Critical Notes

Roundup: Elizabeth Kolbert, Roddy Doyle, Penelope Lively, Isabel Allende and this week’s hot reads

By Eric Liebetrau

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Don't forget to check out our 2013 30 Books in 30 Days.


“Winter Inspired These Authors: James Salter, Virginia Woolf, Kathryn Harrison, Stephen King, George RR Martin, Jack London.” NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari's Between the Lines column for BBC. She also talks to Isabel Allende about her controversial new thriller.

NBCC board member Steven G. Kellman reviews Rabih Alameddine's An Unnecessary Woman.

Mary Ann Gwinn reviews Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction. She also interviews the author.

Maureen Corrigan examines the great transcendentalist in her review of Michael Sims' The Adventures of Henry Thoreau.

An interview with NBCC board member David Biespiel about his new book, Charming Gardeners.

Ron Slate reviews Michael W. Jennings' Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life.

Heller McAlpin reexamines Balzac's Eugénie Grandet. For the Washington Post, she reviews Penelope Lively's Dancing Fish and Ammonites.

For the Boston Globe, Max Winter reviews James A. Levine's Bingo's Run. She also reviews Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin's The Tilted World. Winter also recently released a book of poems.

Forgiving the Angel: Four Stories for Franz Kafkaby Jay Cantor, reviewed by John Domini.

Chris Barsanti reviews the fierce hilarity and hatred of sentimental shite in Roddy Doyle's The Guts for PopMatters.

Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball, reviewed by Brooks Sterritt.

This Week's Hot Reads by Mythili Rao.

Robert Birnbaum reviews Lindsay Hill's Sea of Hooks. In his column for VQR, Birnbaum explores the work of Howard Zinn.

NBCC board member Carolyn KelloggMFA vs. NYC debates the usefulness of a creative writing degree.