A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Why I Like Writing Quotable Book Reviews

Periodically, I offer book reviews on this blog. As I have reviewed many books over the years, I have struggled with exactly how to write a review. I want to say enough that will intrigue the reader into buying the book, but I also don't want to say so much that the reader concludes that she or he now knows enough about the book not to buy it. My purpose in book reviews to help readers discern where is the best place to spend limited funds on books worth reading-- and yes-- if I think a book is not worth your time I will tell you.

The answer to this dilemma is writing what I call a quotable book review. In a quotable review I give my recommendation on whether the book  is worth being purchased (on a five-star scale), and then offering what I think are some significant quotes throughout the text. It is my hope that by quoting the author in his or her own words, it will assist the reader in deciding either to buy the book or not to bother. The other purpose of a quotable review is that it lets the author speak and not have me speaking on behalf of the author... after all, a book review is about the book and the person who wrote it, not about the reviewer. So, other than my recommendation, a quotable review let's the author speak for her or himself. Yes, it is true I select the quotes, so you are getting some of me in the selection, but I hope that I have been reading this stuff long enough to know what needs to be quoted to give you an idea of what is important.

I write this post because I do have some book reviews I need to post over the next weeks, and I will be doing so in the form of a quotable review. I have had the privilege of reading some excellent stuff of late, and I hope I can pass something on to you that will entice you to read more.

By the way, I am not suggesting that this is the only way to write a review, but it has worked well for me.

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