Monday, December 29, 2003

Monday morning musings 

With GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING now in release in North America, with its UK debut soon to follow, Tracy Chevalier tells the Guardian what it was like to watch her best-selling novel become a movie. I remember when I read the book a year or so ago, and was bowled over by how such a small story could be fraught with so much tension. Since then, I've devoured all of Chevalier's novels, and have loved them to varying degrees. THE LADY AND THE UNICORN is out now in the US, and I recommend it highly.

Sun-Sentinel mystery columnist Oline Cogdill rounds up her list of the best of 2003. A lot of the usual suspects--Lehane, Lippman, Connelly, Coben, Crais--make the top twenty, but a few surprises show up in Paula Woods, Carol O'Connell, and Ray Shannon. I'm a bit surprised how few debuts make her list, if only because there were so many good ones that took a bow this past year. Similarly, the main editor at the paper, Chauncey Mabe, gives his top ten of the year.

More crime fiction roundups: Margaret Cannon presents hers for the Globe and Mail. Included on the list are Peter Robinson, Barbara J. Stewart, Anthony O'Neill, and more literary-crime fare that's slightly off the beaten track. She also reviews some of the newer releases in her final column of 2003.

Suzi Feay of the Independent looks at some of the upcoming book catalogues and picks up some of the more noteworthy books that might merit attention in the New Year.

Philip Marchand looks at the year that was in Canadian Literature. Though bookstores are disappearing, there's still good CanLit to be had. And Jack Batten is more than impressed with Karin Fossum's Norwegian-set police procedural thrillers.

And finally, I link to The NY Daily News' gossip column for a whole host of frightening gems: Lydia Hearst (yup, Patty's daughter) whining about something or other, Leo and Gisele engaged (?????) and dubbing Britney and Christina as "The Punch and Judy of Pop." Classic!

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