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ENGL 3320: 20th Century American Literature (Dubek): Books & Reviews

Nobel Prize winning authors and their contributions to American literature during the 20th century

Why Book Reviews?

sample book reviews

Questions: What value lies in book reviews?  What are the big differences between reviews and criticisms?

Answers: Book reviews are a good measure of contemporary reaction to a work. Books are generally reviewed near the date of publication or within the first two years after publication.  They typically contain information about a book's plot, style, and quality of writing, as well as the author's credentials.  They may also give comparisons to other similar titles.  Book reviews can be as brief as one paragraph or several thousand words.  Book reviews are written for all kinds of publications and appear in numerous places, including newspapers, popular and literary magazines, scholarly journals, book review indexes, and bookseller sites. 

Literary criticisms appear years after original book publication and continue to present day.  Criticisms generally contain lengthy in-depth analysis and are mostly found in scholarly journals and literary texts.

Book Review Sources

Finding Works in Anthologies

Periodicals with Book Reviews

These are periodicals that historically have provided substantive, compelling reviews written by established book critics.

Browsing Books by Call Number

Within call number areas, books are arranged alphabetically by author. 

4th floor:  

810-818  American Literature

811  American poetry 

812  American drama 

813  American fiction

813.54  American fiction from 1945-

813.6  American authors first published since 2000

814  American essays

815  American speeches 

816  American letters

817  American humor & satire