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This guide will enable you to locate reviews of books, which are generally found in newspapers, journals, and magazines. Some publications are devoted only to reviewing books, like BooklistChoice, and the New York Times Book Review. (See the "Publications with Book Reviews" section of this guide for direct links to these three resources.) Longer and more critical reviews are often included in subject specific journals. For example, each volume of the Journal of American Studies contains reviews of books written about American studies.

To get started locating book reviews, use the databases below under Recommended Starting Points. For more help, check out the other sections in this guide or ask at the Research Help Desk.

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Helpful Websites

Amazon.com

Provides customer reviews and excerpts from published reviews.

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Barnes & Noble

Provides customer reviews and excerpts from published reviews.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Bookmarks Magazine has reviews, expert picks, reader recommendations, book group selections, and "critical summaries." The reviews are culled and presented so that they do not reveal endings and important plot details.

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Goodreads

Goodreads is a privately run "social cataloging" website where you can keep track of what you've read, what your friends are reading, and organize your books into virtual bookshelves. There are also many reviews of books.

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Recommended Starting Points

JSTOR

Scholarly journals in anthropology, art, art history, communication studies, criminology, ecology, economics, education, English, film studies, foreign languages and literatures, geography, geology, history, mathematics, music, philosophy, political science, public and international affairs, religion, social work, sociology, statistics, theatre, and other humanities and social sciences. 

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JSTOR is an archive of selected scholarly journals in ecology, economics, history, mathematics, music, political science, statistics, and other humanities and social sciences. Many of the scholarly journals in this database include book reviews. Click on "Advanced Search" and then check "Reviews" under the "Narrow by" section on that page before searching for your book title.
Book Review Index Plus

Book Review Index Plus includes more than 5 million book reviews, allowing users to conduct research in numerous disciplines, including literature, history, education, psychology, and more.

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New York Times (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)

Digital archive for the New York Times dating back to 1851. An excellent database for history, including full-text and full-image articles. For most dates, the collection includes digital reproductions of every page from every issue--cover to cover--in downloadable PDF files. For access to recent issues, go to the New York Times online or search US Newsstream.

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This is the digital archive for the New York Times dating back to 1851. Many books are reviewed in this newspaper, and it is a great place to start for newspaper reviews prior to 1985. For more current book reviews in the New York Times, search InfoTrac Newsstand below, which includes 1985 to the present.

Databases

When searching for book reviews, perform a subject search using the term "book reviews" for a general listing of all reviews. When looking for a specific title, refer to the search tips listed below for each individual database.

America: History & Life

America: History & Life provides a robust source of information focusing on the history and life of the United States and Canada. Selective indexing includes over a thousand journals dating back over 55 years.

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Search tips: Find book reviews using the following search formats: If you have the title of the book, use the Title search box and type in the title of the book. Partial title words: Keyword search and in the Document Type search field enter Book Review.
Historical Abstracts

Historical Abstracts covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) focusing on the 15th century forward, including art history, world history, military history, women's history, history of education, foreign languages and literatures, and more.

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Search tips: Find book reviews using the following search formats: If you have the title of the book, use the Title search box and type in the title of the book. Partial title words: Keyword search and in the Document Type search field enter Book Review.
MLA International Bibliography

Subjects within the MLA International Bibliography consist of literature, language and linguistics, creative writing, English, folklore, film, foreign languages and literatures, literary theory & criticism, theatre, dramatic arts, as well as the historical aspects of printing and publishing. Listings on rhetoric and composition and the history, theory and practice of teaching language and literature are also included.

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Search tips: Add "review-article" in the search box combined with a topic, author, or genre. The format would appear like this: review-article and science fiction.
Choice Reviews Online

CHOICE reviews significant current books and electronic resources of interest to those in higher education. Each year CHOICE publishes more than 6,500 reviews by subject experts.

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Choice reviews significant current books and electronic resources of interest to those in higher education. Each year Choice publishes more than 6500 reviews by subject experts. The online version dates back to 1988. The library also has Choice in the bound periodicals back to 1964.
Search tips: Full text of book reviews published in newspapers, magazines, and journals are available. Choose the "News" option, then the "Book, Movie, Music, Play and Video Reviews" option under "Select sources." In the Keyword box type in the title of the book and in the next box type in book review. LexisNexis includes full text (since June 1980) of the New York Times Book Review; to search just this title choose the "Sources" tab and type "New York Times" in the search box.
ERIC (via ProQuest)

The ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) database is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to provide extensive access to educational-related literature. ERIC provides ready access to education literature to augment American education by increasing and facilitating the use of educational research and information to improve practice in learning, teaching, educational decision-making, and research.

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Contact Librarian

Portrait of Lisa Coats
Lisa
Coats
Humanities Librarian
Phone Number: 
Office: 
RL2055

Liaison Librarian to Creative Writing, English, Film Studies, Philosophy and Religion, Women's and Gender Studies, World Languages and Cultures

Interlibrary Loan

If we do not have the full-text of the articles, or a book you need, fill out the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) form and request it. This is a free service for students, faculty, and staff. 

ILL page: http://library.uncw.edu/ill

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