Critical Mass, The Blog of the National Book Critics Circle

Critical Notes: Ann Patchett, Nicholson Baker, Affinity Konar, Jonathan Safran Foer, and more

by Carmela Ciuraru | Sep-18-2016

Your reviews seed this roundup. Please send items, including news about recent publications and honors, to NBCCCritics@gmail.com. (Current members only.) Please send links that do not require a subscription or a username and password.

 

Gerald Bartell reviews "The Accidental Life" by Terry McDonell for the San Francisco Chronicle.

NBCC Board Member Jane Ciabattari's latest columns for BBC Culture ("Ten Books You Should Read This September") and Lit Hub ("5 Books Making News This Week").

Steven G. Kellman reviews Affinity Konar's "Mischling" for the Dallas Morning News, and "Here I Am," by Jonathan Safran Foer, for the San Francisco Chronicle.

NBCC board president (and Newsday books editor) Tom Beer reviews Ann Patchett’s "Commonwealth" for Newsday.

"The Idea of Ancestry," the first installment of NBCC Board Member David Biespiel's "21 Poems That Shaped America" series, appeared in The Rumpus.

Michael Leong reviews Alejandro Zambra’s "Multiple Choice" (Penguin Books) and Matías Celedón’s "The Subsidiary" (Melville House) for Hyperallergic

Joe Peschel reviews "Substitute" by Nicholson Baker for the News & Observer.

Former NBCC Board Member Mark Athitakis reviews "The Nix" by Nathan Hill for the Star-Tribune.

Kerri Arsenault interviews editor Nan Talese: “Interview with a Gatekeeper” for Lit Hub.

NBCC Board Member Carmela Ciuraru reviews Imbolo Mbue, Lisa McInerney and more in her latest "Newly Released" column for the New York Times.

Former NBCC Board Member David Ulin's "Southern California, End of the Line," on Gregory Halpern’s new photo book, “Zzyzx,” appeared in the New Yorker.

Michael Magras reviews Robert Olen Butler's "Perfume River" for BookPage, and Jonathan Safran Foer's "Here I Am" for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Jeffrey Ann Goudie reviews Ann Patchett's "Commonwealth" for the Kansas City Star.

NBCC Board Member (and books editor of the Star-Tribune) Laurie Hertzel interviews Elizabeth Alexander. Hertzel's essay on how she learned to read also appeared in the Star-Tribune, as did her reviews of “Counting the Days While My Mind Disappears,” by Ben Utecht and “Tell Me Exactly What Happened,” by Caroline Burau

Reminder: Sign up for #NBCCLeonard Award Committee, Blog Series

by Admin | Aug-30-2016



Calling all voting members of the National Book Critics Circle. This fall you'll be nominating books for the fourth year of our #NBCCLeonard award for best first book in any genre, named for longtime critic and NBCC founding member and Sandrof award winner John Leonard. Unlike our other awards, the recipient of the Leonard Prize will be chosen by a direct vote of all NBCC members.

This year's new Leonard judging process is explained here.

NEW SERIES: #NBCCLEONARD PICKS BLOG POSTS
To generate more discussion this year, members can write a short blog post about a favorite 2016 debut for the NBCC blog, Critical Mass. If you're interested in contributing, please contact Online VP Jane Ciabattari (janeciab@gmail.com). We hope this will be a lively forum for getting the word out about John Leonard Prize contenders. And, as always, please share your suggestions on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #NBCCLeonard.
 
NOMINATIONS SURVEY
In November, you'll receive an email via SurveyMonkey asking you to nominate your top 5 books for the prize. We'll compile those nominations to come up with a slate of the most nominated books.
 
NEW: LEONARD READING COMMITTEE
This year, for the first time, we're inviting members to join an all-volunteer committee of Leonard readers who commit to read the entire slate of Leonard finalists (probably 5-7 books) and vote for the winner, to be announced in January. The Leonard committee is open to any NBCC member, and there is no cap on the number of members who may join it - all are welcome. We encourage you to participate actively in this important prize, which in a few short years has achieved serious recognition in the literary world.

If you're interested in joining the Leonard committee, please email board member Dan Akst (danielakst@gmail.com), who is chairing the committee,







 

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From the Critical Mass blog

Critical Notes: Ann Patchett, Nicholson Baker, Affinity Konar, Jonathan Safran Foer, and more

Your reviews seed this roundup. Please send items, including news about recent publications and honors, to NBCCCritics@gmail.com. (Current members

Reminder: Sign up for #NBCCLeonard Award Committee, Blog Series

Calling all voting members of the National Book Critics Circle. This fall you'll be nominating books for the fourth year of our #NBCCLeonard award

Critical Notes: Colson Whitehead, William Giraldi and Patient H.M.

Board member Colette Bancroft reviews Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad for the Tampa Bay Times. Mike Lindgren reviews William Giraldi’s The

Critical Notes: Jacqueline Woodson, Colson Whitehead, Jessica Valenti, and more

Newsday books editor and NBCC board president Tom Beer interviews Jacqueline Woodson about Another Brooklyn, her new novel for adults. For her weekly