Critical Notes

New reviews and more book stories from the NBCC

By Carolyn Kellogg

A bookstore in Lima, Peru. Credit txmx 2 via Flickr. A bookstore in Lima, Peru. Credit txmx 2 via Flickr.

Addicted to reading? Join us for our NBCC Awards on March 12 in New York City, for free. Buy your tickets for the fundraising reception following the awards ceremony that night to help support book critics.

And now, for the latest member reviews and more:

Julia M. Klein reviewed Diana Wichtel’s Driving to Treblinka for the Forward.

Ron Slate reviewed Jonathan Buckley’s novel The Great Concert of the Night for On The Seawall.

Robert Allen Papinchak reviewed Philippe Lancon’s Disturbance: Surviving Charlie Hebdo for On the Seawall.

Tobias Carroll talked with Jack L. Goldsmith about his new book In Hoffa’s Shadow for InsideHook.

Eric Nguyen reviewed The Factory by Hiroko Oyamada, translated by David Boyd, for Spectrum Culture.

For Lit Hub/Book Marks, former NBCC president Jane Ciabattari  interviewed Crissy Van Meter, author of Creatures, and also talked to Cesare author Jerome Charyn.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Liz Moore’s Long Bright River for the January issue of O, the Oprah Magazine.

Caroline Tew reviewed Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey for The Harvard Crimson.

Lanie Tankard reviewed Include Me Out by María Sonia Cristoff for The Woven Tale Press.

Hélène Cardona reviewed Vacant Possession by Anne Fitzgerald in Pratik: A Magazine of Contemporary Writing.

W. Scott Olsen reviewed Echo Mask, a new photobook by Jonathan Levitt, for

James H. Scott reviewed Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and Letters from an Astrophysicist for Wellington Square Books.

Debby Bacharach reviewed Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic for Sugar House.

More member news:

Also, Debby Bacharach received a 2020 Pushcart honorable mention for poetry.

Natalie Bakopoulos’ second novel, Scorpionfish, will be published in July 2020 by Tin House.

NBCC VP of Communications Kerri Arsenault’s book Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains, coming from St. Martin’s in September, was included as one of the most anticipated books of 2020 at LitHub (where she is a contributing editor).

Rafael Castillo wrote an OpEd for the San Antonio Express-News saying 2020 will be the year of the independent author.

Clea Simon’s new mystery An Incantation of Cats is out now from Polis Books.

Matthew Jakubowski’s speculative short story, “Little Brother,“ was published by the U.K. literary magazine Lunate.

Jean Huets talked about her book With Walt Whitman, Himself, on Blue Ridge PBS’ Write around the Corner, a series featuring authors writing about, or who are from, Virginia.

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 Be sure to include the link to your work.