An Edgar for Michael Dirda

We couldn't be more proud to learn that Michael Dirda's On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling has won the Mystery Writers of America's 2012 Edgar Award for Best Critical or Biographical Work. The Pulitzer Prize winning critic and author, whose "Library Without Walls" column appears monthly in the BNR, has penned a fascinating and unique book that weaves together Arthur Conan Doyle's life and work -- which included, in addition to the Sherlock Holmes stories, wonderful works of historical fiction and adventure -- with a memoir of Dirda's own boyhood, a peek into the world of the "Baker Street Irregulars," and a meditation on the power of fiction. 


Edgars also went to Mo Hayder for Gone (Best Novel), Lori Roy for Bent Road (Best First Novel), Robert Jackson Bennett for The Company Man (Best Paperback Original), Candice Millard for Destiny of the Republic (Best Fact Crime), Matthey J. Kirby for Icefall (Best Juvenile) and Dandi Daley Mackall for The Silence of Murder (Best Young Adult).


Our congratulations to Michael -- and to all of this year's winners!



April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.