Critical Notes

Roundup: Summer Reading, Geoff Dyer, Elizabeth McCracken, Joshua Ferris, and More

By Mark Athitakis

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Linda Leavell's biography of Marianne Moore, NBCC finalist Holding On Upside Down, has won the Plutarch Award. Jan Gardner reports.

David Haglund spoke with NPR about the use (and misuse) of the word “literally.”

Summer reading recommendations from Robert Birnbaum. And David Ulin.

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviews Nadifa Mohamed's The Orchard of Lost Souls for the Daily Beast.

Adam Kirsch reviews two new books on J.D. Salinger for Tablet.

Elizabeth McCracken's new story collection, Thunderstruck, has a “mesmerizing strangeness,” writes Heller McAlpin at NPR.

Harvey Freedenberg reviews Clive Thompson's Smarter Than You Think for Harrisburg Magazine.

Geoff Dyer is full of “flights of free association” in Another Great Day at Sea, Sebastian Stockman writes in the Boston Globe. Melissa Holbrook Pierson reviews the book for the Daily Beast.

Pierson also reviews Rivka Galchen's story collection American Innovations for the Barnes & Noble Review.

Christi Clancy reviews Emma Straub's novel The Vacationers for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Dan Cryer reviews Joshua Ferris' To Rise Again at a Decent Hour for the San Francisco Chronicle. Daniel Akst reviews the novel for Newsday.

Gerald Bartell reviews Abbie Taylor's thriller The Stranger on the Train for the Washington Post. 

Mark Athitakis reviews Stacey D'Erasmo's novel Wonderland for the Washington Post.