The NBCC Finalists

The National Book Critics Circle Awards are probably something all book reviewers should pay attention to even if book awards aren't normally your thing. Even if your reviews don't show up regularly on the pages of the NYT book review, if you've ever written a book-rant on GoodReads or squee'd on your book blog, like it or not you are a book critic. So take a gander at what your fellow critics (you know, the ones who actually get paid for spewing forth the same subjective bullshit we do) chose as the best of the best of 2014. Awards will be presented on March 12, 2015. 

Betting pool, anyone?

Texting with Ahab

Back in November, Mallory Ortberg released Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters. You can buy this book. I need this book.

January Audio Book Club Antics

Yeah, so I'm a huge fan of Slate's Audio Book Club. It's pretty much the only book club podcast I listen to these days. The January discussion just went up the other day and it's sitting in my podcasts taunting me because I can't yet listen to it. That's right, yours truly didn't get the January book, Brilliant Friend - the first of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Trilogy Series - read in time for the Slate discussion. 

For those of you who follow this brilliant bookish podcast, you know how incredibly important it is to read the damned book before listening to Katy Waldman, David Haglund, and Parul Sehgal's amazing yet major spoiler-ish discussions. And I failed. But the Neapolitan Trilogy Series seems particularly relevant right now given that the third book, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, has turned up in the 2015 Tournament of Books.

So if you've been reading Ferrante, it might be worth your while to pop over to Slate and take a listen. Oh, and by the way, February's book will be Phil Klay's award-winning short story collection, Redeployment. Let's plan ahead this time, shall we?