How To Write a Book Review

FYI: I have read several reviews of my book now. Most all of them aren't written very well at all. Two of them proceeded to argue with it chapter by chapter. A couple others went hodgepodge through it, pointing out things they liked and didn't like. But good reviews will first summarize the book, tell what the author is attempting to do, tell who would benefit the most from reading the book, compare it to other books he's seen on the same topic, and offer a generalized statement about how effective his book is in attaining his stated goals. Then at that point the reviewer can speak about some specifics in the book as examples that support his generalized statement by arguing with them or supporting them. This is High School stuff here.

4 comments:

Daniel said...

I suggest breaking the attempt to continue friendly dialogue with the TBlog.

Much of the reason is described here, sections 0 - 3. The psychology and ensuing attitudes of persons who think you are "irrational" and in a state of denial and hatred towards God disallow positive conversation.

While they see as as "spiritually blinded/dead/etc.", we see them as receptive to rational argument. Both are mistaken. They can twist logic into a pretzel to defend their presuppositions, and will do so to maintain their commitments.

I am not "committed" to atheism, nor deism, nor general theism. (Of course they lie about this, and claim knowledge of my own self.) They have explicitly made a pledge to their God and are completely "sold out" to the cause.

What more can we expect?

exapologist said...

've looked over some of the posts at Triablogue. It's hard to know what to say. I think that good-natured, sensible Christians and non-Christians who have a look at it will make at least three observations: (i) Some of the things they say are helpful and informative; (ii) but the ratio of informative discussion to bluster and non sequiturs is disturbing; and (iii) the level of civil and courteous discussion isn't becoming of embassadors of Jesus, according to New Testament standards or those of the high points of Christian history.

Should any writers for Triablogue happen to chance upon this comment, let me say this: You are better than that. If Jesus is the Son of God, I think that he would agree with me here, and would rebuke you, but encourage you to aim at higher standards of rigor and civility, both on his behalf, and on behalf of those of us who are outside of the fold. A good, concrete example of a role model in this regard is Wrightsaid, of whom I've had the pleasure of discussion on several occasions.

To the members of Triablogue: I wish you well.

-exapologist

John W. Loftus said...

Yea, Daniel, I liked that essay a lot. It's just too bad that Christian people are so blinded by what they believe. But, people change their minds all of the time, and you never know what might do it.

Anonymous said...

despite all of that, will we get a counter to Steve's critique? Or does complaing about style and character magically wisk the arguments away to never never land?