The National Book Critics Circle Award honors the finest books published in English.
A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD | JENNIFER EGAN: Music serves as the unifying theme in this uniquely formatted novel, which, structured like an album, has two parts, A and B, and many different narrators. Marriages, suicides, drugs, music, and scandals--they're all here, taking place over four decades and various geographies. ([EXCELLENT] SELECTION Sept/Oct 2010)
FREEDOM | JONATHAN FRANZEN: In the 1980s, seemingly perfect couple Patty and Walter Berglund move to a transitional neighborhood in St. Paul, Minnesota, and become the "young pioneers of Ramsey Hill." Twenty years later, their enviable family has unraveled. Freedom explores the Berglunds' growing fissures, betrayals, and miseries. ([EXCELLENT] SELECTION Nov/Dec 2010)
TO THE END OF THE LAND | DAVID GROSSMAN: One of Israel's most acclaimed writers and a noted activist, Grossman lost his son in the 2006 Lebanon War; here, he fictionalizes a woman's fear of losing her son as she reunites with his estranged father. ([EXCELLENT] SELECTION Jan/Feb 2011)
COMEDY IN A MINOR KEY | HANS KEILSON: German Jew and Holocaust survivor Hans Keilson started writing this novel during the war. It relates the plight of a Jewish man who dies while in hiding and the Dutch couple who shelter him and then must secretly dispose of his body.
SKIPPY DIES | PAUL MURRAY: Dublin's Seabrook College, an all-boys Catholic prep school, attracts the misfits of the teenage world. The novel offers perspectives on 14-year-old Skippy's strange death (and attempts to contact him) from an eccentric cast of characters as it deals with Irish history, Robert Frost's poetry, Mtheory, sex, drugs, and the perils of adolescence. ([EXCELLENT] Nov/Dec 2010)
THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS The Epic Story of America's Great Migration | ISABEL WILKERSON: Between 1915 and 1970, more than six million African Americans, fleeing Jim Crow laws, migrated from the South to the North and to California. Wilkerson offers new understanding of this migration by focusing on three people's stories--those of a Mississippi sharecropper, a Florida laborer, and a Louisiana doctor. ([EXCELLENT] SELECTION Nov/Dec 2010)
NOTHING TO ENVY Ordinary Lives in North Korea | BARBARA DEMICK: News out of North Korea is alternately terrifying and comic. Beneath the myths and grand gestures of the country are the daily...