Book Reviewing Rarities

After Esteban Vázquez mentioned Thomas Nelson’s new website for Book Review Bloggers I signed up and was accepted for membership.  They sent an email telling me that I could pick a book to review from this page but unfortunately there’s nothing I’m interested in reviewing.  That’s rarity #1. 

Also, as I mentioned yesterday, Peter Lang has just published Dan Wallace’s new book.  So I contacted Peter Lang about obtaining a review copy and unfortunately I was turned down as they are reserving all of their review copies for academic journals.  It was explained to me that this was due to their limited print runs on academic books.  So that’s rarity #2. 

Now I’ll just have to hope and pray that Thomas Nelson puts out some good books for review and that some kind soul will be generous enough to pick me up a copy of Wallace’s book at SBL. :)


14 thoughts on “Book Reviewing Rarities

  1. Why should you be surprised about Thomas Nelson? They have basically abandoned academic titles as of a few years ago. Not enough margin or market.

    As for Peter Lang, they publish on the library market system—a couple hundred copies priced for libraries. Even with the discount at SBL, it will be expensive. I wish they would change their model, as there are a few books they have that I would love to get.


  2. Justin: I’ve never heard of her and the book is listed as “Business & Culture” which lie outside my areas of interest. I prefer more academically oriented books on theology, biblical studies, and apologetics.

    James: Well, Esteban seemed to say that the Orthodox Study Bible was available for review, so I figured I’d request that. Apparently this wasn’t the case. And I wish that Peter Lang would change its publishing policy as well. I have one book from them and someone else bought it for me used at over $70! Will Eisenbrauns be carrying Wallace’s book?

  3. Yes, but we can’t discount it; we only receive a small discount ourselves. Sorry I can’t help you there! I am going to look for it at SBL, if they are even there. They were at AAR, so they might not go to SBL. I should have looked at their booth at AAR, but I was under the impression that Wallace’s book wasn’t coming out until 2009.


  4. So this is their schtick: “You will not be able to request another [book] until you have posted your review of the last book on your blog and a retail consumer website.”

    Talk about lame. They totally have this in mind as a marketing scheme. A “retail consumer website” can only mean a “review” on Amazon. How happy will they be with zero stars, since we can’t give a negative number of stars? How long will a link to one’s negative review of any of their books last on their site? I think it’s a good thing to steer clear of. What a crappy selection of books to review. What are they thinking, anyway? Sheesh.

  5. James: Wallace said that the book should be available at SBL but that doesn’t do me any good since I’m not going. :(

    Stan: I can’t imagine too many people finding something worth reading in that group.

    Kevin: Definitely a marketing scheme, but one that would be much better if they’d allow their reviewers to choose any book that they wanted. As you said, “what a crappy selection of books.” And while I understand that the OSB is pretty crappy in its own right, I figured that would be my best introduction to Orthodoxy. :lol:

  6. Ack! Ghastly! Even as a joke! The earthling concept of humor is sometimes incomprehensible! That is absolutely not your best introduction to Orthodoxy. Pick up Timothy/Kallistos Ware’s The Orthodox Church and The Orthodox Way. For more of a kick in the pants kind of read, go to Vladimir Lossky’s The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church.

    (This reminds me that I should put together an “Introduction to Orthodoxy” book list, as I’ve been planning to do for a while.)

  7. Nick,
    I am sorry you could not find anything of interest to you on the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers site. We will be frequently updating the selection of titles available. Feel free to email me if you have selections of Thomas Nelson titles you’d like to see available. I hope you will check back soon and that you find something that interests you.
    Lindsey Nobles
    Thomas Nelson, Director of Corporate Communications

  8. Kevin: I’ve read bits and pieces of Ware’s The Orthodox Way (good stuff!) and I’ve had Lossky on my ‘to read’ list for quite some time. I really need to start reading modern Orthodox authors (and not Bently Hart!).

    Lindsey: Thanks, I will keep checking to see if there’s anything that suits my interests. Luckily I have a number of books to review for other publishers so by the time I get around to it your selections will probably have changed.

  9. Eew. Yes, Nick, avoid that one, too. If you have time for writing that’s heavily in dialogue with philosophy (just meaning that it’s not light first-cup-of-the-day reading) there’s Metropolitan John Zizioulas’ Being and Communion, and Fr Andrew Louth’s Discerning the Mystery.

    Another introductory text, kind of a combination of the two Ware books I mentioned, is by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev,
    The Mystery of Faith: An Introduction to the Teaching and Spirituality of the Orthodox Church
    . I’ve only read the introductory material in this one, so far, but Bishop Hilarion is a wonderful writer.

    But Ware is the most accessible, I think. He used to be Anglican, so I think he’s quite good at explaining both sides of the divide because of it. And he’s quite the writer!

  10. Kevin: Thanks for the recommendations! Zizioulas and Louth have both been on my ‘to read’ list as well. I’ve not heard of Alfeyev but I’ll add him to the list now that I have.

  11. Sorry for bringing up an old thread, but I purchased a copy of Wallace’s Granville Sharp book. I have wanted it for a while now, and due to a massive tax refund and selling three books on amazon (for nearly 300 profit), I can now afford it!

  12. Diglot: Nice! I couldn’t bring myself to sell any of my books (although I’ve been known to give some away) but I’m glad to hear you’ve made such a nice profit. Wallace’s book is excellent. I picked up a copy last year using an Amazon gift certificate to offset the cost, plus I bought my copy from an independent seller who had it much cheaper than Amazon. I ended up paying $17 of my own cash.

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