed from the framers’ apparent intentions, with disastrous results.

review of favourite book

“Considers guns from cultural, legal and historical perspectives. ... So comprehensive and assured that the moment I finished it, I immediately went back to the beginning and read it again.”

From Rachel Louise Snyder’s review

Crown | $28

WHAT WE’VE BECOME: Living and Dying in a Country of Arms Jonathan M. Metzl

Homing in on a mass shooting at a Nashville Waffle House in 2018, Metzl, a psychiatrist and sociologist, argues that America’s gun violence epidemic requires us to address racial and political tensions deeply embedded in our history.

review of favourite book

“Casts a wide net. ... How, he asks, have public health experts failed to effect changes in policy, given their thousands of studies devoted to the myriad ways firearms increase risk and danger?”

Norton | $29.99

THE REBEL’S CLINIC: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz Fanon Adam Shatz

This absorbing biography of the Black psychiatrist, writer and revolutionary Frantz Fanon highlights a side of him that’s often eclipsed by his image as a zealous partisan — that of the caring doctor, who ran a secret clinic for Algerian rebels.

review of favourite book

“Part of what gives ‘The Rebel’s Clinic’ its intellectual heft is Shatz’s willingness to write into such tensions…. Portrays a man whose penchant for ‘rhetorical extremity’ could obscure how horrified he was by the brutality he had seen.”

From Jennifer Szalai’s review

Farrar, Straus & Giroux | $32

GOOD MATERIAL Dolly Alderton

Alderton’s novel, about a 35-year-old struggling to make sense of a breakup, delivers the most delightful aspects of romantic comedy — snappy dialogue, realistic relationship dynamics, funny meet-cutes and misunderstandings — and leaves behind clichéd gender roles and the traditional marriage plot.

review of favourite book

“Alderton excels at portraying nonromantic intimate relationships with tenderness and authenticity.”

From Katie J.M. Baker review

Knopf | $28

ERRAND INTO THE MAZE: The Life and Works of Martha Graham Deborah Jowitt

In the hands of a veteran dance critic, this rigorous biography excels at describing the flamboyant choreographer’s work and distinct style. About the messy life between performances, Jowitt is comparatively mild.

review of favourite book

“A study in balance and grace. ... A distinguished biography: its description rich, its author’s rigor unquestionable.”

From Alexandra Jacobs’s review

Farrar, Straus & Giroux | $35

THE BISHOP AND THE BUTTERFLY: Murder, Politics and the End of the Jazz Age Michael Wolraich

The 1931 murder of “Broadway Butterfly” Vivian Gordon exposed an explosive story of graft, corruption and entrapment that went all the way to the top of the state. Wolraich brings a journalist’s eye and a novelist’s elegance to this story of Jazz Age New York.

review of favourite book

“A disquieting reminder of how tragedy can be used to effect change, but also how it is often leveraged for advancement.”

From Lesley M.M. Blume’s review

Union Square | $28.99

MY SIDE OF THE RIVER: A Memoir Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez

When Gutierrez was 4, her parents moved the family from Mexico to Arizona in hopes of giving their children better opportunities than they would have had in their “violent little narco town.” In this moving, timely memoir, she considers the ripple effects of that decision.

review of favourite book

“A testament to the abiding allure — and often daunting reality — of the American dream.”

From Julia Scheeres’s review

St. Martin’s | $29

BURMA SAHIB Paul Theroux

This novel explores George Orwell’s years in colonial Burma, where he trained and worked as a police officer in the 1920s. Theroux’s Orwell is uneasy about his job and repelled by the British ruling class. But these experiences, the book suggests, made Orwell into the sharp thinker he became.

review of favourite book

“The Burma that he conjures in these pages is wonderfully present in lush and dense prose. ... Theroux is now in his early 80s and this novel is one of his finest, in a long and redoubtable oeuvre.”

From William Boyd’s review

Mariner | $30

A FILM IN WHICH I PLAY EVERYONE Mary Jo Bang

The poems in Bang’s latest collection, her ninth, are full of pleasure, color, sound and light — but also torment.

review of favourite book

“The work of miniaturizing a life is painstaking, and Bang’s poems have a characteristic clockwork precision — they tick and spin like mechanical music boxes.”

From Elisa Gabbert’s poetry column

Graywolf | Paperback, $17

Explore More in Books

Want to know about the best books to read and the latest news start here..

Even in countries where homophobia is pervasive and same-sex relationships are illegal, queer African writers are pushing boundaries , finding an audience and winning awards.

In Lucy Sante’s new memoir, “I Heard Her Call My Name,” the author reflects on her life and embarking on a gender transition  in her late 60s.

For people of all ages in Pasadena, Calif., Vroman’s Bookstore, founded in 1894, has been a mainstay in a world of rapid change. Now, its longtime owner says he’s ready to turn over the reins .

Do you want to be a better reader?   Here’s some helpful advice to show you how to get the most out of your literary endeavor .

Each week, top authors and critics join the Book Review’s podcast to talk about the latest news in the literary world. Listen here .

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

Camilla Parker Bowles favourite books

The Duchess of Cornwall releases list of her favourite books to try during isolation

Camilla has included classic novels, memoirs and modern reads.

The Instagram post – shared on Prince Charles and Camilla's official @ClarenceHouse account – shows the Duchess reading in what appears to be the garden of Birkhall, their home on the royal Balmoral estate in Scotland.

Alongside this photo, the post includes a quote from Camilla, which reads: "Ernest Hemingway, famously, once said, 'There is no friend as loyal as a book.'

"In these challenging times when we are isolated from the ones we love, many of us are finding comfort in reading, to fire up our imaginations, to take us on journeys and to make us laugh. With that in mind, here is a list of my dearest 'friends'."

