Grow Taller with the Weekend Update

NYTBR: Dwight Garner’s “Inside the List” column is All Pynchon, All the Time; Cynthia Ozick explains how Leo Baeck changed her writing life; Uzodinma Iwaela applauds a new book by Yvonne Christainse that tackles the forces that shaped apartheid; Kevin Baker can’t find enough good to say about Peter Behrens’ much-acclaimed THE LAW OF DREAMS; and Marilyn Stasio’s crime column focuses in on new books by Joseph Wambaugh, Frederick Turner, Betsy Thornton and Mick Herron.

WaPo Book World: Louis Bayard looks at a new memoir by Gore Vidal, “the Great Gadfly”; Deborah Lipstadt finds David Satloff’s quest to mend Arab-Israeli relations to be noble but misguided; Elizabeth Hand admires Chris Adrian’s inventive fabulism; and as it’s the Winter Children’s issue, there are top ten lists for novels, picture books, more picture books and non-fiction.

G&M: Two books give different takes on the Hungarian Revolution of 1956; Richard Bausch takes an unusual approach in reviewing an unusual book; Robert Weirsema wishes Michael Crichton’s NEXT had been an essay, instead of a bad novel; and Margaret Cannon rounds up new crime books by Andrew Taylor, Nelson DeMille, Katherine Hall Page, the family Higgins Clark & Richard Stark.

Guardian Review: A.S Byatt pays tribute to Willa Cather; Geoff Dyer has some fun with the archived letters of the Goncourt brothers; John William writes what may be one of my favorite book reviews of 2006; and Matthew Lewin reviews new thrillers by Alan Furst, Steve Hamilton, Peter Temple & Matthew Klein.

Observer: Peter Guttridge has some fun with the early version of Hannibal and briefly rounds up new genre offerings just in time for Christmas; Vanessa Thorpe revisits Andrea Dworkin’s INTERCOURSE twenty years after its first publication; and Judi Dench’s turn as Barbara in the adaptation of Zoe Heller’s NOTES ON A SCANDAL is nothing short of brilliant, says Liz Hoggard.

The Times: Erica Wagner wished Thomas Harris would give Hannibal a rest already, while John Sutherland says otherwise;  Zoe Paxton ponders the continuing Richard & Judy effect; Peter Millar reviews family collaborations by the Cusslers and the Kellermans; and there’s lots and lots of news in the wake of L’Affaire McEwan.

The Scotsman: Vanessa Collingridge visits the John Murray literary archives; Allan Massie greatly enjoys a new Victorian thriller by William Sutton; and once again, I am amazed that Studs Terkel is alive, let alone collecting material for his latest opus.

The Rest:

Oline Cogdill wraps up the year with two first novels she touts highly: Thomas Lakeman’s THE SHADOW CATCHERS and Henry Chang’s CHINATOWN BEAT.

Adam Woog at the Seattle Times reviews new offerings by Tony Hillerman, Robert Wilson, Carl Hiaasen, Richard Stark and Mark Winegardner.

David Lazarus reviews two crime novels for the SF Chronicle, one a reissue and one brand new.

Scott Murray at the Age goes back to the beginning of the Bond mythos – to Ian Fleming’s first (and possibly best) novel, CASINO ROYALE.

The LA Times’ Kevin Berger tracked Richard Powers down during a recent trip to Frankfurt to discuss the National Book Award win, why life is not just a fiction but “many fictions”, and his rock-star status in Germany.

Regis Behe talks to Joseph Wambaugh about why, after two decades away, he went back to the subject that fueled his greatest works – the LAPD.

The paper also asks noted bookseller Doug Dutton for his favorite reads of 2006.

Mark Abley worries for the future of independent bookstores in Montreal. I can’t say I blame him.

And finally, if this doesn’t make you want to take a mallet to your head and strike yourself repeatedly, I don’t know what will. (via.)