Critical Notes

Donald Hall, Jim Crace and Rebecca Makkai

By Elizabeth Taylor

Donald Hall, whose collection “The One Day” won the NBCC Poetry award in 1988, and was a past Poet Laurate, died at his home in New Hampshire. His passing was widely noted, from the Guardian to the Washington Post.  The New England poet, was remembered by Mike Pride, Editor Emeritus of the Concord Monitor and retired Pulitzer Prize administrator, for The National Book Review, and also photographed his friend, known for his beautiful poems about the natural world, love, loss and baseball, seated in his favorite blue chair last summer.

A few lines of Hall's to remember:

     Old man remembers to old man

     How bat struck ball upon this plain

     Seventy years ago, before  

Jeff Baker recently reviewed  “Bruce Lee: A Life” by Matthew Polly for the Seattle Times and “The Comeback” by Daniel de Vise, also for the Seattle Times. 

Robert Allen Papinchak reviewed Jim Crace's “The Melody” for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Rebecca Renner reviewed Elizabeth Rush’s “Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore” for Earth Island Journal .

Marthine Satris's review of Tara Westover's memoir “Educated” was published in The Millions.

Paul Gleason, one of our inaugural class of Emerging Critics, reviewed  “The Devil's Music: How Christianity Inspired, Condemned, and Embraced Rock 'n' Roll” for The Hedgehog Review and  Thomas Piketty's “Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century” and Naomi Beck's “Hayek and the Evolution of Capitalism” for Pacific Standard.                   

Rebekah Denn  reviewed “Uncensored” by Zachary Wood for The Christian Science Monitor and interviewed Angela Garbes of “Like A Mother” for The Seattle Times  and for Seattle's Child wrote about when a child should read “A Game Of Thrones” and talked with “Galloping Gourmet” Graham Kerr about his cookbook reissue for The Washington Post.  

Past NBCC Board member Celia McGee reviewed “There There” by Tommy Orange and “Great Believers” by Rebecca Makkai for The National Book Review. 

Sarah Johnson reviewed Maria Dahvana Headley’s forthcoming “The Mere Wife” for Booklist.

Wayne Catan reviews Mark Lurie's “Galantiere: The Lost Generation's Forgotten Man” for The Hemingway Review blog. 

In other news, this summer's NBCC Reads:What's Your Favorite Book in Translation?

This summer the National Book Critics Circle will highlight favorite books in translation for the latest installment of our “NBCC Reads” blog series. We would be delighted to share your short article (500 words or less) about a favorite book, in any genre, that's been translated into English be it a new work, like Sayaka Murata’s quirky little novel, “Convenience Store Woman,” or something a bit older, such as Stefan Zweig’s evocative memoir, “The World of Yesterday.”

Please email your article to NBCC Board member Lori Feathers: We will begin posting submissions later this month and continue posts throughout the summer!

And don't forget to renew your membership, and invite your book reviewing friends to join us. Details here.


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