Critical Notes

Batters Up, Wolitzer, Frazier and More

By Elizabeth Taylor


Let’s play ball. It’s Opening Day.

For his web journal Our Man in Boston, Robert Birnbaum reviews: A Season in the Sun: The Rise of Mickey Mantle by Randy Roberts & Johnny Smith, Tinker to Evers to Chance: The Chicago Cubs and the Dawn of Modern America by David Rapp, Tom Yawkey: Patriarch of the Boston Red Sox by Bill Nowlin Try Not to Suck: The Exceptional, Extraordinary Baseball Life of Joe Maddon by Bill Chastain Jesse Rogers, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary (Third Edition) by Paul Dixon.

VP/Online and Past NBCC President Jane Ciabattari notes Balakian winner Parul Seghal’s talk with Slate's Isaac Chotiner about her role as NY Times book critic and NBCC fiction award winner Junot Diaz on the legacy of his childhood trauma in The New Yorker

Past Board member Colette Bancroft reviews Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion for the Tampa Bay Tribune.

Cliff Garstang reviews Tyler McMahon's Dream of Another America for Peace Corps World Wide.

Past Board member Mark Athitakis reviews Charles Frazier’s Varina for the Minneapolis StarTribune.

New NBCC member Mandy Shunnarah reviewed Adult Gummies by K Karivalis for PANK Magazine. 

Michael Berry interviewed Richard Powers, author of The Overstory, for Sierra Magazine Online.

Jenny Bhatt reviewed Madeline Miller’s Circe for PopMatters. 

Gerald Bartell reviewed Giant: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Edna Ferber, and the Making of a Legendary American Film by Don Graham for the Washington Post.

Elizabeth Rosner reviewed Hunting the Truth: Memoirs of Beate and Serge Klarsfeld (Translated from the French by Sam Taylor) for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Alexis Burling reviewed The Recovering by Leslie Jamison for the San Francisco Chronicle. 

NBCC members note: Your reviews seed this roundup; please send items, including news about your new publications and recent honors, to With reviews, please include title of book and author, as well as name of publication. Make sure to send links that do not require a subscription or username and password.​ We love dedicated URLs. We do not love hyperlinks.

Co-Editor, The National Book Review and Literary Editor at Large, Chicago Tribune