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Find Book Reviews: Guide


Book reviews are articles that critically examine published works.

When searching for book reviews, consider starting the search with the year that the book was published. Since book reviews may be published several years after the book’s release, it is a good idea to check the 3-4 succeeding years as well.

Book reviews of recent publications may be found in electronic databases and indexes. Reviews for older publications are often best found through print indexes of journals. Note that some databases, such as JSTOR, are exceptions to the rule, as they carry early volumes of journals.

Getting Started

Gathering the following information will aid you in the search process:

  • Complete title of the book
  • Author’s name
  • Publication date
  • Subject of the book

If you don’t have this information about the book, you may be able to get more information from Hawaii Voyager, the library’s online catalog.

Database Search Hints

  • Try a keyword search for the title of the book and the word “review” or “reviews.”
  • In some databases, you can limit the search to document type. For example, you can search the MLA International Bibliography database by limiting the search to “book article.”
  • You can also search for book reviews in subject-specific databases or indexes. For example, Business Source Premier would be good place to look for reviews of new business books.
  • Some of the databases and indexes offer full-text book reviews, while others provide citations and sometimes abstracts.
  • If the full text is not included in the database, use the button to locate an electronic copy of the article.

To get the full review from databases and indexes that provide only citation information, follow these steps:

  • Try the “find it” link to locate an electronic copy of the book review.
  • If an electronic copy is not available, search the Hawaii Voyager library catalog to see if that particular journal is included in our print collection.
  • When you find the journal in the catalog, note the call number. You will need this to locate the journal and the book review.
  • Make sure you have written down the citation information for the book review (journal name, volume, year, page numbers, etc.)
  • If we do not have the journal in the print collection, you may place a request for the library to obtain the review for you using our interlibrary loan service, or look for other reviews.

Selected Electronic Resources for Book Reviews

Print Resources for Book Reviews

The following print resources focus on book reviews:

  • Index to Book Reviews in the Humanities (1960-1990) / Reference Z1035 .A1 I63
  • Book Review Digest (1905-2005) Reference Z1219 .B644
  • Book Review Index (1965-present) Reference Z1035 .A1 B6
  • Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Humanities Journals (1802-1974) Reference AI3 .C652
  • Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Scholarly Journals (1886-1974) Reference Z1035 .A1 C64
  • Index to Book Reviews in Historical Periodicals (1973-1974) Z6205 .B73
  • New York Times Book Review (1896-1970) Z1035 .A1 N473 (See the New York Times Index for more recent reviews)

Other resources that might include book reviews include:

  • Humanities Index (1974-1993, June 2002-present) Reference AI3 .H85
  • Nineteenth Century Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature (1890-1899) Reference AI3 .R47
  • New York Times Index (1851-present) Reference AI21 .N42
  • Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature (1802-1906) Reference AI3 .P7
  • Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature (1901-present) Reference AI3 .R48
  • Social Sciences Index (1907-present) Reference AI3 .S65

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