The awards season is upon us. The film industry had the Golden Globes, and is getting ready for the Screen Actors Guild awards and the Oscars. The music industry is looking forward to the Grammy awards. The NFL is headed towards its 50th Super Bowl. Even the coffee industry is starting to gear up for the US Coffee Championship. Our society loves awards. We love the competition. We love the suspense. We love the pageantry.
The literary world is no different! There are the big awards, such as the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes or the National Book Award. There are awards for younger readers, such as the Caldecott and Newbery Medal winners.But there are also smaller awards given for books in specific genres. These are the award books I most enjoy reading. Reading an award winning or nominated book can be a great introduction to a genre that you are less familiar with. Since today is Edgar Allan Poe's 207th birthday, I want to specifically highlight the award named for him...The Edgar!
The Edgar Awards have been presented each spring since the 1940's by the Mystery Writers of America. There are several categories, including Best Novel, Best First Novel, Best Juvenile, and Best Young Adult. There is even an award for best television episode!
Some past winners include:
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
Private Eye Marlowe befriends Lennox, a war veteran with a very wealthy wife. When she ends up dead, Lennox is on the lam and the cops and a crazy gangster are after Marlowe.
Won Edgar for Best Novel in 1955
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth.
A killer at the top of his profession, unknown to any secret service in the world, has a contract to kill French president Charles DeGaulle, one of the world's most heavily guarded men.
Won Edgar for Best Novel in 1972
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.
In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands.
Won Edgar for Best Novel in 2015
And here are a few of this year's nominees:
Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi
It's 1951, and twelve-year-old Pete Collison is a regular kid who loves Sam Spade detective books and radio crime dramas. But when an FBI agent shows up at Pete's doorstep, accusing Pete's father of being a Communist, Pete is caught in a real-life mystery.
Nominated for Best Juvenile work 2016
Ask the Dark by Henry Turner
A thriller about Billy Zeets, a 14-year-old semi-delinquent in a deadly tango with a killer.
Nominated for best Young Adult Work 2016
Canary by Duane Swierczynski
Honors student Sarie Holland is busted by the local police while doing a favor for her boyfriend. Unwilling to betray him but desperate to avoid destroying her future, Sarie has no choice but to become a "CI" -- a confidential informant.
Nominated for Best Novel 2016