Types of Book Reviews

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If you are reading an important book that helps you improve as a leader, chances are that our readers might benefit from it too. Our problem is that there are so many good books that we just don’t have the capacity to keep up with all of them. We need your help. For this reason JACL is offering you an opportunity to share your book review with other Christian leaders.

What kinds of books are we interested in? In short, any appropriate book that might be of interest to Christian leaders. It may be published by a religious or secular publisher and treat a religious or nonreligious topic. It does not necessarily have to address a spiritual agenda if you can make a case why some Christian leaders should read it and show that it is based on substantial research or data. 

What does a Book Review Look Like?

Actually there may be several formats we are looking for:

Book notes – A short book note of 100-350 words capturing the main idea and showing why it is important for Christian leaders. Maybe even a graphic summary of a key idea would work. See the idea note on good leaders making bad decisions (JACL, Fall 2009).

Book reviews – A full book review that carefully introduces the reader to the purpose of the book, the author’s development of the theme, the different parts, evaluating the main ideas, noticing special features, and ending with a recommendation how the book could be used or benefit Christian leaders. Since you are also involved in an academic program this could be a great opportunity to write for publication. Normally, it should not exceed 800-1200 words. Check out Cheryl Doss’ review of Duane Elmer’s challenging book on Cross-cultural Servanthood (JACL, Fall 2009). Check out the Book Review Instructions.

Book essays – This longer review essay takes the main idea of a book and develops it into a reflective discussion addressing a key issue leaders have to grapple with. Becky De Oliveira’s review essay of Destructive Goal Pursuit on what went wrong on Mount Everest (Fall 2009) is a great example of this type of article.

Keep in mind that typically the book featured should not be older than a year (in some cases we may consider a book older than that). So, what are you reading today that should be shared with other Christian leaders? Check with the Book Review Editor (patterss@andrews.edu) about the title of your book. We might be interested to publish your review! A list of books currently available can be found here.

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