In a conversation on EBR, Greg Ulmer describes what he terms as
the practical condition of the book review: the principal (and perhaps only) reader of a review is the author of the book being reviewed.
Perhaps. Certainly as an author, one reads one's reviews with interest. I'm sure the experience is quite different for novelists and other popular writers who might find their work widely reviewed. In academia though, at least in our field, book reviews are an under-appreciated genre. That is, it is sometimes difficult to find people willing to write them. As such, I was happy to find a couple reviews of my book.
- In Composition Studies (PDF) reviewed by Cheri Lemieux Spiegel
- In Hyperrhiz reviewed by Beth Weaver
Of course it is easy to be happy when the reviews are positive, as these two are. As such I am fortunate to date to have not experienced what Ulmer describe when he observers that "A common feature of the review is the impression on the author's part that s/he has been misunderstood." Instead, I am generally pleased with the readings of my book represented here. If/when I uncover future published reviews I'll add them to the list.