Friday, July 13, 2007

Book review outline

March 9, 2008
My best short summary of what to include in a review:
Was it a good book?
Would you recommend it?
What did you like about it?
What did you dislike?
Tell us whatever you thought.

February 21, 2008
Something new!

for interviewing writers

1. Tell me about your book.
2. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
3. How did you get interested in writing ...

(historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children's books, etc.)?
4. Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
5. What's a typical working day like for you?
6. Do you have a special place where you write best?
7. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
8. Do you set a daily writing goal?
9. What are you working on now?
10. What advice would you give aspiring writers?


Some examples: fiction, history, historical fiction, poetry, science, science fiction, travel, memoir, biography, and literature, which can include nonfiction as well as fiction.
Most of what I review is either fiction or memoir.


1. Title, author, copyright date, and genre?
2. Summarize the book without giving away the ending.
3. What did you think of the main character?
4. Which character could you relate to best?
5. Were there any other especially interesting characters?
6. From whose point of view is the story told?
7. Were the characters and their problems believable?
8. How did the main character change during the novel?
9. What was the book's central question, and how was it answered?
10. Was location important to the story?
11. Was the time period important to the story?
12. What alternative title would you choose for this book?
13. Share a quote from the book.
14. Share a favorite scene from the book.
15. What did you like most about the book?
16. What did you like least?
17. Did you like the way the book ended?
18. What do you think will be your lasting impression of this book?
19. What did you think of the cover?
20. For banned books: Why was this book banned?
21. How would you rate this book?


1. Title, author, date of book, and genre?
2. What do you think motivated the author to share his or her life story?
3. Is the author trying to elicit a certain response, such as sympathy?
4. How has this book changed or enhanced your view of the author?
5. Were there any instances in which you felt the author was not being truthful?
6. What is the author's most admirable quality?
7. Is this someone you would want to know (or to have known)?
8. Share a quote from the book.
9. Share a favorite part of the book.
10. What did you like most about the book?
11. What did you like least?
12. What will be your lasting impression of the author?
13. What did you think of the cover?
14. How would you rate this book?

Please feel free to use any or all of these questions for your own reviews. Thanks to Dewey for the idea of making such a list.
MotherTalk suggests these questions to jumpstart your thinking:
1. What was your favorite thing about the book?
2. What impressions stayed with you when you were done reading it?
3. How was the book different than what you expected, or surprising?
4. What did the book teach you or inspire you to do different or better?
5. What made the characters believable? Likeable? Familiar? (or not?)
6. If you loved it, what could the author have done to make the book even better?
7. If you didn’t like the book, what qualities might appeal to others?
8. What kind of person or group would you recommend this book to? (For example, book clubs, women struggling with depression, Stephen King fans, vacationers looking for a good beach read, etc.)
9. How has the book affected you as a person? As a mother? As a [fill in the blank]?
10. How has the book changed your opinions or feelings about the topic at hand?
11. In what ways did the book take you out of your comfort zone?


Kelly said...

Great outline, I am going to have to use this one.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Happy to share with you. I'm writing a book review now and suggest you pick and choose your questions according to the book you are reviewing.

CJ said...

So, why don't I have this blog listed along with Weekend wordsmith?


It's a great outline. I'll probably put it to use in one form or another.


Dewey said...

I like the additions you've made! I'll link to this from my outline page so that other people can find it. I especially like what you did for memoirs. I just used my outline for a biography, and so many of the questions really didn't apply.

Amy said...

I just happened across your outline Bonnie. I am going to have to give it a shot.

Shonda said...

I've been brainstorming ideas for writing better reviews. This list is similar to my ideas. Thanks for taking the time to write this. I'm going to keep your outline in mind.

lozzie said...

hey, this has helped SO much, im writing a book review for school and i had no idea how to go about it!

lozzie said...

only thing is, out teacher said to talk abou themes as well