The “wow, it’s already October?!” weekend update

How can the year be only two months away from finishing? Didn’t we just get started with 2005? I’d be confused but I guess I can still blame this on the Cold That Will Not Die….

And in random movie recommendations, Serenity is pretty damn good, although I think it would have worked as well as a 2 hour special TV movie. But River Tam is one asskicking chick, that’s for sure.

Anyway, links:

NYTBR: Joyce Carol Oates goes on at serious length about a new book that promises to be the definitive account of the Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling bout; Ward Just simply gets irritated by J.M. Coetzee’s new novel; M.G. Lord finds the feminist streak in Robert Henlein’s work; and JoAnn Gutin is unconvinced by John Darnton’s way with the debut thriller.

WaPo Book World: Jonathan Yardley marvels at how Joan Didion handled her horrible year of grief and trauma; David Maine’s newest biblical-themed novel looks at the complex relationship between Cain and Abel, with mixed results; Gregory Maguire brings the whole Oz crew back for another go-round, but SON OF A WITCH suffers from sequel-itis; and Maureen Corrigan’s paean to reading gets huge approval from Brigitte Weeks.

G&M: David Munroe has written an ode to the grumpy, middle-aged man; M.T. Kelly is bowled over by Craig Davidson’s collection of brutal, crime-driven short stories; Karen Connelly’s mammoth debut about life within prison walls manages to hit all the right notes; Lori Lansens follows up her award-winning RUSH HOME ROAD with a new novel about conjoined twins; and Margaret Cannon reviews the latest in crime by Reginald Hill, Jacqueline Winspear, Gregg Hurwitz, Walter Mosley, Sandra Brown, Julie Garwood, and Ian Rankin.

Guardian Review: Tom Stoppard went to Minsk and found a ray of light in the midst of brutal tyranny; playwright Alan Bennett, a recent latecomer to prose, reveals much in his new volume of letters and in this new interview; Benjamin Marakovits compares reviewing to competitive sport; and Susan Hill wonders — almost in too much of a gee-whiz manner — why she got so many crapass submissions for her new publishing venture.

Observer: Well if anyone should write a biography of Christopher Marlowe, it ought to be Park Honan, and she does an excellent job of it; Hepzibah Anderson reviews four debuts from Christopher Coake, Kitty Fitzgerald, Glen Neath & Arnold Wesker; and Roman Polanski talks about his take on Oliver Twist, among other things, controversial or otherwise.

The Times: David Baddiel wonders why, as an author, he’s not getting groupies like he did in his comedy days; the paper is sponsoring the Cheltenham Literary Festival with all sorts of bells and whistles on display at their special website; Peter Millar reviews two disparate thrillers by Kim Stanley Robinson and Pierre Frei; Greg & Kate Mosse offer up basic tricks of the writing trade;

The Scotsman: What do Al Guthrie and Alexander McCall Smith have in common? No, it’s not the obvious thing of living in Edinburgh, but you can find out in this lengthy and awesome interview; John Mortimer turns on a faucet of charm with his latest novel, QUITE HONESTLY;and Val McDermid offers up a passionate argument in favor of Agatha Christie’s unique place in crime fiction.

The Rest:

There’s a double dose of Oline Cogdill this weekend, as she not only offers up an unqualified rave of Michael Connelly’s THE LINCOLN LAWYER, but also looks at new releases by Sean Rowe, Paul Levine and Elaine Viets.

Connelly’s standalone also leads off Dick Adler’s column for the Chicago Tribune, which also looks at new books by Morag Joss, James Sallis, Jonnie Jacobs, Chris Grabenstein, Tananarive Due, Tonino Benacquista, Ron Faust and Lea Wait.

In the SF Chronicle, Joseph Di Prisco digs for the noir glory in the stories that comprise SAN FRANCISCO NOIR. Also in the same paper, David Lazarus’s mystery column looks at the latest by Michael Connelly, Guillermo Martinez and Chris Elliot, and Carlo Wolff reviews Walter Mosley’s CINNAMON KISS.

Writing for the Weekly Standard, Jon Breen wonders why the work of Ellery Queen has fallen from public and critical grace in the last two or three decades, offering several explanations for such.

At the Denver Post, Tom and Enid Schantz return with their monthly column, looking at new stuff by Tony Broadbent and Meredith Blevins, while Robin Vidimos talks to Michael Connelly about the genesis of THE LINCOLN LAWYER.

P.D. James, who will probably be writing until her very last moment (and more power to her!) talks to the Age about her newest Dalgliesh novel, and that dreaded question: “how does she do it?”

One would have thought everything there was to say about Curtis Sittenfeld had been said when PREP was out in the US at the beginning of the year, but the Sydney Morning Herald manages to mine some new territory in their interview of the author.

The Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune talks to Daniel Wallace, author of BIG FISH and soon, a new book about a magician who has lost his magic.

You know, I probably shouldn’t link to this, but Debra Pickett’s review of GOODNIGHT NOBODY is pretty much a textbook example of how not to write a review. Let’s see: start out by listing all the thing Weiner didn’t do (that obviously, Pickett was expecting.) Then the kicker: “Since her first novel,
however, she has also seemed a bit lazy as a writer, content to churn
out a pink-covered book each year without attempting to do something
that would transcend the cliches of genre.” Uh, extrapolation, much? Frankly, when a reviewer makes a charge likes that and doesn’t bother to back it up properly, who’s being lazy?

And finally, I agree with Ed: this is brilliant. Definitely in the WTF category, but still brilliant.