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find book reviews and literary criticism


Book reviews typically offer an opinion of a book’s quality or value rather than an in-depth analysis of the work, and tend to be shorter than literary criticism. Reviews are usually written within a year or two of a book’s publication.
Literary criticism is the scholarly evaluation, explanation, and analysis of literature. It can be written at any time, even centuries after the publication of the literature it critiques. Literary criticism is often found in scholarly journals or books.

Research Tips

  • Gather bibliographic information (title, author’s name, date of original publication) for the book you’re researching.
  • For reviews, narrow the date range to the years immediately following the book’s publication.
  • Some databases will allow you to limit your search to reviews or criticism, so always check the advanced search options.

Where to Search

Place to Search Find Reviews... Find Criticism... Details
(from 1920-present)
   …of American and British literature from scholarly sources.
Academic Search Complete  
(from 1990-present)
   …of books and literature on all topics from popular and scholarly sources.
Literature Resource Center  
 (dates vary)
   …of all literature from mostly scholarly sources, some popular sources.
Library Catalog    
…of all literature from scholarly books and essays.
MLA International Bibliography    
…of all literature from scholarly sources.
(from 1980-present)
   …of popular books from popular sources.
H-Net Reviews  
(from 1993-present)
   …of scholarly books in the humanities and social sciences from scholarly sources.
New York Times Book Reviews  
(from 1981-present)
   …of popular books from The New York Times.
Periodical Archives Online  
(from 1770-1995)
   …of scholarly books from all disciplines from scholarly sources.
(from 1851-2003)
   …of older popular books from The New York Times.
 'Typewriter', Simon Child, The Noun Project


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