Mayra Calvani & Anne K. Edwards,
The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing
(Twilight Times, 2008)

According to Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards, the one thing a good reviewer should always remember is that his or her duty is always to the reader. By no means forget that an author has feelings, but don't praise a book that doesn't work just to spare them. At the same time, be fair; there's no need to be unnecessarily harsh.

Fortunately for readers -- and reviewers -- The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is both easy to read and full of useful advice. Different types of reviews are discussed, with examples and breakdowns of each. The authors also give advice on reading critically -- which does not, they assert, have to remove the joy from reading -- as well as what to look for when discussing plot, narrative, structure, voice, pacing, characterization and so forth. Nonfiction reviews are also covered.

The book is divided into three parts. Part One, "The Art of Reviewing," gets into all of the above, while Part Two discusses the impact book reviews have on the marketplace (libraries, bookstores, etc.). Part Three is a list of resources available to the potential reviewer.

If you're interested in writing book reviews, the advice contained within The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is bound to be helpful. And if you're already an accomplished reviewer, it makes a handy reference and refresher.

review by
Laurie Thayer

30 August 2008

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