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Saturday, November 08, 2003

Saturday morning news, reviews and more 

First, let's check in with the Guardian: reviews of James Lee Burke's latest Robicheaux novel, another less-than-positive review of OLIVIA JOULES (people, can you stop reviewing this book already? There are lots of other books that could get the same airplay after all) Sarah Smith's enjoyment of Elke Schmitter's new novel, an overview of the history of books by servants, and a look at J Robert Lennon's new novel MAILMAN. Finally, Julian Barnes offers up an entertaining story about how literary parties aren't what they are often cracked up to be.

Next, it's the New York Times: Walter Kirn finds YELLOW DOG to be over the top but not nearly as bad as all the hype; In other oft-reviewed books, VERNON GOD LITTLE is deemed "plain fun to read" MY LIFE AS A FAKE is "far from second rate" and David Kamp is less than thrilled with NEVER MIND THE POLLACKS (ah, well).

Then it's the Globe and Mail, where Michael Tait is disappointed with Helen Dunmore's new novel, Camilla Gibb seems to like Toni Morrison's LOVE, Marion Ettlinger's new book of author photographs is examined, and Martin Levin weighs in on the meaning of book reviews.

Margaret Cannon is back with her crime column this week: she's rather charitable towards BLOW FLY, thinks Don Gutteridge is afflicted with the sophomore jinx, loves Henning Mankell's latest out in translation, is underwhelmed by Charles Todd's new standalone, adores Richard North Patterson's BALANCE OF POWER, and finds Gaylord Dold's debut undermined by historical inconsistencies that are easily checked on Google.

In random news: The Pen Literary Society wants to become a charitable organization, but some of its members are balking, as the move may curttail their ability to do political activism. The Boston Globe has a short feature on Nick Hornby. And USA TODAY features a review of first-time author David Kocienewski's gritty look inside the NYPD.

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