Critical Notes

Reviews and More From NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

Friends, we hope you’re having a great spring! Our members have been busy this week with reviews of books by authors including Essie Chambers, Simon Van Booy, Rufi Thorpe, Shefali Luthra, Chigozie Obioma, and more, and interviews with writers like Sara Paretsky, R.O. Kwon, Morgan Talty, and Julia Hannafin. As always, thanks for reading!

Member Reviews/Essays

DW McKinney wrote about attending a writing residency in Colorado and The Negro Motorist Green Book for Oxford American.

Former NBCC President Laurie Hertzel reviewed Ken Smith’s memoir, The Way of the Hermit, for The Washington Post and is rather astounded that it garnered almost 800 comments. Who knew that the hermit life was going to be so controversial?

Christina Nellas Acosta reviewed Helen Simonson’s The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club for Open Letters Review.

Carole V. Bell reviewed Essie Chambers’ Swift Riverfor The Washington Post and wrote 15 romance recommendations for The Boston Globe‘s Annual Summer Reading Preview.

NBCC board member David Woo wrote about seven new poetry collections to read this June, including ones by Robert Pinsky, Tayi Tibble, and Saba Keramati, for Literary Hub.

Joan Frank reviewed Simon Van Booy’s Sipsworth for The Washington Post.

NBCC Co-Vice President/Events Lauren LeBlanc reviewed Rufi Thorpe’s Margo’s Got Money Troublesfor the Los Angeles Times and contributed 13 fiction titles for The Boston Globe‘s Annual Summer Reading Preview.

Linda Hitchcock reviewed Natalie Sue’s Hope This Finds You Well for BookTrib.

Heather Hewett reviewed Shefali Luthra’s Undue Burden: Life and Death Decisions in Post-Roe America for The Washington Post.

Ellen Prentiss Campbell’s latest Girl Writing column for the Washington Independent Review of Books is a bit of a shout out to the story inspiration in neighborhood listservs.

Kevin Brown reviewed The Hive, written by Camilo José Cela and translated by James Womack, for New English Review.

Nell Beram reviewed Everyone Knows But You by Thomas E. Ricks for the Portland Press Herald.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Joseph O’Neill’s Godwin for The Boston Globe.

Tucker Coombe reviewed Alfie and Me: What Owls Know, What Humans Believe by Carl Safina and The Wise Hours: A Journey Into the Wild and Secret World of Owls by Miriam Darlington for

Hannah Joyner reviewed Write Like a Man: Jewish Masculinity and the New York Intellectuals by Ronnie Grinberg and To Be a Jew Today: A New Guide to God, Israel, and the Jewish People by Noah Feldman for Open Letters Review.

Jake Cline reviewed Chigozie Obioma’s The Road to the Country for The Washington Post.

In The Brooklyn Rail, John Domini considered the career of the late Croatian writer Dubravka Ugrešić, looking closely at her reissued essays on the Yugoslav Wars of the ’90s, The Culture of Lies.

Cory Oldweiler reviewed Gabriella Burnham’s Waitand Carrie Courogen’s Miss May Does Not Existfor The Boston Globe.

Jim Schley reviewed Carolyn Kuebler’s Liquid, Fragile, Perishable for Seven Days.

Karl Wolff reviewed Louis Vuitton: A Perfume Atlas by Lionel Pailles, for the New York Journal of Books.

Colorado Review published Nicole Yurcaba’s review of The Roof of the Whale Poems, written by Juan Calzadilla and translated by Katherine M. Hedeen and Olivia Lott.

Charles Green reviewed Kelly Vincent’s YA novel Ugly for Blueink Review.

Member Interviews

For their Book Cougars podcast, NBCC member Chris Wolak and Emily Fine spoke with Sara B. Franklin about her new biography, The Editor: How Publishing Legend Judith Jones Shaped Culture in America, and with Sara Paretsky about her latest, Pay Dirt.

Former NBCC board member Anita Felicelli wrote a profile of R.O. Kwon for Alta.

Adam M. Lowenstein interviewed Georgetown University law professor Dorothy A. Brown about her book, The Whiteness of Wealth, for his email newsletter, Reframe Your Inbox.

Former NBCC President Laurie Hertzel interviewed Leonard Drabkin about Beverly Hills Spy, his nonfiction book of a World War II spy, for Kirkus Reviews.

NBCC Co-Vice President/Events Jane Ciabattari’s Literary Hub conversation with Morgan Talty covered his first novel, Fire Exit, about a Penobscot family torn apart by lies. 

Tiffany Troy interviewed Charles Rammelkamp about See What I Mean? for Compulsive Reader and Esteban Rodríguez about Lotería for The Adroit Journal.

NBCC Vice President/Online Michael Schaub interviewed Julia Hannafin about their debut novel, Cascade, for the Orange County Register.

Member News

NBCC lifetime member Xujun Eberlein has been awarded a Mass Cultural Council Grant for Creative Individuals.

Bloomberg profiled Daniel Lefferts, whose debut novel, Ways and Means, was published in February. 

“Attack the Book! Pt. 2” by Pete Hopkins is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.