The Observer serves up a preview of books published in 2009, marveling at the number of big names coming out with new novels in the UK like Amis, Pynchon, Waters, and some guy named Bolano.

One of them is Philip Roth and his new book, THE HUMBLING, evidently has “his ageing hero embark on a fantastically kinky relationship with – wait for it – a ravishing young lesbian.” And I bet the meet cute happens at a comic book convention and Jay and Silent Bob show up with appropriate words of wisdom. Oh wait…

Marilyn Stasio looks at recent crime fiction by Charles Todd, Patricia Cornwell and Malcolm Shuman, and is also charmed by the recent rediscovery of John Babbington Williams’ detective stories first published in the 1860s.

Janet Maslin picks up on the hyperstylized Gothic elements of Carol O’Connell’s new standalone BONE BY BONE. 

Hallie Ephron also reviews the O’Connell in the Boston Globe, along with new novels by Johan Theorin and Maggie Barbieri.

Patrick Anderson saves his last column of 2008 for one of his favorite thrillers of the year, BAD TRAFFIC by Simon Lewis.

Also in the WaPo, Bob Thompson visits the expansive warehouse of a used bookstore and Marie Arana says goodbye to her tenure as Book World’s editor.

David Montgomery rounds up various mystery and thriller luminaries selecting their 3 favorite books of the year.

January Magazine’s best-of list for crime fiction was so massive it had to be broken up into two parts.

Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark discuss their books written separately and together on NPR’s Morning Edition.

David Mehegan looks at authors who cling to the belief their book might get made into a movie someday. To be disabused of this notion, please read the later work of Don Carpenter, especially the linked novellas “Hollywood Heart” and “Hollywood Whore.”

Why there is controversy over ANNE OF GREEN GABLES being selected for the Modern Library, I am not sure.

Carolyn Kellogg hosted a lively roundtable about “The Curious Incident of Benjamin Button”, now in theaters everywhere, over at Jacket Copy.

Ed Park plumbs the depths of invisible libraries.

Karl Rove says GWB is a book lover. Please pass the bucket of salt, please. 

I totally want to see this new Icelandic whodunit.

But we may not get to see the WATCHMEN movie after all, though to be honest, the court battle between Warner and Fox may be a lot better viewing.

Oh, Ben Lyons. When you make your father look like Roger Ebert, you know something is amiss.

And finally, boy, did we ever lose a lot of people in the mystery world in 2008. Going through the list is a staggering exercise.