Critical Notes

New reviews and more from NBCC members

By Michael Schaub

All of us on the NBCC board hope you had a great holiday, even if it wasn’t quite the same as years before. (Sure, the cookout might have had much fewer people, but at least you didn’t have to pretend to enjoy your aunt’s Day-Glo yellow potato salad that’s been sitting in the sun for two hours.) If you’re looking for a book to dive into this week, our members have you covered—we’ve got reviews of the latest from Olivia Laing, Molly Ball, Scott Turow, and Lily King. (And if you prefer something lighter, there’s a review of the new 1,104-page book from fun-loving French economist Thomas Piketty.) Keep sending us your links and news to, and as always, thanks for being a member!

Member Reviews

Robin Kaiser-Schatzlein reviewed Thomas Piketty’s 1,104-page (!) Capital and Ideology for The New Republic.

John Glassie reviewed Olivia Laing’s Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency for The Washington Post.

Anita Felicelli reviewed Deni Ellis Béchard’s A Song From Faraway for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Barbara Spindel reviewed David Rohde’s In Deep and Molly Ball’s Pelosi for The Christian Science Monitor.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Molly Ball’s Pelosi for O, the Oprah Magazine.

Julia M. Klein reviewed Maggie Doherty’s The Equivalents for The Boston Globe and Benjamin Taylor’s memoir Here We Are for The Forward.

Christoph Irmscher wrote the lead for the Summer Books issue of The Wall Street Journal, a review of Nicholas Basbanes’s biography Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Ron Slate reviewed Mireille Best’s Camille in October for On The Seawall.

Benjamin Woodard reviewed Quim Monzó’s Why, Why, Why? for the Fiction Writers Review.

Diane Scharper reviewed Jeff Madrick’s Invisible Americans, Maria Giura’s Celibate, and Charles Johnson’s Grand for the National Catholic Reporter.

Martin Gelin reviewed Michel Houellebecq’s Serotonin for the Boston Review.

Dana Wilde reviewed Lily King’s Writers & Lovers in his Off Radar column for the Central Maine Newspapers.

Peggy Kurkowski reviewed Tom Clavin’s Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride from Hell for Open Letters Review.

Michelle Newby Lancaster reviewed The Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir by Wayétu Moore for Lone Star Literary.

Karl Wolff reviewed Sarah Pinder’s Common Place for the New York Journal of Books.

Michael J. McCann reviewed Scott Turow’s The Last Trial for the New York Journal of Books.

Jim Scott reviewed The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here by Hope Aahren and Climate Change: A Very Short Introduction by Mark Maslin for the Wellington Square Bookshop website.

Member Interviews

Board member Colette Bancroft interviewed Michael Connelly about his new book, Fair Warning, for the Tampa Bay Times.

Tom Beer spoke with Daniel Mason about his new story collection, A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth, for Kirkus Reviews.

Stephen Erickson was interviewed by Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., about his “landmark book,” The Great Healing—Five Compassions That Can Save Our World, in Psychology Today.

Clifford Garstang was interviewed by Curtis Smith about his latest book, House of the Ancients and Other Stories, at Small Press Reviews.

Member News, Etc.

Susan Henderson, a lifetime member of the NBCC, has an essay in the upcoming anthology Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort During the Time of COVID-19, published by Central Avenue. All net profits will be donated to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, helping indie booksellers in need. She was also interviewed for an article about character change by Jack Smith, entitled “Change of Heart,” in the June issue of The Writer magazine.

Talya Zax wrote a profile of the friendship between Philip Roth and Russ Murdock, the longtime caretaker of Roth’s estate in Connecticut, for The Forward.

Rayyan Al-Shawaf‘s novel, When All Else Fails, was reviewed by Arab News.

Photo by Christine Spang via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0.