Monday, February 4, 2008


Lawrence-Kansas City area members of the National Book Critics Circle will join with a bookseller Feb. 10, 2:00 p.m., to present a panel discussion, “Recommended Winter Reading: Essentials.” The discussion will include the February NBCC Best Recommended Reading list as well as the groups own recommendations. Word-of-mouth sells books, so how do these professional readers choose books?. The panel will convene at the Lawrence Arts Center.
Panelists are Pat Kehde, former owner of the independent bookstore The Raven; and three NBCC members: John Mark Eberhart, book review page editor of the Kansas City Star; Denise Low, Kansas poet laureate and academic reviewer; and Kathleen Johnson, free-lance reviewer. The presentation is open to the public and will include a reception, where recommended books will be available for sale.
To create the recommended list, The NBCC polls its 800 members and former NBCC award finalists with the question, “What books have you read that you have truly loved? Reviewers and editors from across the country respond, and results appear on the website. The organization announces its Best Recommended Reading lists on its blog Critical Mass,
Panelists will discuss how they recommend books and what they value in their favorite books. The NBCC is made up of reviewers, bloggers, and editors of national and local publications. The group also gives highly respected annual awards in five genres.

Nominees for NBCC 2007 awards are:
Autobiography: Joshua Clark, ``Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone'' (Free Press); Edwidge Danticat, ``Brother, I'm Dying'' (Knopf); Joyce Carol Oates, ``The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates, 1973-1982'' (Ecco); Sara Paretsky, ``Writing in an Age of Silence'' (Verso); Anna Politkovskaya, ``A Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption and Death in Putin's Russia'' (Random House).
Nonfiction: Philip F. Gura, ``American Transcendentalism: A History'' (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Daniel Walker Howe, ``What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America 1815-1848'' (Oxford University Press); Harriet A. Washington, ``Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present'' (Doubleday); Tim Weiner, ``Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA'' (Doubleday); Alan Weisman, ``The World Without Us'' (Thomas Dunne Book/St. Martin's Press).
Fiction: Vikram Chandra, ``Sacred Games'' (HarperCollins); Junot Diaz, ``The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao'' (Riverhead); Hisham Matar, ``In the Country of Men'' (Dial); Joyce Carol Oates, ``The Gravedigger's Daughter'' (HarperCollins); Marianne Wiggins, ``The Shadow Catcher'' (Simon & Schuster).
Biography: Tim Jeal, ``Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer'' (Yale University Press); Hermione Lee, ``Edith Wharton'' (Knopf); Arnold Rampersad, ``Ralph Ellison'' (Knopf); John Richardson, ``A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932'' (Knopf); Claire Tomalin, ``Thomas Hardy'' (Penguin Press).
Poetry: Mary Jo Bang, ``Elegy'' (Graywolf); Matthea Harvey, ``Modern Life'' (Graywolf); Michael O'Brien, ``Sleeping and Waking'' (Flood); Tom Pickard, `` Ballad of Jamie Allan'' (Flood); Tadeusz Rozewicz, ``New Poems'' (Archipelago).
Criticism: Joan Acocella, ``Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints'' (Pantheon); Julia Alvarez, ``Once Upon a Quinceanera'' (Viking); Susan Faludi, ``The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America'' (Metropolitan); Ben Ratliff, ``Coltrane: The Story of a Sound'' (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Alex Ross, ``The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century'' (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).