The accompanying caption continues: "Her Royal Highness has curated a reading list to provide some inspiration to those isolating at home over the Easter weekend."

It adds that Camilla is "passionate about reading for all ages" and promotes its importance through some of her patronages, including The Literacy Trust.

The Duchess' list of 9 favourite books includes everything from classics such as Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities , to new releases like Philip Pullman's The Book of Dust and even a memoir written by her late brother, Mark Shand.

Wondering what to read next? Check out Camilla's favourite books below for some inspiration...

Restless by William Boyd

Amazon restless by william boyd.

Restless by William Boyd

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Amazon a tale of two cities by charles dickens.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

The Various Haunts of Men (The First Simon Serrailler Case) by Susan Hill

Amazon the various haunts of men (the first simon serrailler case) by susan hill.

The Various Haunts Of Men (The First Simon Serrailler Case) by Susan Hill

The Book of Dust (Volume Two: The Secret Commonwealth) by Philip Pullman

Amazon the book of dust (volume two: the secret commonwealth) by philip pullman.

The Book of Dust (Volume Two: The Secret Commonwealth) by Philip Pullman

The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Amazon the light years by elizabeth jane howard.

The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Windmill books a gentleman in moscow by amor towles.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

Amazon the red notebook by antoine laurain.

The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

The Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shafak

Amazon the architect's apprentice by elif shafak.

The Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shafak

Travels On My Elephant by Mark Shand

Amazon travels on my elephant by mark shand.

Travels on my Elephant by Mark Shand

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Literary Fusions

Literary Fusions

Integrating literacy in K-12 classrooms.

Book Review: Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book, by Julia Donaldson

August 7, 2018 By Jessica

review of favourite book

In preparation for Picture Books as Mentor Texts (a session I presented this summer!), I searched for different organizational structures in fiction and found this gem! First, I was attracted to the pictures because they provided an odd sense of childhood comfort. Why? I finally realized that it was because it’s by the same duo (Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler) who wrote The Gruffalo !

Why I Finished It:

This read is a unique journey through picture book paradise! Charlie is reading his favorite book about pirates, the pirate is reading his favorite book, a fairy tale, this continues for eleven books!  And the books are all different genres! My teacher’s head started spinning on THE FIRST read, so I began flipping quickly to see all the different books presented in this one book. I honestly tried to stop myself but I just couldn’t! Once I saw all the books presented and let my mind wander about all the ways this could be used in a classroom and library, I went back through and read the story for enjoyment. It’s definitely a winner!

Who I Would Give It To:

Elementary teachers, you NEED this one for the first week of school. You just do! This is a perfect book to introduce your classroom library and different genres. It is a great read-aloud for parents and tots too!

Integration Ideas :

Writing Mentor Text: Organization and Predictions

One way that authors organize fictional text is with circular stories. Circular stories have a character going out on a journey but ending right where they began. Many times they are humorous because they end up where they began after their initial goal didn’t work. In this book, Charlie begins reading his favorite book on a chair, goes on a favorite book journey and ends up back in his chair reading his favorite book.

I have seen other teachers use circular texts as mentor texts for students to write their own circular story, but I prefer to analyze the structure and have students make predictions. Circular stories are a great way to get younger students to begin making predictions. After two times of Charlie Cook’s characters finding their favorite book, students can begin to make their own predictions. What do you think will happen? What do you think _______ favorite book will be?

Universal Themes: Cycles

review of favourite book

Genre Study 

One reason I really enjoyed this book is that it introduces a few different genres. At the beginning of the year, it is so important to show students what books are in the classroom and expose them to a variety of genres. I have never had a mentor text that could help introduce the genres…until now! Once we have read through the book once, I will reread the story to the students, but we will stop and discuss each of the character’s favorite books. We will talk briefly about the genre and what to expect from that type of genre. Then I will let students self-explore the different books and genres in the classroom.

Writing Mentor Text: Idea Development

review of favourite book

Have students jot down these stories or even develop them if you have time.

Text-to-Text Connections

Have students read other circular stories and discuss how the author handled the story structure. Have students make predictions and think about why the author made the choices (s)he did. Here is a list of other circular stories .

How do you teach circular stories?

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The model Kaia Gerber reading a book

‘Reading is so sexy’: gen Z turns to physical books and libraries

Book sales boom as readers escape the ‘oversaturation and noise of the wild west digital landscape’

T hey have killed skinny jeans and continue to shame millennials for having side partings in their hair. They think using the crying tears emoji to express laughter is embarrassing. But now comes a surprising gen Z plot twist. One habit that those born between 1997 and 2012 are keen to endorse is reading – and it’s physical books rather than digital that they are thumbing.

This week the 22-year-old model Kaia Gerber launched her own book club, Library Science. Gerber, who this month appears on the cover of British Vogue alongside her supermodel mum, Cindy Crawford, describes it as “a platform for sharing books, featuring new writers, hosting conversations with artists we admire – and continuing to build a community of people who are as excited about literature as I am”.

“Books have always been the great love of my life,” she added. “Reading is so sexy.”

Gerber isn’t alone. Last year in the UK 669m physical books were sold, the highest overall level ever recorded. Research from Nielsen BookData highlights that it is print books that gen Z favour, accounting for 80% of purchases from November 2021 to 2022. Libraries are also reporting an uptick in gen Z users who favour their quiet over noisy coffee shops . In the UK in-person visits are up 71%.

While the BookTok charts – a subsection of TikTok where avid readers post recommendations – are regularly topped by fantasy and romance titles from authors such as Colleen Hoover, gen Z are reading a diverse range of genres.

“The gen Z book sphere is incredibly broad,” says Hali Brown, the 28-year-old co-founder of Books on the Bedside, a popular TikTok account dedicated to gen Z reading habits. “There is a lot of appreciation for literary fiction, memoirs, translated fiction and classics in particular,” says Brown.

