The National Book Critics Circle Award is an annual award given by the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) to promote the finest books and reviews published in English.
The main awards fall into six categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Memoir/Autobiography, Biography, and Criticism. Awards are not given to titles that have been previously published in English, such as re-issues and paperback editions. They also do not "consider cookbooks, self help books (including inspirational literature), reference books, picture books or children's books." Titles are, however, eligible to be awarded if they are "translations, short story and essay collections, self published books, and any titles that fall under the general categories above." The NBCC membership elects a 24 person all volunteer Board of Directors to nominate and judge books for the awards and guide all day-to-day activities.
(from National Book Critics Circle Site, wikipedia.org)
National Book Critics Circle Award Winner
PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist
A New York Times Book Review Best Book
One of the Best Books of the Year:Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, The Miami Herald, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Newsday, NPR's On Point, O, the Oprah Magazine, People, Publishers Weekly, Salon, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Slate, Time, The Washington Post, and Village Voice
By the time the story reaches Oppenheimer's fateful Manhattan Project work, readers have been swept along much as the project's young physicists were by fate and enormous pressure. The authors allow the scientists to speak for themselves about their reactions to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, avoiding any sort of preacherly tone while revealing the utter, horrible ambiguity of the situation. For instance, Oppenheimer wrote in a letter to a friend, "The thing had to be done," then, "Circumstances are heavy with misgiving."
Many biographies of Oppenheimer end here, with the seeds of his later pacifism sown and the dangers of mixing science with politics clearly outlined. But Bird and Sherwin devote the second half of this hefty book to what happened to Oppenheimer after the bomb. For a short time, he was lionized as the ultimate patriot by a victorious nation, but things soured as the Cold War crept forward and anti-communist witchhunts focused paranoia and anti-Semitism onto Oppenheimer, destroying his career and disillusioning him about his life's work. Devastated by the atom bomb's legacy of fear, he became a vocal and passionate opponent of the Strangelovian madness that gripped the world because of the weapons he helped develop.
Twenty-five years of research went into creating American Prometheus, and there has never been a more honest and complete biography of this tragic scientific giant. The many great ironies of Oppenheimer's life are revealed through the careful reconstruction of a wealth of records, conversations, and ideas, leaving the clearest picture yet of his life. --Therese Littleton
Ever since children have learned to read, there has been childrens literature. Childrens Literature charts the makings of the Western literary imagination from Aesops fables to Mother Goose, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to Peter Pan, from Where the Wild Things Are to Harry Potter.
The only single-volume work to capture the rich and diverse history of childrens literature in its full panorama, this extraordinary book reveals why J. R. R. Tolkien, Dr. Seuss, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Beatrix Potter, and many others, despite their divergent styles and subject matter, have all resonated with generations of readers. Childrens Literature is an exhilarating quest across centuries, continents, and genres to discover how, and why, we first fall in love with the written word.
Lerer has accomplished something magical. Unlike the many handbooks to childrens literature that synopsize, evaluate, or otherwise guide adults in the selection of materials for children, this work presents a true critical history of the genre. . . . Scholarly, erudite, and all but exhaustive, it is also entertaining and accessible. Lerer takes his subject seriously without making it dull.Library Journal (starred review)
Lerers history reminds us of the wealth of literature written during the past 2,600 years. . . . With his vast and multidimensional knowledge of literature, he underscores the vital role it plays in forming a childs imagination. We are made, he suggests, by the books we read.San Francisco Chronicle
There are dazzling chapters on John Locke and Empire, and nonsense, and Darwin, but Lerers most interesting chapter focuses on girls fiction. . . . A brilliant series of readings.Diane Purkiss, Times Literary Supplement