Critical Notes

Ron Charles, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, and Tsitsi Dangarembga

By Taylor Anhalt

Reviews & Interviews

Fran Bigman interviews former NBCC board member Laura Miller in the latest addition to the NBCC  Craft of Criticism series.

Ian P. Beacock reviewed Holly Case’s “The Age of Questions” in the LA Review of Books.

Kathleen Rooney reviewed Jose Olivarez's “Citizen Illegal” for the Chicago Tribune.

Hamilton Cain reviewed David Quammen's “The Tangled Tree” in the New York Journal of Books.

K. L. Romo reviewed “This Mournable Body”, Tsitsi Dangarembga’s tale of grief and survival, for The Washington Independent Review of Books. She also reviewed “Love Coming Home”, in which interior designer Jennifer Adams links happiness to home, for

Joe Peschel reviewed two re-issued novels by Ursula K. Le Guin: “The Eye of the Heron” and “The Beginning Place” for The Oregonian.

Jennifer Solheim interviewed Camille Bordas, author of the novel “How To Behave in a Crowd” at Third Coast Review, and with Rebecca Makkai, author of “The Great Believers” at Fiction Writers Review, where she is a Contributing Editor.

VP of Membership Anjali Enjeti reviewed Kathryn Schwille's “What Luck This Life” for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Anita Felicelli reviewed Khaled Hosseini's “Sea Prayer” for the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Washington Post’s Fiction Book Critic Ron Charles writesJames Frey has written a memoir disguised as a novel about his first novel that was disguised as a memoir. But the only thing you really need to know about “Katerina” is that it’s ridiculous, a book so heated by narcissism that you have to read it wearing oven mitts. You can watch video book review of “Katerina” here.

Lanie Tankard reviewed “A History of Silence” by Alain Corbin for her September “Eye on the Indies” column in A Woven Tale Press. 

Former NBCC board member Dan Cryer reviewed Gary Shteyngart’s “Lake Success” for the San Francisco Chronicle, as did Jeff Baker for the Seattle Times and Rebecca Foster for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Jeff Baker recently reviewed “Ohio” by Stephen Markley and “Dopesick” by Beth Macy for the Seattle Times. He also interviewed John Larison about “Whiskey When We’re Dry” for The Oregonian.

Tayla Burney reviewed the new Pelecanos from a D.C. resident's perspective and wrote about the real DCPL jail branch he highlights in the novel for DC Line.

Joan Frank reviewed Daniel Mason's “The Winter Soldier” for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Rebecca Foster chose five books on the refugee crisis for an OZY Good Sh*t list.

NBCC board member Tom Beer reviewed “Small Fry” by Lisa Brennan-Jobs for Newsday.

NBCC VP/Secretary Mary Ann Gwinn reviewed “Thomas Cromwell: A Revolutionary Life” by Diarmaid MacCullough for Booklist.

Elizabeth Block reviewed Maggie Nelson’s “Something Bright, Then Holes” for The Brooklyn Rail.

Jacob Appel reviewed “PTSD: A Short History” by Allan V. Horwitz for the New York Journal of Books.

Gerald Bartell reviewed Peter Blauner’s “Sunrise Highway” for Newsday.

Member News

NBCC member Daniel Nester published “All My Friends”, a memoir piece, at Puerto Del Sol. 

Former NBCC Emerging Critics Fellow Zack Graham’s short story “Version Control” was published in the inaugural issue of the 17th Street Review on Friday.

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.