I struggled my way through my first critical book review today. Despite knowing that this was meant to be a critical evaluation of the book from the perspective of an archivist, my brain kept heading back to “book report.” It was difficult to stay in the mindset of a criticism of another author’s work, and how that work related to my chosen field. Despite the struggle, I think the final document ended up well, and I hope I do well on it grade wise. Perhaps the biggest part of my difficulty was that the instructor asked specific questions to be used in the evaluation of the book, however several of them didn’t apply to this book due to the way it was written. I know what some of you are thinking, but the book was actually picked from a list of options that she provided on the syllabus, so it’s not my fault. All in all, I think I did O.K. I guess I’ll find out when I get my grade.
For those interested in the book I was evaluating, it was The Passport: The History of Man’s Most Traveled Document by Martin Lloyd. If anyone is interested in the history of the passport, it was an engaging book about the evolution of the document, and how it has developed over time. I recommend it. If you’re interested, I may post the review here on my blog at some point. I don’t want to post it just yet, as it hasn’t been graded yet, and because I don’t want there to be any concern with plagiarism issues. Not that I plagiarized anyone when writing the document you understand, but I’d hate to have to prove to my instructor that my blog is really my blog and not someone else’s. So for now at least, you don’t get to read my review. Look for it later, when the instructor has had a chance to grade it.