Book review should present an objective critical assessment of the books revealing their merits and/or drawbacks in terms of their contribution to the relevant field of science within the range of TLC’s focus areas. Book reviews should follow the same format and style requirements as articles, the length being 1,500 to 2,000 words.
The review should introduce the reader to the book's content and focus on the subject of the book being reviewed.
Include an exposition of how the book fits into the current thinking on the subject (e.g., a novel approach, an introduction, a magisterial review, the finest book on the subject ever written, etc.).
Avoid repeating its table of contents; rather, give the reader some idea of the author's thesis and how he or she develops it.
If the book is an edited collection of essays, or chapters by different individuals, give some idea of the overall theme and content, but be free to focus on specific chapters you consider particularly significant or worthwhile.
Inform the reader about what is happening in the area of academic activity the book addresses; what the state of knowledge is in the subject; and how this new book adds, changes, or breaks new ground in our knowledge of this subject.
Tell readers why the author took many months to write the book, who the intended audience is, and how the author handles his or her material.
Convey the content of the book, not chapter by chapter so much as the entire book.
Add flavour to the review by including pungent or revealing quotations from the book or notable facts or findings.
Be specific. Give details. Try not to be too abstract or vague (e.g., avoid writing ‘interesting observations’ or ‘lots of arresting data’ unless you complement this with specific examples).
Write the review about the book and its contribution to the subject, not about the reviewer's feelings on having read the book.
Do not tell the author what book you feel he or she should have written.
The reviewer's appraisal is valuable, but this should be quite secondary.
Do not point out the author's flaws, but display in a detailed and instructive way your expertise on the subject.
Strive to make your review richly informative, even insightful.
The finest reviews are extraordinarily understanding and moderately generous (but not uncritical), and they are enlightening little essays in their own right.
There is no substitute for a careful reading of the book itself. Judgments about a book's usefulness and scholarly value based on a close reading of the text make the heart of a good review.