Learning how to review a book is ironically the most challenging thing I have ever come across the education spectrum. Can I write my book review? Well, there is no cut and dried answer to the question because I have always relied on MyPaperHub to write all my book reviews and some have sold on Amazon, and they have earned 5-star reviews. Anyway, my point is that I have always been a whiz at some course units that I undertake to earn that Degree in English but book reviews tend to be overwhelmingly difficult to comprehend, and I have little or no patience when dealing with a book review of any genre. Writers at MyPaperHub are quite professional, and they have always assisted in providing book summaries especially contemporary Romance, historical Romance and finally Mystery/Suspense/Thriller.
By Jessie Paege
Student ~ The University of Virginia
'What is the meaning of a book review?' -A book review is simply a report or an essay that identifies, summarizes and evaluates the ideas or themes objectively that an author has presented in a book.
When you ask us for professional help regarding a book review of any kind, we summarize the content of the book, objectively examine the author's intent in writing the book and impartially give the reviewer's opinion and whether the author achieved the intent or not. In a nutshell, writing book review essays does help in the evaluation of a book's strengths and weaknesses.
What is the main purpose of a book review?
Writing a book review is an exciting undertaking for anyone who finds books interesting to read. Indeed they are interesting to read but not to everyone, and that’s why writing book reviews can be a daunting and inhibiting task to complete. Readers will always be interested in your book review based on the books you have read, and that is considering the fact that you liked the book or didn't like it. This will help other readers to know your honest thoughts and detailed opinions as far as the book is concerned, and this will help them decide which books are right for them. It should be a simple process where you get to assume your friends are asking you for an opinion concerning a specific book for them to decide whether or not they will read the book.
At times, tutors assign students academic assignments requiring them to write papers and reports on book reviews on a specified author. To be able to write an excellent book review, a student must be acquainted with the nitty-gritty's of writing a book review without which it will be difficult to meet the demands of the assignment.
However, if you have not grasped what it takes to write a good review that will earn you good marks, then help book review is the answer. We shall give you some general guidelines on what it takes to write a good book review.
How do you write a book review?
The first step is to read the book slowly and carefully to familiarize yourself with themes and, therefore, identify the author's intention and purpose of writing the book. When scrutinizing the author's scope, identify the main points that the author establishes and how they are proven.
The next step is to establish the main points of the criticism and whether the author achieved the intent of writing. You can then write an outline that incorporates your opinion based on supporting evidence from the book whether the intent was achieved, and this usually is the thesis of the review i.e., the main arguments based on an objective evaluation of the strength and weakness of the book.
After this, you can then write your review that should include a recommendation of the book to an audience if it merits.
How do you conclude a book review?.
Before giving either a positive or negative recommendation of the book based on how appropriate it was for the intended audience, you should give a summary of the book i.e., condensing the entire content of the book to provide an overview what the book is all about. The author of the book should also be scrutinized in terms of qualifications, other works covered by the same author and how the author's work compares to other books on the same subject.
Example of a Book Review .
Niccolo Machiavelli wrote The Prince over five hundred years ago when Italy was transitioning through the Renaissance. The book is one of the many classical books that have found relevance in the past and are still relevant in the modern time. The book hence sparks interest on how it has remained consistent through time despite having been published years after the author died. I will look at the book reviewing it critically to unveil the reason why it has survived through time and its weaknesses.
During the date of writing the book, governance of states was entrusted to Princes who either acquired a territory or inherited from their family. Various individuals used various ways of gaining favor from the prince. One of the means was by giving the prince gifts that they found valuable. Machiavelli was one of the many individuals seeking this assistance. In his view, his experience in politics gave him immense knowledge on how to run a government. He therefore saw providing counsel to the prince as one of the most valuable things to offer the prince. He, therefore, wrote the letters which would later be published into a book after his death. Although the prince did not get to read any of the letters addressed to him by Machiavelli, The Prince has proved to be useful in running governments. Many of today’s business and political leaders are known to be using the book as a handbook that allows them to stay ahead of others when it comes to leadership.
In this book, Machiavelli gives practical advice to a new prince on how to be a successful ruler considering that Machiavelli was in government until he was imprisoned for 22 days. He writes this book to try and get the prince’s attention which would contribute in Prince giving him his old job back. Machiavelli discusses in details various governance styles that should go hand in hand with his list of principalities. Machiavelli puts his thoughts and knowledge on the involvement of the military in leadership and also various philosophical questions like whether a prince should seek love from his subject or instill fear in them. The question is whether to be feared or to be loved or should the end justify the means (Bull & Grafton, 2001, pg. 53).
Throughout the book, Machiavelli emphasizes giving the truths of every issue he discusses and focusses on the things that are and not those that could be in a hypothetical scenario. Although a series of books have been written throughout history on a similar subject, none of them has been able to survive like Machiavelli’s The Prince. The book’s survival can be attributed to its content which during the time of its publishing was considered cynical and vicious, due to some of its brutal advice. Even today, some of the this in the books cannot be implemented in most countries. One of the things which are impossible to achieve in a democratic country is like destroying the bloodline of a ruler to ensure that none of the family members will ever oppose the leader. It could, however, be seen in a country like North Korea where a bloodline may be eradicated due to a simple mistake that may be considered as disrespectful to the leader. It is believed that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un ordered the assassination of his step brother because he saw him as a threat to his leadership and that he would try to overthrow him. The country’s leadership is one in very few countries that follow some of the brutal styles of leadership (Killalea, 2017).
