Sunday, 25 September 2011

altToo often a photograph of a famous person forever seals in our minds the image of that person at the age when that photo was taken.

It's hard to imagine Winston Churchill or Ernest Hemingway at any age other than the ones depicted in their most iconic photos.

Think about most of the photographs you've seen of Agatha Christie. These photos show a regal, gracious middle-aged lady. We never see the Queen of Crime Fiction as a young woman.

But the updated reissue of An Autobiography may change that.

Imagine Agatha Christie as a surfer. And not just a regular rider of the waves. According to An Autobiography, Christie was one of Britain's first stand-up surfers. She was an avid bodyboarder, taking up the sport during a 1922 holiday in South Africa with her husband, Archie. That's the stuff of songs by the Beach Boys.

altThe new edition of An Autobiography, originally published in 1977, is due out in December from Harper, capping off the 120th anniversary of Christie's birthday.

The new hardcover edition will feature 24 pages of photographs in black and white and in color, and a CD of newly discovered recordings of Christie dictating parts of this autobiography. An introduction by Mathew Prichard, Christie’s grandson, explains how he found the tapes used to make the recordings.

Just paging through the advanced readers copy of An Autobiography that arrived the other day intrigued me. I am especially looking forward to seeing photos of the young Agatha Christie, who 35 years after her death, is still entertaining.

Agatha Christie: Little Surfer Girl
Oline Cogdill
agatha-christie-little-surfer-girl

altToo often a photograph of a famous person forever seals in our minds the image of that person at the age when that photo was taken.

It's hard to imagine Winston Churchill or Ernest Hemingway at any age other than the ones depicted in their most iconic photos.

Think about most of the photographs you've seen of Agatha Christie. These photos show a regal, gracious middle-aged lady. We never see the Queen of Crime Fiction as a young woman.

But the updated reissue of An Autobiography may change that.

Imagine Agatha Christie as a surfer. And not just a regular rider of the waves. According to An Autobiography, Christie was one of Britain's first stand-up surfers. She was an avid bodyboarder, taking up the sport during a 1922 holiday in South Africa with her husband, Archie. That's the stuff of songs by the Beach Boys.

altThe new edition of An Autobiography, originally published in 1977, is due out in December from Harper, capping off the 120th anniversary of Christie's birthday.

The new hardcover edition will feature 24 pages of photographs in black and white and in color, and a CD of newly discovered recordings of Christie dictating parts of this autobiography. An introduction by Mathew Prichard, Christie’s grandson, explains how he found the tapes used to make the recordings.

Just paging through the advanced readers copy of An Autobiography that arrived the other day intrigued me. I am especially looking forward to seeing photos of the young Agatha Christie, who 35 years after her death, is still entertaining.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

altWe are constantly being told we are not a country of readers. And while, admittedly, some countries, such as Iceland, read more than the U.S., we do read.

Just think of all the mystery writers you know and how many books you read a year, as well as that ever-growing TBR pile next to your bed. (Or in my case, next to the desk in my office.)

By the way, the photograph is courtesy of my friend and avid mystery fan, Jordan Foster.

And, for a change, there is some good news about the publishing industry.

Total book publishing revenue rose 3.1% in 2010 to $27.9 billion and posted two-year growth of 5.6%, according to figures released recently by BookStats, which is part of a joint program developed to create a comprehensive analysis of industrywide sales. As expected, the gain was due almost entirely to increases in digital products which offset declines in all print formats.
Among the major formats, e-book sales across all categories rose 38.9% in 2010, to $1.62 billion, according to BookStats.

So where are all those readers? Here's Amazon's list of the Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities in America. The list was based on the number of sales on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents.

The most well-read city? Cambridge, Mass., which is home to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Cambridge also was at the top of the cities that ordered the most nonfiction books.

Boulder, Colo., was most well-read in the cooking and food and wine category.

Alexandria, Va., orders the most children's books.

I'm pleased to note that Florida, where I live, is the state with the most cities in the Top 20. Miami, Gainesville and Orlando made list.

Here's the list. Where does your city fall?

1. Cambridge, Mass.

2. Alexandria, Va.

3. Berkeley, Calif.

4. Ann Arbor, Mich.

5. Boulder, Colo.

6. Miami

7. Salt Lake City

8. Gainesville, Fla.

9. Seattle

10. Arlington, Va.

11. Knoxville, Tenn.

12. Orlando, Fla.

13. Pittsburgh

14. Washington, D.C.

15. Bellevue, Wash.

16. Columbia, S.C.

17. St. