Find Book Reviews

Find Book Reviews

Note: Reviews found in the periodicals, Library Journal, Choice, Booklist, and Publishers' Weekly appear in several of the sources listed below. These reviews are often very short and may not contain as much critical evaluation as other sources.

Finding Book Reviews

This page includes selective list of resources. Many disciplines have specific indexes and publications in their respective fields, such as history or women's studies.

 A brief note on the difference between a book review and literary criticism:   

Book reviews:  Varying length.  All types of books.  Written around time of publication. Expresses reviewer's evaluation and reaction. 

Literary criticism: Literature, poetry, drama. In-depth analysis, interpretation and evaluation. Can be written years after the original work has been published.


Online Sources

  The Year of Magical Thinking Cover

Academic Search Complete  A multidisciplinary database with thousands of full-text articles. Click on "book reviews."  Good for literature, scholarly works, fiction and non-fiction.   

Migrant Daughter Coming of Age as a Mexican American Woman

Academic via Lexis Nexis (coverage varies) This database provides access to hundreds of newspapers and journals.  Good for fiction, some non-fiction.

JSTOR The Scholarly Journal Archive (coverage varies) While JSTOR is a journal archive and does not include the latest 3-5 years, it does provide excellent and thorough historical coverage.  Over 500 journal titles are provided online cover-to-cover from the first issue of publication, extending as far back as the late 19th century.  To find book reviews, use the Advanced Search screen and limit your author or title searches by clicking on the “reviews” option box. Good for scholarly works and literature. 

 New York Times Book Review (1997 or 1999 to present) The respected New York Times Book Reviews can be accessed two ways at the UCR Libraries: via the free New York Times Book review : back issues archive (1997-present). Note : this may require free registration or via the Proquest-licensed New York Times Book Review site (Jan. 3, 1999 – present).  For older book reviews, use the New York Times (Historical) via Proquest database (1851-2003). To find book reviews, use the Advanced Search screen and limit your search by “review” in the Document Type pull-down menu. The New York Times is also available in print and microfilm. Good for fiction, some non-fiction.

This title is also available in print. The current issues are in the Current Periodicals section of the Rivera Library. Older issues are on microfilm under New York Times.

New York Times Book Review Cover 

Web of Science  (1975-present) This oddly named source includes more than science; social sciences and humanities are covered too. To access book reviews, select the Cited Ref Search option from the main screen.  From the cited reference search page, enter the name of the cited author (the book author) and the cited work (book title is limited to an abbreviated 20 characters). It is important to note that only the author's last name and first and middle initials are indexed. It is best to truncate after the author's first initial using an  asterisk * .  Example:   fischer d*    Once you get results from your search, you can further limit the results to book reviews only.   Good for academic works and literature.

ArticleFirst - JRNL Indexing articles from the contents pages of over 16,000 journals (1990-present), this large database includes scholarly book reviews in a wide range of disciplines, from sociology and entomology to education and philosophy.  Good for scholarly works.  Include "book review" as keywords.

Print Sources

Book Review Digest      Rivera Ref    Z1219 B6
(1905 - present) The print version of this resource includes annual cumulations which are indexed by subject, title and author. As is the case for the online version, the majority of the reviews indexed in this publication do not originate from scholarly sources. Good for fiction, some non-fiction.


  Book Review Index Cover Book Review Index      Rivera Ref    Z1035 A1B66
(1965 - present) Indexed by author and title, the Book Review Index is an excellent source which draws from over 500 publications including popular, academic, and professional works.  Good for popular, academic, and professional works. 

Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Humanities Journals, 1802-1974    Rivera Ref  AI3 .C652
The author/title index of this multi-volume work provides access to citations of book reviews in several humanities disciplines including literature. Reviewer names are presented when available although they are not indexed. Good for literature, scholarly works.

Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Scholarly Journals, 1886-1974 Rivera Ref   Z1035.A1 C65
This multi-volume work provides access to over a million citations for book reviews from scholarly publications in history, political science and sociology. There are no reviewer names indexed in this author/title index. Good for scholarly works. 


Access to the online resources are possible from off campus. For more information, read Connect from Off-Campus.

For further assistance, Ask a Librarian or stop by the Reference Desk or call us at 827-4393.

Last modified: 12/13/2010 1:29 PM by D. Morita

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