Then We Came to the Weekend Update

Obligatory BSP alert: My latest column for the Baltimore Sun runs this week, featuring reviews of new releases by James Hall, Matthew Klein, Terri Persons, Boris Starling and Lisa Lutz. I also review Lisa Scottoline’s new thriller, DADDY’S GIRL, for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Finally, thanks to all who have pointed out or written in with word that the May issue of EQMM features my story “Boy Inside the Man.” I can’t wait to see a copy….

To everyone else’s reviews:

NYTBR: Tom Bissell’s “why another” doesn’t only apply to his book, but to the larger theme of futile wars, argues Joe Klein; Dennis Bock’s reimagining of Canadian doctor Norman Bethune finds fictional fruit, though Nasid Hajari wishes for a more humane hero, even if he’s human; and Ben Schott confesses to many, many acts of book abuse.

WaPo Book World: Dick Jeremy Schaap’s account of Jesse Owens and the 1936 Olympics is fascinating, but begs for more, according to Matt Schudel; Paul Auster goes minimalistic in his new novel, to Howard Norman’s delight; and two biographies of Leni Riefenstahl attempt to probe behind the lies and the propaganda.

LA Times: It’s all William Vollmann, all the time as David Ulin interviews the ultra-prolific author and Edward Champion analyzes his latest novel, POOR PEOPLE; Susan Straight thinks Kurt Anderson’s HEYDAY is “the kind of historical novel that is the most satisfying to read”; and Mark Rozzo is happy to unravel the mysteries within John Banville’s pseudonymous maiden crime voyage.

G&M: A new book about the collapse of the New York mafia makes for scintillating reading for Chuck Konkel; Martin Levin has got a few little lists, adding more along the way; and as soon as the review of Sara Ludwig’s novel mentioned Winnipeg Jews, I added it to my must-read pile.

Guardian Review: With her essay collection now out in England, Nora Ephron starts the interview circuit anew; Ian Sansom is such a good match to Richard Stark’s latest Parker novel; similarly, having Maxim Jakubowski review Walter Mosley’s erotic novel is a smart move; and Matthew Lewin reviews new thrillers by Robert Littell, Christopher Goffard, Steve Jackson and Brad Meltzer.

Observer: Robert McCrum gets cranky about J. Peder Zane’s compendium of literary lists; Jim Crace gets dystopian, much to the delight of Tim Adams; and Peter Guttridge admires the comic caper ability of food writer Jay Rayner.

The Times: Bryan Appelyard tries to make sense of the graphic novel boom; Marcel Berlins chats with John Harvey, still one of the genre’s most unappreciated leading lights; and Tracy Chevalier explains how her obsession with William Blake inspired her latest historical novel, BURNING BRIGHT.

The Scotsman: John Mortimer is his usual irascible self, this time to promote his latest play; Vanessa Curtis wonders where the spark went with Tracy Chevalier’s new novel; Stuart Kelly is bored with the Aye Write! Festival; Kath Murphy rounds up crime offerings from Richard Stark, Tana French and Stephen Cole, while Gerald Kaufman rounds up thrillers and sundry from James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge, Jonathan Kellerman and William Landay.

The Rest:

Catching up on what took place over the last few days, the LA Times announced their book awards shortlists, with Michael Connelly, Don Winslow, Patrick Neate, Jess Walter and George Pelecanos vying for the mystery/thriller prize. James O. Born took home the Florida Award for popular fiction, and condolences are extended to the Hougan family on the passing of Carolyn Hougan (aka one-half of John Case) who died of cancer at the age of 63. (all links pretty much via The Rap Sheet, since they publish 7 days a week, God bless ’em.)

At the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Oline Cogdill reviews James Hall’s MAGIC CITY with plenty of positive fervor, while Chauncey Mabe interviews Hall about the 1960s-set inspiration for the book.

Eddie Muller’s latest SF Chronicle column has a Q&A with Ken Bruen, a plea for readers to pay attention to Noel Alumit and a hat tip to Hard Case Crime.

The Baltimore Sun’s Diane Scharper heaps all manners praise on Laura Lippman for her latest standalone, WHAT THE DEAD KNOW.

Tom and Enid Schantz review new offerings from Gillian Roberts, Martin Edwards and Cara Black for the Denver Post.

John Orr at the San Jose Mercury News looks at the latest in thrillers by Joe Hill, R. Scott Reiss, Steve Berry & Robert B. Parker.

Adam Woog profiles physician-turned-author Allen Wyler, whose latest thriller DEAD HEAD has quite the unusual premise.

A great lengthy piece on true crime writer Gregg Olsen, whose first thriller is just out, in the Kitsap Sun. It not only talks about his career change but gets insight from Jess Walter, Ann Rule and Jack Olsen’s widow on how difficult such a change often is.

The Chicago Sun-Times meets Sean Chercover, whose debut BIG CITY, BAD BLOOD is justifiably earning tons of critical acclaim.

As the publication date of Lionel Shriver’s new novel approaches, she talks with the Sydney Morning Herald about romantic choices, the success of her last book, and being an American living in London.

What with being the cover boy of a recent New York Times Book Review, Michael Thomas wonders to the Boston Globe’s David Mehegan about first novel fame and what it all means.

Mal Peet may have been a late bloomer to the YA world, but as he tells the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Cecelia Goodnow, he’s here to stay – with a Carnegie award to boot.

Richard Zimler chats with the Independent’s Boyd Tonkin on living in Portugal, writing Jewish-themed historical novels and his perilous path to publication.

And finally, a hearty official congratulations to Ed Park for his brand-new book deal. I so cannot wait to read this novel…