New NY Times book editors share book criticism favorites

In an article titled “Times Critics Discuss 2021 in Books, From Breakout Stars to Cover Blurbs,” new critics Molly Young and Alexandra Jacobs were asked if they had any all-time favorite books of criticism that they would recommend people “delve into over the holidays.”

Jacobs replied, “John Updike’s Hugging the Shore and Odd Jobs are the bookends of my Updike Shelf (about which, another time). Here was someone who didn’t have to review or consider his contemporaries or predecessors, and yet industriously, prolifically did. What generosity.”

When Young weighed in with “Martin Amis’s collection The War Against Cliché. His flow is insane,” Jacobs said, “Wait, I meant to say that! Well, Amis has written about Updike and Updike about Martin’s father, Kingsley, so maybe this is a male literary turducken . . . .”

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