Critical Mass, The Blog of the National Book Critics Circle

Patti Smith, Ann Patchett and more book reviews and news

by Carolyn Kellogg | Sep-30-2019

Claude Peck reviewed Patti Smith's Year of the Monkey for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Priscilla Gilman reviewed Ann Patchett's The Dutch House for the Boston Globe.

Heller McAlpin reviewed Patchett’s The Dutch House and Leslie Jamison’s Make It Scream, Make It Burn for NPR, and Emma Donoghue’s Akin for The Barnes and Noble Review.

NBCC Emerging Critic Rochelle Spencer talked to a number of writers, including Alexander Chee, about the tarot for Lithub and also reviewed Ebony Elizabeth Thomas's The Dark Fantastic for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Michael Adam Carroll reviewed two books for Ploughshares -- Ta-Nehisi Coates' The Water Dancer and The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa -- and The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi S. Laskar for The Believer.

NBCC board member Lori Feathers recommends works in translation at Words without Borders.

Zach Graham recommended books on BBC Radio 4.

Peggy Kurkowski reviewed Agrippina: The Most Extraordinary Woman of the Roman World by Emma Southon for Open Letters Review.

Hamilton Cain reviewed two books for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Eric Foner's The Sound Founding and Petina Gappah's Out of Darkness, Shining Light.

Jean Huets reviewed Inland by Téa Obreht at Ron Slate’s On the Seawall.

Lisa Peet talked to Dina Nayeri about her book The Ungrateful Refugee at Bloom.

Jennifer Solheim interviewed Amanda Goldblatt about her debut novel Hard Mouth for The Fiction Writers Review.

Kirsche Romo reviewed the essay collection Burn It Down for the Washington Independent Review of Books; Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff for The Big Thrill; and two books for BookTrib, The Tower of Songs by Casey Barrett and The Ventriloquists by E. R. Ramzipoor.

Former NBCC Emerging Critic Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers reviewed five books for Foreward Reviews: Jung Young Moon’s Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River, Hebe Uhart’s The Scent of Buenos Aires, Maya Ombasic’s Mostarghia, Ronit Matalon’s And the Bride Closed the Door and Margarita Khemlin’s Klotsvog.

David R. Altman reviewed the Robin Williams biography Robin by David Itzkoff for the Pickens County Progress.

Pam Munter reviewed George Takei's graphic memoir for all ages They Called Us Enemy for Fouth & Sycamore.

ALSO:

NBCC member Kimberly King Parsons' short story colletion Black Light was longlisted for the National Book Award for fiction.

Meg Waite Clayton's novel The Last Train to London was published Sept. 10 by HarperCollins.

Clea Simon’s 2017 “World Enough” (Severn House, 2017) was named one of 10 fiction “must reads” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book at their 18th annual book awards.

Jane Ciabattari's short story "Acqua Alta" was published in Big Other.  

Jean Huets' poetic riff on Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass was published in North American Review

Photo: Patti Smith performing at Provinssirock festival, Seinäjoki, Finland in 2007.

NBCC members: Send us your stuff! Your work may be highlighted in this roundup; please send links to new reviews, features and other literary pieces, or tell us about awards, honors or new and forthcoming books, by dropping a line to NBCCcritics@gmail.com.

Where do you read? It’s the latest from the members of the NBCC

by Carolyn Kellogg | Sep-22-2019

Where do you read: On the subway? In a park? At a table? At the Washington Post, NBCC board member Mark Athitakis asks, Where do you read? His answer: The mall. 

NBCC board member Marion Winik is pleased to welcome her new book, The Big Book of the Dead (Counterpoint), into the world on September 17. The book is also available as an audiobook read by the author. Also, Winik reviewed Margaret Atwood's The Testaments for Newsday, and interviewed Rachel Monroe about Savage Appetites for the Baltimore Fishbowl.

NBCC board member Mary Ann Gwinn reviewed Condé Nast: The Man and His Empire by Susan Ronald for Newsday.

Heller McAlpin reviewed Jacqueline Woodson's Red At The Bone for NPR Books and Rachel Cusk's Coventry, also for NPR Books.

Jake Cline reviewed Patti Smith's The Year of the Monkey for the Washington Post and wrote about Kathleen Jamie’s Surfacing and Terry Tempest Williams’ Erosion for the Atlantic.

Benjamin Woodard reviewed Wang Anyi's novel Fu Ping for Words Without Borders

Joan Frank reviewed Lara Prescott's novel The Secrets We Kept for the Washington Post.

Dean Rader reviewed Bill Berkson's A Frank O'Hara Notebook for The Rumpus.

Scott McLemee reviewed two books at Inside Higher Ed: Harold Bloom's Macbeth: A Dagger of the Mind and Lydia Pyne's Genuine Fakes: How Phony Things Teach Us About Real Stuff.

Julia M. Klein reviewed Malcolm Gladwell's Talking to Strangers for the Boston Globe and reviewed Goldie Goldbloom's On Division for the Forward.

Tobias Carroll wrote about Mark Haber's fiction at Music & Literature and shares new and notable titles at Words without Borders.

Jeremy Lybarger reviewed We Both Laughed in Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan, 1961-1991, edited by Ellis Martin and Zach Ozma, for the New Yorker.

Kevin O'Kelly reviewed Caitlin Moscatello's See Jane Win: The Inspiring Story of the Women Changing American Politics for the Christian Science Monitor.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Ann Patchett's The Dutch House for Chapter 16.

Robert Allen Papinchak reviewed Margaret Atwood 's The Testaments for the Washington Independent Review of Books, John Marrs' The Passengers for Mystery Scene Magazine and Alice Hoffman's The World That We Knew for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Also at the Washington Independent Review of Books, Ellen Prentiss Campbell reviewed Ann Patchett's The Dutch House.

Cliff Garstang reviewed Téa Obreht's Inland for the NY Review of Books

Sarah McCraw Crow reviewed Liza Palmer’s novel The Nobodies for BookPage’s September issue.

More NBCC news:

Dean Rader is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry.

Cliff Garstang's novel The Shaman of Turtle Valley was reviewed by Virginia Living.

Jan Alexander's novel Ms. Ming's Guide to Civiliazation was published this month by Regal House Publishing.

Image: Woman Reading at a Table woodblock print by Katsushika Hokusai, circa 1800. Credit: Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

NBCC members: Send us your stuff! Your work may be highlighted in this roundup; please send links to new reviews, features and other literary pieces, or tell us about awards, honors or new and forthcoming books, by dropping a line to NBCCcritics@gmail.com.

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