Critical Notes

J.C.Hallman, Don Winslow, Una LaMarche, Morris Dickstein, Helen Macdonald, and more

By Eric Liebetrau

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Did you miss the NBCC Awards this year? You can watch them on C-SPAN.


Steven G. Kellman reviews J.C. Hallman's “B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal.”

Joe Peschel also reviews Hallman's book.

“Our drug policy and its costs, scrupulously researched.” Bill Williams reviews Johann Hari's “Chasing the Scream.”

Clifford Garstang reviews Craig Bernier's “Your Life Idyllic.”

Robert Birnbaum on the work of Don Winslow. Birnbaum also explores “1001 Walks You Must Take Before You Die.”

“An offbeat mishmosh of memoir, cultural history, genealogical detective story and paranormal investigation.” Maureen Corrigan on Hannah Nordhaus' new book, “American Ghost.” Corrigan also discusses Clive James' “Poetry Notebook.”

Michelle Newby reviews “Driving the King” by Ravi Howard. Newby also reviews David Heymann's “My Beautiful City Austin,” as well as Karen Center's “Happiness for Beginners.”

Marion Winik on James Hannaham's “Delicious Foods.”

Cynthia-Marie Marmo O'Brien reviews “Signs Preceding the End of the World” by Yuri Herrera.

Harvey Freedenberg reviews Roger Rosenblatt's “The Book of Love.” Freedenberg also reviews Saul Bellow’s “There Is Simply Too Much to Think About.”

NBCC board member Colette Bancroft reviews Helen Macdonald's “H Is for Hawk.”

Meredith Maran reviews “Unabrow” by Una LaMarche.

David Cooper reviews Alexis Landau’s cinematically descriptive, character-driven debut novel,” “The Empire of the Senses.”

An interview with “Why Not Say What Happened” author, literary critic Morris Dickstein. Also, watch a video about Dickstein, produced by Tablet.

Jan Alexander reviews Jane Smiley's “Some Luck.”

Kimberly Chrisman Campbell reviews Patricia Rieff Anawalt's “Shamanic Regalia in the Far North.”

Andrew Ervin reviews “Country of Ice Cream Star” by Sandra Neman.

Carol Iaciofano analyzes Sloan Wilson's 1955 novel, “The Man in Gray Flannel Suit.”

Gregg Barrios interviews NBCC Biography winner John Lahr. Next week in Houston, Barrios will be inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters.

In her Between the Lines column (now visible in the UK), NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari picks Renata Adler, Brad Gooch, Mary Morris, Toni Morrison, Ann Packer, Tracy K. Smith and other books to read in April.

Mythili G. Rao reviews “The Upstairs Wife” by Rafia Zakaria.

“Writing Out of Turn: Female Rock Critic Tells Experts Where to Put Their Advice.” An interview with Jessica Hopper, by Kyrsten Bean.

Michael Magras reviews Máirtín Ó Cadhain's “The Dirty Dust.”

Karl Wolff reviews “All the Happiness You Deserve” by Michael Piafsky at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography.

Heather Scott Partington reviews Amelia Gray's “Gutshot.” She also reviews Debra Busman's “Like a Woman,” David Vann's “Aquarium,” and Matt Sumell's “Making Nice.”

Steven Kellman reviews “Words Without Music,” by Philip Glass.