One-Minute Book Reviews

September 14, 2009

‘There Is a Difference Between a Book Review and a Book Recommendation’ – Quote of the Day / Bethanne Patrick

Filed under: Quotes of the Day — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 6:25 pm
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“There is a difference between a book review and a book recommendation.”
Bethanne Patrick, a critic and book blogger for Publishers Weekly, on a panel on the topic “Book Reviews: 2010′” at the 2009 Book Expo America trade show, as quoted on the blog for the National Book Critics Circle


  1. I think the difference is that a review requires a person to actually support why they think a book is good or not good. A recommendation is simply a knee-jerk emotional response to whether or not you liked happened to like the book. The most difficult problem with trying to become a ‘reviewer’ in this brave new world we are now in is differentiating yourself from the avalanche of comments that contribute nothing more than ‘that book sucks!’ or ‘that’s the greatest book ever!’ There is no longer the ready-made audience with newspapers twenty years ago that provides a reviewer with a certain level of credibility from the start.

    I still haven’t figured out if this is a great thing or the end of civilization.

    Comment by Chad Aaron Sayban — September 14, 2009 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

    • I see the differences in a similar way. A review presupposes a level of analysis that a recommendation doesn’t: A reader of a review has reason to expect that you’ve considered both the strengths and weaknesses of a book even if you focus on the strengths in your comments. A recommendation is just that — an endorsement.

      Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — September 14, 2009 @ 8:52 pm | Reply

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