Book reviewing has been the hobby, profession, and passion of many practicing and potential writers as well as ardent book readers. Still, there had been no book length publication until now that may have served as a guide for reviewing books. Now we finally have one under the title The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing by Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards, editors of the free monthly review ezine Voice in the Dark. Published by Twilight Times Books (2008), Mayra and Anne’s book covers all the basic elements involved in the art/hobby/profession of book reviewing.
As the title hints, book reviewing is a slippery art with a number of influences acting on the potential reviewers, hindering their objectivity and partiality in writing the review. The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing points out those slippery sides of the book reviewing art so as to enable the reviewer to write fair, objective, and reader-friendly reviews. Failing to do so not only betrays the trust a reader puts in the reviewer but also endangers the reviewer’s own reputation and integrity as a pen-holder. This is the most important aspect of The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing.
Mayra and Anne’s book also educates on the basics of reviewing like what a review is; what are the various types of reviews; how to write different types of reviews; and the relation between the review, reviewer, reader, author, and publisher. The examples of reviews and a simple step-by-step guide to review writing included in the book are certainly a great source of information for beginner reviewers. Also, a valuable list of publishing and reviewing sources, online and in print, at the end of the book will be of great interest and practical assistance to reviewers at all levels.