It's all about the "Best of" Lists this week, most of which, btw, can be found at this incredibly handy link. But for those who want to scour the papers like I do, let's go:
NYTBR: Want the 100 Notables list? Look right here. In full-length reviews, Sarah Vowell digs the Godfather sequel, Daniel Mendelsohn writes an insanely long treatment of Truman Capote, Jacqueline Carey jumps on the CASE HISTORIES bandwagon, and Laura Miller explains why book recommendations often lead to anxiety attacks.
WaPo Book World: Jonathan Yardley picks his year's favorites, as does the rest of Book World's staff; Daniel Stashower mightily approves of the new two-volume annotated Sherlock Holmes; and Azir Nafisi hopes that literature can save the world.
G&M: I wonder if Margaret Cannon was being just a tad lazy this week. Many copyediting errors (the novel's called DISSOLUTION, and it was published in 2003) and she reviewed the latest James Patterson(?!) although she also looks at releases by Tony Hillerman, Michael Blair, R.J. Harlick, and Lorenzo Carcaterra. Otherwise, Martin Levin looks at the oversized gift book phenomenon, Christine Sismondo examines two books on--yes--ice, and Lynn Crosbie makes me laugh by comparing Tom Wolfe's I AM CHARLOTTE SIMMONS to Sydney Sheldon.
Guardian Review: All sorts of famous writer types weigh in with their favorite books of this past year. Otherwise, Matthew Lewin delivers an exceedingly (and hilariously) cranky thriller column, Todd McEwen explains why he moved back to New York (a siren call I definitely and truly understand) and James Fenton looks at the links between flying and fascism.
Observer: Stephanie Merritt thought it a good year for literary fiction; two new books demonstrate how difficult a personality Lindsay Anderson was; and Robert McCrum offers his dream dinner party literary guest list--and you can, too, for the low low price of--oh, wait, wrong reference. Sorry.
Scotsman & Sundry: Andrew Greig gives the inside scoop on the impetus for his Saltire Award-winning novel; Michael White makes the case that Machiavelli was "misunderstood," but Andrew Crumey isn't buying it; and there's yet another example of why Dick Lit isn't exactly catching on with readers.
All the rest:
Ken Follett was born in Wales and lives in England, but he's donating his archives to the Saginaw (MI) Valley State University. Why? All is explained in this news item from the Saginaw News.
Charles Taylor explains why Ruth Rendell is one of the genre's greats, using her newest US release, THE ROTTWEILER, as a springboard for doing so. (Warning: day pass required)
Matthew Pearl's THE DANTE CLUB may have been released almost 2 years ago, but he's still publicizing it in far flung places like Brunswick, Maine.
Oline Cogdill's on a reviewing tear, giving good notices to Sue Walker's THE REUNION (she liked the book a lot more than I did, though I do want to read Walker's next book), Ben Rehder's FLAT CRAZY and Bob Randisi's anthology MURDER AND ALL THAT JAZZ.
Tom and Enid Schantz return with their monthly mystery column for the Denver Post, looking at new books by Colin Cotterill (hey, why haven't I received a copy of this yet??) Stuart Kaminsky, and Deborah Grabien.
The San Jose Mercury News's John Orr picks his best mystery novels of the year: an interesting, albeit a big ticket item-slanted one.
Dear Telegraph--you suck. Stop putting your reviews online so late! Anyway, Susanna Yager's crime column, which originally ran on the 17th of November, features reviews of new books by Andrew Taylor, Jeff Lindsay, Graham Hurley, Denise Hamilton, Louis Bayard, Jorg Fauser, Thomas Richter, Joe Lansdale, Natsuo Kirino, and Laura Lippman.
Lloyd Hart was once so addicted to smack he stole books and clothes to feed his habit. After turning his life around 10 years ago, he went even further--and opened a bookstore in Orchard Park, MA.
Here's the kind of review of I AM CHARLOTTE SIMMONS I've been looking for--written by a college student for his student newspaper!
And finally, some people claim to have seen a ghost--others try to auction them off.