Bridge over the Weekend Update

NYTBR: Marilyn Stasio expends her crime reviewing energies on new releases by Sara Gran, Luis Alfredo Garcia-Roza, Carol Goodman & Henry Kisor; Rachel Donadio talks to Malcolm Gladwell about how instinctive thinking has led to commanding up to 40K in speaking fees; Anthony Lewis takes aim at Taylor Branch’s already-epic account of the dawn of civil rights; and Dave Itzkoff is pretty certain he wouldn’t want to hang around with Stephen King anytime soon.

WaPo Book World: Getting George R.R. Martin to review the latest Stephen King was a cool idea; Taylor Branch explains how what he thought would be a three year project ended up taking 24 years; Nancy Mitford ruminates on the nature of memoir; and Dan Chaon had set himself up so high with Jay McInerney’s essay on 911 and the fiction that the author’s novel proves to be a disappointment.

G&M: At first I’d launched into a huge rant about the Books section and how utterly fugly the design is now. Ugh. But at least I’ve figured out how to access the content, which looked at first to be behind a pay firewall. So, here’s Margaret Cannon’s crime column, featuring new releases by Dana Stabenow, C.J. Sansom, Julia Kristeva, Greg Iles, Lisa Gardner and James Fontana, and Martin Levin’s take on “World’s Worst Mystery Writer” Harry Stephen Keeler, and an interview with acclaimed poet Graham “Mr. Margaret Atwood” Gibson.

Guardian Review: Jane Gardam compares and contrasts stories by men affected by war; William Sutcliffe is thoroughly impressed by the trio of writers in ONE CITY; and judging a book by its cover is important, but especially for rejacketing Penguin Classics.

Observer: Harper Lee emerges from the woodwork to talk about high school essays; Robert McCrum gets excited about the newest Mark Twain biography; and Osama Bin Laden, blurb whore? That’s what Stephanie Merritt imagines….

The Times: John Irving pays tribute to Kurt Vonnegut; Belle de Jour somehow got the task of reviewing the latest autobiography from inexplicable fave Jordan; the paper celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Everyman Library; Peter Millar enjoys the work of the latest Scandinavian crime star, Jan Costin Wagner; Jeannette Winterson wishes that only books that are *really* books would be published;

The Scotsman: Rodge Glass talks about writing Alasdair Gray’s biography — with the author’s blessing; Kate Grenville explains why Australia’s unsavory history led her to tackle her current novel; Mavis Cheek talks to Susan Mansfield about her latest, YESTERDAY’S THRONES; and Richard Benson reveals what’s on his nightstand table.
The Rest**:

After taking a week’s leave, Oline Cogdill returns with her favorable take on Linda Fairstein’s latest thriller, DEATH DANCE.

Dick Adler’s latest column for the Chicago Tribune reviews the latest by Stuart Kaminsky, Charles Todd, Twist Phelan, Sharon Short and Benjamin Appel.

David Lazarus revives his crime column for the SF Chronicle, looking at new books by Richard Hawke, Raymond Khoury and Lisa Gardner.

James Sallis explains why he’s into what Hard Case Crime is reissuing, especially Donald Hamilton’s NIGHT WALKER.

Val McDermid is just about to start promoting her latest crime novel, THE GRAVE TATTOO, and talks to the Cumbria News & Star about why she decided to base it around the exploits of Fletcher Christian and Captain Bligh of MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY fame.

David Harsent, who recently won a lucrative poetry prize and pens thrillers under various pen names, talks to the Richmond & Twickenham Times about straddling the poetry/prose divide.

Janet Evanovich has been profiled lots (and will be so again) but it’s cool to unearth one from the place where she attended high school, South River, NJ.

R.D. Zimmerman had written various mystery novels before switching genres — and his name, to Robert Alexander — to get more critical and commercial success. He talks to the Minnesota Daily about his newest book, RASPUTIN’S DAUGHTER.

Frank McCourt has found his way to Australia to promote his latest memoir, TEACHER MAN, and speaks to the Melbourne Age’s Jason Steger about it.

Jay McInerney felt it was a good idea to wait a while to tackle 911, but not too long, as he explains to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Regis Behe.

When noted forensic anthropologist Bill Bass teamed up with journalist Jon Jefferson, they penned a non-fiction account of Tennessee’s noted “Body Farm” institute before trying their hand at a novelized version. The Mesa (AZ) College Times interviews both about their foray into fiction (which, unfortunately, doesn’t work, if massive exposition in the first 10 pages is any indication…)

And finally, Betty Friedan will, and should, be missed by millions.