Weekend Update in perpetual motion

NYTBR: Although I don’t think it’s a Fiction Issue by design, it sure feels that way. There’s Neil Gordon reviewing John Le Carre’s new spy thriller; Charles Taylor being unduly harsh towards Dennis Lehane’s CORONADO; Susann Cokal enjoying THE MEANING OF NIGHT’s resplendent glory; David Bowman wowed by Daniel Woodrell’s expert rendering of the Ozarks; and Marilyn Stasio’s curious essay on regional sleuths taking on national subjects, something I read twice and still don’t entirely see the point of.

And of course, there’s the first installment of Michael Connelly’s new Harry Bosch novella, THE OVERLOOK, which continues for 15 more weeks.

WaPo Book World: Philip Caputo puts John Le Carre and his work in necessary perspective; Michael Dirda has conflicting reactions to Mark Haddon’s new novel; the wicked satire of Michael Collins’ new novel greatly appeals to Ron Charles; and Lisa Scottoline puts on the reviewer’s hat for Sandra Brown’s latest thriller.

G&M: Caroline Adderson’s short stories are “full of pleasurable little hooks,” says Karen Solie; Martin Levin talks to Francine Prose about her newest book, READING LIKE A WRITER; Kate Pullinger can’t get Wayne Johnston’s earlier novel out of her head as she reads his newest one set in Newfoundland; Paul Wilson calls for a rereading of prison literature; William Deverell applauds the newest crime novel by Gail Bowen; while Margaret Cannon’s crime column reviews new work by Daniel Silva, Denise Mina, Rachel Kimor-Paine, Barbara Fradkin, Tess Gerritsen, Ann Granger, Jed Rubenfeld, Paco Ignacio Taibo II and Subcomandante Marcos, Rhys Bowen and James Benn.

Guardian Review: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes about the events and authors influencing her latest novel; the book club discussion of Ian Rankin’s FLESHMARKET CLOSE continues; Patrick Ness wonders if Colm Toibin is somewhat uncomfortable with the short story format after two exquisite novels; George Pelecanos lets it rip about including favorite music in books; and Maxim Jakubowski reviews new crime releases by Laurie King, Andrew Klavan and R.S. Downie plus the reissue of Dorothy Hughes’ final novel, which I absolutely must read.

The Observer: Tim Adams wonders about the meaning of existence as filtered through three new books by three great thinkers; Pankaj Mishra hits back at Martin Amis’s 911 essay with one of his own; and Robert McCrum places his own bets on who will prevail in the Booker sweepstakes.

The Times: Rupert Everett’s autobiography is fluff, but it’s damn fun fluff; David Profumo has the last word on a particularly juicy political sex scandal; Sebastien Horsley has no patience (to say the least!) with Fay Weldon’s new book; Lian Hearn explains how her love of Japanese culture spurred her to write her bestselling novels set there; and Marcel Berlins reviews a new book by Vikram Chandra and an older one by Derek Raymond.

The Scotsman: Colum McCann explores the wild and passionate world of the Roma in his newest novel; Holly Surplice talks about her illustrated books for children; David Robinson navigates a dense world of books with the help of – gasp! – more books; and Gerald Kaufman reviews the latest crime fiction by Christopher Fowler, Paul Doherty and R.S. Downie.

The Rest:

A lot of people are talking about Karen Russell – she’s young (25) published in the New Yorker, and now Knopf has published her first collection of short stories. But the SF Chronicle’s June Sawyers wonders if it’s all smoke & mirrors; me, I wonder if this is territory better mined by Kelly Link. Guess I’ll be finding out soon enough…

Oline Cogdill praises the latest efforts by Chris Grabenstein and Walter Mosley in her latest Sun-Sentinel column.

The Denver Post’s Dorman Shindler’s on a historical thriller kick, reviewing two new ones by Jed Rubenfeld & Francine Mathews.

Maxine Clarke makes her latest appearance in the Philadelphia Inquirer with a review of Henning Mankell’s THE MAN WHO SMILED.

Regis Behe chats with Minette Walters about her newest novel, life imitating fiction and why the handgun ban in Britain allows for richer character development.

James Sallis wonders what’s real and what isn’t with the curious collaboration between Paco Taibo II and Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatistas.

The Halifax Chronicle Herald previews the Word on the Street Festival, which switches location for the first time in its 12-year history.

J.G. Ballard explains to the Independent why consumerism continues to fascinate him and inspire his writing.

Kate Grenville spent so much energy celebrating being on the Booker longlist that the shortlist nod caught her by surprise, as she tells the Sydney Morning Herald.

In the wake of the Gunter Grass scandal, how much should an author match up to his or her writing? Ramona Koval investigates for the Melbourne Age. The same paper also meets Cate Kennedy, whose love of the short story form has paid off with critical acclaim for her own.

The Chicago Sun TImes’ Cheryl Reed talks to Jane Hamilton
, whose new novel WHEN MADELEINE WAS YOUNG follows up two Oprah-chosen ones.

The latest podcast from “Behind the Black Mask” is up, and its newest guest is Secret Dead blogmeister Duane Swierczynski.

And finally, last night I spent time with a gaggle of male mystery writers talking about the DAMN NEAR DEAD anthology. Check out the transcript…if you dare.