The Holiday-centric Weekend Update

While not every Sunday book review publication has a holiday theme, a great many of them do to the point of near-endless repetition. But who can blame them when readers want recommendations of what to get for their loved ones this holiday season? And books beat video games, right? So onward:

NYTBR: Liesl Schillinger loves what’s going on in ZEROVILLE; Paul Collins turns back the clock to examine tobacco ads; and on the Holiday Books front, there’s Douglas Wolk on comics, Stephanie Zacharek on the Don Martin MAD collection, and Neil Genzlinger on two Ethel Merman bios.

WaPo Book World: It’s all about Holiday Books, oh yes; Garrison Keillor talks about books as boyhood salvation; and Eugenia Zukerman evaluates a new historical novel based on a composer’s doomed affair.

LA Times: Laura Miller examines the controversy raging around the movie version of THE GOLDEN COMPASS; Ed Park injects his ouroboros obsession into his Astral Weeks column; and Richard Rayner pores through the voluminous contents of the BLACK LIZARD BIG BOOK OF PULPS.

G&M: Robert Wiersema warns people who might be offended by CROOKED LITTLE VEIN’s sensibility; Martin Levin explains the ethos behind the “Globe 100”; and Margaret Cannon offers up her best crime novels of the year and reviews some new ones, too.

Guardian Review: Giles Foden remembers Joseph Conrad; Sarah Hall plugs one of her favorite childhood reads, Z IS FOR ZACHARIAH; Sophie Harrison talks with Richard Ford about the new short story anthology he edited, the art of the short story and the Bascombe trilogy; Gary Younge can’t echo the majority who love THE TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN; and Matthew Lewin reviews new thrillers by Jonathan Nasaw, Andy McNab, John Connor and Patterson, Inc.

Observer: Adam Phillips is fascinated by what Ted Hughes’ letters say about the award-winning poet; Olivia Laing is disappointed by Granta 99; and hate to say it but that new Springsteen album? Kinda not so excellent, sorry.

The Times: Bryan Appleyard wonders why the Brits don’t love science fiction; David Baddiel writes of a curious incident of ghostwriting; and Marcel Berlins makes his “best of” choices for crime fiction.

The Scotsman: Chitra Ramaswamy celebrates the love letter in all its epistolary glory; Stuart Kelly enjoys Colin Cotterill’s Dr. Siri crime novels; and Gerald Kaufman reviews crime novels by Deborah Crombie, Simon Brett and Robert Barnard.

The Rest:

Oline Cogdill reviews the print editions of HAVANA NOIR and Derek Nikitas’ PYRES and the audio edition of Tess Gerritsen’s THE BONE GARDEN.

Eddie Muller reviews new and new-ish books by Derek Nikitas, Greg Iles and Duane Swierczynski in his SF Chronicle column.

At the Chicago Sun-Times, current books editor Teresa Budasi chats with former books editor Henry Kisor about his new mystery writing career, while M.E. Collins reviews Kisor’s newest novel, A CACHE OF CORPSES.

Also at the Times, David Montgomery is nothing but glowing about Kevin Wignall’s WHO IS CONRAD HIRST?; John Grochowski has a good time with the poker anthology DEAD MAN’S HAND; and Andrew Schroedter tries to make sense of John McLachlan Gray’s NOT QUITE DEAD.

Tom & Enid Schantz present their holiday guide for mystery novels at the Denver Post.

The Toronto Star’s Jack Batten reviews the new Rebus, Easy Rawlins and Dave Robicheaux novels in tandem.

All I have to say about this Telegraph profile of Patricia Cornwell is – wow.

Also in the Telegraph, Jeremy Jehu reviews historical thrillers by Bernard Cornwell and George MacDonald Fraser.

The Independent’s Brandon Robshaw talks with Brian Selznick, author of the stupendously wonderful THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET.