Tuesday, January 13, 2004

News for Tuesday 

Hmm, it can't be fun to be a bookseller in the UK. No fixed pricing, supermarkets undercutting you...hell, now they are warring with each other. Right now, Tesco looks to win the overall race, which means they'll probably be selling hardcovers for like, 3 pounds max.

Matthew Pearl, author of THE DANTE CLUB, presents his top ten books for those who love the man who brought us all INFERNO (also PURGATORIO and PARADISO but let's face it, we only want to read about evil and baddies.) Pearl's book, just out in the UK, is reviewed at the Independent.

Jennifer Weiner comments on the plastic surgery mishap that's landed Olivia Goldsmith in critical condition. Agree with her totally--writers are supposed to write, not be models and gorgeous. Although believe me, that's not stopping publishers from asking female authors to send in photos of themselves as part of the whole package deal (but have no fear: just because you're drop-dead gorgeous, doesn't mean you necessarily have the edge over the ugly folk. Emphasis on necessarily.)

(confidential to Lizzie: Perhaps you might want to consider other author photograph luminaries like Jerry Bauer, Jonathan Exley, and Sigrid Estrada. Ettlinger...she makes everyone look a tad alien-ish in the name of art. It's kind of bizarre.)

Want a sneak peek at Jay McIninerney's debut food column? La Spiers is more than willing to give you the scoop.

Dear David Denby: might I suggest some nighttime reading for you? In light of all your troubles, I do believe you would very much enjoy this newly reissued gem from the pen of Donald Westlake. Perhaps it would give you untold insight into your behavior.

Mark Timlin (who will have a new book out from the Do-Not Press later this year, so contrary to popular belief, he hasn't completely disappeared) rounds up some of the usual suspects in mystery fiction. He digs Jilliane Hoffman's debut novel (but not the "dessicated butterfly in a box with the book. A butterfly that caused one friend of mine to leave the room in a hurry when she realised that it was real and not made of plastic or paper as I innocently thought." Um, ack? Anyway, he's kind of down on Alafair Burke and Peter Robinson, but likes Alice Blanchard, Peter Spiegelman and the new Don Harstad. But overall, another cranky outing for Monsieur Timlin.

Kevin Burton Smith reviews Jim Fusilli's latest novel, TRIBECA BLUES. Although there "isn't a single lick to be found," it's more than worthy of its title. I thought it rather good myself.

Holy crap. Harold Shipman is dead.

And finally, the WaPo talks about those who didn't grow up kosher but now keep a kosher home. Hey, it's still working for me, though I've yet to taste shellfish, pork, or much of that trayf business. Can't miss what you can't have....

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