The Thanksgiving Weekend Update

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was essentially variations on a theme of eating and watching movies. Lots and lots of movies. Borat is uneven, at times wildly funny and other times painful. Babel is amazing and depressing as hell (and lord, the kids in the movie. I felt for them. I ached for them. Wow.) The Fountain still requires more thought, but Aronofsky has a stunning sense of visual imagery that left indelible impressions.

But you’re all here for book news, of course, so onward:

NYTBR: Thought women didn’t like Pynchon? Well Liesl Schillinger not only digs AGAINST THE DAY but delivers a thoughtful, playful essay on the man and his work; the editors select their 100 Notable Books of the Year; and Marilyn Stasio reviews new crime novels by Tony Hillerman, David Hewson, Henry Chang and Reggie Nadelson.

WaPo Book World: David Anthony Durham appreciates Barry Unsworth’s latest foray into historical fiction; Ron Charles is haunted by the fate of the main characters comprising Daniel Kehlmann’s new novel; and Mindy Aloff wonders if Amanda Vaill has written the definitive Jerome Robbins biography.

G&M: Simon Houpt talks with Mavis Gallant, one of Canada’s most notable expat writers; Jean Therese Riley is agog at the politics and intrigue of the French publishing industry; Claire Cameron finds escape with John Connolly’s THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS; and Margaret Cannon offers her criminally minded gift book selections.

Guardian Review: More writers, more “best of” lists; Julian Barnes wonders if Zola’s THERESE RAQUIN works as a play; and Andrew O’Hagan writes an original short story.

Observer: To offer comment on Rachel Cooke’s essay about why book bloggers suck is to give her screed a whiff of credence that it does not deserve; literary luminaries far and wide pick their faves for 2006; and Vanessa Thorpe is amazed that Ian Fleming’s CASINO ROYALE still feels current after all these years.

The Times: Philip Oltermann sets out to find the perfect book cover; and Marcel Berlins picks his favorite crime offerings.

The Scotsman: Stuart Kelly is thrilled to read Thomas Pynchon’s “life-affirming coda” to a brilliant career, as is Tom Adair; some of the genre’s biggest names offer tips on writing chick-lit (which, er, would have worked 8 years ago, not so much now); Magnus Linklater offers yet another “state of Scottish publishing” piece; Ian Rankin celebrates 20 years of Rebus with memory, drinking and books; and Tom Adair wishes Toby Clements would start writing his own book, not parody those by other people.

The Rest:

Oline Cogdill welcomes Joseph Wambaugh’s return
to the subject he knows best, the LAPD. Speaking of Wambaugh, he’s profiled in a big way by the LA Times about returning to fiction, interviewing cops and why the LAPD continues to fascinate.

Hallie Ephron’s newest Boston Globe column
looks at new mysteries by David Hewson, John Mortimer and Henry Chang.

After writing three memoirs, Debra Ginsberg decided to set her first novel, BLIND SUBMISSION, amidst the craziness of the publishing industry, the North County Times discovers.

The Westchester Journal News profiles local writer Maggie Barbieri, whose first novel MURDER 101 is set amidst academic intrigue.

The Yomiuri Daily TImes’ Tom Baker reviews one of the books I am most excited to read in 2007, Asa Nomani’s THE HUNTER.

The Sun-Times’ Mike Thomas chats with Bob Newhart, legendary comedian and author of a book he doesn’t want to be called a memoir. Fine by me…

Another day, another article – courtesy of the Independent – pondering Thomas Pynchon’s penchant for reclusiveness.