The fact that the book has been able to survive through time leaves us with a question of why. It could be attributed to the book having all answers a ruler could have concerning how to govern people. Some of the few questions one might ask are how a new prince who has acquired the principality by their arms and prowess succeed. Machiavelli goes ahead and answers this by stating that “a prudent leader must always follow in the footsteps of great men and try to emulate those that have been outstanding” (Bull & Grafton, 2001, pg. 19). He argues that even though he fails at being outstanding in the governance, he might have a chance of greatness in people’s view
Other questions are like how a prince might make war against his enemies. He answers this by saying that a prince should study the strengths of his enemies and use only his armies. A question on how to acquire and stay on the throne forever, Machiavelli answers by destroying the bloodline of the competitors.
Other than being able to answer all the questions on how a ruler should rule, the book has been able to stay relevant due to the severe brutalism contained in the book being not further from recent years in history and the society’s thinking. The book focuses on realism which is one of the many contemporary theories when studying international relations. The book has also been cited by several scholars when discussing realism. The survival of the book can only mean that it is timeless. A recent time in history has seen the application of the guidelines written in the book. The case in which this has been seen, is in the USSR in the 1920s. When Vladimir Lenin died, two competitors were looking to replace him; these were Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin. It was known that the Late favored Leon Trotsky since he found Joseph Stalin to be dangerously ambitious, reckless, and rude. As a result, Stalin conspired with a few communist party members against his counterpart and secured himself a position as a leader. He forced Leon Trotsky into exile in Mexico and later arranged for his assassination (Cavendish, 2015). Stalin also killed his co-conspirators and forty-nine members of the General Committee over a period of twenty years since his acquisition of the seat. He did all this to eliminate any opposition that may develop over his time in power. A similar scenario may be seen in today as Kim Jong-un of North Korea is believed to have assassinated his step brother to prevent him from opposing his leadership or trying to take over the country. The assassination happened February this year hence making the texts in the book seem to have deep roots even in today’s society (Killalea, 2017). Both of this scenarios are in line with what Machiavelli says in The Prince where he says that if a prince wants to keep a state to himself, he should acquire it and assassinate the bloodline of an opposing member to secure his position by preventing any of the opposition gains any influence.
The two case adhered to not only the assassination guide but also putting fear into anyone of the people who may wish to oppose his leadership hence keeping them at bay. They also choose ministers and allies wisely who align with their motives. A whole paragraph is specifically dedicated to explaining the need to know the strengths of an enemy and act accordingly.
Other than realism, Machiavelli has a specific way of describing virtue. He combines the concept of virtue with wealth. According to him, it is in the ability of a leader to do everything in his power to achieve success in their regime. Machiavelli praises the leaders who rose to power without the assistance of money or wealth but their intelligence. He says however, that wealth presents opportunities to use one’s “power of mind.” He believes that virtue is critical when one has an opportunity, but it might be useless to have the virtue without the opportunity. Machiavelli goes ahead in the following chapter to praise leaders who use wealth to acquire power. He, however, warns that a reign without both virtue and wealth might not survive (Bull & Grafton, 2001, pg. 19-22).
In chapter XV, Machiavelli warns leaders from always uphold the highest of moral standards whenever they are faced b a dilemma of choosing between necessity and moral virtue. “Therefore if a prince wants to maintain his rule he must be prepared not to be virtuous, and to make use of this or not according to need” (Bull & Grafton, 2001, pg. 50)
In the view of this book a ruler should know all that is viewed as wrong and identify a useful necessity for it. According to the author, vice should not be reproached, instead, a leader should use it to contribute positively to the country he leads. If a virtue were to cause harm to the ruler, then it should be given up instead. In this interpretation, he believes that all good recommendations made are good only if they have the expected outcomes for both the leader and the people he is leading.
The book also talks about the virtue of generosity and liberty to citizens of the state in Chapter XVI. In his understanding, Machiavelli interprets that using state money on lavish display is not necessary as it has detrimental effects to citizens. Machiavelli mentions several historical leaders and how generosity would have affected them if they continued. One of these leaders was Caesar. Caesar spent wealth on being generous and gaining power. His lavish spending would have drained the government had he stayed longer. Machiavelli advises leaders not to spend their money on being generous as that would affect his life and that of his citizens resulting to imposition of excess taxes to citizens. Following the guidelines would enable the leader retain his position as the leader and the citizens would not result to hating him as a result of imposing more tax on them. “Therefore it is wiser to incur the reputation of being a miser, which brings forth ignominy but not hatred, than to be forced by seeking a name for generosity to incur a reputation for rapacity, which brings you hatred as well as ignominy" (Bull & Grafton, 2001, pg. 53)
The Prince also talks about love and fear. In this letter, Machiavelli proposes that leaders should inspire fear among their followers. With this the citizens feel indifferent about his leadership. There neither love nor hate him. “He must only endeavor, as I said, to escape being hated” (Bull & Grafton, 2001, pg.56). The author describes mercy to wrongdoers as an act that only results to chaos and disorder while leaving citizens vulnerable to wrongdoers. When no mercy is shown, to the wrongdoers this inspires fear hence nobody would dare go against the wishes of the leader. Machiavelli does not advocate for cruelty, but he believes in using necessary cruelty to keep people in line.
The Prince describes an ideal ruler but at the same time does not forget about the reality hence being referred to a brutal concept. The book expresses facts that are in the society, and only people shun away from the reality. It is what makes the book unique and one of the main reason why despite being authored in 1513 the book remains relevant and very useful up to date.