Book reviews

  I always read technical books now as if it were writing a review as I feel I get so much more understanding and am much more likely to get through the book quickly.  This approach is used regardless of if I actually publishing a complete review.  I review a book using the following techniques:
  1. Identify what I believe I am going to learn from the book
  2. Agree on a dead-line to finish the review (or finish reading the book)
  3. Read one chapter at once, no interruptions - making notes as I go along
  4. Pause after each chapter and reflect on what I learnt - summaries notes
  5. Reflect on what I got from the whole book, the experience as well as the knowledge transfer - summaries notes
  These simple steps help me understand if I should recommend a book to others, especially when I reflect on the experience of reading the book (layout, graphics, style).  Taking notes and having a little time for reflection gives me a regular opportunity to review what I have learnt, reinforcing that learning. 

Writing a review or blog post about the book also helps cement that learning and is a good reference to share with others and to come back to at a later date for a quick refresh.

I have published book reviews on DZone and Slashdot, even writing a guide on how to publish reviews on Slashdot as it can be very fiddly.  I plan to publishing some reviews on the London Java Community Book Club site soon.

See my published book reviews...