Wednesday, May 05, 2004

News for the Wednesday morning 

If I'm just a little bit later in posting these tasty links this morning, it's because the Post-Trip Letdown (TM) that almost always happens after I travel kicked in later than usual, and the extra hour or so of sleep was very welcome.

So first, the Telegraph, which finally posts a whole lot of crime fiction content that ran in the Sunday edition a few days back. First, Susanna Yager's roundup, featuring a bumper-crop of choice reviews of the latest by John Harvey, Lee Child, George Pelecanos, Jenny Siler, Cormac Miller (more Irish thrillers! It's a spreading disease that I like!), Henning Mankell, Nicci French, Canadian James Nichol, and Lee Jackson. Then Andrew Martin takes on Harlan Coben's new standalone JUST ONE LOOK, which finds that though enjoyable, Coben seems to be "trying too hard" to rein in his natural humor and that....gasp! He likes the Myron Bolitar series books better.

Then, finally, Rachel Simhon is fairly bowled over by Mo Hayder's new novel TOKYO, which is graphic and chilling and "fascinating and very moving."

Speaking of the Telegraph, Jasper Rees writes a lengthy piece on the history of book parody and where it's headed now, as it seems lampooning bestselling works is a hot new trend in UK publishing. And while I don't think it all started with BORED OF THE RINGS (a favorite of most of my college crowd, I have to say, though not being a Tolkeinite in the slightest, I haven't touched it) that certainly seemed to have an influence.

The Rancho Santa Fe Book Club in San Diego might be one of the more unique clubs around--because big-name authors are the ones who lead the discussions. The upcoming discussion will be led by Thomas Perry, whose first two books, THE BUTCHER'S BOY and METZGER'S DOG, were reissued last year and are truly amongst the best thrillers published. And it's the same club that Alexander McCall Smith spoke to some months back, entertaining an audience that included the Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea.

Blake Crouch's debut suspense novel, DESERT PLACES, has attracted quite a number of nice notices (including one from myself) since its release back in January. Now his hometown paper, the Durango Herald, talks to the author about the process of getting published and how he's handling his newfound life as a published writer.

The Scotsman interviews Elizabeth George, whose latest book is a how-to primer about writing and the writing life.

The latest interview at Professor Barnhardt's Journal is Craig Clevenger, the author of the critically acclaimed and very twisted THE CONTORTIONIST'S HANDBOOK (er, no pun intended there.) Naturally they talk about writing and other related matters, but Clevenger also reveals his acumen--or lack thereof--as a poker player....

Sam Allis's review of THE NARROWS in the Boston Globe has perhaps the best, if not terribly blurbable, opening line: "Michael Connelly is back with a new mystery that is as self-referential as it is readable." The rest of the review pretty much backs that statement up, but Allis is excited about the possibility of what lies ahead for Harry Bosch (even if it's a big fat spoiler, so you have been warned.)

The Christian Science Monitor reviews a new book by ex-FBI agent Jim Fisher about Dorothy Deering, once a librarian and aspiring writer who kept getting conned by fake agent, who later became...a particularly virulent fake agent. However, I must nitpick--Inflation has made it necessary to correct the title to "Fifteen Percent of Nothing."

When Amazon spread their tentacles into Canada, they actually managed to get an exemption from the government because, of course, there ain't a damn thing Canadian about that company. Others objected, and now the courts get to decide if Amazon.ca's existence in Canada selling books online is illegal.

Rebecca Caldwell at the G&M reports on the Trillium Awards, another top Canadian book prize, where nearly all categories were swept by non-fiction

Sarah Shannon, writing for the Independent, is quite staggered (in a good way) about the upcoming TV adaptation of Peter Ackroyd's sprawling tome, LONDON.

Now I can start to see why Penguin has started that ridiculous promotion "Get Good Booking" that I linked to yesterday: a study published in JAMA (that's Journal of the American Medical Association to you laypersons) seems to show that girls are often better readers than boys. (thanks to Jeff for the link.)

And finally, Erik Larson can't contain his excitement about winning the Edgar for Best Fact Crime after losing out on the National Book Award:

"I told people that if I didn't win this time, I was not going to any more awards ceremonies," Larson said yesterday. "You go from not caring about awards to being all caught up in the excitement. And the fact of the matter is that I had always wanted to win an Edgar, so I was thrilled. And at the awards ceremony I got to meet writers like Ian Rankin and Michael Connelly, whose books I love."

Hey, it's always cool to see that award-winning authors can fanboy (or girl) like the rest of us....!

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