I’ve been pretty hard on the LA Times Book Review here, so it’s only fair I give praise when it’s due. This was the first issue that I’ve read from cover-to-cover in months. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This week’s edition was a perfect mix of non-fiction and fiction reviews, most of which were entertaining and informative. Jonathan Kirsch’s lively review of Seth Greenland’s THE BONES gave me a real feel for the book and the writing… made me want to rush out and buy it. Stephen King’s review of a new book on HP Lovecraft made for entertaining reading… though it would have been nice, since it was supposed to be a review, if King actually talked about the book instead of himself for even a paragraph or two. Peter Straub did a much better job talking about a collection of HP Lovecraft stories and managed to do so without injecting himself into the article even once. There were also many other punchy, informative reviews, including looks at DISHING, Liz Smith’s new memoir; IN THE COMPANY OF CHEERFUL LADIES, Alexander McCall Smith’s 18th or 19th new novel so far this year; and BLEEDING THE BLUE AND THE GRAY, which sounds like a fascinating look how medicine was practices on the battlefields during the civil war. There was even a thoughtful essay on the work of literary translators. I wish the Book Review was this good every week.