Thursday, May 16, 2019

What Are You Reading?

Are you reading or have you read any of the Anthony Award nominees? The award nominees were announced yesterday, and they will be voted on, and presented at Bouchercon 2019 in Dallas on November 2. Before you tell us what you're actually reading, here's the list of Anthony Award nominees.

Bouchercon 2019 — “Denim, Diamonds, and Death” — will present this year’s Anthony® Awards in five categories at the 50th annual Bouchercon® World Mystery Convention to be held in Dallas, October 31 to November 3. The Anthony Awards will be voted on by attendees at the convention and presented on Saturday, November 2.


Best Novel 
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown and Company)
November Road by Lou Berney (William Morrow)
Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier (Minotaur Books)
Sunburn by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)
Blackout by Alex Segura (Polis Books)

Best First Novel
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Doubleday)
Broken Places by Tracy Clark (Kensington)
Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver (Pegasus Books)
What Doesn’t Kill You by Aimee Hix (Midnight Ink)
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco)

Best Paperback Original Novel 
Hollywood Ending by Kellye Garrett (Midnight Ink)
If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin (William Morrow Paperbacks)
Hiroshima Boy by Naomi Hirahara (Prospect Park Books)
Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day (William Morrow Paperbacks)
A Stone’s Throw by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street Books)

Best Short Story 
“The Grass Beneath My Feet” by S.A. Cosby, in Tough (blogazine, August 20, 2018)
“Bug Appétit” by Barb Goffman, in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (November/December 2018)
“Cold Beer No Flies” by Greg Herren, in Florida Happens (Three Rooms Press
“English 398: Fiction Workshop” by Art Taylor, in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (July/August 2018)
“The Best Laid Plans” by Holly West, in Florida Happens (Three Rooms Press)

Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work 
Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin (William Morrow Paperbacks)
Mastering Plot Twists: How To Use Suspense, Targeted Storytelling Strategies, and Structure To Captivate Your Readers by Jane K. Cleland (Writer’s Digest Books)
Pulp According to David Goodis by Jay A. Gertzman (Down & Out Books)
Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s by Leslie S. Klinger (Pegasus Books)
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (HarperCollins)
The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman (Ecco)

The Anthony® Award is named for the late Anthony Boucher (rhymes with “voucher”), a well-known California writer and critic who wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times Book Review, and also helped found Mystery Writers of America. First presented in 1986, the Anthony Awards are among the most prestigious and coveted literary awards. Bouchercon®, the World Mystery Convention founded in 1970, is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization celebrating the mystery genre. It is the largest annual meeting in the world for readers, writers, fans, publishers, editors, agents, booksellers, and other lovers of crime fiction. 

So, what are you reading this week?


SandyG265 said...

I read LEAVE NO SCONE UNTURNED by Denise Swanson. It’s a light cozy featuring a main character who’s a caterer. I also read a paranormal romance, THE TROUBLE WITH VAMPIRES by Lynsay Sands. It wasn’t my favorite book in the series.

Sharon said...

Sorry Lesa, I have not read any of those.

I did finish THE MOTHER-IN-LAW by Sally Hepworth in a couple of days. I had a hard time putting it down. I was sad as to the circumstances leading to Diana's death. I am going to look for more of her books at my library.

Next I read DYING FOR DEVIL'S FOOD by Jenn McKinlay. This wasn't my favorite in the series. I could not get behind the high school reunion storyline and why so many people were so invested in the mean girl. But I liked the way she progressed the bakery characters.

Now I am reading THE OVERDUE LIFE OF AMY BYLER by Kelly Harms. It's a fluffy little read. I love the overly dramatic diary entries by the 15 year old daughter complaining about her librarian mother's summer reading list choices and why she is picking Danielle Steel over The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. If you managed to survive teenage daughters (I had 2), you could definitely relate. Not sure how on board I am with the whole Momspringa and one night stand thing but that's probably because I am old :) I am more than half way through and enjoying it.

Happy Reading!

Jeff Meyerson said...

I have read the Megan Abbott and Lou Berney books, and some others are on my radar. (There is a long library wait for My Sister, The Serial Killer.)

We were away most of the week, but I did get some reading done. I read the first of Terry Shames's series about retired Texas Sheriff Samuel Craddock, A KILLING AT COTTON HILL. I wouldn't rave, but it was a fast read. I'm more than halfway through Marko Kloos's LINES OF DEPARTURE, second in his future military SF series about Andrew Grayson, who enlisted to get out of the Boston projects and off the mess that Earth has become. I liked the first one (TERMS OF ENLISTMENT) and this is another fast moving action story.

