Critical Notes

Roundup: Ann Patchett, Simon Garfield, Martin Cruz Smith and lots more NBCC Reads

By Eric Liebetrau

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More NBCC Reads, all right here.

Michael Lindgren Picks Tom Wolfe; Grace Lichtenstein Picks Jennifer Egan and Isabel Wilkerson; Charles Green Picks Toni Morrison; G.F. Zaimis Picks Six Poets; Sarah Sarai Picks Louis Simpson; Leora Skolkin-Smith Picks Toni Morrison; Brenda Wineapple Picks William Gass; Paul Wilner Picks 'A Flag for Sunrise'; Christina Eng Picks Maxine Hong Kingston; David Abrams Picks Tim O'Brien; Blake Bailey Picks Hemingway's Boat; David Varno Picks White Noise; Janice Harayda Picks William Logan; Steven G. Kellman Picks Underworld or American Pastoral; David Leavitt Picks Norman Rush; Mindy Aloff Picks Edwin Denby; Brad Gooch Picks John Ashbery; Valerie Trueblood Picks Penelope Fitzgerald; Mark Athitakis Picks Richard Price's Clockers; Steve Weinberg Picks Samantha Power; Joshua Clark Picks Doctorow's Ragtime


“One of the Most Remarkable Books About the Holocaust Was Just Published.” Adam Kirsch on Slavko Goldstein’s newly translated 1941. Also, in the New York TimesKirsch and Rivka Galchen examine the continuing impact of Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem.

The Seattle Times best books of the year, curated by Mary Ann Gwinn.

NBCC board member David L. Ulin looks at the unique gift books available this holiday season. He also discusses NBCC poetry finalist Mary Ruefle's essay on the Granta website.

Natalie Bakopoulos offers an insightful essay on lazy book reviews. She also provides a review of Anita Shreve's new novel, Stella Bain.

NBCC board member Carolyn Kellogg reviews Jared Farmer's Trees in Paradise. She also examines how, “for veteran authors including Alice Munro, Theodora Getty Gaston, William Gass and James Salter, the final chapters are yet to be written.” In addition, she dives into the wacky world of Thomas Pynchon, and curates a quiz about Joan Didion.

Carmela Ciararu reviews Simon Garfield's history of and paean to letter-writing, To the Letter. She also reviews Ann Patchett's new memoir.

“Bestselling Gay Novel Turns 50.” NBCC board member Gregg Barrios explores the life and work of John Rechy.

Craig Morgan Teicher on Emily Dickinson's The Gorgeous Nothings.

Gerald Bartell reviews Martin Cruz Smith's Tatiana.

NBCC board member David Biespiel's latest Poetry Wire. He also examines the poetry of the late Nelson Mandela.

In the Globe and Mail, Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviews Ari Shavit's My Promised Land.

At the Daily BeastMythili Rao checks out this week's hot reads.

Hope Reese interviews Caryl Rivers. And Laurel Sturt. And David Thornburg.

Chelsey Philpot reviews Ann Ursu's The Real Boy. For the Boston Globe, she rounds up three recent young adult novels.

For the Washington Independent Review of BooksPatricia Schultheis reviews Ann Patchett's memoir.