From Lev Grossman, author and book critic for Time magazine, shares his confessions of a book reviewer, including this terrific insight into the job of a book reviewer:
I think of the reviewer’s role now as being more about providing context for a book, tracing its lineage in the tradition and locating it in the literary topography of the present, and all that touchy-feely sort of thing. The critics I love these days do something slightly different from what they used to: they don’t just judge, they open up that weird, intense, private dyad that forms between book and reader and let other people inside. They tell the story, the meta-story, of what happened when they opened the book and began to read the story.
Also worth reading is Grossman’s essay on literary value in the age of the Amazon and Goodreads review.