I’m going to review books

Something I’ve been told many times by writers is this: if you want to be a writer, then you have to read. A lot. I’d say I do read a lot, and I thought writing book reviews once every 2 – 4 weeks would be a good way for me to critically consider what I’m reading.

Reading widely means not only reading the latest releases, but older books as well. So I may publish reviews of books that were released anywhere between 1 and 100 years ago.

I’m sure plenty of the older books I read will have been reviewed by many publications and websites, which could make my reviews look a bit outdated. I won’t be worrying about this, as I’ll be writing reviews for the reasons I’ve explained above.

I’ll be creating a new section on this blog specifically for book reviews (title TBC) and publishing my first one later this month.

What I’ll be considering

When I review books, there will be a lot of things to critically consider when deciding if I like or dislike them. Each question I ask will be answered with more questions, but that’s all part of the critical thinking process.

I thought of a few of what these questions may be and listed them below:

  • Who is the target audience? Is this clear? If this isn’t, how could it be made clearer? Some of the other question in this list may answer that.
  • Is the tone of voice suitable for them? The words being used in the book, and how appropriate they are. Using academic jargon in a book aimed at infants might not go down too well.
  • What’s the message? How will the audience enjoy or relate to it? Could it help or entertain them in any way?
  • How original is this? How often have we heard this message before? Is the book presenting it in a unique way? Does the writing show what the author has been influenced by? This could be considered for tone of voice as well.
  • How accessible is this? How many people could read and understand the book? Are there any barriers that may prevent a reader from understating the message? If there are, how could these be dismantled?
  • What is the background/context of the book? Why has the author written this book? How does it fit in or stand out from other books with similar messages? What research was done for the book? How does it show and does it pay off?
  • What literary techniques and devices are being used? Do they work? If they do, what effects do they have? If they don’t work, why don’t they? How could they be used better? Why did the reader choose to use them?

A lot of choice

I think my list covers a lot. I may not end up using every question for every book I review, but I’ve got a lot to choose from when I do.

Are there any other considerations I should make when reviewing books? If you think I’ve missed something, let me know in the comments section below.

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