Gerber’s first literary guest was the Iranian-American writer Kaveh Akbar, who joined the model on a video call to discuss his debut novel, Martyr! On the Library Science site, a curated collection of recommended reads include Joan Didion and Jia Tolentino.

“There is a bit of a subculture within the gen Z book world which is ‘hot girl books’ or ‘sad girl books’,” explains Brown. “These largely skew towards literary fiction and memoir and deal in some way with girlhood or womanhood.”

The 28-year-old model Kendall Jenner became the unofficial face of this new “Lit Girls’ Club” when she was pictured on a yacht in 2019 off the Côte d’Azur reading Tonight I’m Someone Else, a collection of essays by Chelsea Hodson musing on the objectification and commodification of the body. Jenner’s copy was covered in green Post-it notes.

She has also been photographed by a pool in the south of France reading Darcie Wilder’s Literally Show Me a Healthy Person, which explores grief and anxiety, alongside Miranda July’s collection of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You. Both Hodson’s and Wilder’s books sold out on Amazon within 24 hours of the photographs being published.

“Overall we are seeing a move towards escapism through the rise in speculative fiction, romance and fantasy, but I think it would be a mistake to homogenise gen Z and say they’re reading lighter,” says the author and literary agent Abigail Bergstrom. “With the oversaturation and noise of the wild west digital landscape, they are also demanding higher standards, especially when it comes to the authority and expertise of a writer on a particular subject.”

The “sad girl” genre isn’t limited to angsty females. The singer Harry Styles has been pictured carrying Didion while the reading habits of the actors Timothée Chalamet (28) and Jacob Elordi (26) have earned them the moniker of the Brontë Bros. Chalamet has name-checked Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment as one of his favourite books, while last October the Saltburn star was pictured carrying a copy of Prima Facie, a novel based on Suzie Miller’s play that explores sexual assault and the legal system.

After the photos of Jenner and Elordi were published there was a stream of online discourse stating we had entered an era of performative reading. Elsewhere, meme accounts regularly satirise readers of titles from the indie publisher Fitzcarraldo Editions, which have become known for their identical Yves Klein-blue covers.

Brown says she dislikes this type of discourse. “I think if they’re both keen to explore the world of reading, they shouldn’t be shut down in this way because they’re beautiful or have large internet presences. Book clubs imply that these are titles they’d like to explore with a community of like-minded people; that’s never a bad thing. If it gets more people reading, then that’s great.”

Gen Z-approved literary merch

T-shirt, £28.56 McNally Jackson Books https://www.bonfire.com/if-you-love-me-navy/ . As seen on Kaia Gerber . Carry a book for bonus style points.

Baseball cap, £27, The Paris Review https://store.theparisreview.org/collections/accessories/products/baseball-cap-in-forest-green . The model and author Emily Ratajkowski has endorsed this hat from the legendary literary magazine.

Tote bag, £19, Minor Canon https://minor-canon.com/en-gb/products/renata-adler-speedboat-tote . Minor Canon’s tote bags featuring prints of novels from acclaimed dead authors are the gen Z equivalent of the ubiquitous Daunt Books canvas carrier.

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Ten Honest Review Sites for New Authors

Books flood into review sites, and the sheer numbers overwhelm book review editors. They must make choices: the big New York publishers or the little guys?

typewriter

Publicists are Tweeting the editors and importuning them with e-mails. “Well, are you going to review my guy or gal or not?”

Probably not. There’s just not time. And the number of newspapers with book review sections keeps shrinking.

If this is publishing’s new reality, how are unknown authors supposed to get pithy, cover quotes? Hire a publicist? Sure, but not everyone can afford that.

If you want to throw a “Hail Mary,” you can join the National Book Critics Circle and gain access to the members of that organization. Alternately, you can monitor the group’s Twitter feed and collect Twitter addresses. Be forewarned, however.

Without a publicist, small presses, independent publishers, and self-published authors have very little chance of making it into the book review sections of national newspapers.

But, don’t give up yet. There are paid and unpaid review sites that will give you what you want–a “money quote.”

review sites for books

The Money Quote

Long before a book goes to press, the author or publisher needs to solicit reviews. Why? Because it’s good to have a “money quote.” That’s a single sentence you can put on the cover to promote it.

Here’s the money quote for my novel, Montpelier Tomorrow . “An affecting, deeply honest novel; at the same time, a lacerating indictment of our modern health care system.”– Kirkus Review

And, here’s a money quote for Bonds of Love & Blood . “MacDonald applies insight, power, and delicacy to create characters between whom the psychic space virtually sizzles.”– Foreword Reviews

You need quotes like these in your marketing campaign. That campaign can involve Tweets, blog tours, press releases, podcasts, and speaking engagements. But, all that effort begins with you deciding which review sites you’re going to target.

In this post I’m going to cover free review site and sites that charge money. Sometimes the same review organization will do both. ( Foreword Reviews, Kirkus Review , and Publishers Weekly/BookLife are examples of two-tiered review sites.)

The Skinny on Review Sites

I’ve seen disparaging comments on the web about sites that charge authors money in exchange for reviews. Honestly, it’s a very competitive world out there, and most sites that want you to pay for a review do not guarantee a positive outcome.

The reviewer can pan your book or give it a lukewarm endorsement. In that case (since you’ve forked over money), you can ask the site not to publish; but that’s the only break you’re going to get. Money doesn’t buy happiness, and it doesn’t buy a five-star review.

I’ve solicited both paid and unpaid reviews. Some of the paid reviews have been the best, not because I bought the reviewers’ good opinion, but because the readers took time to read thoroughly and respond in a “feelingful” way.

