The 8 Best Book Review Sites

Ads by Google

image Books, once considered the the pinnacle of human civilization, have slowly gone into retreat. Whether it’s technology, modern society or time, the reason behind the demise is widely debated, but what we know for sure is that books today, are still a great way to experience adventure thrills, learn about faraway places and contemplate the future. Whether it’s Huckleberry Finn, Fahrenheit 451 or The Universe in a Nutshell, books should find their way back into your daily routine, and that’s why we compiled a list of the best book review sites.

So what’s a book review? And what makes a book review good or bad? The first question has a simple answer. A book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and originality. Its length can vary from a single paragraph to a substantial essay. But what makes a book review good is totally up to the reader ““ personal taste. While some may prefer a short plot summary, some may prefer a long essay on the concepts presented in the book, along with the author’s personal opinions.

That’s why the order in which these sites are presented does not matter.

The New York Times

image35

The New York Times, while some critics say it has fallen from the top ranks, still has capable writers which undoubtedly have the skills necessary for writing book reviews. Writing book reviews is actually very hard and requires the utmost attention to detail as well as an encompassing knowledge of other literary works. The reviewer must analyze even the faintest clues, implied meanings provided by the book author, decide on their importance and meaningfulness to the story. He has to address complex issues such as plagiarism and decide on the validity of the ideas and points expressed.

Ads by Google

The New York Times presents us with book reviews situated somewhere in the middle, between a plot summary and a ten page essay, with most reviews situated around 1000 words. The quality varies from writer to writer but most of them provide an insightful view for the proto-reader. They have one of the largest number of reviews, which means you’re going to visit them sooner or later. Overall, The New York Times Book section receives a warm recommendation. Visit it here.

Also worth mentioning ““ capturing almost the same type of writing and quality ““ are the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and The Telegraph.

AllReaders.com

image36

Next up is AllReaders.com, with a design stuck in 1999, the apogee of humanity according to the Matrix. Their library is comprehensive and the search engine highly customizable, but the reviews are generally short and superficial. “Gordon invites readers, authors and publishers to enter books and reviews in a process that takes about 10 minutes,” and that’s exactly the problem with the site. Instead of knowledgeable readers and writers, you will sometimes risk finding a common illiterate species: the internet troll. The advantage of reading through many viewpoints is undeniable so go on and visit it here.

BookPage.com

image37

BookPage gives us a consistent library of well written book reviews, including a section on children’s books, blogs and a newsletter. Nothing remarkable, but still worth a read. Visit it here.

BookReporter.com

image38

Just slightly better organized than the other sites I visited, bookreporter.com hosts reviews about 500 words long, polls, blogs and various contests aimed at the diligent reader.

As always, you’re invited to join the conversation, so post in the comments suggestions on other sites you’d like to read before buying a book as well as impressions on the ones mentioned in this article. You could even recommend us a book!

Ads by Google

18 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Carter Jefferson

Maybe you should take a look at this one:

internetreviewofbooks.com

Carter

Reply

Chuck

And then there’s the audiobook review site:

audiobooksinreview.com/

Reply

James

amazon.com

Reply

Amy

I’m not sure when it’ll be up and running but booklamp.org looks promising. It’s like Pandora.com for books!

Amy

“Also worth mentioning – capturing almost the same type of writing and quality – are the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and The Telegraph.”

Cheap but there it is.

Reply

Larzo

So where are the other 4?

Reply

Tyrone

It is my humble opinion that books are still a pinnacle of human civilization.

Reply

Dian

goodreads.com ?

Reply

enid lacob

What about www,guardian.co.uk/books – it’s great and has podcasts too

Reply

Jan

Helpful for Kindle owners

kindlereader.blogspot.com/ The Kindle Reader

Reply

Kat

I love the New York Times book review. It’s one of the best.

I run a site for weird and fantastic fiction – check it out here:

http://www.radiantattack.com

Reply

John

I guess the “Best” in the title refers to the actual quality of the book reviews, and not in regards to the books they choose to review.

In my opinion, this applies especially to The New York Times.

As you say, they certainly have the skills to pay the bills, but who’s choosing which books they review these days, Border’s?

I mean, it’s corporate book promotion at its best, or worst, depending on how you look at it I suppose.

I’m looking for reviewers that introduce me to books that I actually want to read.

Oh well, I guess it’s all personal tastes in the end.

Reply

bookpleasures

You may want to add bookpleasures.com for its diverse team of reviewers that come from all walks of life and that review all genres. In addition, the interesting author interviews that have been posted over the past several years.

Reply

Norm

Check out bookpleasures.com. This site has been in existence since 2002 and has posted over 5000 reviews and over 500 author interviews. The site comprises over 40 international reviewers that come from all walks of life and that review all genres.

Reply

Andrea

Try Princetonbookreview.com It’s a great site for honest concise reviews.

Reply

Ash

Ashbooks comes highly recommended for book reviews. I’ve enjoyed using it. Cheers

Reply

SM

Nice post. Thanks for shared

Reply

Tamara Kopko

Stefan, I’d appreciate your opinion of The New Yorker’s book reviews as it was not mentioned. Thanks.

Your comment