The “Facebook is Out of Control” Weekend Update
I mean, really. I liked Facebook when it was a way to find out what the people I went to elementary and high school with were up to. I liked Facebook when it was fun, albeit in a ridiculous manner, to add writers I like or think it’s bizarre to see listed (Camille Paglia?!). But now that status updates are considered fair game for quoting, some companies allegedly use the service as a mandatory replacement for staff directories and I’m starting to see potentially fuzzy ethical concerns (can I review an author who is my Facebook friend? I think so, sometimes, but that I have to ask this question says something, does it not?) not to mention how much time it’s sucking out of each and every day, well, I have to wonder. Then again, once Google buys in or the company goes public, it’ll be over and I can rest easy.
Now, less rant, more links:
NYTBR: Marilyn Stasio expands her column to five books, reviewing new stuff from Arnaldur Indridason, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Mari Jungdstedt, James Swain, and Ivo Stourton, who I could have sworn wrote a literary novel but what do I know? Otherwise, Rachel Donadio dissects UK libel laws, Clive James expounds on EXIT GHOST, and Mary Morris tells some hilarious stories about being mistaken for her literary doppelganger.
And in the City section, Jason Starr writes about the perils of living in Normandie Court when there’s a constant party down the hall.
WaPo Book World: Jon Meacham takes to the slings and arrows delivered in Arthur Schlesinger Jr.’s diaries; Daniel Woodrell explores the archetypes found in Stephen Hunter’s thriller creation, Bob Lee Swagger; Bethanne Patrick debuts with a review of Rachael King’s lovely debut THE SOUND OF BUTTERFLIES; and Book World debuts its own blog on literary matters.
LA Times: Thomas Curwen looks at the entire Easy Rawlins series as well as the newest volume, BLONDE FAITH; Maud Newton makes her LATBR debut with a review of Alan Bennett’s THE UNCOMMON READER; and Ed Park starts a two-part column on John Crowley.
G&M: T.R. Rigelhof also hopes Ian Rankin isn’t really retiring Rebus like the author says he might; John Metcalf seems to be Canada’s gadfly, if Adrian Michael Kelly is to be believed; and Margaret Cannon reviews new thrillers and mysteries by Linwood Barclay; David Waltner-Toews, Mike Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, and Linda Moore.
Guardian Review: Colin Greenland cottons to David Thewlis’s first crack at a novel; Christopher Tayler enjoys Alisdair Gray’s examination of growing older; and Laura Wilson is enthralled with Laura Thompson’s biography of Agatha Christie, while also reviewing new crime efforts from Robert Goddard, Edward Wright, Michael Walters and Claire Seeber.
Observer: Hermoine Lee’s interview with Philip Roth finds a UK home in the broadsheet; Andrew Anthony likes the way Nick Hornby writes for teens; and it has nothing to do with literary matters but I found myself vaguely transfixed by Elizabeth Day’s journalistic investigation into the meltdown of one Ms. Spears.
The Times: Bee Wilson celebrates Britain’s culinary history; Andrew Holgate has fun in the worlds created by Jeanette Winterson in her new novel; David Cordingly writes of the real-life inspiration for Patrick O’Brien’s Captain Jack Aubrey; and Joan Smith discovers Henning Mankell has written a polemic disguised as a novel with KENNEDY’S BRAIN.
The Scotsman: Alisdair Gray puts on a performance for the benefit of Stuart Kelly; David Robinson catches up with 44 SCOTLAND STREET as its 5th series is about to begin; and Alan Massie is caught up in Susan Hill’s foray into ghost story territory.
The Chicago Tribune’s Paul Goat Allen looks at the latest in mystery by Charlie Huston, Ken Bruen, Zoe Sharp, Nicholas Griffin and the Everyman Library edition of Dashiell Hammett works.
In the Telegraph, Susanna Yager reviews new crime fiction by Petra Hammesfahr and Zoe Sharp.
The Toronto Star’s Jack Batten writes what has to be the oddest review so far of Chelsea Cain’s HEARTSICK thus far.
Booker Prize finalist Mohsin Hamid tells the Christian Science Monitor what he’s listening to, what makes him laugh and what he’s working on.
David McCullough explains to the WSJ’s Jeff Trachtenberg why documents replace words in 1776: The Illustration Edition.
The Bat Segundo show updates with a great many more shows featuring interviews with George Saunders, Naomi Klein, Chimamanda Adichie, Katha Pollitt and David Peace, who happens to be interviewed by yours truly.
And finally, the Ig Nobel Prizes, given to those making strides in the sillier side of science.