Apart from reviews, what authors want most is that vital connection with readers. Our chances improve if the review sites allow reviewers to self-select from among the many books available for review. One site, for instance, says they receive 1,000 books per month. There’s no way the editor who manages that rising tide can possibly know which readers who will be receptive. As I said, review sites are literally being inundated.

Review Sites | Free or Cheap

The Midwest Book Review — This is a site that favors small presses. If the book has not yet been published, the author or publisher can pay a $50 “reader fee” (which is an administrative fee) and MBR will assign a reviewer. At that point the author or publisher will send the reviewer a pre-publication manuscript, galley, uncorrected proof, ARC, or pdf file . Turnaround isn’t instantaneous, so it’s important to allow enough time, especially if you want a money quote for your book cover.

If your book is too far along to qualify for a pre-publication review, you can still try to get one from MBR, one of the oldest and most respected review sites in the country. The editor, James Fox, asks that you send two copies of the book, a press release, and a physical address to which they can mail the review.

If the book isn’t picked up by one of their volunteer reviewers during the 12 to 14-week time window, you can submit a review from any other reviewer (with their permission), and they’ll run the review in their newsletter.

While you’re on their site make sure you take note of their info about Book Review Magazines Used by Librarians and Other Book Reviewers . The latter is a helpful list because it includes review sites for academic books.

Foreword Reviews is one of my favorite sites for small and independent presses and for indie authors .

“To be considered for a review in the pages of Foreword Reviews magazine, a review copy (printed or digital) of the title in question must be received in the Foreword offices at least two months prior to the book’s firm publication date. Once we have our hands on your book, our managing editor will carefully critique whether it meets our editorial standards. We receive hundreds of worthy titles every month. Due to space limitations, we’re only able to review 150 books per issue of the quarterly magazine. If your book did not make the cut, we also offer objective, 450-word reviews (including a star rating) by Clarion Reviews , Foreword ‘s fee-for-review service.”

These folks produce a beautiful magazine, and their reviewers are great. Unlike Kirkus Review (more on that in a minute) Foreword Reviews does not charge for its reviews. I’m very proud that my short story collection, BONDS OF LOVE & BLOOD , is a finalist for their IndieFab awards and that they featured the book in their January issue. The magazine spotlights many books published by university and small presses.

New Pages is a great site for small and independent presses, but not so great for self-published authors and presses that use a POD printer. New Pages doesn’t charge for their reviews, and they are also inundated with new books.

“If you want your book to be considered for a review, please send two copies. We need to keep one in the office to check against any review that might be submitted. Advanced Reading Copies are acceptable.”

Their address is New Pages, PO Box 1580, Bay City, MI 48706. If your book is self-published or published by a POD publisher (such as CreateSpace), they will not review your book , but they will list it on their “Books Received” page. If, in their initial screening, they think your book looks promising, they will offer it to their reviewers, but it is up to the reviewers to choose.

Even if you can’t get a review from these folks, the site is still worth visiting. Don’t overlook their  New Pages Guide to Review Sources .

BookLife is a new venture for Publishers Weekly , the big gorilla in the publishing zoo. (If your book’s publisher produces works by multiple authors, then the publisher must submit the book through the Publishers Weekly’s GalleyTracker portal.)

Prior to launching BookLife, an author could only get a book review on PW if the author’s publisher submitted the book and if PW accepted the book for review. With BookLife you’ll have a chance at getting your book reviewed, but only if the book meets their standards .

Amazingly, the review is free. You’ll also find that they’re offering a host of other services, including helpful info about ISBN numbers, social media, and publicity. That is undoubtedly where they intend to make money.

Kirkus Indie Reviews is one of the sites acquisition librarians consult, and Kirkus reviews carry weight with readers. Kirkus Indie needs a lot of lead time–7 to 9 weeks ($425) for a standard submission and 4 to 6 weeks ($575) for a rush job.

If you’re publishing with a small or independent press, and they did not submit your book prior to publication, you can still get it reviewed under Kirkus’s Indie program.

“In the interest of introducing consumers and industry influencers to self-published books they might otherwise never discover, Kirkus Indie does not put any restrictions on publication dates for submissions. You may order a review for a book that’s been on the market for 10 years or for a book that doesn’t even have a publication date yet.”

Kirkus Indie reviews are eligible for Kirkus stars.

I’ve had two books reviewed by Kirkus Reviews . Click the link at left, and see if you can tell the difference between the one I paid for and the one I didn’t. (Hint: The publisher of BONDS OF LOVE & BLOOD submitted an ARC to Kirkus prior to publication.)

Kirkus Review clearly states that they do not review POD (print-on-demand) books except in their Indie program, but both my books were produced using POD technology, and they reviewed them.

paying review sites

Review Sites That Want You To Show Them The Money

Some of my favorite reviews have come from review sites that require a modest payment. Often these sites employ volunteer reviewers, but sometimes, they pay their reviewers for taking the time to write a coherent review.

The US Review of Books is a site that has given both my books great reviews. They state that they “ do not sell editing or manuscript review services on the side . This practice creates a clear conflict of interest with the integrity of a fair and honest review.” ( Kirkus Review does sell editing services.) A basic review with US Review of Books costs $75, but if you’re close to your pub date, you can get an express review for $129. If you’re on Twitter and you include the hashtag #USReview in your Tweet, they will retweet to their list.

An added feature of the US Review of Books site is that it supports the Eric Hoffer Award . This is an award for new books, and it also honors books that have been around for awhile. I’m thrilled that the cover of BONDS OF LOVE & BLOOD is a finalist for the da Vinci Eye award.

The Readers’ Favorite Book Review and Award Contest is one of the review sites that every indie author needs to know about. I know there are a lot of sites out there that have a gajillion categories and steep entry fees. They bilk new authors with the promise of recognition. However, Readers’ Favorite Book Review is different. The people who run the site have high integrity.

