“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” ― Christopher Hitchens
After writing the quote above, I am basically finished. I rest my case. It is my belief that any book review that is worthy of reading, simply can not be dismissed. That of course means the book review is underpinned by solid evidence. Without any evidence to support the reader’s opinion, the reviewer has wasted everybody’s time, and ultimately done the book’s author a disservice.
Without evidence, a potential reader is right in dismissing the entire book review. Christopher Hitchens is absolutely correct in his assertion. To be clear, let’s look at the following example (worthless) review:
“Loved, loved, loved this book! I couldn’t put it down. This book will make you feel inspired. It is amazing. Get a copy of this book. You won’t be disappointed.” (end of review)
OK, but you ask what if the reviewer really, genuinely loved the book, couldn’t put it down, and truly feels inspired?
All right. If that is true, would it be asking too much to have the reviewer be specific about what they loved? To quote something from the book that is inspiring?
In conclusion, my rule of thumb is simple. If there is no evidence, then I dismiss the review…
Now, before I go, I want to share my last book review. In it, we should be able to see the principle of specific, supporting evidence used appropriately in the review:
Book: Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant
Author: Marsha Roberts
God Answers Prayers: Everything Happens for A Reason
Rating: 5 Stars *****
Everything happens for a reason. This is a bit of wisdom that very few people would disagree with. In my case, this has been true. The events of my life which led me to my present circumstances were somehow playing a role in my future. How else could an African American like myself, born and raised in the USA, even begin to explain my present life in Chile, meeting my soul mate, here, at the very end of the world? Everything happens for a reason, and author Marsha Roberts has a sincere belief in this as well, which she brings out in a very skillful and inspiring writing style in this book.
What I liked most was her conviction that God answers prayers. I am talking about all forms of prayer, because life itself is a prayer. Also I mean the prayers you pray when there is no hope left, and only a miracle will do. God delivers, not only for people like Marsha and myself, but for anyone else who is willing to pray to a higher, unseen power. Let me quote the author directly:
(Quote) “I know that faith and love and joy are the keys to unlock the miracles God has already put in place for us. So, I’m determined to be full of all three of them. It’s my job.” (end of quote)
Faith, Love and Joy, what a powerful combination in any persons life! As you can tell, I leave the reading of this book inspired, encouraged, and determined, as Marsha put it so eloquently, “to be full of all three”. Please allow me to repeat myself: Faith, Love and Joy. I sincerely believe this book has a positive message that can not be denied in the world we live in today. In conclusion, if you are seeking encouragement and inspiration, this book will not disappoint you. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Thomas Jerome Baker
Author of How to Coach a Debate Team (Volume 1)