Critical Notes

Reviews and More from NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

We hope you’re having a great spring! Our members have been busy with reviews of books by authors including Victor LaValle, Claire Dederer, David Grann, Brendan Slocumb, and more. We’d also like to remind everyone that applications for the 2023-2024 Emerging Critics Fellowship are due Friday, May 5, 2023 by 11:59 PM PT. The fellowship aims to break down financial and geographical barriers for emerging critics. Click here for additional information regarding eligibility and the fellowship timeline. We look forward to reviewing your application!


For The Wall Street Journal, Heller McAlpin reviewed Claire Dederer’s Monsters.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Victor LaValle’s Lone Women for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

For the Sun Sentinel, Oline H. Cogdill reviewed Jessa Maxwell’s The Golden Spoon.

RJ Heller reviewed Margie Patlak’s More Than Meets The Eye: Exploring Nature and Loss on the Coast of Maine for Bangor Daily News.

For BookTrib, Linda Hitchcock reviewed Elly Griffiths’ The Last Remains and Marcia Bradley’s The Home for Wayward Girls.

Ann Fabian reviewed David Grann’s The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder for The National Book Review.

For Shelf Awareness, Oline H. Cogdill reviewed Thomas Mullen’s Blind Spots.

Mary Ann Gwinn reviewed David Grann’s The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Murder for the LA Times.

For the Washington Post, Erik Gleiberman reviewed Brendan Slocumb’s Symphony of Secrets.

Leland Cheuk reviewed Alejandro Varela’s story collection The People Who Report More Stress for the Boston Globe.

For Kirkus, Eric Liebetrau wrote about three new books to read for the Waco Anniversary.

Carl Hoffman reviewed David Grann’s The Wager for the Washington Post.

For the LA Times, Meredith Maran reviewed Ramona Ausubel’s The Last Animal.

Steven G. Kellman reviewed Jonathan Rosen’s The Best Minds: A Story of Friendship, Madness, and the Tragedy of Good Intentions for the Forward.


For their Across the Pond podcast, Lori Feathers and Sam Jordison talked to Catherine Lacey about her latest novel, Biography of X.

Oline H. Cogdill interviewed the five finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the mystery/thriller category.

For the Write-Minded podcast, Grant Faulkner spoke with Jinwoo Chang about his debut novel Flux.

Costa B. Pappas spoke with Cara Reese about her debut children’s book Black Artists Rock!: The Cool Kids Guide A-Z for Kirkus.

For Literary Hub, Jane Ciabattari talked to Ramona Ausubel about her book The Last Animal.

Oline H. Cogdill spoke with the Mystery Writers of America’s Special Awards honorees including the Grand Masters, Raven and Ellery Queen honorees that will be presented during the Edgar Awards. 

For InsideHook, Tobias Caroll talked to John Higgs about his Beatles and James Bond history Love and Let Die

Photo by MIKI Yoshihito via Flickr. CC BY 2.0.