Critical Notes

Reviews and More From NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

Members and friends, this Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. Eastern, we’ll be hosting a virtual Translators’ Roundtable event with the translators of five of the six finalists from the inaugural Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize: Jennifer Croft, Boris Dralyuk, Mara Faye Lethem, Christina MacSweeney, and Mark Polizzotti. The discussion will be moderated by Mandana Chaffa, NBCC board member and Vice President of the Barrios Prize committee. Find out more here, and register here—we hope to see you there!

Member Reviews/Essays

Keishel Williams reviewed Safiya Sinclair’s How to Say Babylonfor NPR.

Former NBCC President Laurie Hertzel reviewed Raynor Winn’s memoir, Landlines, and Martha McPhee’s memoir, Omega Farm, for The Washington Post. She also reviewed Suzanne Heywood’s memoir of living at sea, Wavewalker, for the Los Angeles Times.

Edna Bonhomme reviewed Camille T. Dungy’s Soil for The Nation.

Barbara J. King reviewed Margaret Renkl’s The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year for NPR.

Christoph Irmscher reviewed Lawrence Buell’s Henry David Thoreau: Thinking Disobediently for The Wall Street Journal.

George Yatchisin reviewed Joe Posnanski’s Why We Love Baseball: A History in 50 Moments for the California Review of Books.

Samantha Neugebauer reviewed Angie Kim’s Happiness Falls for DCTrending

Emma Kantor wrote about The Green Ray (the Jules Verne novel and the Éric Rohmer film) for The Millions.

For Kirkus Reviews, former NBCC President Tom Beer wrote about five food-related books, including Dwight Garner’s The Upstairs Delicatessen and Curtis Chin’s Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant.

Julia M. Klein reviewed Rebecca Clarren’s The Cost of Free Land for the Forward.

Melissa Holbrook Pierson reviewed Amy Kurzweil’s Artificial for Hyperallergic.

Tahneer Oksman reviewed Nora Krug’s Diaries of War: Two Visual Accounts from Ukraine and Russia for NPR.

Erik Gleibermann reviewed Reginald Dwayne Betts and Titus Kaphar’s Redaction for Gulf Coast.

Karl Wolff reviewed Birth Canal by Dias Novita Wuri for The Driftless Area Review.

Linda Hitchcock reviewed Leonie Swann’s The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharpand James R. Benn’s Proud Sorrowsfor BookTrib.

Nell Beram reviewed three books for Shelf Awareness: Big Fiction: How Conglomeration Changed the Publishing Industry and American Literature by Dan Sinykin; C’mon, Get Happy: The Making of Summer Stock by David Fantle and Tom Johnson; and The Upstairs Delicatessen: On Eating, Reading, Reading About Eating, and Eating While Reading by Dwight Garner.

Member Interviews

Grant Faulkner interviewed Maggie Smith about her creative process with her memoir, You Could Make This Place Beautiful, on the Write-minded podcast.

Julia Flynn Siler was in conversation with Matthew J. Davenport, author of The Longest Minute: The Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906, at the Commonwealth Club of California. To watch the program, please visit here. To listen to the podcast of their conversation, please visit here.

Julia M. Klein interviewed Peter Singer about Animal Liberation Now for the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Betsy Groban talked to Phoebe Sinclair for a “Story Behind the Book” feature for The Boston Globe.

Abby Frucht interviewed David Winner for the Heavy Feather Review.

Ryan Asmussen interviewed Adam Nicolson about his new book How to Be: Life Lessons From the Early Greeks for the Chicago Review of Books.

Member News

An excerpt from member Diane Josefowicz’s novel, Ready, Set, Oh (Flexible Press, 2022) was recently published at The Manifest-Station.

Amy Yee’s Far From the Rooftop of the World, which was released last week, was reviewed in The Boston Globe. The Globe said: “Readers who seek to understand the plight of our fellow humans in other parts of the world should hang on every word. Books like these are the product of truly personal and professional investment combined. I hope Yee’s contribution to the field is held up as an outstanding example of journalism done right, particularly for those who aspire to enter its corps.”

Sasha Vasilyuk’s novel about Ukraine and Nazi Germany, Your Presence is Mandatory, will be published by Bloomsbury on Apr. 23, 2024. Reviewers interested in galleys can contact Rosie Mahorter at 

Michael O’Donnell spoke as a panelist at the Library Journal Day of Dialog 2023 about his forthcoming novel Above the Fire, which will be published by Blackstone in December.