Sunday Smatterings

My newest column at the Baltimore Sun has a neophyte feel to it because all three of the books I review, by Leonard Downie, Malla Nunn and George Matras, are debut novels.

Regis Behe chats with Hallie Ephron, whose first solo novel NEVER TELL A LIE is out and is very much the page turner, as Heller McAlpin discovers.

BONE BY BONE also leads off David Montgomery’s mystery/thriller roundup in the Chicago Sun-Times, where he also looks at recent releases by Patricia Cornwell, Dean Koontz, Nick Stone and Charles Cumming.

Matthew Lewin’s thriller column in the Guardian evaluates new books by Carol O’Connell, Jeffery Deaver, Tom Bale and Anna Blundy.

Marcel Berlins has what I think is the first proper print review of THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, which exceeds the amazing standard set in THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Ali Karim also bestows hosannas on Stieg Larsson’s second novel at The Rap Sheet, but there are spoilers aplenty in his review so beware. Maxine Clarke’s review at Euro Crime strikes a better balance.

Carol O’Connell’s acerbic wit is on display in this phone interview with John Orr at the San Mateo Daily News Her new standalone, BONE BY BONE, is favorably reviewed by Oline Cogdill.

Lin Anderson sits down with the Scotsman to discuss her bestselling Rhona MacLeod thrillers.

Richard Belzer talks about all things acting and comedy with the New York Post, not to mention his first (ghostwritten) novel I AM NOT A COP!

Jane Dickinson likes what she reads in CJ Box’s new standalone, THREE WEEKS TO SAY GOODBYE.

In the Guardian, Per Petterson discusses his life of writing.

I can see what Julian Gough was trying to do with his so-called “Modest Proposal for the Publshing Industry”, but as satire, it just doesn’t work for me.

Anita Elberse thinks the blockbuster mentality is here to stay, but calling DEWEY a high-risk venture is overstating things. Grand Central knew the book was going to do amazingly well, shelled out the advance and marketing dough and made it happen. So duh.

Also in the WSJ, Jeffrey Trachtenberg looks at the big potential releases of 2009. I remain excited than between August and October, we’ll have new novels from Thomas Pynchon, Nicholson Baker and Richard Powers. Fiction, so not dead.

So Adam Sternbergh tried to quash the surprisingly cogent arguments in David Denby’s new long essay SNARK, but Ed Champion explains why Sternbergh misses the point.

io9 editrix Annalee Newitz ponders what the future holds in the Washington Post.

David Ulin pays tribute to Glenn Goldman, the beloved owner of Los Angeles independent bookstore Book Soup. Goldman died of pancreatic cancer on Saturday, and the store is up for sale.

As is widely reported, Librarie de France, located in the heart of Rockefeller Center, will close because of skyrocketing rents.

Sara Lippincott takes MOBY DICK with her on a cruise around the South Pacific.

Eoin Colfer explains why he’s taking on the herculean task of penning a sequel to THE HITCHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY.

The retro covers on Penguin Australia paperbacks are a big hit down under.

And finally, I calculated how many books I read in 2008.