Critical Notes

Roundup: The Best-Of Lists Begin, Jonathan Raban, Oscar Hijuelos, and more

By Mark Athitakis

And the lists begin: Publishers Weekly has published its choices for the best books of 2011.

Kerri Arsenault is writing a new column for Bookslut called “Locus Pocus,” about books and place. Her first entry is on Jonathan Raban’s essay collection Driving Home.

George De Stefano reviews Oscar Hijuelos’ memoir Thoughts Without Cigarettes for the New York Journal of Books.

Julia M. Klein interviews Michael Lewis about his new book, Boomerang, for

Ron Charles discusses the “controversy” over Shakespeare’s authorship and the new film Anonymous in the Washington Post.

Maureen Corrigan considers two new books addressing the life and work of film critic Pauline Kael at

Jaya Aninda Chatterjee reviews Claire Tomalin’s biography Charles Dickens: A Life for Open Letters Monthly.

Jane Ciabattari reviews Ha Jin’s novel Nanjing Requiem for the Boston Globe.

David Haglund considers whether David Halberstam’s The Breaks of the Game is the best book written about the NBA at Slate.

David Biespiel praises the work of Nobel Prize-winning poet Tomas Transtromer in the Oregonian.

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