The President’s Day Weekend Update

NYTBR: Mayra Montero’s literary crime novel is the cover review, and a fine choice it is; Luc Sante makes some great critical points about Patrick Anderson’s thriller critique; Rachel Donadio analyzes the literary career of former spy Howard Hunt; Their review of Ron Jeremy’s autobiography makes me wonder, yet again, how Jane and Michael Stern write book reviews together – do both read the same book, or just one?

WaPo Book World: Ron Charles just loves, loves, LOVES Jon Clinch’s debut novel; Angela Lambert’s biography fills out the frustrating engima that was Eva Braun’s life; and Gwenda Bond has the SF/F column – how very cool, and I sure do hope this is a regular feature in Book World from now on.

LA Times: Chris Abani talks to Scott Timberg about finally tackling LA in his fiction; Steve Almond is a surprise choice to review Jon Clinch’s FINN, but he likes it for the most part; and Cynthia Haven examines a new novel of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

G&M: Martin Levin reconsiders new and classic science tomes; Patricia Robertson recommends some cozy winter-related reading; and Gene Lees analyzes a new George Gershwin biography with the literary equivalent of a scalpel and forceps.

Guardian Review: Eric Howbsbawm looks at the arts & culture that emerged as a result of the Spanish Civil War; Salman Rushdie salutes the literary inspiration for THE MOOR’S LAST SIGH; Nicholas Wroe talks with Justin Cartwright of the many writing hats he wears; and Connie Briscoe is gobsmacked at the talent on display in Susan Fletcher’s sophomore effort (little surprise considering how fantastic EVE GREEN was.)

Observer: Peter Conrad is alternately fascinated and repelled by the contents of Tennessee Williams’ notebooks; Tim Adams gets the satire delivered in Jane Smiley’s novel of Hollywood mores; and Peter Guttridge reviews the latest in DA VINCI CODE-inspired thrillers by Julia Navarro, Brad Meltzer, Michael Byrnes and Martin Langfield.

The Times: Jacqueline Wilson, the new children’s laureate, opens up to Lesley White; Martin Amis explains why he’s going back to school; Iain Banks reveals why computer games are an essential part of his working life; Peter Millar reviews new translated thrillers by Jean-Patrick Manchette and Leif Davidsen; and Neel Mukherjee feels rookered by the publicity surrounding Steven Hall’s super-hyped debut.

The Scotsman: 50 years after its initial publication, Jacques Yonnet’s account of the seamy side of Paris still packs a potent punch; Michael Pye finds the flaws in an otherwise-excellent new biography of Edith Wharton; and Gerald Kaufman rounds up new crime novels by Barbara Nadel, Lisa Scottoline, Faye & Jonathan Kellerman and Linda Fairstein.

The Rest:

Everything you could possibly want to read about Richard Prather, his recent passing and the Shell Scott novels can be found at the Rap Sheet. I’m looking forward to reading THE PEDDLER and am that much more curious as to how the Scott novels hold up today.

Oline Cogdill likes the new direction James O. Born is taking with his latest novel, FIELD OF FIRE.

Regis Behe talks to Sean Chercover about writing a PI series, his previous investigative experiences, and why Chicago was the only place for him to set his novel.

Susan McBride chats with the St. Louis Dispatch about her latest Debutante Dropout Novel, chick-lit mysteries and her recent battle with breast cancer.

Frank Wilson picks up on the themes running through Keith Dixon’s charmer of a noir novel, THE ART OF LOSING.

More reviews of Jon Clinch’s darkly lyrical novel FINN by way of the Denver Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the St. Louis Dispatch, as well as an interview of the author by the Associated Press.

The NY Daily News’ Sheryl Connelly declares February to be Noir month, reviewing new books by Peter Spiegelman, Lisa Gardner, Thomas Cook & Susan Isaacs.

Leslie Epstein reveals in the Boston Globe why it took twenty-five years for the author – originally a playwright – to turn his 1979 novel KING OF THE JEWS into a play.

And finally, you’d think someone would have checked earlier, but I guess not…