Critical Notes

Roundup: Atul Gawande, Laura Kipnis, Glenn Kurtz and how Tolkien affected 1960s counterculture

By Eric Liebetrau

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Don't forget to join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook with your favorite first books of 2014, candidates for the #NBCCLeonard award.


Anjali Enjeti reviews Desiree Zamorano's “The Amado Women” for PANK.

Former NBCC President Carlin Romano reviews Peter K.J. Park's “Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy” in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Also in the Chronicle, he offers an omnibus essay on books about revanchism and irredentism.

Sneak Peak: NBCC board member David Biespiel’s “A Long High Whistle,” Poetry Columns from the Portland Oregonian.

Ryan Teitman reviews “Dr. Mutter's Marvels” in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

For Guernica, Grace Bello interviews Dr. Atul Gawande, author of “Being Mortal,” on the arc of healthcare reform and improving end-of-life care.

Julia M. Klein reviews Glenn Kurtz's “Three Minutes in Poland” for the Chicago Tribune.

NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari's BBC Between the Lines column flashes back to the 1960s to look at Tolkien's influence on the counterculture.

In Kirkus Reviews, Megan Labrise interviews cultural critic and essayist Laura Kipnis, author of “Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation.”

“What You Missed,” from Robert Birnbaum. He also offers “The Year that Was: The Best American Annuals,” as well as his best books list.

“How Has the Social Role of Poetry Changed Since Shelley?”: Adam Kirsch and Leslie Jamison discuss.

Paul Wilner reviews “The Haight: The Photography of Jim Marshall.”

2013 Nona Balakian winner Katherine Powers offers her five best audiobooks of 2014.

NBCC board member Ron Charles says 2014 was “a good year for book lovers.”

Leonard Lopate interviews Hermione Lee, biographer of Penelope Fitzgerald, first winner from outside the US of the National Book Critics Circle award in fiction.

Longtime NBCC member Daniel Asa Rose delivers “A Parable About a Mouse at the New Yorker magazine.”

Laurie Hertzel reviews “A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka,” by Lev Golinkin.