The Catholic Review of Books is a review by Catholics for Catholics, but not only about Catholic books. We are interested in publishing in the journal and featuring on the website the reading experiences of the diverse Catholic community. We learn from each other.
If you would like to have a review considered for these two venues, please email your review to firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to introduce yourself, please include a brief description of yourself and of your commitment to the Catholic Faith: for instance, do you pray the rosary, like to read books about saints, participate in your church’s bake sales, are the Archbishop of New York?
We can’t feature every review sent in, but would like to present a wide sample of genres – children’s books, books for young readers, theology, history, romance, science fiction, Catholic classics… We appreciate all your submissions. Please refrain from language that is unsuited to family reading or is too specialized. We place a preference on reviews of new releases and especially on books that have gained popular attention and that have consequences for the lives of the Faithful, but, nevertheless, we wish to acquaint the Catholic reading community with every literary treasure out there.
Reviews can be of varying length, depending on subject matter, from 200 to over 2000 words. Please do not reproduce any work to which you do not have a legal right, according to the copyright laws of the USA and Canada. If you have any questions about this, please ask us. We reserve the right to edit any submissions we print in the journal or feature on the website for sake of the apostolic objectives of the Catholic Review of Books, for clarity and concision. We would endeavor to never misrepresent a reviewer’s intentions.
Parts of a Good Review
The type of review depends upon the book and the audience. That said, these are elements to incorporate:
- All reviews should let the reader know whether they should read the actual book or not. Did you like it? Why? Is the book just that great or is it good (or not good) for a certain kind of reader (i.e. a child, a non-specialist in the field, someone who doesn’t like suspense novels, etc.).
- What is it about? Give a brief summary, but don’t reveal major plot turns in the case of a work of fiction. If it is non-fiction, don’t go through every chapter, but describe the general subject(s) dealt with, including some interesting observations or quotes.
- Compare it to other related books, especially ones that potential readers would have themselves read.
- Most of the readers of the Review will be Catholic, so make sure you say something about that: is it edifying; challenging in a good or bad way; morally offensive; a waste of time for someone serious about their faith; a plain, pleasant, uplifting distraction; does it provide food for thought and prayer? But don’t be preachy – your readers are not dumb!