Books & Book Reviews

Researching Books
CSUB Library Catalog
Contains the CSUB Library’s collection of books, e-books, videos, and government documents. In addition, you can connect to other book catalogs. At the top of the CSUB Library Catalog page click on the tab “Other Catalogs”.

E-Book Collection (EbscoHost)
Provides the full text of electronic books.

Google Books
Includes scholarly books as well as popular and vanity (self-published) books. Because of copyright protection, Google is not allowed to provide free access to the full text of scholarly books published since 1923. Check the CSUB Library Catalog (above) to determine whether the CSUB library holds a particular title found in Google Books.

Finding Scholarly Book Reviews
Book reviews are critical assessments written by critics, literary historians, and linguists. The information provided by a book review can strengthen your research papers by indicating:

* arguments, debates and controversies related to a topic.
* key scholars associated with the topic.
* other significant works in the field.

Tip! While a book review can be a powerful tool in determining the credibility of a source, it is important to examine multiple reviews of a book. As with film reviewers, academic reviewers disagree with each other and approach content from different perspectives. Examining two or more reviews will most likely protect you from biased or poorly written critiques.

Finding Scholarly Book Reviews
Start your book review search with the following periodical databases:
Academic Search Elite/Premier
Humanities Full Text
Project Muse

Book Reviews for Classic Works
Need reviews of a classic novel around the time that it was first published? William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, which was first published in the fall of 1930, for example, generated several reviews, such as, Julia Baker’s critique in the October 1930 issue of the New Orleans Times Picyune.

Some of these older reviews can be found in JSTOR .
However, if you are unable to locate a review in JSTOR , the library has several other indexes (non-electronic) that might provide book reviews. For the location of these print indexes, ask at the Library’s reference desk.

Book Review Index, 1965-2005
Index to Reviews in the Humanities, 1960-1990
Book Review Digest, 1905-2004
Critical Heritage Series
National Library Service Book Review Index, 1905-1974
Nineteenth Century Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature, 1890-1899
Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature, 1802-1881, Supplements, 1888-1906
Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature (1890-1983)
Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900)

See also:

Pre-20th Century Criticism of British & American Literature to 1904. Volumes 4-5. (ref PR 85 M33, Located in the Library’s reference collection.)
Pre-20th Century Criticism of British & American Literature to 1904. Volumes 7-10.(ref PR 85 N39, Located in the Library’s reference collection.)

Would you like individual assistance? Contact Christy Gavin (


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