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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Corley

How to Review a Book

UNWOUND released on August 8, 2023 (order at Since then, people have asked how they can share it with more readers. My answer? Post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever you purchased it. Don’t know how? Here’s a 5-step guide ANYONE can follow:

1. Start with a bold, general claim. “Best book I’ve read since Breakfast,” or “I used to fear poetry, but UNWOUND took me to war and back without losing me along the way.” “Step aside Sassoon and Owen. There’s a new war poet in town.” This gives a focus to your review.

2. Identify yourself. “I’m a mom of a sailor who deployed to AFG twice,” or “I’m an OIF vet,” or “I met Corley at my college and was curious about his work.” This establishes your platform and gives other readers a way to connect with your perspective.

3. Refer to one or two poems by name. “My favorite was ‘Intelligence Report’ because it described tribal shuras so well.” Or, “I cried reading ‘The First Day’ because I couldn’t stop thinking about how my kids would miss me if I deployed.”

4. Quote a line and say why it struck you. “Unwound ends with ‘fifteen sleeping soldiers safe at your hip/ thirty silent ones awake and heavy/ around your neck.’ Made me shiver to imagine soldiers as bullets waiting to be fired and how heavy it is to carry yourself that way.”

5. End with a clear recommendation and suggest who else might like the book. “This was the first Afghan war book I’ve read that made deployment’s impact on families and marriages so real. Spouses, family members, and soldiers will appreciate Corley’s focus on their reality.”

The most important part of a review is your honest opinion. Don’t overthink it. Follow the tips above and you’ll be able to post your review in no time. And thanks!

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