My Eyes!

There are two times during the year when I know I'm going to need a trip to the optometrist. Spring and fall are notorious for heaping books on me. I know it's partially my own fault. Why I feel the need to read all the books on an awards nomination list is beyond me. But it's a compulsion.
As you may know, I am already in the throes of reading all the contenders for this year's Tournament of Books, hosted by The Morning News.
There are 15 books on the list at this point, and I have read six. Don't worry...with five weeks to read the rest, I have "plenty" of time. Sigh.
I have also done my civic duty and voted in the Tournament of Books Zombie Round. Just in case you haven't been reading my blog (sigh again), the Zombie round gives eliminated books a chance to rise from the dead. I voted for my favorite book to date, Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (READ IT).
But back to the issue with my eyes. The Edgar Award nominees were just announced by the Mystery Writers of America, giving me roughly 20 more books to read by May. I have read five of the nominated books already.
That's a lot of pressure. After all, how can I give you my opinion on the sanity of the judges if I have not read the books myself? Exactly.
To add even more tiny print for my optical pleasure, the National Book Awards have changed their rules for the first time in forever, stating that they will now announce a "long list" of 10 nominees per category. I applaud the changes, which were inspired by my favorite book award, the Man Booker Prize. However, that now means I'll have about 80 books to read for those fall programs.
So look for me at the local pharmacy, trying on reading glasses in ever-increasing intensity.
Meanwhile, here is the list of the nominees for the Edgars. Note that I don't include the short story or juvenile prizes. I have to draw the line somewhere.

Best Novel

The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins
The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (you go, Girl)
Potboiler by Jesse Kellerman
Sunset by Al Lamanda
Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
All I Did Was Shoot My Man by Walter Mosley

Best First Novel

The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay
Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman
Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
The Expats by Chris Pavone
The 500 by Matthew Quirk
Black Fridays by Michael Sears

Best Paperback Original

Complication by Isaac Adamson
Whiplash River by Lou Berney
Bloodland by Alan Glynn
Blessed Are the Dead by Malla Nunn
The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

Best Fact Crime

Midnight in Peking by Paul French
Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King
More Forensics and Fiction by D.P. Lyle, MD
Double Cross by Ben Macintyre
The People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry

Best Critical/Biographical

Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe by John Paul Athanasourelis
Books to Die For edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke
The Scientific Sherlock Holmes by James O'Brien
In Pursuit of Spenser edited by Otto Penzler


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