I read several stories in Robert Silverberg's Science Fiction Megapack collection (these are available on Kindle very cheaply, mostly 99 cents each, and there are many mystery and science fiction authors available) of his early, less sophisticated but fun stories, some written as a college student in the 1950s. I will get back to DARK CITY LIGHTS now that we're home, and I'm also reading Mollie Panter-Downes collection of stories written for the New Yorker during WWII, GOOD EVENING, MRS. CRAVEN.

I just picked up four more books at the library yesterday, including Panter-Downes's LONDON WAR NOTES 1939-1945, which were also originally published in the New Yorker. And I have the group biography of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to get back to.
And I downloaded the first of Claire Booth's Branson series from the library.

Diane said...

Under a Dark Sky. Good enough although maybe I have read too many mysteries in my life. I seem to know when something happens to the main character I just know what will happen next.
Bearskin. Did not finish. Tried to like it but finally gave up. I think I just did not care enough for the main character. I guess I will not read a book unless I Like Someone in the story. Did read the end to see how it was resolved.
Sunburn. I usually like Lippman and have read all of her Tess M novels. Ended up skimming this stand alone novel. Characters did not appeal to me.

Lesa said...

Sandy, Isn't that the series in which the caterer is friends with the people from Swanson's other series, or am I confusing them?

Lesa said...

That's okay, Sharon. I thought I'd post it if people were interested. I always like to check to see which ones I've read, and, as Jeff said, which ones are at least on my radar.

Lesa said...

Jeff, I read the Lou Berney one. Loved Tracy Clark's. Wouldn't have read the Copenhaver or finished it if it hadn't been for LJ. I read both the Rader-Day and Ziskin. I've seldom read the nonfiction, although at least this year I've heard of them.

Lesa said...

Diane, I'm with you. If I don't like the characters, I usually don't finish. I never finished Gone Girl although I did read the end. I still didn't like the characters.

SandyG265 said...

Lesa, it is a spin-off of Denise’s other series which I haven’t read yet. I think the other series is her Scumble River series. Too many books and not enough hours in the day.

Charlotte said...

Lesa, hard to believe today is May 16th, where has the month gone.
I looked over the list and I don’t think I was aware of any of them.

Muffus is doing real well. The lab report was great, the tumor was benign. He will see the surgeon this coming Tuesday for his check up.

Enjoy your coming weekend.

Hugs and pets for your fur kitties.

BPL Ref said...

I haven't read any of these, alas. I've been reading the Francis Duncan reprints (classic British mysteries, written in the 40s) and The Library at the End of the World. However, one of my colleagues did a review of My Sister the Serial Killer and several folks in the Nevermore Book Club read and enjoyed it. If you're curious:

Margie Bunting said...

From the nominations list, I have read and enjoyed November Road, Under a Dark Sky, and Broken Places.

This week I started with MURDER ONCE REMOVED by SC Perkins. Lesa has also reviewed this debut mystery about a genealogist in Texas whose client is a billionaire hoping to prove that one of his ancestors was murdered in 1849 and, of course, whodunit! It's a fun mystery with lots of details about the genealogy process--maybe too much? I started to zone out from time to time. However, its a promising debut.

I almost stopped reading ONE SUMMER IN PARIS by Sarah Morgan within the first 60 pages because I thought the writing lacked subtlety and finesse. I also wondered why the editor didn't catch the use of British wording by an American character (she said "phone the emergency services" instead of "call 9-1-1" and used the term "windscreen" instead of "windshield.") And the author misspelled "whoa" (OK, I can't help my urge to edit). But I'm glad I persisted because I ultimately found the story of two troubled women spending a summer in Paris to be "comfort food for the soul." Middle-aged Grace had been told by her husband that she was too controlling and organized and that he wanted a divorce to be with a much younger woman. Dyslexic teenager Audrey had never felt love from her alcoholic mother. When the two find each other in Paris, it's healing magic for both.

I wish I had liked THE TIME COLLECTOR as much as I liked Gwendolyn Womack's previous book, The Fortune Teller. It focuses on two psychometrists, whose skill allows them to divine the past history of an object, or even the thoughts of a person, by touch. So far this has worked well for Roan, who has made his fortune finding and selling antiques with authentic and valuable provenances. Now he is helping others return such antiques, which have been lost for years, to their rightful owners or their descendants. But suddenly psychometrists are dying or disappearing mysteriously. When Road hears that Melicent, a woman in her late twenties who is guardian to her younger brother, has just become a millionaire after selling such an item and being featured on YouTube for her psychometry skill, he fears for her safety and makes it a point to meet her. The story is fascinating, but it felt flat to me. There wasn't enough character depth to make me really care.

