Weekend Update Goes to the Dogs

By that of course I mean the stifling heat of August, though this weekend proved to be rather lovely. In matters BSP, my review of Charlotte Mendelson’s WHEN WE WERE BAD runs in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer.

NYTBR: Luc Sante prefers the original ON THE ROAD scroll to what ended up being the final version of the novel; Matt Weiland considers a book that argues why Kerouac matters; a new book looks at the blunders, stumbles and bumbles of the English language; and Julia Scheeres gets dismissive about Joseph Finder’s POWER PLAY, which has me wondering why books are assigned to people who have a built-in bias.

WaPo Book World: Ron Charles makes me want to read Amy Bloom’s new novel AWAY; Elizabeth Bear wonders how Doris Lessing could have written an “actively bad” novel; and Susan Jacoby is fascinated by Ruth Wisse’s polemic version of Jewish history.

Los Angeles Times: Lionel Shriver is impressed with how Amy Bloom mines extraordinary literature out of an ordinary template; Carolyn Kellogg looks at a novel that owes a clear debt to Karl Marx; and Benjamin Weissman examines Robert Walser’s THE ASSISTANT nearly 100 years after its first publication.

G&M: Marcus Gee celebrates the economic independence of India 60 years after it severed colonial ties with Britain; Martin Levin puzzles over the new bout of Austenmania; and Margaret Cannon reviews new crime novels by James Lee Burke, Robert B. Parker, Garry Disher, Daniel Silva and Suzanne Kingsmill.

Guardian Review: Germaine Greer searches for the real Anne Hathaway; Caryl Phillips traces the dark history of Billie Holiday’s signature tune; James Meek reflects on the prophetic vision of a long-unpublished Bulgakov novel; and Laura Wilson reviews new crime offerings from Val McDermid, Nick Stone, Kolton Lee and Dreda Say Mitchell.

Observer: Robin McKie meets a real-life medical detective in the pages of Sandra Hempel’s new tome; Edmund White talks to Hephzibah Anderson about the turn of the 20th century; and Hilary Spurling is fascinated by a new history of Brick Lane.

the Times: Bill Bryson tries hard to get a handle on William Shakespeare; Helen Rumbelow talks to Hari Kunzru about his views on 1960s London; and Marcel Berlins reviews the latest in crime by Val McDermid, Arnaldur Indridason and Rafael Reig.

The Scotsman: Gavin Bowd has his say on AN Wilson’s Booker longlisted new novel; Jennifer Conlin meets Juliet Nicolson, trying to follow in the footsteps of her famous grandmother; and Allan Massie is disturbed – in a good way – by Joan Smith’s latest novel.

The Rest:

The Melbourne Age talks with Michael Robotham, ghostwriter turned bestselling suspense novelist.

Joe Kolina profiles new crime writer Michael Harvey for the Chicago Sun-Times. Also at the same paper, David Montgomery’s new mysteries column reviews the latest by Daniel Silva, Karin Slaughter, David Ellis, Harley Jane Kozak and Ellen Crosby.

Les Roberts’ crime fiction at the Cleveland Plain Dealer pays attention to new stuff by Karin Slaughter, Margaret Maron and Kathy Reichs.

Jeff Trachtenberg talks to James Lee Burke about life after Katrina, staying on a regular writing schedule and the appeal of Dave Robicheaux.

Sophie Hannah tells the Independent on Sunday’s Anita Seth why she switched from writing poetry to crime novels.

Christopher Fowler reveals his love of lists in the wake of new volumes released by the British Film Association.

Anthony Rainone has the definitive account of Thursday’s Black Orchid party.

And finally, the most whacked out weather forecast ever.