The site will do one free review of your book, and the reviews are done by real readers. You can rank your reader, just as your reader ranks you. But, there’s more! For $129 you get three reviews, and for $199 you can order five. In addition to putting the reviews on their site, they will post the reviews to Goodreads and Barnes & Noble (but not to Amazon because Amazon doesn’t accept paid reviews. Oddly, Amazon doesn’t accept reviews from Midwest Book Review , even though that site has been around a long time and has a solid reputation for objectivity.)

If you enter the Readers’ Favorite Award Contest and are one of their finalists, you become eligible to join their Forum. Contest winners share strategies they’ve used to market their books, and I can’t think of another site that’s as genial and helpful as this one.

Gold Medal for Drama

Last year I won a Gold Medal for Drama for MONTPELIER TOMORROW , and I was invited to attend their award ceremony in Miami, held in conjunction with the Miami Book Fair. It was a first-class event. These folks truly are dedicated to indie authors, and the writers you meet, either in person or online, soon become your friends.

Pacific Book Review is a site that provides reviews and extra features, such as author interviews. The PBR Basic Review Package costs $300, and they post the review to Oasis (a library site), Barnes & Noble, Google Books, the Apple iStore, Authorsden.com, Bookblog.com, and Writers Digest Book Blog. They use professional reviewers who know how to think about–and write about–books.

If you’re in need of another review, they have a second review site called Hollywood Book Reviews . For another $200 you can order a professionally written review/press release and see it posted on all major sites.

Reader Views is another good site for indie authors, as well as small and university presses. Their basic package for one review costs $119, but they have a disclaimer saying that the cost isn’t actually paying for a review, merely for their processing. If you need reader reviews for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads, on top of a book review, ask about their book giveaways . What’s good is that you get the reviewers’ email addresses so that you can send them a “thank you” note.

That’s a start! What sites have you found? I’d love to hear about your successes.

Marylee MacDonald

Marylee MacDonald is the author of MONTPELIER TOMORROW, BONDS OF LOVE & BLOOD, BODY LANGUAGE, and THE BIG BOOK OF SMALL PRESSES AND INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS. Her books and stories have won the Barry Hannah Prize, the Jeanne M. Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award, a Readers' Favorites Gold Medal for Drama, the American Literary Review Fiction Prize, a Wishing Shelf Book Award, and many others. She holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State, and when not reading or writing books, she loves to walk on the beach and explore National Parks.

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2 responses to “ten honest review sites for new authors”.

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I review for the following three virtual book tour companies: 1. Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours . Lori offers free review tours for cozy mysteries. She charges for other genres as a way to support the free cozies.

2. Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours . They set up and run tours for authors of historical fiction. They have done and do scores of tours. I do not know their pricing structure.

3. TLC Book Tours . Again, scads of tours under their belts and in the pipeline (I have some reviews scheduled out through August.) I do not know their pricing structure here, either.

There are a few other sites for which I review, but they are smaller and/or I haven’t worked with them as much.

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Thanks so much for these great links. I knew about TLC, but not the other two.

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Eggcellent Work

What is your favorite book the answer to this interview question will reveal a lot  .

Companies invest money and many hours in filling a vacancy. So, it might seem a waste of time for busy hiring teams to ask routine, non-professional questions like, “What is your favorite sport?” Or, they might include the what is your favorite book interview question.

If you have passed the screening and background checks and are in the interview room, you could be lulled into thinking those easy questions are simply ice breakers designed to put you at ease.

That is not always so. Questions about your personal preferences and habits are frequently designed to help the interviewer to gain insight about your attitudes that have a direct bearing on the job.

Take the question about your favorite sport. If the job calls for lots of teamwork and collaboration and you say your favorite sport is fishing or golf, that could be a mismatch. On the other hand, if you claim that you’re very comfortable with independent work, you probably shouldn’t say that heavy team sports like volleyball or basketball are your favorites.

Table of Contents

Why a Job Interview Could Include, “Tell Us About Your Reading Books”

So be on guard for Interview questions about your reading habits. Your responses can be tiebreakers in the competition for well-paying jobs. Many employers value people who read a lot because:

  • Reading is the best path to self-improvement.
  • Reading is a way of staying intellectually active, empathetic, and maintaining habits of critical thinking.
  • Reading habits lead to better on-the-job performance and communication at work.

Likewise, avid readers bring the following benefits to the workplace:

People who read a lot are better writers.

There is more to writing than just grammar. Those who read extensively learn the syntax and cadence of good writing just by seeing it in the examples of good writers.

People who read avidly are well-spoken.

The vocabulary of literature is populated with  words that don’t often show up  in our oral language. Those who do not read much are rarely exposed to those words and tend to be less well-spoken than the well-read person.

Those who read a lot are emotionally intelligent.

The process of reading involves a pause and reflection. Even if the book wasn’t great, the habitual reader will consider why the book didn’t work well for them. It’s all about self-awareness, an important component of emotional intelligence.

Read More: How to Answer “What Is Your Theme Song” Interview Question

Avid readers tend to be more creative.

The reading experience takes the reader to new horizons and towards exploring new ideas. That, in turn, is the substance of creativity and independent thought, which are valuable commodities on the job.

They are problem solvers.

Problems and challenges are the grist in the mill of both real life and the hypothetical situations conjured by authors. It’s what keeps the engaged reader turning the pages in a high-tension mystery novel. Or, the book could be a new approach to an old problem that sweeps the reader along to the aforementioned new horizons.

Constant readers are goal setters.

The challenge of reading a thick book can serve as both a short- and long-term goal for a reader. Whether the goal is to complete a chapter a day or finish the book before it is due back at the library, those habits of goal setting are directly transferrable to the workplace.

