Skip to main content
Michigan State University

Book Reviews: Introduction


Newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals typically publish book reviews which describe and evaluate recently published books of fiction and non-fiction within their areas of interest. Reviews for popular books may appear within a few months of publication; indeed some may appear before a book is released. Reviews for academic books usually take a little longer, but normally appear within a year or two of publication.

In order to find book reviews you need to know:

  1. the author of the book
  2. the title of the book
  3. when the book was published

Not sure about the author, title, and publication date? The easiest place to locate this kind of information is in the book itself, but if you no longer have it with you, try locating it in one of the following resources:

Once you are clear on these details, you can search for book reviews effectively.

The resources listed under the General Sources tab (at the top) are recommended starting points. A few contain full text book reviews such as Expanded Academic ASAP, Lexis Nexis Academic Universe, New York Times, Proquest, and Wilson Select. The Book Review Digest contains book review excerpts (plus citations to the source). The rest provide only citations to where the book reviews can be found. If this is the case, check the MSU Libraries Online Catalog to find out whether we own the source journal and where it is located. If we don't own the book or journal you are interested in, don't forget that interlibrary loan is always an option.

And finally, if in doubt, stop by the Main Library Reference Desk and ask one of the librarians on duty for assistance. Usually they can answer your questions immediately but occasionally they may have to make a referral to another subject specialist.   Not in the library?  Visit our Ask A Librarian page if you want to consult electronically.

Subject Guide

What's Missing?

Do you have any suggestions on additional items that should be added to this LibGuide?  If so, send an email to

Michigan State University