Critical Notes

Labor Day literary links from the NBCC

By Carolyn Kellogg

Welcome to the latest news from the Nationa Book Critics Circle! We've got reviews and more for your holiday weekend.

Elaine Szewczyk talked to humorist John Hodgman for Publishers Weekly about his upcoming memoir Medallion Status.

Danielle Trussoni recommended new horror, including Paul Tremblay's Growing Things, at the New York Times.

Jeffrey Ann Goudie reviewed the March Sisters essay collection at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Eric Nguyen reviewed On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong for diaCRITICS.

Jeannine Hall Gailey reviewed Lee Ann Roripaugh's poetry collection Tsunami vs the Fukushima 50 in The Rumpus.

Allen Adam reviewed three books at The Maine Edge: The Warehouse by Rob Hart, The Warlow Experience by Alix Nathan and Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe? by Brock Clarke.

New member Jonathan Marks reviewed Anthony Kronman’s The Assault on American Excellence for the Washington Examiner.

Michael J. McCann reviewed Louise Penny's new crime novel A Better Man for the New York Journal of Books.

At Fourth & Sycamore, the blog of Ohio's Greenville Public Library, Pam Munter reviewed Becoming Dr. Seuss by Brian Jay Jones.

NBCC board member Katherine A. Powers recommended a suite of audiobooks at the Washington Post.

Former NBCC board president Tom Beer wrote about Toni Morrison for Kirkus Reviews, where he is editor-in-chief.

Former NBCC board president Jane Cibatarri listed 10 books to read in September for the BBC and spoke with Rawi Hage, author of Beirut Hellfire Society, at LitHub/BookMarks.

Tim Riley reviewed Will Birch's Nick Lowe biography Cruel To Be Kind at the LA Review of Books and…

In more member news…

Riley also updated his rock index at his website.

Richard Z. Santos has been announced as one of three judges for the Kirkus Prize in nonfiction. Finalists will be announced in mid-September, and the winner will be announced in Austin, Texas on October 24th. 

Erika Dreifus's Q&A with author R.L. Maizes (We Love Anderson Cooper), which originally appeared in The Practicing Writer newsletter, is now available on her website. 

Susan Henderson, a lifetime Member of the NBCC, appeared on Yellowstone Public Radio's Resounds to discuss her novel The Flicker of Old Dreams.

Mary Mackey's poetry collection The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams has been reviewed by PANK Magazine, The Tulsa Book Review, Dr. J. Reads and Femspec Journal, which also has reviewed her novels The Kindness of Strangers and Season of Shadows.

Photo: John Hodgman with “Medallion Status” at BookExpo 2019. Credit: Rhododendrites via Wikimedia Commons.

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