Critical Notes

Roundup: Follow the Reader, Dmitry Samarov, Percival Everett, more

By Mark Athitakis

Last Friday Bethanne Patrick discussed the NBCC award nominees with board member Carolyn Kellogg and Balakian awardee Ron Charles for Follow the Reader, a weekly book chat on Twitter. You can catch up on their conversation (and Follow the Reader in general) by following the hashtag #followreader.

Adam Kirsch reviews Dmitry Samarov’s Hack: Stories From a Chicago Cab at Salon.

Walton Muymba and Gregory Leon Miller discuss the works of Percival Everett at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Britt Peterson discusses the Foxfire books and their paradoxical relationship with today’s locavore and back-to-the-land movements in Slate.

Matthew Tiffany reviews Edmund White’s novel Jack Holmes & His Friend for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

David L. Ulin reviews criticism collections by John Updike and Willam H. Gass at the Los Angeles Times.

Joseph Peschel reviews Alan Lightman’s novel Mr. G for the Boston Globe.

Carmela Ciuraru reviews David Snodin’s novel Iago for USA Today.

Rayyan  Al-Shawaf reviews Jonathan Lyons’ Islam Through Western Eyes: From the Crusades to the War on Terrorism for the Boston Globe.

Tess Lewis reviews Joseph Roth: A Life in Letters, translated and edited by Michael Hofmann, for the Wall Street Journal.

Stephen Burt reviews poetry collections by Juliana Spahr, Noah Eli Gordon, Anna Moschovakis, and Kathleen Ossip for the Nation.

Phillip Manning reviews J. Peder Zane’s Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology and Social Organization for the Charlotte Observer.

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.