The Updated Weekend

NYTBR: Marilyn Stasio’s column looks at recent releases by Michael Connelly, Robert Ward, Fred Vargas & Elizabeth Ironside; Peter Dizikes wonders if the paradox of having “too many good scientists” will affect scientific biographies in the future; Christopher Buckley can’t put down the saga of the “real” Animal House;  If I needed another reminder to read Daniel Kehlmann’s MEASURING THE WORLD, I just got it; and like, OMG, Dave Iztkoff has TOTALLY discovered Neil Gaiman and you all should too!!!!!11!!!!

WaPo Book World: Kate Williams brings the notorious, celebrated Emma Hamilton to life in a new biography; just in time for the holiday is Richard Bausch’s new novel, THANKSGIVING NIGHT; Ron Charles has a mixed take on Kelly Braffet’s new “not quite crime” novel, LAST SEEN LEAVING; and William Boyd’s spy thriller is a look at mother-daughter dynamics too, says John Dalton.

G&M: Who will win the Giller Prize? The G&M’s lead writers place their bets; Ray Robertson is rather exhausted by Tom Franklin’s furiously plotted novel, SMONK; and Paul Wells chronicles with bite the fall of Paul Martin and the rise of Stephen Harper in a new political account.

Guardian Review: James Fenton examines love poetry with a decidedly same-sex tinge; Michael Dibdin isn’t so impressed with Gilbert Adair’s Agatha Christie pastiche; and Mike Leigh makes a case for re-examining Gilbert & Sullivan for their “outrageous subversiveness” (and after working supertitles at the Yiddish Pirates of Penzance production a couple of days ago, I have to agree with him.)

Observer: Paul Auster argues in favor of the joys and pleasures of reading and writing; Robert McCrum pays tribute to William Styron, who died last week; and is Jonny Geller’s book Good for the Jews? Rafael Behr isn’t altogether sure.

The Times: Ben Schott may not see himself as a writer, but there’s no disputing that his books sell in the millions; Two books on age and technology have Giles Coren reflecting on his own near-middle-aged status; and Salley Vickers delights in Alexander McCall Smith’s way with the myth of Angus.

The Scotsman: Sue Townsend describes how Type II diabetes may have impaired her health but not her writing; the pseudonymous Rosa Mundi presents an erotic novel with sly, multilayered riddles, according to Lee Randall; and hooray! Mark Gatiss’s irrepressible spy, Lucifer Box, returns in a new adventure.

The Rest:

Terrill Lee Lankford and Michael Connelly describe the process of turning ECHO PARK into a short film (that aired on YouTube) to the LA Times.

When it comes to crime, it’s often more credible in fiction than in real life, according to the Age’s Liz Porter.

In her latest Sun-Sentinel column, Oline Cogdill raves about Arnaldur Indridason’s SILENCE OF THE GRAVE and has a great time with the music-themed anthology A MERRY BAND OF MURDERERS.

Paula Woods is exhilarated by Olen Steinhauer’s latest Eastern European thriller, LIBERATION MOVEMENTS.

At the SF Chronicle, David Lazarus reviews new offerings from Carl Hiassen, Scott Turow and John Katzenbach.

Tom & Enid Schantz keep up with new installments in their favorite series by Julia Spencer-Fleming and David Hewson

The Telegraph’s Toby Clements & Sam Leith review new crime offerings from Robert B. Parker, Christopher Goffard, Petros Markaris and Peter Quinn.

Though that Jonathan Littell’s super-duper-hyped novel LES BIENVEILLANTES was his first? Not exactly, Maxim Jakubowski reminds us at the Guardian blog.

Regis Behe chats with David Baldacci, whose new novel THE COLLECTORS is likely bound for similar bestsellerdom fate as his previous few.

Theresa Schwegel, unlike many, found her second novel not so difficult to write (and the result, PROBABLE CAUSE, demonstrates her growth from first book to second.) But as she tells the Chicago Daily Herald, #3 is a whole other matter.

Have you ever noticed that a lot of top literary writers are named Richard? Well, two of them are interviewed this week – Richard Ford in the Denver Post, and Richard Powers in the Chicago Reader.

Is it a good idea for writers to marry amongst themselves? Lesley McDowell explores the history of literary partnerships for the Independent on Sunday.

And finally, Jaime makes the case for Busby Berkeley’s brilliance. Can’t argue with him….