Sometime in the spring, a copy of the Montreal Review of Books arrived with the Saturday papers. I have a great weakness for these periodicals.
The Montreal Review of Books (MRB) is published by the Association of English-Language Publishers of Québec. Like the best book review periodicals, MRB is beautifully produced on high quality paper. It is esthetically very pleasing. The reviewers are authors, translators, journalists, book reviewers and Professors of English. All this means that the book reviews in MRB are well-written and very intelligent. I read Lear’s Shadow by Claire Holden Rothman after reading a review by Kimberly Bourgeois in the Summer 2018 edition of the Montreal Review of Books and found that my enjoyment and appreciation of this book very much benefitted from the review.
In this same Summer edition of MRB, there is a feature on poetry to which three separate reviewers contribute: Marcela Huerla, Tess Liem and Abby Paige. Reading their fine reviews and thinking about poetry was a reminder that we are losing the tradition of poetry and poetry reading. If you, like me, can still recite poems you memorized in childhood for reading class in grade school, learning about some of the best and most recent English poetry will remind you of how enjoyable poetry reading can be.
Some children’s books are also reviewed so you can be ready with reading for your family’s summer holidays.
I regularly read the New York Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement, but they do not cover Canadian writing. I have missed the Globe and Mail’s broadsheet book review periodical since they stopped publishing it, and the book review pages are not at all the same. The Montreal Review of Books fills the need for this type of periodical very well.