The Buttoned-Down Mind of the Weekend Update

NYTBR: Jabari Asim assesses the final (?) Easy Rawlins novel; Sarah Towers wishes Emily Listfield could have engaged more with the autobiographical material in her novel WAITING TO SURFACE; and Marilyn Stasio reviews crime novels by Ronan Bennett and Reggie Nadelson along with the massive BLACK LIZARD BIG BOOK OF PULPS anthology.

WaPo Book World: Carolyn Hart reveals what drew her to writing about murder and tells Marie Arana a bit more about it; Jeff VanderMeer can’t get over the stark beauty of ZEROVILLE; and George Taber’s new book explores the cork/no cork debate about wine.

LA Times: Scott Timberg tries to assess Norman Mailer’s legacy; he also talks with producer-turned-graphic novelist Frank Beddor; Jane Smiley examines the collected essays of Truman Capote; and a new biography reveals much about California political staple Jesse Unruh.

G&M: Claire Cameron explores Steve Erickson’s Hollywood vision;  Thomas Wharton wishes MEN IN SPACE had more of a ring of authenticity about it; and Margaret Cannon looks at new crime offerings from John MacLachlan Gray, Elena Forbes, Karin Fossum, Walter Mosley and Noah Charney.

Guardian Review: Margaret Atwood wonders how Aldous Huxley’s BRAVE NEW WORLD holds up 75 years after its first publication; Gary Taylor hopes a new collection brings Thomas Middleton back into public consciousness; Andrew Martin pens an ode to railways in fiction; and Nicholas Wroe talks with James Lee Burke about life post-Katrina, Dave Robicheaux and his way of writing.

Observer: Ian Rankin talks to Lynn Barber about 20 years of Rebus; Katie Toms falls for Irene Nemirovsky’s FIRE IN THE BLOOD; and Peter Guttridge jumps on the TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN bandwagon.

The Times: With the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize about to fete another young writer, Melissa Katsoulis and Derwent May have an age-related debate; David Baddiel remembers Norman Mailer; and Marcel Berlins reviews crime-tinged books by Benjamin Black, John Leake and Robert Lewis.

The Scotsman: Alice Sebold can count on her mother to like THE ALMOST MOON; Margaret Cook flat-out loves John Leake’s exploration of a serial killer; and Mark Miller and Denise Connelly are looking for Marvel’s next superhero.

The Rest:

Oline Cogdill approves of the “new, edgier direction” taken by Linwood Barclay in NO TIME FOR GOODBYE.

Paul Goat Allen reviews new crime novels by Michael Wiley, Derek Nikitas, Miyuki Miyabe, Ken Bruen & Jason Starr and Robert Terrall (okay, new reissue) for the Chicago Tribune.

Eddie Muller makes his holiday crime fiction picks for the SF Chronicle, and it’s kind of remarkable how many of his choices may show up on my year-end list.

The Telegraph’s Susanna Yager reviews recent mystery novels by Ken Kuhlken and Michael Pearce.

Although I wish she had laid off the Chandler references (a telltale indication that a book reviewer has little familiarity with contemporary crime fiction) the WSJ’s Marina Malenic likes what she reads in James Church’s HIDDEN MOON.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Michele Ross has her say about new thrillers by Thomas Lakeman, Jonathan Hayes and Ronan Bennett.

The Houston Chronicle’s Louis Parks talks with Charles Ardai, Glenn Orbik and others in the Hard Case Crime universe about the appeal of the books and specifically, Mickey Spillane’s DEAD STREET.

John Banville riffs on pulp fiction then and now in a fascinating piece for Bookforum.

Also in Bookforum, John Freeman and Nicole Aragi reveal their bookish tastes, separate and combined, to Radhika Jones.

Ed Champion does not have to read ZEROVILLE eight times to declare that he loves the book.

Ray Cassif at the Sydney Morning Herald catches up with Matthew Reilly as he continues to put his own spin on the adventure thriller.

The SF Chronicle goes fishing with John Lescroart.

The Age meets Ben Elton, attempting now to be a “George Orwell of his time.”

Jeff Somers talks about his unusual path to publication to the Hudson Reporter.

Kevin Guilfoile pays tribute to Ira Levin.

Kathryn Fox discusses her crime novels and reasons for staying pseudonymous with the Courier Mail.

And finally, boy do a lot of people want MANNIX to be released on DVD.