Beware the Ides of Weekend Update

NYTBR: Oh, let’s just go straight to Naomi Wolf’s gee-willikers rant about the Gossip Girl books and others like it. Of course they are empty. Of course they are banal. Of course I can’t stop reading them (well, the first series, the rest aren’t nearly as ridiculous and hence, not as fun to read.) Besides, there’s something vaguely ironic in how the Glitz & Glamor days of the 80s have basically migrated to the teen crowd….

Otherwise, Justine Henning recommends some kids’ books worth seeking out (special props for mentioning Rosa Guy’s fantabulous THE FRIENDS); Erica Jong takes on Sarah Dunant’s vision of 16th century courtesans; Lee Siegel channels low-rent McSweeney’s pieces for the back page; and oh yeah! Marilyn Stasio’s here this time around too, looking at new crime fiction by Robert Goddard, Kjell Eriksson, Rebecca Pawel and Peter Bowen.

WaPo Book World: Jonathan Yardley talks to John McGahern about leading multiple lives; Ross King describes the events that gave rise to the Impressionism movement in his latest book; and Paul Zarkzewski looks at male-psyche short story collections by Davy Rothbart, Tod Goldberg and Craig Davidson.

G&M: Janice Kulyk Keefer has some issue with Debra Dean’s much buzzed about debut THE MADONNAS OF LENINGRAD; Rebecca Godfrey advocates listening to what girls have to say over reading books about what they have to say; and David Manicom has more great things to say about Olga Grushin’s THE DREAM LIFE OF SUKHANOV.

Guardian Review: Edna O’Brien marks the centenary of Samuel Beckett’s birth; Athol Fugard opens up his notes on the making of his novel TSOTSI, now immortalized on celluloid; and Maureen Dowd is, well, Maureen Dowd in this interview by Susie MacKenzie.

The Observer: Tim Adams talks to Daniel Dennett, whose book arguing for the evolution of religious concepts provoked a gigantic firestorm in the NYTBR some weeks back; Jonathan Freedland aka Sam Bourne gets a gentle whipping for his DVC-esque thriller; Kilian Fox is impressed with Simon Beckett’s new thriller; and Peter Guttridge rounds up new crime fiction by Val McDermid, James McGee, Robert Crais, Mark Gimenez and Charles Cumming.

The Times: Magnus Mills talks about leaving bus-driving behind for full-time writing — only to go back again; Marcel Berlins reviews the latest by Paretsky and Crais; David Baddiel wonders about whether private thoughts can truly stay that way once written down; and Susie Maguire gathered writers together to dish about the little black dress, a fine choice (especially as I own several and love ’em all…)

The Scotsman: Yet more about Margaret Atwood, the LongPen, and when she has time to write amidst publicity blitzes; Penelope Rowlands shines a light on one of fashion’s greatest pioneers;

The Rest:

Oline Cogdill looks at some recent (though not brand-new) books by Richard Hawke and Arnaldur Indridason for the Sun-Sentinel.

David Montgomery’s new column for the Sun-Times focuses on the small press, looking at the latest by Michael Black, Dave Case, Raymond Benson, Gail Lukasik and James Patrick Hunt.

Adam Woog’s latest column for the Seattle Times looks at new stuff by Patrick McManus, Stephen White, Edna Mazya, Barbara Vine, and Mary Daheim.

The Toronto Star’s Jack Batten takes a look at the Edgar-nominated IMMORAL by Brian Freeman, wondering what the author will do for an encore.

Emory Holmes talks to BlackAmericaWeb about the story of his that will be published in the next edition of Best American Mystery Stories, and William Harrison does the same to

Jesse Kellerman returns to his old stomping grounds of Brandeis for the production of his newest play, and talks to the Boston Herald about his dual career as playwright and author.

Ian Rankin engages in a Q&A with the Boston Globe about taking some time away from Rebus, the approaching end of the series and what he’d do afterwards.

The Denver Post’s Ed Will reviews Stephen White’s latest standalone, KILL ME, while Carlo Wolff shows up in the SF Chronicle to look at new Swedish export Hakan Nesser’s BORKMANN’S POINT.

Ken Bruen gets good ink from the NY Daily News for his latest Jack Taylor novel, THE DRAMATIST.

And finally, how many other crime writers would do this? Not many, I reckon.