The Weekend Update, Reading Across America

Also, my current Baltimore Sun column looks at new crime novels by Benjamin Black, Charlie Newton, Jacqueline Winspear and C.J. Lyons.

NYTBR: Liesl Schillinger probes the identity politics in Charles Baxter’s new novel; Colson Whitehead wishes people would get over the fact that he writes in Brooklyn; Susann Cokal is unsettled by what Mary Swan leaves out of her first novel; and Charles McGrath wanders the Byzantium-esque streets of the Lower East Side with Richard Price.

WaPo Book World: Dennis Drabelle wishes Lisa Scottoline’s new novel had been more thriller, less cozy; Matt Haig’s new novel has a dog narrator, something of a trend now; and Ron Charles balances his faith and his wishes in reading Anne Rice’s second Jesus chronicle.

LA Times: David Ulin more or less echoes my take on Richard Price’s new novel LUSH LIFE; Jane Smiley pays tribute to the late, great George MacDonald Fraser; Ed Champion is entertained by Chip Kidd’s design-friendly novel THE LEARNERS; and Richard Rayner ponders why ULYSSES is a masterpiece, albeit an oft unread one (though he should be tempted by the new Lee Child, which pretty much rocks.)

G&M: Kevin Chong is fascinated by how Arnon Grunberg messes about with the Messiah; a new book explores the pros and cons of Canada’s health care system; and Margaret Cannon reviews new crime novels by Inger Ash Wolfe, Gyles Brandreth, Michael Moorcock, Michael Palmer, Boris Akunin and April Smith.

Guardian Review: Claire Tomalin discovers the magic of Milton; Ruth Padel is enthralled by Jennifer Clement’s tale of murderous Mexican mothers; and why am I not surprised that AL Kennedy would be a fan of Golden Age Hollywood screwball comedies? Awesome.

Observer: Peter Guttridge chats with Tom Rob Smith, author of the deservedly hyped thriller CHILD 44; Chandrahas Choudhury is overwhelmed by Manil Suri’s ambition; and Hilary Spurling examines how Julian Barnes approaches memoir.

The Times: Justine Picardie investigates a Great Bronte Mystery; Asne Seierstad talks about life after THE BOOKSELLER OF KABUL; and Olga Freer is rousing rabble with her critique of British living.

The Scotsman: Fiona Atherton is bowled over by CHILD 44; David Robinson is glad that Megan Delahunt decided to become a novelist, whatever her reasons; Pauline Diamond celebrates Mills & Boon at age 100; and Louise Penny and Petra Hammesfahr get the crime novel roundup treatment.

The Rest:

I have wanted to read Fredric Brown’s work for ages but never knew where to start. Dick Adler’s wonderful essay in the Chicago Tribune is just the kick in the pants I need to get reading.

Also, Confessions has long been a fan of everything and anything Emily Maguire, so I ask after reading this profile in the Sydney Morning Herald – someone better be publishing her new collection PRINCESS OF PORNSTARS in the US, right? Just on title alone, but also because of the content. If not, please rectify this mistake immediately.

Ali Karim points to this rather odd piece in Mark Sanderson’s Literary Life column in the Telegraph. Why odd? Because someone should tell Sanderson that his mole is messing with his head – All the book deals for CHILD 44 were represented by James Gill, not Jonny Geller. Jonny can’t have all the hot young thriller writers in his stable after all… Actually, turns out Smith jumped to Geller in the wake of the PFD debacle, so perhaps he can swoop up all the hot young thriller writers!

Oline Cogdill remains impressed with Marcus Sakey’s crime writing skills
, currently on display in AT THE CITY’S EDGE. Cogdill has also been blogging all things SleuthFest, which wraps up today.

The Telegraph’s Susanna Yager reviews two very different crime novels by Aliya Whiteley and Nicola Upson, while Jeremy Jehu explores the Brit side of thrillerdom delivered by Robert Lewis, Ian Sansom, Robert Minhinnick and Simon Lewis.

The Rocky Mountain News previews the upcoming Left Coast Crime, held this year in Denver. Jane Dickinson also conducts a Q&A with local thriller writer Stephen White.

More Richard Price coverage from Newsweek, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the St. Louis Dispatch, the Hartford Courant, the Miami Herald and Critical Mass, which promises parts 2 and 3 in Mark Athitakis’s long-ranging interview soon.

Scott Coffman makes a compelling case for Will Lavender’s debut thriller OBEDIENCE, as does Tom Nolan in the WSJ; which I couldn’t put down even though I’m not sure what to make of it still.

Dana Gioia explains to the Hartford Courant why THE MALTESE FALCON was chosen as the next “Big Read.”

Vit Wagner at the Toronto Star meets Diane Wei Liang, author of a new private detective series set in Beijing.

And finally, the curious case of bite mark expert Michael West, and how things derailed very, very fast.