Reviews describe and evaluate books shortly after their publication. This guide identifies a variety of freely available and subscription resources for locating both current and historical book reviews online.
Elizabeth Brown, Reference Librarian, Researcher & Reference Services Division
Created: January 31, 2020
Last Updated: May 13, 2020
Most researchers find book reviews using online tools.. Some resources include full-text reviews, while others provide citations that lead to publications that contain the reviews. The lists below link to some free resources and to databases selected from those available to researchers in Library of Congress reading rooms. The databases generally reference reviews by professional reviewers or subject experts; the free sources are by a mix of professionals and amateur reviewers. For more resources, use the Library of Congress E-Resources Online Catalog to locate databases that concentrate on specific subject areas, including art, business, education, music, religion, science, and many others.
Before you start your search you should know the title and author; the date of publication will sometimes also be required. Some databases offer a search option to limit search results to book reviews. Where not present, adding a keyword search that includes the phrase "book review" should help. Reviews of popular books are typically published close to their publication dates; find them via book-related websites and indexes that cover general interest periodicals. Reviews of scholarly books may take months to appear in scholarly journals.
This guide concentrates on sources for general book reviews available at the Library of Congress. Other libraries provide access to many of the same resources.