The Sparsely Populated Weekend Update

And by sparsely populated I mean “the city has migrated to the Hamptons or elsewhere.” Business as usual, in other words.

And in other news, I’ve lent my voice to the intro for the newest episode of Seth Harwood’s mystery podcast, THIS IS LIFE.

Now to the links:

NYTBR: Jennifer Egan is impressed with the stories in Jean Thompson’s new collection; Liesl Schillinger delves into a comprehensive account of Brooke Astor’s life; Pete Hamill is entertained by a history of New York taxi drivers; and Morris Dickstein makes a case for the literary worth of John Williams’ STONER.

WaPo Book World: Marie Arana interviews Orange Prize winner Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who writes of the impact her father has had on her writing life; Getting Tyler Knox to review Steven Hall is a nice touch; Ron Charles wishes the author was as dangerous as the book’s title; and Jonathan Yardley is a Farley Mowat fan? Who knew?!

LA Times: Ed Park dives underwater with Kim Stanley Robinson’s new trilogy; Christine Smallwood enjoys Austin Grossman’s tweaking of superhero tropes; and Samantha Dunn appreciates Glenn Kurtz’s depiction of a musician returning to his natural art form.

G&M: Simon Houpt climbs aboard the Tina Brown junket bandwagon; of course Stevie Cameron would get her mitts on the Pickton case; and Andrew Pyper wishes Richard Flanagan hadn’t stuck so closely to “Terrorist Fiction” even as he misses all the parallels to Heinrich Boll’s earlier novel THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM.

Guardian Review: Christopher Hitchens rediscovers Karl Marx’s journalistic tendencies; the section publishes an original short story by Miranda July; AM Homes welcomes the rediscovery of a previously lost Kerouac play; and Matthew Lewin reviews new thrillers by Simon Kernick, Dean Koontz, Gerald Seymour and Jack Henderson.

Observer: Paul Conrad exhausts all the Diana books to come up with some common thread; Kelly Grovier examines two new books about Salvador Dali; and Peter Guttridge gets frustrated with two further book-length theories of Jack the Ripper.

The Times: The sister of “the next Anne Frank” reveals the diary’s circuitous path to publication; Penny Perrick reviews two writing-related memoirs by Michele Roberts and John Sutherland; Nick Rennison follows the locomotive charm of Andrew Martin’s series; and Marcel Berlins reviews new crime offerings from Michael Connelly, Cathi Unsworth, Peter James, Alex Gray and Barry Forshaw.

The Scotsman: Eoin McNamee explains his fascination with the death of Diana; Andrew Biswell has high hopes for Owen Sheers’ future as a novelist; Linda Blandford wonders if Bernard Cornwell’s novels reveal much about his inner workings; and Susan Mansfield finds out what Paul Johnston is up to after a great deal of change in his life.

The Rest:

Eoin McNamee, one of my very favorite writers (not only does he have an excellent grasp on literary fiction, he’s got a way with pseudonymous thrillers and middle-grade adventure novels alike) has used the death of Princess Diana as a backdrop for his new novel. He tells the Belfast Telegraph why he’s done so.

The India Times Business Standard talks with the country’s queen of crime, Kalpana Swaminathan.

Oline Cogdill very much likes PJ Parrish’s slight change of direction.

David Montgomery deems Richard Bachman’s “trunk novel” BLAZE a worthwhile read.

Jeremy Jehu reviews new thrillers by Robert Gregory Browne, Harlan Coben, Gerald Seymour and Clive Cussler with Jack Du Brul.

Robin Vidimos gets lost in the world created in Amanda Eyre Ward’s stunning FORGIVE ME.

Anna Mundow talks with Martin Cruz Smith about the latest Arkady Renko novel, STALIN’S GHOST.

The so-called “Godfather of Sudoku” reveals to the Japan Times what his next plans for puzzle world domination are.

France Wilson wonders how Harold Pinter and Antonia Fraser became England’s “most powerful” literary couple.

Gene Seymour explains the appeal of Shel Silverstein from a more adult standpoint.

Regis Behe chats with Will Allison, whose debut novel-in-stories WHAT YOU HAVE LEFT was eight years in the making.

And finally, the new issue of Thrilling Detective is now up with stories by Patricia Abbott, Stephen D. Rogers, Barry Ergang, Fleur Bradley and Michael Bracken.