Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How to review books

We review books all the time, but only for our own Select Editions series, so what we're concerned with is simply whether we think the book is right to be one of our 24 a year. We don't have to write up much except a note on why we recommend a book or not, and it's only among ourselves, so it doesn't have to be picture perfect. But how do actual reviewers do it? A couple of them are interviewed in The Guardian. Linda Buckley-Archer's approach sounds like the best way to handle any writing:

"Writing reviews is like baking bread. You add the yeast to the flour and let the dough rise. Then you give it a jolly good kneading and let it rise some more and only then do you bake it. Personally, I leave at least a day between finishing the book and starting the review. Then, once I've written it, I have to leave it another day and look at what I've written with fresh eyes. I always want to change something—make something clearer, tighten it up, add something..."

Read How do I write a book review?

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