Critical Notes

Scads of book reviews and more from our members this week

By Carolyn Kellogg

NBCC board president Laurie Hertzel, senior editor for books at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, wrote her weekly column about writers' bookshelves and reviewed the essay collection, Apple, Tree, edited by Lise Funderburg.

Board member Mark Athitakis reviewed Caleb Crain's novel Overthrow for the Washington Post

Former former board member and Balakian recipient Steven G. Kellman reviewed The Weil Conjectures by Karen Olsson for the Texas Observer. and discussed translation with Open Letter publisher Chad Post

Former board member Colette Bancroft reviewed Edwidge Danticat's new short story collection, Everything Inside, at the Tampa Bay Times, where Bancroft is Book Editor.

At the Washington Post, Elizabeth Lund recommended new poetry collections by Joy Harjo, Carmen Giménez Smith, Natalie Scenters-Zapico and Tina Chang.

Gayle Feldman remembered Toni Morrison at Publishers Weekly.

Anita Felicelli reviewed Sing a Rhythm, Dance A Blues by Monique W. Morris at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Yvonne C. Garrett reviewed two novels at the Brooklyn Rail: Oval by Elvia Wilk and The Word for Woman is Wilderness by Abi Andrews.

At Inside Higher Ed, Scott McLemee reviewed Charles Pappas's One Giant Leap: Iconic and Inspiring Space Race Inventions That Shaped History and Peter Martin's The Dictionary Wars: The American Fight Over the English Language.

Diana Arterian reviewed the poetry collection A Sand Book by Ariana Reines for the NY Times.

Kamil Ahsan reviewed Olga Tokarczuk's Drive Your Plow into the Bones of the Dead for NPR Books.

Julia M. Klein reviewed Philip Caputo's Hunter's Moon for the Chicago Tribune.

Louise Rubacky reviewed Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed by Lisa Duggan for Truthdig.

Karen Schechner talked to Lawrence Weschler about his new book about his friend Oliver Sacks — And How Are You, Dr. Sacks? — at Bookforum.

Zack Graham, a former NBCC Emerging Critic, wrote about Nick Antosca's fiction for Epiphany

Tobias Carroll wrote about new novels by Sarah Gailey and Craig Davidson for Mystery Tribune; reviewed Socialist Realism by Trish Low for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune; recommended new books in translation at Words without Borders; talked to Nell Zink about her novel Doxology for Bedford + Bowery; and dipped into zine culture at News to Table.

Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers reviewed two books for Foreword Review:  Naomi Shihab Nye’s poetry collection The Tiny Journalist and Emmy Kegler's nonfiction book One Coin Found.

Bridget Quinn reviewed two books for Hyperallergic: Allison Levy’s House of Secrets: The Many Lives of a Florentine Palazzo and Jori Finkel’s book on artists and the art that inspires them, It Speaks to Me.

Chris Barsanti reviewed The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders at Rain Taxi.

Christoph Irmscher wrote about Rosamund Purcell's photo book Pole Dancing and reviewed Topographical Histories by Robert Polidori in the photo-focused site the Od Review. Irmscher, who is Daniel Aron's literary executor, wrote about the scholar at the Library of America.

Dana Wilde reviewed David Wallace-Wells's The Uninhabitable Earth for The Working Waterfront and wrote about more environmental concerns for Central Maine Newspapers.

Other member news and publications:

Charles Birns' new book The Hyperlocal in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Literary Space is out this month from Lexington Books.

Nathaniel Popkin appeared on the radio program Life is Elsewhere discussing his novel The Year of the Return

Olga Zilberbourg's book Like Water and Other Stories will be published in September by WTAW Press.

Erica Dreifus shares the reading list for a class she'll be teaching in 21st Century Jewish Literature on her website; her poetry collection Birthright will be published this fall by Kelsay Books.

Jay Rogoff's poetry collection, Loving in Truth, will be published in 2020 by Louisiana State University Press.

NBCC Board Member Gregg Barrios is profiled in San Antonio's Local Community News.

Photo: The Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, which focuses on the work of the 16th-century printers Christophe Plantin and Jan Moretus. Credit: User Simon on Flickr.

NBCC members: Send us your stuff! Your work may be highlighted in this roundup; please send links to new reviews, features and other literary pieces, or tell us about awards, honors or new and forthcoming books, by dropping a line to