Category Archives: Book Reviews

Storybook Plutocracy: Thomas Frank reviews George Packer’s ‘The Unwinding’

Thomas Frank (Harper’s, Founder of The Baffler) says this in reviewing George Packer’s National Book Award-winning book The Unwinding:

George Packer’s The Unwinding is a minor masterpiece of the social-disintegration genre—a beautifully written, clinically observed story of the slow-rolling economic transformation that has, over the last 30-odd years, made vast parts of America into a destitute wasteland while lifting a fortunate few to a kind of heaven on earth…

Public Books — Storybook Plutocracy.

Indie Booksellers Choice Award Longlist (via MobyLives)




Agaat by Marlene Van Niekerk  (Tin House)
Aliss at the Fire by Jon Fosse  (Dalkey Archive)
An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris by Geroges Perec  (Wakefield Press)
Asunder by Robert Lopez  (Dzanc)
Black Minutes by Martin Solares  (Grove/Atlantic)
Contingency Plan by David K Wheeler  (TS Poetry)
Dolly City by Orly Castel-Bloom (Dalkey)
by Eugene Marten (Tyrant Books)
Flyover State by Emma Straub  (Flatmancrooked)
Forecast by Shya Scanlon  (Flatmancrooked)
Grand Central Winter: Stories from the Street by Lee Stringer (Seven Stories Press)
Great House by Nicole Krauss (W.W. Norton)
I Just Lately Started Buying Wings by Kim Dana Kupperman (Graywolf Press)
Long, Last, Happy by Barry Hannah (Grove/Atlantic)
Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon (McPherson)
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes  (Grove/Atlantic)
Museum of the Weird by Amelia Gray (FC2)
New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (New Press)
Nox by Anne Carson (New Directions)
Orion You Came and Took All My Marbles by Kira Henehan (Milkweed Editions)
Report by Jessica Francis Kane (Graywolf)
The Autobiography of Jenny X by Lisa Dierbeck (O/R Books)
The Black History of the White House by Clarence Lusane  (City Lights)
The Debba by Avner Mandelman  (Other Press)
The French Revolution by Matt Stewart (Soft Skull Press)
The Instructions by Adam Levin (McSweeney’s)
The Jokers by Albert Cossery (NYRB)
The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall (W.W. Norton)
The Museum of Eterna’s Novel by Macedonio Fernandez (Open Letter)
The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovich  (Two Dollar Radio)
The Singer’s Gun by Emily St. John Mandel (Unbridled)
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade Books)
Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja (Small Beer Press)
Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck (New Directions)
Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead by Barbara Comyns (Dorothy)
by Nina Revoyr (Akashic)


MOBYLIVES » Indie Booksellers’ Choice Award gets new co-sponsor, announces longlist.

The Orwell Prize (Long List)



The Orwell Prize Long List has been announced…

Bingham, Tom The Rule of Law (Allen Lane)

Bullough, Oliver Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus (Penguin)

Butcher, Tim Chasing the Devil: The Search for Africa’s Fighting Spirit (Chatto & Windus)

Chang, Ha-Joon 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism (Penguin)

De Waal, Edmund The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance (Chatto & Windus)

Dunmore, Helen The Betrayal (Fig Tree)

Hall, John A. Ernest Gellner (Verso)

Hatherley, Owen A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain (Verso)

Hitchens, Christopher Hitch-22 (Atlantic Books)

Malik, Zaiba We Are a Muslim, Please (William Heinemann)

Moqadam, Afsaneh Death to the Dictator! (The Bodley Head)

Morris, Ian Why the West Rules for Now (Profile)

Mullin, Chris Decline and Fall (Profile)

O’Toole, Fintan Enough is Enough (Faber)

Richards, Steve Whatever It Takes: The Real Story of Gordon Brown and New Labour (Fourth Estate)

Spufford, Francis Red Plenty (Faber)

Thorpe, D. R. Supermac: The Life of Harold MacMillan (Chatto & Windus)

Walter, Natasha Living Dolls (Virago)

Long Lists | The Orwell Prize.

2010 National Book Critics Circle Award Winners Announced



Fiction: Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad (at The Millions, Egan’s Year in Reading, excerpt)

Nonfiction: Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (excerpt)

Autobiography: Darin Strauss, Half a Life (excerpt)

Criticism: Clare Cavanagh, Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland, and the West

Biography: Sarah Bakewell, How To Live: Or, A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer (at The Millions, excerpt)

Poetry: C. D. Wright, One with Others

via The Millions : 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award Winners Announced.

National Book Award Nominees, 2010

Here are the National Book Award Nominees, for 2010:


Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America (Alfred A. Knopf)

Jaimy Gordon, Lord of Misrule (McPherson & Co.)

Nicole Krauss, Great House (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Lionel Shriver, So Much for That
(Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)

Karen Tei Yamashita, I Hotel (Coffee House Press)

Fiction Judges: Andrei Codrescu, Samuel R. Delany, Sabina Murray,
Joanna Scott
, Carolyn See


Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
(Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group)

John W. Dower, Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq
(W.W. Norton & Co/The New Press )

Patti Smith, Just Kids (Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)

Justin Spring, Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Megan K. Stack, Every Man in This Village Is a Liar: An Education in War

Nonfiction Judges: Blake Bailey, Marjorie Garber, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Seth Lerer, Sallie Tisdale


Kathleen Graber, The Eternal City (Princeton University Press)

Terrance Hayes, Lighthead (Viking Penguin)

James Richardson, By the Numbers (Copper Canyon Press)

C.D. Wright, One with Others (Copper Canyon Press)

Monica Youn, Ignatz (Four Way Books)

Poetry Judges: Rae Armantrout, Cornelius Eady, Linda Gregerson,
Jeffrey McDaniel
, Brenda Shaughnessy

Young People’s Literature

Paolo Bacigalupi, Ship Breaker (Little, Brown & Co.)

Kathryn Erskine, Mockingbird
(Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group)

Laura McNeal, Dark Water (Alfred A. Knopf)

Walter Dean Myers, Lockdown
(Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)

Rita Williams-Garcia, One Crazy Summer
(Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)

Young People’s Literature Judges:Laban Carrick Hill, Kelly Link,
Tor Seidler
, Hope Anita Smith, Sara Zarr

For more info, see