People who read tend to connect better to others.

Again, it’s about empathy and making deeper connections to fictional characters. That deeper connection without a direct effect on the reader’s life is a key to developing interpersonal skills, communications and collaboration at work.

Preparing Your Answers To Interview Questions About Books

Make sure you have read the book.

Obviously, you should choose a book you have read cover to cover. SparkNotes or a cursory review on Amazon might seem like a good shortcut, but you won’t get deep insight by skimming—and you take the risk of being found out if the book you choose happens to be the favorite of the interviewer.

Make some notes.

Before the interview starts, think about the answers to your interview questions about books. Take the time to prepare. Jot down some notes with a quick summary of the book or books of your choice. Include reasons why the book impressed you, what you learned, and how it altered or widened your experience and knowledge of the subject.

What Are Your Reading Habits Interview Questions and Suggested Responses

Question 1: what is your favorite book of all time.

Suggestion: For books to say you’ve read in an interview, choose a book that taught you something you didn’t know. If possible, the book should be related to either your academic field of study, which makes you a valuable asset to the organization.

You could talk about a recent best seller by a popular author, or you could opt for a classic or less-well-known book. Here’s a sample response to “Tell me about your favorite book”:

“My all-time favorite novel is the science-fiction classic  “The Mote in God’s Eye’  by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. It’s a classic and came out in 1974, and it is still relevant today. Its basic theme is humankind’s first encounter with alien life. To make a long and fascinating story shorter, the alien society goes through cycles of violence, chaos and breakdown.

“The cycles, which have been going on for centuries, have a simple, but unsolvable cause—over population as the males of their species biologically transform into females and must reproduce or die. They have overpopulated their own planet and as humans make their first contact, the aliens are on the verge of another collapse.

“What was in it for me was the notion that for some problems there are no solutions, and that a problem well stated isn’t always a problem half-solved.”

Question 2: What was the last book you read?

Suggestion 1:

Choose the type of book you want to discuss. The book should be:

Fresh in your memory

Ideally, you have read the book you have read during the past year. If you are choosing one that you read some time ago, get an outline synopsis to refresh your memory.

While you can choose a work of fiction, nonfiction books tend to relate more towards professional development. Going the nonfiction route displays intelligence and maturity, as well as enjoyment of self-improvement and learning outside the work environment.

Related to your career

Self-explanatory. If you’re interviewing for a job as a marketing assistant, you can discuss a book on the most recent trends in social media and omni-channel inbound marketing trends.

About self-improvement

If you want to give the employer a sense of who you are and what your outside interests are, choose a book that demonstrates that. If you’re a history buff, for example, describe a biographical book about a historical character you admire.

Teaches a lesson and is educational

Choose a book that is instructional and includes a moral lesson. Explain what you learned and how you can apply that learning to your job.

Suggestion 2:

Referring to the brief notes you wrote about the book, answer the question as follows:

1. Briefly explain the type and genre of the book, starting with the author.

Is the book nonfiction or fiction? If fiction, briefly go over the plot to give the interviewer a frame of reference for what comes next. If nonfiction, say something about the credentials and reputation of the author.

“The last book I read was ‘ Put It In Writing!’  by the late Albert Joseph. It is a ‘how-to’ guide on how to write clearly, quickly, and persuasively. Albert Joseph passed away at the age of 84 in 2013. This book became the gold standard for business writers everywhere.”

2. Describe why you enjoyed the book.

What were the aspects/parts of the book that particularly appealed to you? Again, mention some thought-provoking elements of the book, such as the characters, plot, or theme. Link the foregoing to your own personal philosophy or characteristics.

“ What I liked most about the book was that it was not only an entertaining read, it had the unique value of being a writer’s reference book on the value of clear writing. The book has just what someone like me—a business writer—needs to know.

“ For example, in Part 1, the author outlines his five principles of clear writing. He starts with suggestions about preferring clear, familiar words, keeping sentences shorter and simpler, and a preference for active rather than passive voice.”

3. Describe how your book relates to the job position.

This is an opportunity to connect the dots between your own skills and qualities to what the employer is looking for. If you’ve done your homework and are thoroughly conversant with the job description, you should be able to relate the book to the job.

“I see by the job description that you’re looking for someone who can communicate well in writing. The book has one nifty chapter on ‘New Writing in the Computer Age.’ Its main point is that computers help us write, but we writers have to do the hard part.”

  • Best C-Suite Interview Questions And How To Answer Them With Ease
  • How To Show Ability To Work Independently With Minimal Supervision [Sample Answers]

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Jenny Palmer

Founder of Eggcellentwork.com. With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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CHARLIE COOK’S FAVORITE BOOK

by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Axel Scheffler ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2006

This author/illustrator team’s latest is a circular tale about reading, about stories and about how, in life, they often intersect. Eleven books in one, this begins with Charlie Cook perched upon a chair reading his favorite book. It’s about a pirate forced to walk the plank, who swims to an island and finds a treasure chest containing a book. In it is the story of Goldilocks, who Baby Bear finds in bed reading his favorite book—a tale of dragons and knights. The knight postpones fighting the dragon to tell a joke . . . from his favorite book. And so it continues, until the final character’s book, coincidentally about a boy named Charlie Cook. Masterfully rhymed, the rhythm is consistent throughout the various genres. Scheffler’s artwork is perfect for the premise. The outline of each “book” and its pages border every spread. Colors and similar characters unify the illustrations, which, at the same time, are made to suit the individual subjects of the different “books.” The endpapers are especially apropos—a bookshelf displays the spines of all the tales found within. A clever way of looking at the universality of reading. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-8037-3142-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2006

CHILDREN'S ACTION & ADVENTURE FICTION

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THE BADDIES

BOOK REVIEW

by Julia Donaldson ; illustrated by Axel Scheffler

WELCOME TO THE WORLD

by Julia Donaldson ; illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

THE CHRISTMAS PINE

by Julia Donaldson ; illustrated by Victoria Sandøy

KNIGHT OWL

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

Our Verdict

Kirkus Reviews' Best Books Of 2022

New York Times Bestseller

IndieBound Bestseller

Caldecott Honor

by Christopher Denise ; illustrated by Christopher Denise ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 15, 2022

A charming blend of whimsy and medieval heroism highlighting the triumph of brains over brawn.

