Reviewing the Literature: How to Write Your Own Book Reports

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Have you ever noticed that various alternative media websites claiming to be about Liberty will typically have their own list of recommended readings? Unless you are going to invest in a home library, most of the rest of us are either going to have to borrow them from a local government library or acquire an ebook version of them (the latter of which, if done through back channels instead of via permission, I like to dub as “counter-economic reading”).



As you may have noticed, the Literature Review category of The Last Bastille Blog is essentially filled with little else but book reports. Just as people should study television by taking notes as they watch that idiot box, a similar cost effective method is to write summaries of the multitude of books that many alternative media outlets recommend. If you are going to potentially ruin your eyesight, you might as well have something to show for it.

An introductory paragraph containing an observation on how the book relates to the nature of the situation we are all suffering under makes it immediately relevant to your readers. Include the book’s cover if possible, so that your audience knows what it looks like so they can either avoid it or find it based on either your recommendation or their curiosity. The next few paragraphs should be dedicated to encapsulating the essence of the book as well as including the most pertinent examples used in it; this is also done as proof that you actually read the book and thus are not bullshitting anyone about having read it.

Make sure to cover first both the factual content as well as the book’s positive aspects. Later on down through the report is more appropriate for surfacing any concerns you have about it. For me, since I prefer doing the analytical think-tank and field-testing work over simply being a complaining government watchdog (most of the alternative media prefers to do the latter), I tend to point out whenever a political non-fiction book fails in attempting to solve the problem it complains ad nauseaum about. These authors laboriously spend hundreds of pages citing incident after incident tying to discover themes, and then using them to perform pattern analysis of phenomenon in order to prove the validity of the problems themselves. Of course, as I have mentioned time and again, such books are aimed at the mainline public, not political dissidents; therefore, any such recommendations are simply a waste of time and effort for people who already oppose the Establishment as a matter of principle.

Suggested readings, and even entire book lists, aimed at the clueless mainline public seem to take one of two flavors from what I noticed thus far. Either they are non-fictional exposes attempting to conclusively prove that something actually is a problem, or they are novels, where a series of interrelated scenarios are presented in order to push either a specific message or an entire worldview. As much as I don’t particularly care for predictive programming, I will admit that it’s much more effective to demonstrate a vision for the future through fictional stories rather than by examining specific real problems. People tend to respond better to hope through entertainment rather than shock through investigative exposes.

Conclude your book report by recommending what (or whom) the book is good for, if at all. If you consistently write these reviews for each book that is on a “Liberty reading list,” then you should be able to not only prove to yourself, but also to others, whether such particular books, or even entire reading lists, are worth anyone’s labor.

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