Review: The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing by Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards
Title: The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing
Author: Calvani, Mayra and Anne K. Edwards
Length: 190 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction, Reference
Publisher / Year: Twilight Times Books / 2008
Why I Read It: Seemed like a book from which I could benefit.
Date Read: 19/04/12
In this book Calvani and Edwards give an overview of how to write reviews, as well as who they benefit. The book contains chapters discussing topics such as: Reading Critically; How to Write a Book Review; Types of Reviews; The Absolute Don’ts; What if the Book is Terrible; The Feelings of an Author; and many, many more. Besides the basic how-to information that every reviewer should know about who to contact, how to contact them, what to write, and more, they also discuss the ethics of reviewing. Additionally, it closes with a reference section for aspiring reviewers.
In terms of the ethics of reviewing, the authors talk about the importance of actually reading any book before reviewing it, as well as the importance of actually writing the review that was promised. Simply accepting books and never reviewing anything is stealing, they say. Also discussed is the proper way to write negative reviews that don’t reflect poorly on the reviewer, and some tips on how to respond to negative criticism by authors or publishers.
As a reader who tries to focus on reading diverse works, I appreciated that Calvani and Edwards mentioned things like works in translation, non-fiction reviews, and self-published works. In these topics they were clear in pointing out the benefits of reading widely. As well, they point out that readers come to books with biases and the importance of understanding this and removing any bias before writing a review.
Recommended to all fellow book reviewers, or for anyone who would like to start reviewing. No matter how long you’ve been writing reviews, I would suspect there is much in this short but informative book that will either refresh your memory or that will be new to you.