National Book Critics Circle Gets It Right With Awards for Paul Beatty, Margo Jefferson, Maggie Nelson“Welcome to better living through criticism,” riffed Gregg Barrios, National Book Critics Circle board member and announcer of the the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, the second award given at last night’s NBCC Awards in New York. It wouldn’t be the last time A.O. Scott’s new book was wryly invoked. The NBCC is, after all, a body of critics. And last night, with a run of well placed nominees and deserving winners, the critics proved their worth to literary culture.