A young owl achieves his grand ambition.

Owl, an adorably earnest and gallant little owlet, dreams of being a knight. He imagines himself defeating dragons and winning favor far and wide through his brave exploits. When a record number of knights go missing, Owl applies to Knight School and is surprisingly accepted. He is much smaller than the other knights-in-training, struggles to wield weapons, and has “a habit of nodding off during the day.” Nevertheless, he graduates and is assigned to the Knight Night Watch. While patrolling the castle walls one night, a hungry dragon shows up and Owl must use his wits to avoid meeting a terrible end. The result is both humorous and heartwarming, offering an affirmation of courage and clear thinking no matter one’s size…and demonstrating the power of a midnight snack. The story never directly addresses the question of the missing knights, but it is hinted that they became the dragon’s fodder, leaving readers to question Owl’s decision to befriend the beast. Humor is supplied by the characters’ facial expressions and accented by the fact that Owl is the only animal in his order of big, burly human knights. Denise’s accomplished digital illustrations—many of which are full bleeds—often use a warm sepia palette that evokes a feeling of antiquity, and some spreads feature a pleasing play of chiaroscuro that creates suspense and drama.

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-31062-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

CHILDREN'S ACTION & ADVENTURE FICTION | CHILDREN'S DRAGONS & MYTHICAL CREATURES | CHILDREN'S ANIMALS

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WILLOW AND BUNNY

by Anitra Rowe Schulte ; illustrated by Christopher Denise

ALICE'S FARM

by Maryrose Wood ; illustrated by Christopher Denise

BUNNY IN THE MIDDLE

by Anika Denise ; illustrated by Christopher Denise

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B&N Reveals Finalists for Kids’ and YA Awards

CAPTAIN AWESOME TO THE RESCUE!

From the captain awesome series , vol. 1.

by Stan Kirby & illustrated by George O'Connor ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 3, 2012

As Captain Awesome would say, this kid is “MI-TEE!” (Fiction. 5-8)

The town of Sunnyview got a little bit safer when 8-year-old Eugene McGillicudy moved in.

Just like his comic-book mentor, Super Dude, Eugene, aka Captain Awesome, is on a one-man mission is to save the world from supervillains, like the nefarious “Queen Stinkypants from Planet Baby.” Just as Eugene suspected, plenty of new supervillains await him at Sunnyview Elementary. Are Meredith Mooney and the mind-reading Ms. Beasley secretly working together to try and force Eugene to reveal his secret identity? Will Principal Brick Foot succeed in throwing Captain Awesome into the “Dungeon of Detention?” Fortunately, Eugene isn’t forced to go it alone. Charlie Thomas Jones, fellow comic-book lover and Super Dude fan, stands ready and willing to help. When the class hamster goes missing, Captain Awesome must don his cape and, with the help of his new best friend, ride to the rescue. Kirby’s funny and engaging third-person narration and O’Connor’s hilarious illustrations make the book easily accessible and enormously appealing, particularly to readers who have recently graduated to chapter books. But it is the quirky, mischievous Eugene that really makes this book special. His energy and humor are contagious, and his dogged commitment to his superhero alter ego is enough to make anyone a believer.  

Pub Date: April 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4090-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

More In The Series

CAPTAIN AWESOME AND THE NEW KID

by Stan Kirby & illustrated by George O'Connor

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Movie Reviews

'the taste of things' is a sizzling romance and foodie feast — but don't go in hungry.

Justin Chang

review of favourite book

Juliette Binoche prepares one elaborate dish after another in The Taste of Things. Stéphanie Branchu/IFC Films Release hide caption

Juliette Binoche prepares one elaborate dish after another in The Taste of Things.

I first saw The Taste of Things at 8:30 in the morning at a Cannes Film Festival press screening last year. Like a lot of other journalists, I walked in jet-lagged, bleary-eyed — and hopeful that what I was about to see would, at the very least, keep me awake. It did, and then some.

In the opening moments, as I watched Juliette Binoche putter about a rustic 19th-century French kitchen, whipping eggs for an omelet, my stomach began to rumble, and I wished I'd had more for breakfast than an espresso. In time I was not only fully alert but held rapt as Binoche prepared one elaborate, mouth-watering dish after another: a roasted veal loin, a milk-poached turbot, a shimmering baked Alaska.

For about 40 minutes, she cooks and cooks and cooks in a gorgeously directed sequence that plays out with very few words and no music — just the sounds of sizzling butter, bubbling broth and utensils scraping against crockery.

Masa, the key to tortillas and tamales, inspires an award-winning documentary series

Masa, the key to tortillas and tamales, inspires an award-winning documentary series

The Taste of Things is, in every sense, a feast of a movie — a foodie tour de force to set beside such culinary classics as Babette's Feast , Like Water for Chocolate and Tampopo . It's also one of the most deeply felt romances to hit the screen in ages.

It's 1889, and Binoche plays Eugénie, who's lived and worked for years as the cook in the home of a famous gourmet, Dodin Bouffant, who's known throughout France as "the Napoleon of the culinary arts." He's played by Benoît Magimel. Both Eugénie and Dodin have spent their lives in the pursuit and perfection of culinary pleasure, something we see from the ease and assurance with which they move around the kitchen.

review of favourite book

Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel in The Taste of Things. Stéphanie Branchu/IFC Films Release hide caption

Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel in The Taste of Things.

