The Muggy as Hell Weekend Update

Ah, New York in August, or almost. When air conditioners, even at triple overtime, never quite accomplish what they need to in cooling down those too poor to escape to outer island or generally cooler climes. When eating ice cream daily seems like a viable (and certainly tasty) option. But no matter. Here is your Weekend Update served fresh and cold:

NYTBR: Samantha Power has a lengthy essay on the War on Terror as written about in recent books; David Orr examines Zbigniew Herbert translations; and Rachel Donadio meets the literary mover and shaker you’ve never heard of.

WaPo Book World: Stephen Hunter on the dangers of 1-click Amazon shopping; the editors present the best of picture books; and Ron Charles gets lost in debut novelist Aiobheann Sweeney’s world.

LA Times: Chris Abani enjoys a new anthology of colloquial English literature; Sonja Bolle ponders the Harry Potter effect; Richard Schickel seems to enjoy Daniel Silva’s new novel in spite of himself; and David Ulin goes back in time to find that A.A. Milne’s essays – including this one on the perils of reviewing – haven’t aged badly at all.


G&M**: Reginald Stackhouse rounds up new books about older people; Alan Cumyn explores the dark crucible world of Pat Barker; and Candace Fertile can’t say enough good things about Marianne Wiggins.

Guardian Review: Hilary Mantel sees many an Orpheus and Eurydice overtone in current literature; Ian Jack ponders the relationship between hard labor and art; Libby Brooks compares and contrasts recent airport bestsellers; and Matthew Lewin gets increasingly cranky about new thrillers by Martin Cruz Smith, Jeffery Deaver, Sam Bourne and Alex Scarrow.

Observer: Nicci Gerrard is still affected by a ruined friendship earlier in life; Peter Guttridge chats with Denise Mina; and Geraldine Bedell wishes she could have liked Elif Shafak’s more recent novel than she did.

The Times: Tom Gatti strolls down memory lane with the Fighting Fantasy books; Antony Moore provides a step-by-step diary in letting go of your first novel; Stephen McClarence checks out the weekly book market in Delhi; and Marcel Berlins reviews recent crime novels by Gillian Flynn, Denise Mina and Karin Slaughter.

The Scotsman: Lee Randall discovers how Marie Phillips journeyed from struggling author to debut novelist; Jackie McGlone extols the virtues of Sue Gee; and Martin Hannan wants more, more, more from Ian Gale’s new historical fiction series.

The Rest:

Oline Cogdill is mostly favorable about new novels by Jonathon King and Alafair Burke.

At the Sydney Morning Herald, Jeffery Deaver talks up his new series, his writing methods, and why you’ll never see him smile in a photograph.

The Melbourne Age celebrates Harry Mulisch’s upcoming 80th birthday.

At SHOTS, Mike Ripley’s newest column delves into the Daggers, favorite websites and the new trend towards crufixion. (via.)

I was going to read Gail Pool’s new treatise on book reviewing as soon as I got hold of a copy, but Jerome Weeks’ essay pretty much clinches the deal for me.

Neil Gaiman talks to Lev Grossman about the STARDUST movie, why he’s reached a level of fame past his comfort level and new projects.