Critical Linking for January 19th, 2016


Today, we follow up with 45 nonfiction titles coming out in the next six months, ranging from a new biography of the late Leonard Nimoy by his Star Trek crewmate William Shatner to a book-length essay on art, modernity, and the city by Olivia Laing to a pair of new studies looking at the legacy of the 1960s-era War on Poverty. Along the way, we profile hotly anticipated titles by Jhumpa Lahiri, Annie Dillard, Tama Janowitz, Thomas Piketty, Roxane Gay, and many more. Set aside some space on those bookshelves, Millions readers. This is looking to be a very, very good year for nonfiction.

I’m turning into a mostly non-fiction reader these days, so I greet this list of The Most Anticipated Nonfiction Books of 2016 list with excitement and dread. So much to read.


Among the other finalists announced Monday afternoon are “Fates and Furies,” Lauren Groff’s novel about a deceptive marriage; “SPQR,” Mary Beard’s history of Rome; and “H Is for Hawk,” Helen Macdonald’s memoir.

The National Book Critics Circle Award finalists have been announced.


Group human resource director Neil Morrison said he made the decision following increasing evidence that there was no simple correlation between having a degree and ongoing performance in work. PRH’s “brightest talents” come from a variety of different backgrounds, not just from the top universities, Morrison added.

This is a good move by PRH UK (and a rather resounding indictment of university education?)


That In Cold Blood has literary merit is not in doubt – 50 years on, it is a surprisingly tense, sinewy and unsettling read – but what makes it unforgettable is the way it captures the spooky, unspoken contract between the observer and the observed.

It holds up, but not for the reasons it was popular way back when.

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