Scholarly Book Review FormatFormat of the scientific book review
Forgive us for interrupting.
About SBL Publication
As I was in grad college, I began to write book reviewing because they were the only things I could publish. After a few years of lecturing, I entered another doldrums, both in my literary energies and in the possibilities that presented themselves to me. Throughout this time I used book reviewing to get myself out of the crisis after publishing some of my works and a few selected series.
It was different this year because I didn't stop reviewing books when other research began, and since then I have continuously published four or five book review books a year. When book review is the basic work of science, why do I keep rewriting it, since it is no longer a professional need?
A practical response is that the ease of the online volunteering and submissions procedure now used by the Review of Biblical Literature makes it easier to maintain a custom of review. I' m almost always in the middle of a review. And I must admit that it is still a selfish job to write a review.
I' m slapping myself on the back every single times I do a check because I'm doing a job for the team. More than 10,000 religious publications were released in 2003. Of course, this also included a number of bestselling publications, but the publishing houses at the universities alone produce more than 600 of these publications.
It is hard to find stats that show the exact number of scholarly works in Bible study each year, but one can conclude from the above stats that there are many hundred. It' not possible to live this tsunami unless you're on a big ship with lots of people.
Hopefully, no writer whose book I have been reading will think that all I have brought back to safety is a bucket of information and inspiration thrown back into the sea by the Bible's learning, so I will let this picture go. But what could be more frightening than walking through the publishers' exhibitions at a major academical meeting and seeing tens of new titles that you can never see.
We can help each other with book review. It also gives me an important feeling of accomplishment in the middle of great literary endeavors that have their ups and downs and can take many years. The review of a book also brings me back to the subject of meticulous literacy.
Amidst a bustling calendar of university appointments, I find my eating patterns drift towards skiing. To read a book well, you have to read all its parts, from forward to footnote. To write a good book review is an artwork that needs a certain amount of cultivating. To write a review is a serious effort to try to understand a book's point.
It' sometimes difficult to do, but the aim and the target group is usually presented quite clearly in the covers and frontpage. One of my friends, who is an academically trained editor, recently voiced the frustrations associated with his press's book being correctly review. The reason why it is not possible to send scholarly publications with scholarly contents directed at a public that is extremely interested in academia is because they are sure that they will be bursting at great length because of their lack of treatment of certain technological questions.
Unfortunately, if publishing houses have to do without scientific periodicals when they send such a book, the reader of these periodicals will not be made to know about works that have an academical aim but are directed at a general public. It is important that a review be considered whether the length and width of a book is appropriate to the reader's intention and purposes, regardless of whether it meets the reviewer's needs.
That kind of unjust critique raises greater concerns about the purposes of book reviews: I can' t be sure that the review is about the book and not about me. As a postgraduate, I can still recall my early years when I was busy persuading the readers that I knew the area to which the book referred.
Lettering customs for faculty as students are difficult to change. One of the hardest ways to review the book is to use it as a starting point for the reviewers to present their own views on the work. Good reviews should always return to the book, its organisation and the most important arguments as the right one.
Of course, the simplest type of book is the scientific monography. Skilled composers and scientists usually compose one-man works. Unfortunately, most of our ledgers do not belong in this group. About a year ago I promised myself that I would no longer check a book that is a revision of a dissertation or a collection of articles by several people.
However, this is a different kind of book, which one should assess with regard to its use. It' s important that reworked doctoral theses are checked, but after checking about half a dozen, I think I've done my part. One of the dilemmas is how far one can check a "book" that is not a book.
Twenty-five independent evaluations of single papers are not possible, even considering the limits of a 1500-word review paper. Instead, I check the most important introduction items and select an article from each of the main groups within the book. Everything I can provide to the reader of my review is a sample of what this compilation has to show.
Another group of textbooks presents the critic with a special challange. There are some of them that are not readable. This would cover dictionaries, encyclopaedias and comments in Bible research. This, of course, are among the most sought after review titles because they are useful and costly, and getting a free copy is the only reward ever afforded to book critics.
In order to verify them, however, one must at least imagine using them for the purposes intended: current or periodical research. An example of a Bible commentary, for example, is an important debate about an exegetic topic when it first appears in the Bible book. It is not possible to repeat the detailed debate every single day the topic appears.
During my academical careers I am constantly feeling the impetus for a cynical approach. There are many goals to this toxic stance - college management, the role of education, even the scientific publication community. A way of avoiding such stereotypes is to remain part of the foundations of the area.
Book reviewing may not be for everyone, but it is fundamental, and through the ups and downs of doctrine and academia, it is one of the best ways to keep the discerning abilities of literacy, thought and thought up. He is Associate Professor of Religion at Belmont University, Nashville, TN, and a regular contributor to SBL's Review of Biblical Literature (http://www.bookreviews.org).