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Books For Review

The business office occasionally receives unsolicited review copies of new books from publishers willing to risk a bad review for some free publicity. If you want to review one of these books for publication in Elements Magazine or Geochemical News, contact Seth Davis (seth.davis@geochemsoc.org). The office will send you the book, and you won't have to ask the publisher separately. First come, first served; once a book has been sent for review it will be removed from the available titles list.

Unless otherwise agreed in advance, book reviewers will be expected to submit their reviews within one to two months after receipt of the book (or they must return the book). Reviewers get to keep the book if their review is accepted for publication.

Links refer to the title at amazon.com.

Currently Available Titles

YearTitleFirst Author/EditorISBN
2011***Chemical Biomarkers in Aquatic EcosystemsThomas S. Bianchi978-0-691-13414-7
2011Mantle Convection for GeologistsGeoffrey F. Davies978-0-521-19800-4
2010RIMG v.72: Diffusion in Minerals and MeltsYouxue Zhang978-0-939-95086-7
2010Estimating Groundwater RechargeRichard W. Healy978-0-521-86396-4
2010Understanding Environmental PollutionMarquita K. Hill978-0-521-73669-5
2010Heat Generation and Transport in the EarthClaude Jaupart978-0-521-89488-3
2010CosmochemistryHarry Y. McSween, Jr.978-0-521-87862-3
2010RIMG v.71: Theoretical and Computational Methods in Mineral PhysicsRenata Wentzcovitch978-0-939-95085-0
2009Principles of Igneous and Metamorphic PetrologyAnthony R. Philpotts978-0-521-88006-0

**Three review copies available

Currently Out For Review

YearTitleFirst Author/EditorISBN
2010Cosmogenic NuclidesTibor J. Dunai978-0-521-87380-2
2010Heat Generation and Transport in the EarthClaude Jaupart978-0-521-89488-3

Book Review Guidelines

The central goal of a book review should be to facilitate the reader's informed judgment on whether to seek out the book for purposes of enlightenment, entertainment, or the answer to some specific question. This involves telling the reader what the book is about, which is mostly objective, and how well it accomplishes its goals, which is mostly subjective.

In addition, a book review should be short enough to invite reading, lest it fail in its mission because nobody reads it. Book reviews should be shorter than one printed page (or approximately 1200 words). For unusual cases, and only with advance permission, a book review may be up to two printed pages long.

The review should certainly convey what the book is about: What is the basic subject or, if a collection of disparate chapters, what is the unifying theme? Is it supposed to treat some topic comprehensively, like a textbook, or is it a collection of more narrowly focused chapters, or maybe an encyclopedic reference work? At what level is it pitched (professional, graduate student, undergraduate, informed public)? If it's an edited book with multiple contributing authors, who are some of the authors and what are they writing about? Are there lots of tables and figures, or not?

The reviewer's enlightened opinion is also an essential part of a book review. How well does the book achieve its goals? Is the work authoritative or provocative or thought-provoking or controversial? Is the prose style lucid or turgid? Is it up-to-date? While the emphasis should be on intellectual content, comments on quality of figures, the size of the type, frequency of typographical errors, the quality of the paper and the binding, physical dimensions, and the price are all fair game.

In terms of format and style, follow the usual guidelines for scientific papers, except that there is no need for an abstract and there should not be a need for section headings within the review. A few references are OK if necessary; there should not be any tables or figures unless there is a really compelling need for them.

The title of a book review should follow a prescribed format:

The Title of the Book in Italics by John A. Firstauthor, Sarah M. Secondauthor, .... and Charles Q. Lastauthor [or edited by John A. Firsteditor, ....]. Subtitle of the Book if it has one. Name of the Publisher, dddd [date], nnnp [number of pages], US$ xxx [price], € xxx [price], (ISBN xxx-x-xxx-xxxxx-x).

The review author's name, affiliation and address should appear as the last item of the text, even after any references.