Critical Notes

New reviews and more from NBCC members

By Michael Schaub

Members and friends, we hope you’re doing well and staying safe! This week, our members have reviews of the latest books by Kazuo Ishiguro, Mateo Askaripour, Imbolo Mbue, Patricia Engel, Tod Goldberg, and more, and interviews with authors including Viet Thanh Nguyen, Anne Lamott, and Edward Carey. Remember to register for the virtual NBCC Awards ceremony, which will be on March 25, and as always, thanks for reading!

Member Reviews/Essays

Joan Gelfand wrote about the late Lawrence Ferlinghetti for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Heller McAlpin reviewed Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun for The Christian Science Monitor and Paulina Bren’s The Barbizon for The Wall Street Journal.

NBCC board member Chelsea Leu reviewed four debut novels (Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour, The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Masood, Abundance by Jakob Guanzon and The Scapegoat by Sara Davis) for The New York Times Book Review.

Barbara J. King reviewed Michael Moss’ Hooked: Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit our Addictions for NPR.

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviewed Imbolo Mbue’s novel How Beautiful We Were for The Boston Globe.

Allan Graubard reviewed Alyce Mahon’s The Marquis de Sade and the Avant-Garde for Leonardo.

For her Literary Hub essay series, “In Context,” which looks at the latest work of fiction by an established writer within the context of their overall body of work, NBCC board member Lori Feathers wrote about Kazuo Ishiguro and his latest novel, Klara and the Sun.

Oline H. Cogdill reviewed the short story collection The Great Filling Station Holdup, featuring a variety of authors, for the Sun Sentinel and other venues.

Anthony Domestico wrote about Richard Wollheim’s Germs, Bette Howland’s W-3, and Anahid Nersessian’s Keats’s Odes: A Lover’s Discourse in his column for Commonweal.

Jacob Cline reviewed Patricia Engel’s Infinite Country for The Washington Post.

Former NBCC President Tom Beer wrote about books for Women’s History Month, including Janice P. Nimura’s The Doctors Blackwell and Daphne A. Brooks’ Liner Notes for the Revolution.

W. Scott Olsen reviewed David P. Gilkey’s Pictures on the Radio, Jesse Lenz’s The Locusts, Jean-Francois Bouchard’s In Guns We Trust, and Tim Huynh’s film Fill the Frame for Frames magazine.

Peggy Kurkowski reviewed Margaret Coker’s The Spymaster of Baghdad for BookBrowse.

Carol Iaciofano Aucoin reviewed Ali Benjamin’s The Smash-Up for WBUR’s The ARTery.

Former NBCC board member Mark Athitakis reviewed Tod Goldberg’s story collection The Low Desert for the Los Angeles Times and Mael Renouard’s Fragments of an Infinite Memory: My Life With the Internet for On the Seawall.

Chris Barsanti reviewed Thomas Healy’s Soul City: Race, Equality, and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia for PopMatters.

Joan Gelfand reviewed Blood Memory by Gail Newman for Entropy.

Member Interviews

Former NBCC President Tom Beer interviewed Viet Thanh Nguyen about his new novel, The Committed, for Kirkus’ Fully Booked podcast.

Meredith Maran interviewed Anne Lamott for The Washington Post.

NBCC Vice President/Online Michael Schaub interviewed Edward Carey for Fine Books & Collections.

Oline H. Cogdill‘s profiles of authors Charles Finch, a member of the NBCC board, and Massachusetts author Edwin Hill are featured in the Spring 2021 (#167) issue of Mystery Scene magazine.

Member News, Etc.

Former NBCC board member Tess Taylor discussed poetry on PBS NewsHour.

W. Scott Olsen hosted podcasts with Shane Balkowitsch, Sean Tucker, Douglas Hill, Ciaran McCrickard, and Fabrizio Quagliuso for Frames magazine.

Photo of Quinto Bookshop in London by Curtis Cronn via Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.