Book reviews - what do you like to see?

  • Get FREE 5 Gifts with Orders $59+

Book reviews - what do you like to see?

Dragon Dragon
I've written several book reviews and enjoy doing so. Probably one of my favorite activities when I find a excellent book. My problem is that I seem to run out of words!

My personal feeling is that I want a book review to give me a GOOD idea of what the book is- the information that it covers, how it is organized, if it is well written, if it is written with humor, etc. All of the information that I can't really get by flipping to the front, back covers and table of contents at Amazon.

I've read a lot of book reviews lately. That were essentially how much they loved the book, it's full of great tips and techniques, and written well. But I still feel as if I didn't get a "sneak peek" at the book.

Is this just me? What do you want to see in a book review?
02/17/2009
  • Buy 3 Items for $70
  • Buy 3 Items for $50
  • Buy 3 Items for $30
  • Save 20% on Luxury Toys
  • Add Some Buzz To Your Favourite Toy & Save 60% On Kit
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
All promotions
Nashville Nashville
Quote:
Originally posted by Dragon
I've written several book reviews and enjoy doing so. Probably one of my favorite activities when I find a excellent book. My problem is that I seem to run out of words!

My personal feeling is that I want a book review to give me a GOOD ...
I hate when people pretty much tell everything there is to know within the book. I like those that withhold some information, if I already know every plot twist, great joke, or the ending... than what's the sense in me reading it?

I like reviewers who can convey the message of the book, give the overall tone, and give a great read up. Something that draws me in, it doesn't have to necessarily follow a set of criteria as a good reviewer can make anything sound interesting.
02/17/2009
Sammi Sammi
For me, it depends on what type of book it is.

I prefer more information when it's non-fiction. Typically for fiction books I like more general summaries, with maybe information on things like character development.
02/17/2009
Victoria Victoria
I like quick summaries of each chapter and then some discussion about the overall tone of the writer / book. I find that to be most helpful.
02/17/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
I like to see some snippets. For example, I recall reading a review of some erotica and the reviewer posted a snippet which I thought was horrendous. Although the review was good, it really helped to show this book was NOT for me.
02/17/2009
ScottA ScottA
Thanks for starting this thread - book reviews are one of the areas where I am weak, and it's good to see suggestions.
02/17/2009
That Weird Guy That Weird Guy
I will keep this post in mind when I write 2 more book reviews. My books should come in the mail soon. Of course I need a few days to read them too.

Anyone find my *Quick Facts* part of my reviews helpful. Should I put them in the top of the review?
02/17/2009
Mr Guy Mr Guy
Nabokov references. Or something similarly pretentious. Bring your best Armond White to the table.
02/18/2009
Naughty Student Naughty Student
I like to see a sort of summary about the concept behind the book and a break down of its chapters but all without going into detail. Sort of like an overview; rather than chapter one is x chapter 2 is y, etc. I also like it when there is some detail about things that struck the reader that he might want to convey as relevant in understanding the book or is simply interesting.
02/18/2009
Snappy Snappy
I like to get a fairly good idea of what's in the book - more than I could deduce from the product description or from a look at the table of contents and excerpt on Amazon.com. I want to be able to decide whether or not to purchase the book by reading some reviews first.
02/19/2009
Dragon Dragon
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr Guy
Nabokov references. Or something similarly pretentious. Bring your best Armond White to the table.
Well he wrote in Russian, and wrote short stories, and had a interest in chess problems. I'm the queen around here, but I don't play to check mate. I like my moves nice and slow.

The more different angles that you see something from and the more productive that you are, the more likely you are to appear to be a creative genius! I just combined information from three different sources to sound pretentious only for Misanthrope. That work for you?
Hugs.
02/19/2009
Mr Guy Mr Guy
Quote:
Originally posted by Dragon
Well he wrote in Russian, and wrote short stories, and had a interest in chess problems. I'm the queen around here, but I don't play to check mate. I like my moves nice and slow.

The more different angles that you see something from ...
You forgot to mention the butterflies.
02/22/2009
Miss Cinnamon Miss Cinnamon
Similar to what has been mentioned above, I like it when there is a short summary of what the book is all about--similar to what you might find on the back of the book or the jacket flaps. Then, a breakdown of writing style, topics covered if it's an informational book, and a snippet or two. Snippets really help a review! Personal reactions are good too (in the experience section, I guess?) Basically, like a really good Amazon.com book review, only with more factual information embedded. Book reviews are pretty hard to write!
02/22/2009
Mr Guy Mr Guy
Honestly, I'd advise one spend a little time reading the NYT Book Review. Not that one need be that stuffy-minded (especially when it comes to erotica, which, quite frankly, doesn't require that sort of analysis due to its highly subjective nature); however, a good NYT review contains all the essentials of good analysis:

- introduction to the subject(s) covered in the book
- background on the author, when applicable
- direct quotes from the book
- comparisons to other works (something that film critic Armond White excels at; whether he likes the film he's reviewing or not, he will always compare it to other like works)
- where does it succeed/fail?

A good example, from this week's Review: link
02/23/2009
Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
Thanks for starting this thread DBD! I'm reading a book I was thinking of reviewing, but I really had no idea where to start with the review until I read this.
02/23/2009
Dragon Dragon
Quote:
Originally posted by Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
Thanks for starting this thread DBD! I'm reading a book I was thinking of reviewing, but I really had no idea where to start with the review until I read this.
Hugs.
02/24/2009
Gary Gary
If I could read... I would read books and then review them, but I still think this is a great idea.
02/27/2009
That Weird Guy That Weird Guy
Yeti if you could read as much as I can (Like posts and things) I'm sure you could read this book called "Red Hot Touch". More about it later...

