Critical Notes

New reviews and more from NBCC members

By Michael Schaub

Members and friends, we hope you had a great November, and that you’re stockpiling books to read when winter comes! Our members have some suggestions for you—they’ve been reviewing books by authors including Rebecca Solnit, Jay Caspian Kang, John Connolly, Ann Patchett, and more, and interviewing writers like Carl Bernstein, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, and Eyal Weizman. Please stay safe and stay warm, and as always, thanks for reading!

Member Reviews/Essays

NBCC Emerging Critic Fellow Rishi Reddi reviewed Rebecca Solnit’s Orwell’s Roses for Alta.

Rhoda Feng reviewed Jay Caspian Kang’s The Loneliest Americans for The Brooklyn Rail and Daniel Sherell’s Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World for The Hedgehog Review, and wrote a review essay on working class artists for The Smart Set.

Carole V. Bell and NBCC Vice President/Online Michael Schaub were among the contributors to this year’s NPR Books We Love feature (formerly known as the Book Concierge). This year’s edition of Books We Love is dedicated to Petra Mayer, the NPR Books editor who passed away on Nov. 13.

Charles Green reviewed L.B. Robbins’ The Consultant in Sea Isle City for Blueink Review.

Former NBCC board member Steven G. Kellman reviewed Kevin Birmingham’s The Sinner and the Saint: Dostoevsky and the Gentleman Murderer Who Inspired a Masterpiece for the Los Angeles Times.

Ben Yagoda reviewed three books about the Boston Celtics for The Wall Street Journal.

Carlos Lozada, a winner of the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing and the Pulitzer Prize, reviewed Elizabeth Samet’s Looking for the Good War for The New Yorker.

Judy Reveal reviewed The Nameless Ones by John Connolly for the New York Journal of Books.

Dana Wilde reviewed First Franco: Albert Beliveau in Law, Politics, and Love by Douglas Rooks and At War with Government: How Conservatives Weaponized Distrust from Goldwater to Trump by Amy Fried and Douglas B. Harris in his Off Radar column for the Central Maine Newspapers.

W. Scott Olsen reviewed Changing Moods: Sixty Years in Black and White by John Alexander Dersham and Cruise Night by Kristin Bedford for Frames magazine. He also wrote a Bookmark column about exploring in bookstores for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Linda Hitchcock reviewed Ann Patchett’s These Precious Days for BookTrib.

Member Interviews

Erik Gleibermann interviewed Maurice Carlos Ruffin about his short story collection The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You for The Rumpus.

Rhoda Feng interviewed Eyal Weizman for BOMB.

For Frames magazine, W. Scott Olsen interviewed Mark Indig for the podcast series, as well as Mark Segal.

Elaine Szewczyk profiled legendary Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein for Publishers Weekly.

Member News

Marjoleine Kars was a co-winner of the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, administered by Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History in New York City for the best book on slavery/aboltion/emancipation in any time period. Marjoleine won for her book Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast.  

Kathleen Rooney’s poem “Birthday” was published in The Atlantic.

Jessie Sobey’s first book of poetry, green girl, was published by Nine Mile Books.

Partner News

Our friends and partners at Rain Taxi are hosting a virtual event featuring Ann Patchett in conversation with Kate DiCamillo on Thursday, Dec. 2, at 5:30 p.m. Central. You can find more information, and a link to register, here.

Photo by StephhxBby via Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0.