I’ve decided to add book reviews as a regular feature here at Joy in This Journey.

That said, I’m a novice. I have only written a handful of them, here (on grief), here (first review of fiction), here (on talking about pain in Christianity), and here (on prayer), so I don’t really know how to go about it. I keep reminding myself that everyone starts somewhere, so it’s ok to feel really clumsy and awkward at it.

But at the same time, I’d like these reviews to be helpful. So I have a few questions for book reviewers and for book review readers.

If you have written a book review, how do you go about it? Do you read the book straight through and then reflect on it as you write? Do you keep a journal as you read and write the review from your notes? Do you highlight and mark up the book as you go along, and then use that as your guide? Do you think of it as a book report, like the ones we did in grade school in which we merely summarized the book, or do you interact with the ideas presented and debate them?

If you read book reviews, what do you like to see? What is most helpful to you? What makes your roll your eyes or click on without finishing?

Thanks in advance! My next review will be posted in about two weeks.