Geog 340 Book Review Assignment

The assignment is to read and review (written) a book that either (1) describes a place or a trip in a region, or (2) considers a 'regionalization' of North America --- placing particular emphasis on whether and how the author creates (or fails to create) a sense of place for the reader.

The review is to be approximately 1,250 words. We will spend time (as needed) on standards of academic writing, and on tools to support the academic writer.

There are many books that describe journeys and places in North America. I'd rather that you work with non-fiction travelogues. A short list of examples is below. You may review one of these, or you may prefer to find and suggest another one that interests you. In either case, before you begin, we need to have agreement on what book you are reviewing.

As background to this assignment, we will discuss in class the notion of a 'sense of place' as well as the responsibilities of a book reviewer. The short editorial piece "Canons of Reviewing" by Brian Berry (Urban Geography 1994, v15, n1 p1-3) on writing academic book reviews is a good guide to follow.

Some Examples of Books Suitable for This Assignment:

Some of these are relatively recent and some from other eras. You should always read with an awareness the writer's context. To that end, it is useful and informative to lookup the author's biography and see how the book fits into the life.

A good approach to finding other suitable books...

A good self-directed approach to finding a suitable book is via the UH Library's Hawai'i Voyager system. In the online "card" catalog, do an "Advanced" search, specifying "description and travel" in the Subject (SKEY) and a place, area, or region of interest (e.g. "Great Plains") as a Keyword Anywhere (GKEY). This is useful for finding books on a particular area (or subject) when you have a topic in mind but don't know a title or author to seek in our library.