The Postprandial Weekend Update

Thanksgiving is but a faded memory, the gluttony may persist until the end of the year, but the Weekend Update remains the same. Or something like that.

Lots to BSP about this weekend. Aside from the Guardian piece, Time Out New York ran another one of my place-specific pieces, this time about the Harlem brownstone where the most illustrious jazz musicians of our time gathered for what’s now known as A Great Day in Harlem. My newest “Dark Passages” column at the LAT has a decidedly alcoholic theme, while I also wax eloquent about ENTERING HADES, John Leake’s chilling account of the serial killing exploits of Jack Unterweger for the Philly Inquirer.

Now to everybody else:

NYTBR: Ah, the list of 100 Notables. Can a list get any safer? I’d comment further but I feel a bout of narcolepsy coming on. Otherwise, John Simon peruses Noel Coward’s letters;  Rachel Donadio looks at the convergence of publishing houses and film studios; and Brian Hall’s review of Diana Abu-Jaber’s ORIGIN misses the point on so many levels. But hey, what do I know, I just review crime fiction, right?

WaPo Book World: Jonathan Yardley is gobsmacked at what Daniel Walker Howe reveals about the Civil War’s revolutions; Marcia Nelson tries to evaluate the merits of Joel Osteen; and Susan Okie is engaged by Edward Ball’s DNA tracings.

LA Times: Scott Timberg looks at Wallace Stegner’s legacy as controversy rages about a “new” work – written 50 years ago at the behest of oil companies; who else but Leslie Klinger could review a new biography and the collected letters of Arthur Conan Doyle? and Ed Champion offers a thoughtful take on Paula Kamen’s emotional memoir of Iris Chang.

G&M: Michael Posner asks Yann Martel how he plans to follow up THE LIFE OF PI; Ben McNally is taken with David Thewlis’s first attempt at a novel; Getting A.L. Kennedy to review Steve Martin’s memoir is pretty damn cool; and Susan Perren picks her top 10 (actually 11) kids’ books.

Guardian Review: Oooh, time for a glut of holiday recommendations from notable authors; AS Byatt examines the fantasy  lurking deep within English literature; and James Fenton is fascinated with the art of forgery.

Observer: Even more best reads of the year; Robert McCrum talks with Anne Fadiman about essay-writing, desserts and her next projects; and Alex Clark applauds Jane Gardam’s latest bout of fiction.

The Times: Marcel Berlins has a flat-out awesome interview with Donald Westlake; Peter Millar has some fun with Jakob Arjouni’s new PI novel; Brian Aldiss wonders why SF writers are neglected as a group; and the Sunday Times picks its best books of ’07.

The Scotsman: Jim Gilchrist pays tribute to the late poet Hamish Henderson; David Sexton applauds James Lee Burke for addressing Hurricane Katrina; and Tom Adair declares the newest Benjamin Black novel “a terrific read.”

The Rest:

Oline Cogdill very much enjoys new thrillers from Greg Iles & Thomas Lakeman.

David Montgomery reviews new crime offerings from Dean Koontz, Jonathan Hayes, Meg Cabot, Robert Harris and Karen Olson.

At the Boston Globe, Hallie Ephron has her say on crime fiction by Yrsa Sigudardottir, Dean Koontz & James Church.

The Philly Inquirer’s Frank Wilson captures Sigurdadottir’s Icelandic flavor in his review of LAST RITUALS.

The Telegraph’s Jake Kerridge picks his year’s best crime novels.

The Hartford Courant’s Jenny Minton enjoys James Benn’s latest Billy Boyle adventure.

The WSJ’s Robert Hughes highlights 4 Asian-set mysteries by Martin Limon, Qiu Xiaolong, James Church and Eliot Pattison.

The Sydney Morning Herald talks with Michelle de Kretser about how dogs, hers and otherwise, informed her new novel.

Memo to Jane Sullivan: the writer’s retreat is hardly a new fad. Not in the slightest.

And finally, this is pure, utter genius.