This library guide will cover the process of searching for book reviews, with an emphasis on history books. More specifically, the guide will discuss which types of books are most likely to have been widely reviewed, describe library databases which can be used to help find reviews, discuss available print sources which index reviews, and list journals which regularly publish reviews of history books.
Selecting a Reviewed Book
One of the first things to keep in mind before beginning the process of searching for a book review on any topic is to be aware that not all books are reviewed, and others may only have one or two reviews. When selecting a title for an assignment which requires finding a review, it would be good to consider choosing a book that has one or more of the following characteristics:
If you have been assigned a book, as opposed to making your own selection, the above suggestions may be of little help. However, whether you have been assigned a book or have selected one that does not seem to fit any of the above suggestions, the task of finding a book review is still quite feasible.
The following library databases can be useful in helping to find book reviews:
America: History & Life and OmniFile Full-Text Mega (these are both within the EBSCOHost suite of databases).
1. To search for a book review by the title of the book, from the "Advanced" search screen (default view), enter the title of your book in the first search box (see below), then scroll down the page to the assorted "limiters" (ways to limit your results).
2. From the drop-down list of "Document Types," select "Book Reviews" and hit "search" or "enter."
The NSU Library owns a number of print resources which index history book reviews, including:
When using any book review index it is useful to keep in mind that review articles generally are indexed after the book has been on the market for a while. A book published in 1965 may not be reviewed or indexed until 1966, or even later. Therefore, when using an index to find a review for a book published in 1965, you may need to check the indexes for 1965, 1966, or possibly 1967 to find a citation.
Selected History Journals Which Publish Book Reviews
Sometimes it is difficult to find a specific review in a book review index. An additional option is to check the annual and cumulative indexes accompanying the paper history journals. Or, if it is a fairly recently published book, say one that was published a year or two ago, scanning the unbound issues of current and recent history journals might prove productive. Below is a selected list of history journals which typically include book reviews in each issue. All of these journals are owned by the NSU Library.