We're starting off with the Los Angeles Times today. Call it West Coast bias, but I thought they had the most interesting selection of book reviews this weekend, so why not?
David L. Ulin just might be my favorite book critic. In his review of Haruki Murakami's 1Q84, he suggests that readers try to take in the 926 page novel in as close to one sitting as possible. This may sound silly (and impossible), but Ulin insists that "there's something about the book that requires the deep immersion, the otherworldly sense of connection/disconnection, that only an extended plunge allows." He explains that the book draws readers "into a landscape where the boundary between reality and imagination has been rendered moot." So what's the plot? You can read the full review here. But suffice it to say that "this is a major development in Murakami's writing."
Carolyn Kellogg writes a review about A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown, in which Julia Scheeres, who chronicled her own experience as a troubled teen sent to a tropical religious camp in the best-selling Jesus Land, uses published reports and recently released FBI files to portray the members of the Jonestown massacre "as victims, not fools." In Kellogg's words, "It's hard to imagine how people might be so browbeaten, afraid and misled that they would bring about their own deaths — but Scheeres has made that terrifying story believable and human."