We can also see that they're deeply in love; indeed, it's hard to tell where their love for food ends and their love for each other begins. For years Dodin has asked Eugénie to marry him, but she doesn't see why their years-long commitment to each other requires the official blessing of marriage. On most nights, he steals up to her bedroom, at which point the camera discreetly turns away; after you've seen Dodin prepare Eugénie a dish of oysters, watching them make love would be practically redundant.

The movie was exquisitely written and directed by Trần Anh Hùng, a Vietnamese French filmmaker who, from his early films like The Scent of Green Papaya , has always delighted in ravishing the senses. His script, very loosely drawn from Marcel Rouff's classic 1924 novel, The Passionate Epicure , doesn't have a ton of plot. Instead it glides from one leisurely multi-course meal to another, observing as dishes are prepared and eaten, and eavesdropping on snatches of dinnertime conversation. It isn't the story that makes The Taste of Things so enveloping; it's the luscious atmosphere of unhurried indulgence and vicarious privilege.

As the film continues, it becomes more elegiac in tone; this is a story about the passage of time and the sacrifices that artists make in devoting themselves to their craft. Eugénie and Dodin consider taking on a young apprentice named Pauline, who already shows promising signs of becoming a great cook — but as they note, it will take years of intense practice and study for her to realize her potential. Meanwhile, Eugénie isn't in the best of health; she keeps having fainting spells, which she tries to downplay. It's a reminder that nothing lasts forever, not yesterday's meals or even tomorrow's discoveries.

The Taste of Things isn't the only great foodie movie of the season. You may have also heard about Menus-Plaisirs — Les Troisgros , Frederick Wiseman's magnificent four-hour documentary about the operations of a family-owned three-Michelin-star restaurant in France's Loire Valley. Ridiculously, Menus-Plaisirs , easily one of the best nonfiction films of last year, wasn't even shortlisted for the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Meanwhile, France submitted The Taste of Things for the international feature category, but it wasn't ultimately nominated. But the lack of official recognition from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doesn't diminish the beauty and satisfaction of either of these two movies. See them both, one after another if you can — and don't forget to eat in between.

ComingSoon

The ABCs of Book Banning Streaming: Watch & Stream Online via Paramount Plus

The ABCs of Book Banning is a 2023 documentary exploring the recent surge in book challenges and bans, particularly those targeting LGBTQ+ and racial themes. It interweaves the voices of impacted students, community members, and even a centenarian activist, looking at the importance of free access to information and the human cost of book censorship.

Here’s how you can watch and stream The ABCs of Book Banning via streaming services such as Paramount Plus.

Is The ABCs of Book Banning available to watch via streaming?

Yes, The ABCs of Book Banning is available to watch via streaming on Paramount Plus.

In this 27-minute documentary, Sheila Nevins shines a light on the new trend of book censorship in schools. With a focus on Florida’s recent controversies, the film weaves together heartfelt testimonies from young readers, passionate authors, and even a determined centurion, all fighting for their right to access stories.

Their voices expose the surprising impact of silencing diverse narratives, particularly those exploring LGBTQ+ identities and racial realities. By showing the power of literature to educate and empower, The ABCs of Book Banning ignites a call to action, reminding us of the vital role libraries and open discourse play in shaping young minds and nurturing a vibrant democracy.

While it isn’t a traditional narrative film with actors, it features real people directly impacted by book censorship. Key voices include young readers sharing their anxieties about losing access to important stories, authors fighting for their works to be heard, and community members defending the freedom to read.

Watch The ABCs of Book Banning streaming via Paramount Plus

The ABCs of Book Banning is available to watch on Paramount Plus.

It is a streaming service that features several critically acclaimed and fan favorite movies and TV shows.

You can watch via Paramount Plus by following these steps:

  • Go to ParamountPlus.com
  • Select ‘Try It Free’
  • $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year (Essential)
  • $11.99 per month or $199.99 per year (with SHOWTIME)
  • Enter your personal information and create your account

The Paramount Plus Essential plan includes tens of thousands of episodes and movies, the NFL on CBS, the UEFA Champions League, 24/7 news coverage with CBS News, and limited ads.

Furthermore, the Paramount Plus with SHOWTIME plan includes all of the above, removes the ads except in limited circumstances, and also includes SHOWTIME originals, movies, and sports along with CBS live TV and college football. Nonetheless, you’re able to download shows to your mobile device.

The ABCs of Book Banning’s synopsis is as follows:

“In recent years, more than 2,500 books have been removed from school districts around the US, labeled as banned, restricted, or challenged, and made unavailable to millions of students. By no accident, the themes targeted are the usual scapegoats of the American Right-LGBTQ+ issues, Black History, and women's empowerment-impeding the power of future generations to develop their own thoughts and opinions on critical social issues. By weaving together a lyrical montage of young readers and authors, THE ABCs OF BOOK BANNING reveals the voices of the impacted parties, and inspires hope for the future through the profound insights of inquisitive youthful minds.”

NOTE: The streaming services listed above are subject to change. The information provided was correct at the time of writing.

Madame Web Review: An Irredeemable Garbage Fire

Box office results: bob marley sings, madame web tumbles over president’s day weekend, avatar: the last airbender clip highlights zuko’s firebending skills, disney+ k-drama 2024 lineup includes uncle samsik starring song kang-ho.

The post The ABCs of Book Banning Streaming: Watch & Stream Online via Paramount Plus appeared first on ComingSoon.net - Movie Trailers, TV & Streaming News, and More .

The ABCs of Book Banning Streaming: Watch & Stream Online via Paramount Plus

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