Critical Notes

Roundup: Melissa Pritchard, John Updike, John Lewis Gaddis, and more

By Mark Athitakis

A reminder: On Saturday, January 21, the NBCC will announce the finalists for its annual awards. If you're in New York City, you can catch the announcement in person, or follow along on Twitter, where we'll be using the hashtag #nbcc.

Michael O’Donnell reviews William J. Stuntz’s The Collapse of American Criminal Justice for the Nation.

Jaya Aninda Chatterjee reviews John Updike’s posthumous essay collection Higher Gossip for the Millions.

Scott McLemee reviews Orin Starn’s The Passion of Tiger Woods: An Anthropologist Reports on Golf, Race, and Celebrity Scandal for Inside Higher Ed.

Jane Ciabattari reviews Penelope Lively’s novel How It All Began for the Boston Globe.

Jan Gardner reviews Ryan Tubridy’s  JFK in Ireland: Four Days That Changed a President for the Boston Globe.

Carolyn Kellogg reviews Melissa Pritchard’s story collection The Odditorium for the Los Angeles Times.

Jordan Michael Smith reviews John Lewis Gaddis’ biography George F. Kennan: An American Life for the American Conservative.

Your reviews and recommendations help seed these roundups: If you’re an NBCC member with a review you’d like considered for inclusion, please email You can also get our attention by using the Twitter hashtag #nbcc, posting on the wall of our Facebook page, or joining our members-only LinkedIn group.