Smatterings, Served with Raisin Challah

RIP, Olsson’s Books & Records. That you will be missed is an understatement. WaPo’s Bob Thompson has a nice appreciation of the now-closed indie chain.

Another RIP for the New York Sun, especially its standout arts and culture coverage. (And what, I wonder, will this mean for Otto Penzler’s column? Will it land somewhere else, or will he contribute more to the Mysterious Bookshop blog?)

The WSJ talks with Marilynne Robinson about her new novel HOME, not writing sequels and weaving humanity back into history.

I would have thought Janet Maslin would be all over THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, but no, it’s La Kakutani!

Atlantic Books in the UK will release classic crime novels at a one-a-month pace.

This author’s books would not have been published had not CHILD 44 been commercially and critically successful.

This week’s literary controversy: are American writers too insular for the Nobel Prize for Literature? Well, I don’t think it’s an accident that of all the young writers working at the moment, the current MacArthur genius grant went to Chimamanda Adichie, a brilliant talent…and one whose chosen topics are anything but insular. Or, for that matter, American.

What’s up with Penguin imprints buying so many financial meltdown related books in one week?

Two other Penguin imprints who haven’t bought financial meltdown books, Gotham and Avery, are merging under one umbrella – interesting, because perhaps people will better understand what Avery is supposed to do, and also because Gotham and Dutton (which does only hardcover fiction) will now be completely separate entities.

Donna Tartt’s new novel has been announced, and she’s leaving Knopf for Little, Brown and it will be published…in 2012. So, um, why announce this now? Because Tartt hasn’t been in the news lately? Weirdly I was looking at CityFile the other day and reading Tartt’s entry wondering whether there would be a new book and lo, here comes this news.

Art Taylor, a regular contributor of crime fiction reviews (like this one of the new Stephen Hunter) to the Washington Post, is now blogging.(via)

Mike Leigh is the newest Bat Segundo guest, and contrast how he sounds in this interview to how he is with this one.

This is what we call sweet karmic payback.