I dropped out at 10th grade so my actual reading skills are very poor as I was reading at like a 7th grade level I think when I dropped out. But anyway most sex instruction books I've read don't use big words or hard to follow instructions unless they are using a medical word to describe a muscle or something. Very down to earth book. It's not at all like reading a novel where they try to use big words to make it sound interesting or show off their writing skills.

Basically red hot touch is a book about using your hands to please your man or woman. (They cover both) When I was done reading the book I put it down and said something like, DAMN I didn't know my hands could do so much.

The first part of the book was lacking pictures and good description but the first part is about sensual massage like how to massage the scalp ears arms back shoulders and toes and stuff... I found some of it hard to follow.. but the second part of the book was what I bought it for and fixed the issues I had about the book's first part.

The second half of the book was very good which I believe was done by a different author (it sure felt like it it was 1000 times better). It tells you how to please someone (Male or Female) sexually with your hands. Its got a tons of ways to use your hand some I never thought of for how to please a man. And it has techniques for the A spot too. Prior to reading the book I had no clue what it was or even that there was such a thing as an A spot. It has drawings for some of the techniques which really help to show how to do it. but I must warn it does not have pictures for all the techniques but the ones that didn't were really simple to understand and I didn't think they required a picture. But it has 100's of ways to please your partner. I was able to understand all the words they used in the book except maybe 1 or 2..

I wish Eden would carry it but they do not other wise I'd give it 4 stars bc the first part of the book was somewhat hard to follow, but the rest had a whole shit load of stuff that I'm dying to to try. I'd give the first part of the book 2-3 stars and the second part max+ stars.. but the second part of the book was the reason I bought it and it delivered more than I could have ever imagined I could do with my hands. I feel like if I used all the techniques on a woman she would think I was some kind of sex god..

Plus it has exercises for you hands to strengthen them and make them extra sensitive.

One of the exercises actually made me be able to do the Vulcan thing from Star Trek where you split your fingers down the center with out glue or tape. Basically Index and middle finger off to one side and the ring and pinky finger of to the other making a V shape with your hand.. Then all you have to do is say "Live long and prosper" and you'd be an instant hit with the trekkies.. hehe so far I can only do it with one hand but I haven't really been doing the exercises much. And I was able to do the Vulcan thing the same day I read the book after I did the exercises a few times

Though the book does have some oral in it that you can do along with the hand stuff, the book is specifically about using the hands which is something you may not think your lacking in but I hadn't even thought of half the stuff in the second part of the book..
02/28/2009
That Weird Guy That Weird Guy
Hmm I'm writing a book review and so far it probably exceeds the 800 word limit or is very close (I don't have a word processing program that would tell me how many exactly)and I'm only half way through the book. I don't want to skimp on the review so I was thinking of posting my review in the forums and then put the link to the forum in the review and only bring up certain key points in the actual review..

Does this idea sound reasonable it's a very good book and it has lots of good info and I want to detail it BC it's soooooo good.. I'm not releasing techniques though for that you'd have to buy the book. But it just has so much different info that I think it should be stated about whats in the book

If I put a link to the forum post in the review would you actually click it to read the WHOLE review its quite lengthy already but it talks about the different topics covered in the book and there are some interesting ones..
it does not contain any non useful or fluff info that I feel I could take out. I personally feel that if I limit the review to 800 words that it would be kind of crappy for what the book has to offer..

what is your view on this..
02/28/2009
PurpleReign PurpleReign
Quote:
Originally posted by That Weird Guy
Hmm I'm writing a book review and so far it probably exceeds the 800 word limit or is very close (I don't have a word processing program that would tell me how many exactly)and I'm only half way through the book. I don't want to skimp ...
TWG...

If the review was a great piece of writing itself, I'd probably click to finish, or read the full version.

But I think that a full, piercing and informative review can be done in 800 words or less. That's about the length I usually am given when I write them for major newspapers or mags...sometimes even a pair of books in the same, which the editor felt worked thematically for some reason.

Editing and the resulting tension are possible, and can convey your enthusiasm and endorsement of a book as well, sometimes better, than length.

Maybe the review...and a link to the excerpts you feel we might need to understand its worth.
03/02/2009
Dragon Dragon
Quote:
Originally posted by PurpleReign
TWG...

If the review was a great piece of writing itself, I'd probably click to finish, or read the full version.

But I think that a full, piercing and informative review can be done in 800 words or less. That's about the length ...
Very well said. I like "tension."
03/02/2009
Miss Cinnamon Miss Cinnamon
Quote:
Originally posted by PurpleReign
TWG...

If the review was a great piece of writing itself, I'd probably click to finish, or read the full version.

But I think that a full, piercing and informative review can be done in 800 words or less. That's about the length ...
Amen. I'm pretty wordy myself (a flaw I admit to), but even I agree that conciseness is the best way to get a message across. In reviews, speeches, or any other sort of communication, you only have the audience's attention for a limited amount of time. Once you cross that limit, they stop caring about what you're saying. 800 words is a very reasonable limit for a book review.
03/02/2009
Total posts: 22
Unique posters: 14