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Monday, December 01, 2003

Monday morning blues 

Earlier blogging than usual (or late, if you consider I didn't get to it at all yesterday) due to various commitments and appointments and such. Not that you necessarily care, so here's the news as I know it (with an update for later in the morning):

Maslin reviews James Patterson's latest. To which I ask, what is the point? The book will sell like gangbusters. Patterson is his own phenomenon, never mind that he hasn't even written his books for years and years. It doesn't matter in the slightest what she thinks. Come on, NYT, stop being lazy and hmm, review some kind of midlist-y type of genre novel? Oh, the humanity, I know....

The Observer's big interview yesterday was with Noam Chomsky. He waxes eloquent about a lot of things, being his usual ornery self, really.

What were authors' favorite books of the year? There are a variety of interesting choices amongst the writers the Guardian asked for this feature.

Patrick Anderson examines Mickey Spillane's new novel, which is, surprisingly, a standalone. The review is more of a platform for Anderson to reminisce about the old Spillane of Mike Hammer glory, and summing up, the new one just doesn't hold up as well as the early stuff.

Oline Cogdill reviews Ruth Franscisco's debut novel CONFESSIONS OF A DEATHMAIDEN (interesting premise but flawed execution) and the coffee table book on the Amelia Peabody novels by Elizabeth Peters.

Umberto Eco lectured last month on whether the electronic media was rendering books obsolete. My own firm answer to that question is "Hell, no."

Robert McCrum examines the curious difference between continents in how to package and market a book, namely the latest by Paul Krugman.

Bill Crider presents a wonderful feature at January Magazine on the five best Western Mysteries through the decades.

There are all sorts of things that can cure writer's block. For poet and novelist Lavinia Greenlaw, it was the Arctic chill.

Finally, Margaret Cannon does her bi-weekly crime roundup. The usual collection of raves and not-quites, though Carol Higgins Clark is a long way past the third book in her series (I think it's the sixth or seventh by now.)

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