Book Reviews – Non-Fiction

Have you ever found yourself wanting to purchase the most useful book on a particular topic? Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads all include a book review function on their sites where satisfied readers can rate and review the books they’ve read. But how to you write a short review? This week I focus on reviewing non-fiction books.

place-to-readIn order to write a review for a non-fiction book, you can follow the following formula:

  • First paragraph:

Include a brief overview of the book – what is it about, what is the aim of the book, is it highly intellectual or full of jargon, it is conversational, is the information logical and ordered. For example – from my review of ‘How to Kill Cancer Cells’:

Natalie Mitchell is a nutritionist with a background of working in cancer prevention and recovery. While aimed at cancer prevention, Mitchell says using the information within this book will help you improve your current health. This book is a practical guide in how to be proactive when it comes to cancer prevention.

  • Second paragraph:

Explain why you like the book – how and why did you find it useful? Did it change or further your ideas, can you relate to the content? For example – from my review of ‘5 Gears Diet’:

The ‘5 Gears Diet’ is not prescriptive, no diet plans are included, rather it provides the tools needed to understand our eating and our bodies, and uses this knowledge to drive our own individual weight loss. I particularly like the focus on individual responsibility – weight loss is a personal journey and Artene sets out to assist us, not set us up to fail.

  • Third paragraph:

Does it deliver what it sets out to achieve? Would you recommend it? Who else would find the book useful? For example – from my review of ‘100 Ways To Publish and Sell Your Own Ebook’:

There are a total of 100 tips included throughout the book in some detail, and then again as a quick ‘go to’ list as an appendix. This book certainly delivers what it sets out to achieve in being a “handy guide provides expert advice on every step of the process, from production to pricing right through to promotion.” I am sure that even the author working with a publisher will find much of the information here to be of use. I intend to make good use of the information in my own publishing adventures and would have no hesitation in recommending it to self-publishing authors.


Remember, reviews on Amazon only need to be 20 words short – so pick what you found most useful about a book and simply write a couple of lines – the kind of thing you would say if telling a friend about the book! The important thing is that you WRITE a review. They are incredibly helpful to and greatly appreciated by other readers.


NOTE: you can write reviews for books you haven’t purchased too – so if you borrow a book from a library, you can still write a review on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Also, if you buy your book from Barnes & Noble, you can still post a review of that book on Amazon, and vice versa.


Have a go yourself…and feel free to post a review in the comments box below.


Photo credit: Reading Chair

Follow me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *