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Finding Book Reviews and Literary Criticism  

Last Updated: Jun 8, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Book Reviews offers book reviews, including from respected periodicals such as The New York Times Book Review, Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews.

But as a book seller, Amazon also provides promotions from book publishers as well as reader reviews by amateurs.

  • Some of the reviews via Amazon can be appropriate for academic work, but even some of the brief periodical reviews are only meant to help people make purchase choices.  Of course the publisher’s ads and amateur reviews are not appropriate to support academic work.

  • Frequently your professors want you to find in depth, analytical reviews written by scholars in the same discipline as the author of the book.  For novels, scholarly reviews often are written as literary criticism (see the box on the right).  In order to find reviews from academically appropriate sources without advertisements and amateur reviews mixed in, we recommend the resources below as good starting points.

TIP.   Know the year in which the book was originally published.

  • Brief reviews to prompt purchase decisions are published close to the date of the book's publication. 

  • In-depth reviews typically appear in the scholarly press (in periodicals, i.e., journals) one or more years following the publication of the book.




Images on this Page

Click on the images to link to book reviews (left column) or literary criticism (right column) examples using some of the resources listed herein.

Right-click on each image to view the image in its actual home on the Web.


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Literary Criticism

Literary criticism is published in books, periodical articles and the open Web. 

BOOKS When searching for book-length (or chapters in books) literary criticism from books in library catalogs, follow these tips:

  • Search library catalogs using the author’s name (last name, first name) as a SUBJECT search.
  • Using Linfield Search choose the ADVANCED option and change the drop-down menu from ANY to SUBJECT
  • Enter the author's name, last name & first name:  example:  Atwood, Margaret
  • Books about the author and her works will be found.

ARTICLES Search these databases using the author's name along with the title of the work.


Google Scholar

A search in this scholarly area of Google using the author's name, the title of the work, and the word criticism is a good approach.

Example search string typed into Google Scholar:

margaret atwood handmaid's tale criticism

The results include open source items you will be able to simply click to freely, but also you will get citations to materials you may be able to find via our library or request through interlibrary loan.  Don't pay for any internet content of this nature without checking first to see if we have it or can get it for you.

To facilitate finding items in a Google Scholar results list, set up your browser so it links to Linfield fo items we have.

How to Link Linfield College to Google Scholar   PDF or Video clip (1:00)






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