The New Year Weekend Update

First up is the my first Baltimore Sun column for 2007, reviewing new crime fiction by Chuck Hogan, Jesse Kellerman, Dana Stabenow, Sarah Graves and Frank Turner Hollon.

NYTBR: Hmm, on December 17th, Ed announced that the Brownie Watch will return in 2007. The very first issue of the year – which would have closed, by my calculation, around December 22 – features a back-page essay (and a damn good one, too) by Richard Powers on why he’s completely converted to writing by voice. No doubt it’s a great big coincidence, but hey, maybe some folks at the Book Review had a serious post New Year’s chocolate craving…

Otherwise (with tongue now dislodged from cheek) Dwight Garner reflects on the NYTBR lists of 2006; Alex Berenson wishes Robert Littell hadn’t been so obvious with his new spy novel; Paul Gray says SACRED GAMES is worth the time well-slogged; it looks like Dave Itzkoff still finds new ways to piss off science fiction readers; and in the travel section, Seth Kugel picks out the best independent bookstores to visit.

WaPo Book World: Jonathan Yardley wonders what the fuss is about with Vikram Chandra’s new doorstopper of a novel; Ron Charles is enthralled with the reverse-metamorphosis of KOCKROACH; and a new book shows how neuroscience could alter perceptions of reality.

G&M: Lori Lansens talks about what it’s like to be picked by Richard & Judy; Emma Donoghue shares in the joys of Colm Toibin’s short stories; and Ken McGoogan hopes that Dan Simmons’ historical novel will get lots of Canadian attention.

Guardian Review: Giles Foden talks about visiting the set of the movie based on his book; Hisham Matar reminisces about meeting Idi Amin; Patrick Ness is wowed by Richard Powers’ THE ECHO MAKER; and Mark Lawson calls HOLLYWOOD STATION “Joseph Wambaugh’s best book in years.”

Observer: Craig Raine’s new biography of T.S. Eliot only works in the appendix, according to Tom Paulin; Benjamin Markovits returns with a post-modern story of truth and identity; and Sean O’Hagan talks about being a judge for the Costa Book Awards.

The Times: Erica Wagner sings the praises of McNally-Robinson’s NYC outpost; Margaret Reynolds does the same for COLD COMFORT FARM; Philip Howard tries to make sense of Harry Potter – in Latin; and Marcel Berlins reviews the latest in crime fiction by Mari Jungstedt, Joseph Wambaugh, Fred Vargas, Saskia Noort & Scott Turow.

The Scotsman: Catriona McPherson ponders the possibility of turning back time; Tom Sykes reveals what’s on his bookshelf; and Gordon Brewer is moved by a new history of council estates in the UK.

The Rest:

In his debut crime fiction column for the SF Chronicle, Eddie Muller lavishes praise upon Megan Abbott, Theresa Schwegel and Jim Nisbet, reveals he met with Judith Regan the afternoon before she was fired, and gives readers his goals for how he expects his monthly stint to go.

It’s a double dose of Oline Cogdill this week as she raves about Barbara Parker’s standalone thriller and has good words to say about work by Charles Todd & Tom Cavanagh.

Andrea Camilleri may have taken up crime fiction late in life, but at 81, there’s no stopping him and his Inspector Montalbano series. The Independent’s Peter Popham meets the author in Rome.

J. Kingston Pierce wondered what was happening with Tom Bradby’s next book, a standalone set during the 1929 Wall Street Crash, and gets some intriguing answers.

At the Denver Post, Dorman Shindler wants more people to read Carol O’Connell’s new Mallory novel, and Tom & Enid Schantz review new mysteries by Robert Goddard, Suzanne Arruda and Cassandra Chan.

Michael Harris has some fun with Sister Pelagia’s adventures in the first of Boris Akunin’s more Agatha Christie-like series.

Josh Getlin finds out why Robert Stone took so long to finally pen his memoir of the 1960s, from Greenwich Village to Big Sur to Hollywood.

Regis Behe rounds up writing advice from all corners ranging from Richard Ford to Michael Connelly to David Baldacci. He also interviews Ian Sansom about the impetus for his utterly wonderful THE CASE OF THE MISSING BOOKS, which if I didn’t yell loud enough at people to read for its UK edition, now I can for the US one.

Randy Hicks talks to the San Diego Union-Tribune about THE BABY GAME, adoption law and what he’s working on now.

Caroline Upcher used to work in publishing, and when she wrote her novels, did so under her real name. But her newest books, she tells Newsday’s Aileen Jacobson, are mysteries with a pseudonym because she “quite thought I’d like a new persona.”

What is plagiarism, and is homage or borrowing included? The Age’s Sophie Cunningham explores the meaning at a time of literary scandal.

And finally, Terrell Hansen, the man who inspired Michael Connelly’s novel BLOOD WORK, died last Tuesday at the age of 65.