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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Academic Book Reviews

I read an article today blasting female academics for not doing reviews of academic books. The article gave a dozen (truly ridiculous) reasons why the author thinks this is the case. 

I’m one of those female academics who don’t review books. The reason is simple: I don’t know how to get anybody to ask me to review. Nobody seems to accept unsolicited reviews, so I guess people need to get asked. I’d love to be a reviewer. It’s worth nothing on a CV but I think it would be an enjoyable thing to do. Does anyone know how to become a reviewer? 

I’m sometimes asked to review articles for publication but never books. 

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7 thoughts on “Academic Book Reviews

  1. Anna on said:

    At least in our field, you can get in touch with the editor of a journal that publishes book reviews and offer to review books for them in the field of your expertise (present your credentials, of course). Then they send you the books for free, I believe.

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    • Maybe you are right, and I just need to get in touch with the editors.

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      • “Maybe you are right, and I just need to get in touch with the editors.”

        -In the book blogging community, there are websites where you can request books for review, or have a review requested by an author or publisher. Getting an unsolicited request usually requires that you have a history of reviewing (particularly for that publisher). But it’s easier to get started by requesting. I’d imagine the same must be true of academic publishing, as well.

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      • This also works in my field, but I don’t know about literature.

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  2. Jonathan on said:

    This is a silly concern on several levels (I don’t mean on your part). Is it even true that women are not writing book reviews? Secondly, book reviews are often a waste of time. Women (and people coming up in the field) should be doing books and articles instead. I did too many at one time, I think because I was also publishing tons of articles and so it didn’t hurt me.

    Of course, if you really want to be doing book reviews, you just say yes to requests you receive. If you want, I’ll recommend you whenever I get a book review request that I turn down.

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    • I feel that I’m on a very good publication schedule in terms of articles and books, so I’d like to do a couple of book reviews, just for fun. It would be great if you recommend me when a chance presents itself.

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