I’m always on the lookout for an interesting book to read. The only problem is that the supply of equally interesting book reviews are in short supply. So, it was with great interest that I read a review entitled simply, Summer Reading, about an interesting sounding book with a really long title, “Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day.” The book is written by Stephan Talty and sounds like a real winner—one that I must have for my collection. The book has everything I would want: history, mystery, secret agents, and probably more; all of which is presented by an author who really sounds as if he knows his topic.
The author of the review, William Bridges, is a favorite blogger of mine. He has an easy to read writing style and doesn’t tend to embellish his experiences. I find that I can trust what he has to say, which is more than I can say for the majority of what I read online. Of course, the topic of this post is the review, which I hope you’ll read critically for the style it provides.
Any review that you read is an opinion—never confuse a review with fact. What you need are reviews that match your world perspective. When an author presents ideas, concepts, and remarks that fall in line with your own—you’ve found a reviewer who can help you make an intelligent buying decision. That’s the purpose of a review; to help you understand the product in question well enough to make a good buying decision. Of course, the review has to be well-written. Ask yourself questions such as, “Can the reviewer actually gain insights into the hurdles faced by the book’s author?” A good reviewer presents an informed opinion, one that considers a number of perspectives.
I’ve always felt that good reviews are critical, but also constructive. A review must examine the topic in enough detail so that the reader can understand the reason the author took time to review the book (or any other product for that matter) in the first place. However, the review must also explore both the pros and the cons of the book. Bill always provides these sorts of elements in his reviews, which is the reason I’ll continue to read them as long as he sees fit to write them.
My current book list is a tad tall. People have been kind and sent a few items of reading material my way. However, once I wade through the current pile I’ll read this book and provide my own review of it. I hope that you enjoy my review as much as I enjoyed Bill’s. What do you look for in a review? Let me know at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.