Flying Over the Weekend Update

NYTBR: Francine Prose has unsettling deja vu after reading THE PESTHOUSE; Claire Messud rejoices in Hermoine Lee’s biography of Edith Wharton; Dwight Garner points out the highs and lows of Lincoln Kerstein’s life; and Henry Alford examines the unfortunate fate of those misblurbed.

WaPo Book World: As part of the section’s Poetry Celebration Theme, Ron Charles is glad that someone decided to bring back narrative verse; Michael Dirda enjoys a new retrospective on John Donne; and Lyrical Listening sounds like an awesome idea, frankly.

LA Times: David Ulin finds much to like about Michael Chabon’s hybrid novel; Richard Rayner’s debut paperback column explains the allure of those Penguin covers; and it’s a two-fer of Jim Crace as Emily Barton reviews THE PESTHOUSE while John Freeman interviews the author in Birmingham.

G&M: Sky Gilbert tries on a Salinger-esque narrator for his latest effort; Lloyd Axworthy is impressed with a call to action for Canada to stand up to the US; and Tim Luckhurst comments on the state of the Commonwealth Union.

Guardian Review: Adam Gopnik explains why Alain Fournier’s tale of childhood innocence and erotic awakening still endures; Chris Petit has a fine time with Tony Saint’s latest examination of the British underbelly; and Laura Wilson reviews new crime novels by Alafair Burke, Thomas Perry, Ken Bruen and James Anderson.

Observer: Jason Cowley wonders if recent tales of African boy soldiers are genuine or merely feeding our appetite for savagery; Alex Clark talks with Nicola Barker, novelist and Big Brother addict; and Olivia Laing thinks the future of American literature is bright based off of Granta’s new volume.

The Times: Twenty years after his death, Primo Levi is still very much a must-read; Cosmo Landesman attempts to unravel the riddle that is Naim Attalah; Kate Muir meets Joanne Harris as she prepares for the publication of the sequel to CHOCOLAT; and Marcel Berlins has issues with two American-centric thrillers by Chris Mooney and Mark Giminez.

The Scotsman: Gerard Kaufman rounds up new crime offerings from Tana French, Ann Cleeves and Qiu Xiaolong; Louise Welsh reveals her favorite cultural touchstones; Vanessa Curtis can’t wait to see what Helen Oyeyemi will do to top THE OPPOSITE HOUSE; and Allan Massie breathes a sigh of relief that Sebastian Faulks is living up to the “greatest writer of his generation” tag..

The Rest:

One hundred and fifty years after Madeline Smith’s “Not Proven” verdict, Val McDermid explains how the appeal of that long-ago case still resonates for crime fiction writers and readers today.

Ian Rankin’s latest Rebus novel appeals to Oline Cogdill.

Hallie Ephron reviews the latest crime novels by Harlan Coben, Ian Rankin and Chris Mooney.

The Sydney Morning Herald profiles Caro Llewellyn, who left the Sydney Writers Festival behind to chair the just-completed PEN World Voices festival.

The Boston Globe talks with Jon Clinch about Mark Twain, literary fiction and the dark side of Huckleberry Finn.

Regis Behe talks with Michael Chabon about Yiddish, alternate history and the Diaspora.

And finally, literalism sometimes goes way, way too far.