In THE DNA OF YOU AND ME by Andrea Rothman, Emily and Aeden are researchers investigating how the sense of smell works (putting it simplistically). At first they are competitors and then collaborators, and both want to make a discovery that will lead to awards and honors. Emily is more of a loner, finding fulfillment in her long hours in the lab, while Aeden feels there might be more to offer in the outside world. I found the story too clinical, too devoid of real feeling, except for flashes of emotion now and again. I guess that was the point of the book, but it didn't make satisfying reading for me.

BLUFF by Jane Stanton Hitchcock was a nice change of pace for me. Maud, a fiftyish former socialite who now has to earn her money playing poker, walks into a restaurant and fires a gun at two men in a booth together--one a sleazy lawyer who has bilked her family of its fortune and one a billionaire who has some nasty secrets. One of them ultimately dies, and Maud is on the run. I don't want to say any more that would spoil the fun. Yes, fun (I see it really as a caper book). It's a light, quick read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Mark Baker said...

The only Anthony nominee I’ve read is Kellye Garrett’s Hollywood Ending, which I loved.

This week, I’m working on the newest Murder She Wrote novel, Murder in Red. I’m enjoying it. Definitely better than the last book so far.

Lesa said...

Charlotte, I agree. This month has sped by! Thank you. I have weekend plans, so I'm excited. I'm happy to hear Muffus is better.

Lesa said...

BPL Reference - I'll have to check that link. My Sister the Serial Killer just hasn't appealed to me.

Lesa said...

Margie, Thank you for the comments about My Summer in Paris. I brought it home from the library again, and I really want to find the time to read it.

Lesa said...

Mark, I didn't hear the best things about the last Murder She Wrote mystery. The librarian who commented to me was disappointed in it. She said it was too violent, and the tone of the conversations between Jessica and her friends was not right.

BPL Ref said...

Lesa, it didn't appeal to me either, and yet I keep hearing good reviews so I may break down and read it.

Glen Davis said...

The only one I read was Sunburn. I've heard about all the other books, but none of the short stories. To be honest, I don't think Sunburn deserves a nomination, as I didn't think it was anything extraordinary.

This week I read:

My Gun Has Bullets by Lee Goldberg; A policeman is shot by a TV star, and given a TV show as a bribe to keep quiet. A little too similar to the rest of his work I've read.

The Russia Account by Stephen Coonts; Another parody, where Russia gives every cause and politician in the US fake money, and it almost leads to Civil War.

Magic City by James W. Hall; A photograph of the 1964 Cassius Clay/Sonny Liston fight leads to violence and murder, and other Florida craziness.

Drinking with Strangers by Butch Walker; An autobiography about a metal head evolves into an emo weenie.

The Lincoln Assassination by Michael J. Deeb; I thought it was a history, or at least a pseudo-history book, but it's historical fiction about an investigation into the assassination, that has exciting things happen in the story, but the story isn't very exciting.

The Rescue; A modern Men's Adventure, where the head of a hostage rescue company is framed, then released from jail, the relentlessly pursued by all and sundry while trying to clear his name.

Sandie Herron said...

I've started listening to the Cork O'Connor series by Kent Krueger on audiobooks. Mid-way through #2, Boundary Waters. As always, it's a different experience listening to the narrator rather than reading print. I can drift off and imagine the scenery being described, etc. David Chandler isn't the best narrator, but still enjoyable.

Lesa said...

It's probably heresy for me to say this, Glen, but I liked Laura Lippman's novella, The Girl in the Green Raincoat, more than any of her other books that I've read. I haven't read Sunburn.

Lesa said...

Great! Future reviews, Sandie?

Mark Baker said...


I completely agree about the previous book in the Murder, She Wrote series. This one is much better.

Gram said...

I've only read Broken Places and am looking forward to the 2nd in this series. I just started Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny.

Carol N Wong said...

I am almost finished with Fannie Flagg's Whole Town's Talking. I have been enjoying it but the best part is the beginning. It reminds me of Our Town and also when I was young and my mother's family used to visit the family graves in the town cemetery. My aunts would tell us about the people who died and lay flowers on the graves. In this book, the cemetery is Still Meadows, it sits on a hill and the people in the graves can some of the sounds of the town below. The stories of the people in town and the stories of the ones in the graves fit together very good. Now my mother's family is spread all over the world and split into factions after my Aunt Martha died. There was an estate dispute. I do not think that anyone visits the graves anymore. Because of my age, I am getting phone calls and mail asking me to set up plans for my final expenses! I really think they just want to make money! I need to plan something but do not like being pushed!

Also, I have started a YA, Chicken Girl by Heather Smith. I am really enjoying it and it is sort of weird or quirky but I really love the characters except one. The girl, her twin brother and mother all love each other and that is what really counts. Cami meets a group of homeless people living under a bridge, some are good generous people and others, she learns are best to stay away from.

katstev said...

In print, I am reading Tightrope by Amanda Quick & The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (really good so far). On audio, it's The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker.