Evaluation of books about facts.
Facts are the same for everyone and do not allow for different understandings. Examples include the release dates of films, the amount of money they grossed, lists of names of creators, books and so on. These facts can add something to the understanding of Bondiana, but usually, in themselves, they represent only the starting material for further reflection.
Books designed to establish and gather facts are many. Naturally, they largely overlap each other, so the possibility to compare them with each other before buying is really useful.
Reports of facts are evaluated by their completeness, accuracy and origin. The best origin is from the primary source, not from another book.
If the book claims to be an “encyclopedia,” it will be judged not only on its accuracy, but also on its completeness – or, conversely, if the encyclopedia is intended for beginners or children, or is devoted to some relatively narrow topic, the criterion is the skillful selection of the most important entries. I recognize that different people have different requirements regarding books of this kind, in relation to volumes and styles of presentation. This is why I will not only mention those books that are the most complete, but I will also discuss some that contain a little less information, but that have skillfully selected the most important, and have presented it in an easy-to-understand way.
Books devoted to the clarification of individual facts will be evaluated by how each one has accomplished its task – whether all the facts on this topic have been taken into account, collected and finally clarified.
Evaluation of books offering interpretations.
Even the story of a crew member about events on set will contain his personal opinion, which does not necessarily coincide with the opinions of other participants in the same events. For example, much is written about the relationship between producers and lead actors – but this, too, varies with different perceptions. Such information will always be of interest to Bond fans, but books with such information should be evaluated even more carefully – they are all very different, and there may be more than one point of view on what and how to choose between a large number of such books. Even more subjective are books about personal impressions, evaluations and interpretations of films and books. However, for such cases, I, as a professional, have fairly accurate criteria for an objective evaluation.
The interpretation should be justified and original. The interpretation must be conveyed in clear language. An interpretation of the highest quality establishes new connections between different parts of the myth and makes visible what was not noticed before – things that perhaps even the creators did not notice. Such interpretations allow us to re-absorb familiar books and films.
I’m a huge fan of such interpretations. And in my Guide, I want to collect information about all existing books of this sort and to highlight the merits of each as brightly as possible.
Evaluation of illustrations.
Like words, illustrations can serve as a means of communicating facts, and can also offer interpretations and deepen understanding. Accordingly, illustrations in books, or books consisting mainly of illustrations, can also be correctly evaluated according to the same criteria as books consisting primarily of text.
Like texts, illustrations can also be unique, obtained from the source and published for the first time in the book being reviewed. Alternatively, a book may be a compilation of material from pre-existing books. A compilation, by the way, can also be literate and useful, or, on the contrary, it may be secondary and uninteresting, not worth the reader’s attention and money. We will discuss all these aspects with the greatest possible accuracy.
For a good book, it is no hardship to pay almost any amount. Nevertheless, for whatever price you pay you will want to gain the maximum value. My guide will be useful in this. Among the books devoted to each topic, there are particular favourites, which I would advise reading first. Many people tend to create reading lists, shopping plans, wishlists – my Guide will be of great help with this.
The overview of each book contains the following features:
The name, author’s name and bibliographic data, helping readers to find the book in shops and libraries.
There are books with the same name on the market but published in different years, in different bindings. Such details must be specified.
A precise description of what the book is about.
The title does not always give a complete idea of the book’s subject, and publishers do not always find time to provide an exhaustive summary. In addition, the book may be devoted to several topics at once.
Evaluation of the originality and uniqueness of the book’s contents.
The content of the book, if possible, should not be a mere repetition of the contents of previously published books.
Assessment of the completeness of coverage of the topic.
The book should give an exhaustive picture of what is said in its title.
Readability and reader assessment.
The language of the book should be clear, even if the book claims to be an “academic” study. The location of text and pictures on the pages, fonts, fields – all this should help the reader to read and understand.
Is it good value for money?
Sometimes it happens that the book, although good in some ways, is too expensive and it would be better to spend this money on many other worthwhile books.
Books are often written more voluminously than the information contained in them requires. We all know books that would not be worse if they were much shorter. I will try to evaluate the book on this parameter. In addition, I will try to report enough of the content of the book to enable readers to decide if it is worth reading.