Critical Notes

Roundup: Colson Whitehead, NPR Summer Reads, and why ‘Game of Thrones’ can’t escape Tolkien’s shadow

By Eric Liebetrau

Your reviews seed this roundup; please send items to Make sure to send links that do not require a subscription or username and password.


NPR Summer Reading Lists

NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari reviews Paul Theroux's The Great Railway BazaarCiabattari also reviews Anthony Brandt's The Man Who Ate His Boots.

Maureen Corrigan reviews Jack Finney's Time and Again.

Heller McAlpin reviews Amitav Ghosh's Sea of Poppies & John McPhee's The Survival of the Bark Canoe.

Craig Morgan Teicher reviews Gabriel Gudding's Rhode Island Notebook.


New NBCC member Jacob Siefring delivers an essayistic review of three new editions of Aimé Césaire’s poetry.

Sebastian Stockman reviews Colson Whitehead's The Noble Hustle.

NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari on why Game of Thrones cannot escape Tolkien's shadow.

Tobias Carroll navigates Geoff Dyer's “subtly weird landscapes.” Carroll also reviews John Brandon's Further Joy.

Michael Leong reviews Chris Tysh's Our Lady of the Flowers, Echoic.

At Necessary Fiction, Michelle Bailat-Jones reviews Ethel Rohan's short memoir Out of Dublin from new publisher Shebooks.

“Becoming a poet means being alert to the unforeseen, the unintentional, and the unsuspected.” NBCC board member David Biespiel's latest Poetry Wire.

At Kirkus Reviews, Gerald Bartell interviews the authors of The Zhivago Affair, Peter Finn and Petra Couvée.

Mary Mackey's seventh collection of poetry Travelers With No Ticket Home has just been published by Marsh Hawk Press.

NBCC board member Mark Athitakis reviews David Eggers' new book.

My Struggle Traces a Long Quest for Meaning in Daily Life.” NBCC board member David Ulin reviews Karl Ove Knausgaard's latest.