Critical Notes

Reviews and More From NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

Member Reviews and Essays

NBCC board member J. Howard Rosier wrote about Annie Ernaux’s Look at the Lights, My Love, for The Atlantic.

Kathleen Rooney reviewed Dorothy Tse’s Owlish, translated by Natascha Bruce,for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Rebecca Ruth Gould wrote about Forough Farrokhzad’s Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Seasonfor The Ex-Puritan.

NBCC Vice President/Events Jane Ciabattari captured the “surreal times” and literary camaraderie of the Bay Area Book Festival for Literary Hub, starring Joan Baez, Dave Eggers, Ada Limon, and NBCC President Heather Scott Partington and NBCC Emerging Critics.

Barbara J. King reviewed Planta Sapiens: The New Science of Plant Intelligence by Paco Calvo for The Washington Post.

Ron Slate reviewed Osip Mandelstam, A Biography by Ralph Dutli and Natality by Jennifer Banks for On The Seawall.

Betsy Groban wrote about Hobart Book Village, a haven for book lovers in the Catskills, for The Boston Globe.

Beth Kanell reviewed The Lock-Up by John Banville for the New York Journal of Books.

NBCC board member Lauren LeBlanc wrote about eight fiction titles for The Boston Globe‘s summer roundup.

Tiffany Troy reviewed Sandra Simond’s Triptych for the summer issue of Rain Taxi.

Jake Casella Brookins reviewed Uranians by Theodore McCombs for the Chicago Review of Books.

Brian Tanguay reviewed True West by Robert Greenfield at the California Review of Books.

Nell Beram reviewed four books for Shelf Awareness: Abbey Road: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Famous Recording Studio by David Hepworth; Death Comes to Marlow by Robert Thorogood; The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson; and On Women by Susan Sontag.

Julia M. Klein reviewed Makana Eyre’s Sing, Memory for the Forward.

Asa Drake reviewed Candace Williams’ I Am the Most Dangerous Thing for The Adroit Journal and Ina Cariño’s Feastfor On the Seawall.

Ellen Prentiss Campbell reviewed Jennifer Saint’s Atalantafor the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Thomas Powers reviewed Our Story of Eagle Woman, Sacagawea: They Got It Wrong by the Sacagawea Project Board of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation for The New York Review of Books.

Chris Barsanti reviewed Claire Dederer’s Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma for PopMatters.

At Kirkus Reviews, Eric Liebetrau recommends 10 nonfiction books to broaden your summer reading.

Benjamin Woodard reviewed Second Star by Philippe Delerm for On the Seawall.

Brendan Driscoll reviewed Jenny Erpenbeck’s Kairos for The Millions.

In The Brooklyn Rail, John Domini praised the “the Proustian detail and Ginsbergian howls” of Domenico Starnone’s novel, The House on Via Gemito, translated by Oonagh Stransky.

Member Interviews

For their Book Cougars podcast, Chris Wolak and Emily Fine spoke with Sharon Salzberg about her new book, Real Life: The Journey from Isolation to Openness and Freedom.

Betsy Groban talked to Kaija Langley about her book The Order of Things for The Boston Globe.

Tamara MC interviewed Guinevere Turner for Brevity.

Susan Shapiro wrote a profile of Phillip Lopate for Tablet.

At the Chicago Review of Books, Ian MacAllen spoke with Dr. Amy Brady about her new history book, Ice: From Mixed Drinks to Skating Rinks—A Cool History of a Hot Commodity.

NBCC Vice President/Emerging Critics Fellowship and Online Michael Schaub interviewed Henry Hoke about his queer mountain lion novel, Open Throat, for the Orange County Register.

Member News

Latinx Poetics: Essays on the Art of Poetry (UNM Press, 2022) was awarded the 2023 Gold Medal Award from IPPY. The anthology was edited by former NBCC board member Ruben Quesada. See the full list of winners here.

Michael Barron has been appointed as the new books editor at The Rumpus, taking over from fellow NBCC member Chelsea Leu. Pitch him your reviews at

Beth Kanell received First Place for her feature story on a family’s approach to regenerative agriculture, in the category of “feature story, print-based newspaper,” from the National Federation of Press Women. Also, her memoir segments on the Medium platform were recently “boosted” by the platform, in recognition of their interest, adding thousands of views to the ongoing chapters.

Julia Flynn Siler presented the nonfiction awards category at the Commonwealth Club’s 92nd annual California Book Awards.

Partner News

Our friends at the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) will hold their annual virtual Firecracker Awards ceremony on Thursday, June 22, at 6 p.m. Eastern. The Firecracker Awards for Independently Published Literature are awarded in the categories of Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Magazines/General Excellence, and Magazines/Best Debut. They’ll also be honoring the 2023 recipient of the Lord Nose Award, given in recognition of a lifetime of work in literary publishing. Find more information and RSVP here.

Photo of Dog Eared Books in San Francisco by Thomas Hawk via Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0.