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!



July 22: On this day in 1941, on his twelfth wedding anniversary, Eugene O'Neill presented the just-finished manuscript of Long Day's Journey into Night to his wife, Carlotta.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.


What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.