Writing an academic book review

I have recently been asked to write a book review for Gender, Place and Culture. I am currently on the Editorial Board of this journal. I have written two book reviews before and consider them a useful way to a) get a publication, b) to establish my interests and expertise as a researcher and c) to learn more about emerging research in my fields of interest. There is of course the perk of getting a free copy of the book! The book I am reviewing at the moment is ‘Men, Masculinities and Methodologies‘ by Barbara Pini and Bob Pease. I am really pleased to have the opportunity to review this book because of my own interests in the power relations that occur in researching men as a woman (something I have reflected on in an article that has recently been accepted for publication here* in The Professional Geographer).

I have been given some instructions by the journal about how to write the review and what information it should include, but I have also come across this useful resource by Wendy Belcher, which outlines how to do an effective review (access it here). This recommends that the review should take about a month to complete, which is exactly how long I now have to write it.

To add to the points made in this resource, I think it is important to state who the book is relevant to i.e. students and/or researchers or both, and to what discipline(s). While this book is not directly targeted at a geography audience it is certainly relevant to geographers who conduct research in relation to men and masculinities, so this is a key point that I will make in the review. The process of active reading is also mentioned. For me, this will involve reading through the chapter, picking out key points, using pen and paper as Belcher suggests to make note of the key points and then constructing an annotated bibliography of each chapter. This is a handy resource for constructing the review and also for later reference should I need to refer to the chapters.

I best get on with it! Keep an eye on the blog for news of when it will be published!

* If you would like a copy of this article please get in touch.


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