With so many books being available on the market, we feel that it is necessary to actually review books that are being used or published. It is our intent to explain what we like, what we question, what we may disagree with.
However, there is a concern that comes with this. If we write the review, you are getting our review. What about other the other readers – what are their views?
As the editor of this site, it is our purpose to “Proclaim the Message of Holiness Unto The Lord.” To do this, input from individuals is expressly requested. This includes articles, comments, recommendations for topics, etc.
We would like to extend this to our books as well. I would like to thank Dallas Hertzler from Martinsville Church of Truth for recommending this.
Here is how this works.
Each month we are going to recommend up to four (4) books that we would like to review.
We will list the book(s) in our Book Review section, as well as how to obtain the book.
If the author is alive, we will invite them to write about their book and place that write up in an article that will be linked from the book review section.
Let me note that links to where you can acquire these may be affiliate links which means we may be compensated – Have to disclose that legally.
Anyone that reads the book and would like to share their thoughts and opinions may do so by sending to us your personal review of the book. You can email your review to [email protected]
At the top of the listing we will include 2 dates
- a “Submit Review By” – this is simply the date in which we need all reviews submitted.
- a “Our Published Review ” – this is the date we expect to have the reviews complete.
The publish date of the final review will usually be two (2) to three (3) weeks after the closing of the submission of the reviews.
By the “Our Published Review” date, we will publish our review as well as share the input we received. Please note that all reviews submitted must follow our guest writer guidelines and are subject to the review of the staff of BEYEHOLY.org for publication. We reserve the right to include or not include reviews at our discretion.
For those writers who are still alive and that provided us a write up on their book, expect a three week publish date. We feel it is fair to the writer that they have a chance to respond to any reviews.
there are two books in our book reviews right now. Both were co-written by Grant Ralston and his grandfather Ed Ralston.
How To Do A Book Review
We are asking for two types of reviews. A star review and a critical review. You can do either one or both.
A Star Book Review
Most places use a 5 star rating, but we are going to use six. We are allowing a “No” star or “0” star rating. (I pray that we don’t ever see one, but……)
Here is the interpretation of the stars that we are using.
A Critical Book Review
Tell us your opinion of the book.
The reviews we are looking for are not the typical “I just love this book, it is so great” review found on many sites. That is what our star review is for.
We want you to be specific about the book. Look at it this way:
- Answer the question – Who / What / When / Where / Why / How.
- Reference specific pages / sections of the book for whatever your input is.
- Did you have trouble understanding a section of the book. Does the subject need to be better explained or clarified.
WE DO NOT EXPECT A THESIS FOR THE REVIEW – WRITE IT NATURALLY
If you want to be technical, then we are providing a few guidelines to help you write your reviews. You can read more about how to do book reviews on many sites, but I like this one from the University of Wisconsin’s “The Writing Center”. This is what my notes below are based on.
INTRODUCE YOUR REVIEW APPROPRIATELY
Begin your review with an introduction that is appropriate. Your introduction should focus on identifying the author, the title, the main topic or issue presented in the book, as well as the author’s purpose in writing the book.
The introduction to a book review is always the place for you to establish your position as the reviewer (your thesis about the author’s thesis).
As you write, consider the following questions:
- What type of book is this? Is the book a memoir, a treatise, a collection of facts, an extended argument, etc.? Is the article a documentary, a write-up of primary research, a position paper, etc.?
- Who is the author? What does the preface or foreword tell you about the author’s purpose, background, and credentials? What is the author’s approach to the topic (as a journalist? a historian? a researcher?)?
- What is the main topic or problem addressed? How does the work relate to a discipline, to a profession, to a particular audience, or to other works on the topic?
- What is your evaluation of the work (your thesis)? Why have you taken that position? What criteria are you basing your position on?
PROVIDE AN OVERVIEW
In your introduction, you will also want to provide an overview. An overview supplies certain general information not appropriate for including in the introduction but necessary to understanding the body of the review.
The overview and the introduction work together to provide a comprehensive beginning for (a “springboard” into) your review.
As you write, consider the following questions:
- What are the author’s basic premises?
- What issues are raised, or what themes emerge?
- What situation (i.e., racism on college campuses) provides a basis for the author’s assertions?
- How informed is my reader?
- What background information is relevant to the entire book and should be placed here rather than in a body paragraph?
WRITE THE BODY
The body is where you draw out your main arguments. Below are some guidelines to help you write it.
ORGANIZE USING A LOGICAL PLAN
Organize the body of your review according to a logical plan. Here is one possible option.
- Summarize, in a series of paragraphs, those major points from the book that you plan to discuss.
- Incorporated each major point into a topic sentence for a paragraph is an effective organizational strategy.
- Then discuss and evaluate these points in the following group of paragraphs.
You may also try this popular option as an alternative.
- You can summarize and evaluate the major points you have chosen from the book in a point-by-point schema.
- This means that you will discuss and evaluate point one within the same paragraph (or in several if the point is significant and warrants extended discussion) before you summarize and evaluate the next point(s).
- Move-in a logical sequence from point to point to point. Again, it is effective to use the topic sentence of each paragraph to identify the point you plan to summarize or evaluate.
KEEP YOUR VIEWS DISTINCT AND CITE YOUR SOURCES
Remember, as you discuss the author’s major points, be sure to distinguish consistently between the author’s opinions and your own.
Keep the summary portions of your discussion concise, remembering that your task as a reviewer is to re-see the author’s work, not to re-tell it.
And, importantly, if you refer to ideas from other books and articles, always document your sources.
Include only that material which has relevance for your review.
WRITE THE CONCLUSION
You will want to use the conclusion to state your overall evaluation.
Remember that you have discussed the major points the author makes. You have examined how the author supports arguments and evaluated the quality or effectiveness of specific aspects of the book or article.
Now you are making an evaluation of the work as a whole. Take time to determine such things as whether or not the author achieves the stated or implied purpose and if the work makes a significant contribution to an existing body of knowledge.
Here is a list of questions that I have found in multiple places – too numerous to site. Consider the following questions:
- Is the work appropriately subjective or objective according to the author’s purpose?
- How well does the work maintain its stated or implied focus?
- Does the author present extraneous material?
- Does the author exclude or ignore relevant information?
- How well has the author achieved the overall purpose of the book or article?
- What contribution does the work make to an existing body of knowledge or to a specific group of readers?
- Can you justify the use of this work?
- What is the most important final comment you wish to make about the book or article?
- Do you have any suggestions for the direction of future research in the area?
- What has reading this work done for you or demonstrated to you?
Please remember – the above is just guidelines. We want the following