Labor Day Weekend Update

NYTBR: Jim Lewis considers Denis Johnson’s new novel TREE OF SMOKE; Kathryn Harrison has a reluctant take on Chelsea Cain’s much-hyped thriller HEARTSICK; Liesl Schillinger is disappointed with Marina Lewycka’s novelistic take on migrant life; and Pagan Kennedy’s essay illustrates just how far behind the curve the NYTBR is. To quote from the cover story of the NYT Magazine: “MySpace is over, it’s just not cool anymore; Facebook is still cool,

but that might not last much longer; and the biggest thing…is word of mouth.” Say it louder, kids.

WaPo Book World: Louise Bernard gets wrapped up in the powerful story Chris Abani tells; Ron Charles is bowled over by Brock Clarke’s literary satire; and Susan Adams has her say on a slew of new memoirs.

LA Times: David Ulin has a mixed take on Denis Johnson’s long-awaited new novel; Scott Timberg ponders the riddle of the reclusive author; Irina Reyn delves deep into the child-soldier world of SONG FOR NIGHT; and the Book Review celebrates the 50th anniversary of ON THE ROAD.

G&M: Andy Lamey looks at books on all things animal welfare; Keith Garebian is absorbed by Howard Engel’s amazing story of triumph over neurological disorder; and Margaret Cannon reviews new crime fiction by Kathy Reichs, Barbara Cleverly, Ken Bruen, Faye Kellerman, Don Easton and the Ross Macdonald compendium by Tom Nolan.

Guardian Review: Zadie Smith reveals how much Zora Neale Hurston means to her; Jonathan Lethem describes his myriad trips to the dance floor; and AM Homes pays tribute to the late Grace Paley.

Observer: The broadsheet does its version of overlooked and underrated writers; Tim Adams follows the path set by Hari Kunzru’s exploration of 1960s radicalism; Ronan Bennett talks about what it was like to write his latest novel, ZUGZWANG, to a weekly deadline; and two Booker-longlisted novels by Indian writers are compared and contrasted.

The Times: Germaine Greer plumbs the depths of Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway; count Giles Whittell as another fan of TOKYO YEAR ZERO; and Ian Rankin’s final novel, EXIT MUSIC, gets reviewed by Marcel Berlins and John Dugdale.

The Scotsman: Richard Bath thinks the last Rebus novel marks a strong finish to the beloved series; a new book describes the thriller-ish plot against Samuel Pepys; Tom Adair gets VS Naipaul to sit down and chat; and Gerald Kaufman reviews recent crime offerings by Donna Leon, Peter James, Lesley Cookman and Greg Iles;

The Rest:

The incomparable Eddie Muller returns with his crime fiction column for the SF Chronicle, which – at least this week – is very noir-heavy on books by Charlie Huston, Zoe Sharp, Cornel Woolrich and a certain Mr. Spillane.

Susanna Yager reviews new crime novels by RJ Ellory and Rupert Holmes for the Telegraph.

Kim Wozencraft is thoroughly entertained by Alison Gaylin’s thriller journey into Hollywood, tabloid-style.

The Denver Post’s Diane Hartman meets Diane Mott Davidson, author of the Goldy Schultz recipe mysteries.

Dreda Say Mitchell shows a different side of London to the Independent’s Christina Patterson.

Nancy Pickard chats with the St. Louis Dispatch about her long mystery writing career as well as her most recent novel THE VIRGIN OF SMALL PLAINS.

Matthew Pearl reveals the difficulties of writing historical fiction for BostonNow.

If you’re in the vicinity of Lincoln Center on September 27, Adrian Wootton’s lecture on David Goodis is a must-attend. (thanks, JH!)

The Philly Inquirer has a double dose of bloggers as Scott Esposito reviews Ryszard Kapuscinski’s final book and Ed Champion finds much to discuss about Warren Ellis’s first book.

Noted in many places, though I saw it at The Rap Sheet: Saddlebums’ interview with Robert Randisi.

And finally, is Coney done for now? If you were there this past weekend, like I was, it sure felt that way.