The out of towners Weekend Update

First: new column, featuring reviews of the latest by David Liss, Jenny White, Robert Eversz, Kjell Eriksson and Paula Woods.

Second: I love the Phillips Collection. And the new exhibit on Toulouse-Latrec, Sickert and Degas is excellent (though I was a bit disturbed that Patricia Cornwell’s PORTRAIT OF A KILLER is available in the museum shop…)

Finally: This place is just abso-freaking-lutely phenomenal. Where else can the guy in front of you be looking at declassified JFK files and the guy to your left pore through declassified OSS files as you read through your own requested stuff — too quickly, alas, because you have to leave ASAP — and cannot stop laughing (to which guy in front said  “wow, I wish my research could make me laugh as much as yours does!”)

NYTBR: Rachel Donadio ponders the enduring mystique of Betty Friedan; Pete Hamill takes a crack at Kevin Baker’s latest historical novel, which is more contemporary than the last few; and Terrence Rafferty calls Arturo Perez-Reverte’s newest novel ‘hokum of the highest order.’ Nice.

WaPo Book World: Allegra Goodman’s latest novel focuses on scientific truth more than spiritual truth this time; Michael Dirda is rightfully bowled over by James Meek’s epic Russian novel; and Kevin Allman rounds up new mysteries by Michael Koryta, Linda Fairstein, Wesley Strick, Stuart Kaminsky and Sara Gran.

G&M: Jose Latour is finally published in Canada, and is praised accordingly for his insights into Cuban crime and politics; Emma Donoghue is dazzled by Sarah Waters’ Blitz-tinged novel; and Sarah Dunant gives Mark Frutkin’s new novel the royal treatment (and I must say it’s amusing, in a good way, to see Frutkin so successful now because I remember him as the best pal of one of my favorite teachers….)

Guardian Review: Truman Capote’s biographer wonders what he would have made of the new movie about him and IN COLD BLOOD; John Banville explains the literary influences for an earlier novel, THE UNTOUCHABLE; and Matthew Lewin is scared off by mobiles after reading Stephen King’s CELL.

Observer: Peter Boxall takes issue with what books are included in the 1001 books – and which are left off; Hepzibah Anderson rounds up new fiction by Rebecca Frayn, John Bennett, Lucy Caldwell and Naomi Alderman; and Zoe Green finds out what the stars are reading in Hollywood.

The Times: Bel Mooney stands on the precipice of the fact/fiction divide; John Sutherland gets exhausted by DBC Pierre’s sophomore effort, LUDMILLA’S BROKEN ENGLISH; and Lesley White is unnerved by Mary Loudon’s sort-of-memoir about her dead sister Catherine.

The Scotsman: Neil Gaiman may be super-busy but he still talks to the paper about his current and future projects; Alexander McCall Smith’s new novel is the embodiment of happiness; the author (who in this photo, looks disturbingly like Graydon Carter) explains why it’s important to maintain a Scottish literary tradition; and David Maine reveals what’s on his bedside table.

The Rest:

Oline Cogdill is all over the place this weekend, interviewing Martha Grimes and reviewing her novel, talking to Robert Crais about his new standalone, and previewing Sleuthfest.

Even after 24 novels, Val McDermid is still stretching herself and pondering the difficulties of being a writer, as she explains to the Sydney Morning Herald’s Lily Bragge.

Lawyer-turned-author Francesca Weisman talks to the Ham & Highgate news service about her reasons for making the switch.

The Toronto Star’s Jack Batten profiles Maggie Topkis, whose Felony & Mayhem Press is reissuing many formerly out-of-print books (including one by a Canadian writer.)

Craig McDonald looks at three Hard Case Crime reissues and one new book by Peter Blauner for Columbus This Week.

John Orr gives a thumbs-up to Robert Crais’s THE TWO MINUTE RULE for the San Jose Mercury, as does the LA Times’ Kristina Lindgren.

And finally, RIP Barney Fife.