Who are the Roger Eberts of book reviewers?
February 23, 2016 11:18 PM   Subscribe

Are there any book reviewers out there who have great reputations as book reviewers?

I'm looking for individual reviewers who regularly review books honestly, intelligently and clearly, for an audience who hasn't already read the books being reviewed (i.e. without giving away too much of the plot).

Any genre, and in popular or scholarly publications - I just want to read good book reviews, and hopefully be turned onto good books.

And I don't want to trawl through book reviews, even from well-regarded publications - I'd like to follow particular reviewers who have earned good reputations.
posted by paleyellowwithorange to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Michael Dirda is as Ebert-y as it gets: accessible, chatty and enjoyable to read, wide-ranging in his tastes, ridiculously well-read yet unpretentious.
posted by thetortoise at 11:48 PM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]

Rats, thetortoise beat me to it! Michael Dirda is your man.
posted by orrnyereg at 12:16 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Michiko Kakutani (NYT) has never steered me wrong.
posted by janey47 at 12:19 AM on February 24, 2016 [5 favorites]

I like Maureen Corrigan of NPR. Her book about The Great Gatsby is amazing.
posted by Brittanie at 12:37 AM on February 24, 2016

I like Laura Miller of Slate. I was really happy when she left Salon because then I didn't have to look at Salon anymore.
posted by FencingGal at 4:38 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Full disclosure -- she's on my radar because she's a friend from high school, but if she weren't and I came across her, I'd still consider her a fantastic writer: Jennifer Senior. She only recently became a book reviewer, for the NYT. Before that, she wrote tons of excellent articles for NYMag and others. You might have come across her as the author of the book All Joy and No Fun, or for her interview of Scalia from a while ago that popped back up when he died. It was a good day for book review readers when the NYT got her.
posted by daisyace at 5:07 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Margaret Cannon is a great reviewer of mystery novels who writes for Canada's Globe And Mail. Some, but not all, of her featured books are Canadian, and she highlights many authors whom I've never read (and who often turn out to be excellent). She seems to be publishing somewhat irregularly now, but I value every review of hers that I can get my hands on.
posted by Amy NM at 5:23 AM on February 24, 2016

James Wood is not as accessibly middlebrow as Ebert, but he's pretty highly regarded. Michiko Kakutani is probably the best analogy.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:31 AM on February 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

Came to recommend Michiko Kakutani. She has a reputation of being brutal but she is instead (I think) "exacting."
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 9:29 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Janet Maslin Cheever writes for the New York Times. I love reading her reviews.
posted by naturalog at 12:47 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Michael Dirda. He shows his love for books and reading in every review. He is awesome.
posted by OmieWise at 8:58 PM on February 24, 2016

You might find Danny Yee to be a good resource.
posted by neutralmojo at 9:14 AM on February 25, 2016

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