Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Book reviews on the web and other links

Here are some sites I visit often and you might find useful. When it comes to the written word there are two types of websites I visit. The first type contains or features book reviews and the second type contains electronic or digital format classic literature in the public domain, ie free literature, you just have to download them.

Now why take time to visit a book review site. Book review sites and book reviews are important to bibliophiles because it gives us an assessment of the book without giving away the story. This saves the reader time and money in selecting a potential book to read.

However, it must be noted that not all reviews are good reviews, some may be disguised as advertising tools. Things to look out for in a book review are the following:

Who is the author? What is his speciality and reputation? Is he writing for a credible organisation.

And on the review itself. Is it a non-biased review? Does the critic or reviewer cite or quite passages to prove his point? Or is he just writing down his opinion without presenting evidence to back his claims against and or for the book. Reviewing is just not writing your opinion it is proving your opinion is valid or worthy of consideration.

Equally interesting for us is that the Internet makes available, for free, literature that has entered the public domain, nearly copyright free except for commercial purposes. This means work that have entered the public domain can be copied and distributed non-commercially. And this saves us money because no we just have to download or copy the work.

Here are the sites I visit often:

Book Reviews: Financial Times website aside from being the on-line version the FT, Financial Times - the premiere UK-based financial and business newspaper, also carries news feed from several daily newspapers from aroud the world. Each weekend the paper comes out with the weekend section and in that section one can find several insightful book reviews. Unfortunately, you have to sign up and pay in order to access this feature.

The good news is if you are or your company is a subscriber to the Financial Times newspaper you can access this site, subscription to the newspaper comes bundled with the subscription to the site.

The New York Times Book Page

All you have to do here is to sign up for the service and you are ready to go. Contains a large database of reviews. Reviews are grouped by genre, author's name and several categories. And aided by a powereful search you can easily get to the book review you want. I took me less than two minutes to get the review of Yann Martel's "Life with Pi".

SF Site

For readers of Science Fiction this is the site where you can find book reviews od SF books, articles and interviews of your favourite writers.

Free literature
Project Guttenberg

Project Gutenberg produces and makes available for downloads free electronic books (eBooks or etexts) on the Internet. According to their website the collection is made up of more than 15,000 ebooks, all produced by volunteers. The literary works in this collection are already in the public domain in the United States and as such can be freely downloaded and read, and redistributed for non-commercial use.

This site is useful if you are looking for those hard-to-find books. I was able to download Frank Stockton's fairy tales from this site.

There are several other sites that provide credible reviews and free downloads. And I will feature them next time.

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    Anonymous dante said...

    thanks for the links.. :)

    i usually just go to amazon for book description and reviews. now i know, as you suggested, that it's more reliable to read reviews by people who have no bias or commercial interest. i'll read other reviews from now on and not rely slely on the ones in amazon...

    1:20 AM  
    Blogger eruannie said...

    juned, these are great links! i will share this with my students who love writing reviews too.

    12:03 PM  

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