Have I got a Weekend Update for you
And to start things off is February’s Baltimore Sun column, featuring my reviews of new books by Val McDermid, Mayra Montero, Guilio Leoni, William Landay and Bob Morris.
NYTBR: Say what you will about the Book Review – and I’ve certainly criticized the publication enough times – but making the cover review a debut novel, and a paperback original yet, is noteworthy; David Orr puts the work and life of Robert Frost in perspective; it seems particularly relevant that there’s a new biography of Anne Morrow Lindbergh just as I finally finished reading THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA; and okay, back to criticism, or lack thereof – if it took over a 1000 words to say that Saul Bellow is “beyond criticism,” why bother to write the piece in the first place?
WaPo Book World: Richard Lipez reviews new mystery offerings from Friedrich Durrenmatt, Qiu Xiaolong, Claire Matturro and Jo Bannister; Ron Charles appreciates the beauty of Hisham Matar’s Booker Prize-shortlisted novel; and Jonathan Yardley wishes a book on the life of Pete Maravich could have lived up to its story.
G&M: Andrea MacPherson’s new novel concentrates on the quiet moments amidst larger events, marvels Cynthia MacDonald; Gale Zoe Garnett finds much to like in a new anthology of writing from Newfoundland; and there are many ways to take a picture, as John Bentley Mays discovers.
Guardian Review: It’s the centenary of W.H. Auden, and James Fenton celebrates the poet’s life and work; Carmen Callil traces the final days of Irene Nemirovsky, who found posthumous success with SUITE FRANCAISE; Peter Conradi looks at the work of H.E. Bates, which has just been reissued by Penguin and Methuen; and A.L. Kennedy is haunted by the story Stevie Davies tells in THE EYRIE.
Observer: Alex Clark asks random Tube-dwellers about their reading habits; Stephanie Merritt is haunted by Helon Habila’s tale of twins in Africa; and Paul Harris talks to Anthony Swofford about the Pacific influences of his debut novel EXIT A.
The Times: Bel Mooney wonders what’s wrong with a self-help book written by Willie Nelson; Lisa Tuttle looks at two contrasting vampire novels by Charlie Huston and Hal Duncan; and David Baddiel tries to deal with his pesky habit of losing books.
The Scotsman: the paper congratulates Denise Mina on her Edgar nomination; the Balmoral celebrates its JK Rowling connection; Allan Massie is most impressed with the career development of Justin Cartwright; and don’t ask what Rebecca Gowers’ novel is about, but Stuart Kelly thinks it is brilliant anyway.
Oline Cogdill enjoys the weirdness of Tim Dorsey’s world but is less thrilled with Joe Schreiber’s debut horror tale.
Dick Adler reviews the latest in crime fiction by John Shannon, Jill Gregory & Karen Tintori, Asa Nomani, Ken Kuhlken, Jim Nisbet & Peter Lovesey.
David Montgomery has a standalone review of Joe Hill’s HEART-SHAPED BOX in the Chicago Sun-Times this weekend.
Eddie Muller’s new column for the SF Chronicle opens and closes with obits, with reviews of new and reissued books by Sean Chercover, Pearce Hansen and Derek Raymond.
Robin Vidimos wishes that Lisa Gardner’s HIDE could have gone on longer, because she felt the book “ended too soon.” Meanwhile, the Denver Post also features Tom and Enid Schantz’s new crime column, reviewing new releases by Peter Tremayne, John Shannon, Deborah Grabien and Patrick Anderson (let’s just say they don’t like his take on thrillers too much.)
The Northern Echo chats with Martyn Waites, who spins many a Newcastle-based crime tale, most recently in THE BONE MACHINE.
Steve Brewer talks to the Albequerque Tribune about Bubba Mabry, writing funny and his next work in progress.
Jill Gregory and Karen Tintori’s fascination with Kabbalah took root in their new thriller, THE BOOK OF NAMES, which is doing quite well, as the Chicago Sun-Times’ Cathleen Falsani discovers.
The Wall Street Journal’s David Lehman picks his four “finest mystery anthologies” and one guide.
The Christian Science Monitor looks at the growing prevalence of literature in translation.
John Freeman discourses on why literary lions thought to be “too old” for important works are doing just that in their twilight years.
After losing a beloved relative and nearly dying herself, Emily Maguire turns to poetry for Salvation, she tells the Sydney Morning Herald.
Marina Lewycka is in the midst of touring New Zealand and Australia for her multi-bestselling novel A SHORT HISTORY OF TRACTORS IN UKRANIAN. The Age’s Jane Sullivan catches up with her.
Regis Behe talks to Martin Amis about writing his new novel, THE HOUSE OF MEETINGS, when he’s never been to Russia. Then again, does it really matter? Amis also talks about the book, and growing older, with the LA Times’ Josh Getlin.
Also at the LA Times, Scott Timberg meets Daniel Alarcon, whose debut novel LOST CITY RADIO is racking up great reviews everywhere (and reminds me that I should really read it already.)