Book reviews describe and analyze the contents of a book, and often make a recommendation about whether or not to read or purchase the book. Reviews vary in length from single paragraphs to full-length essays (remember writing book reports in middle school?).
Reviews of nonfiction books analyze the topics and/or arguments of the book. Reviewers judge the effectiveness of the authors' support for their arguments and assertions. An author should have some form of authority - they should have a credible reason for writing on the subject. Thus, a book review should cover the authors' credentials. Typically, book reviews compare the book to similar books on the subject. Pay attention to what reviewers consider to be important omissions and any potential biases.
Literary criticism is the term given to studies that define, classify, analyze, interpret, and evaluate works of literature. There are many types of literary criticism:
Literary criticism may examine a particular literary work or it may look at an author's writings as a whole.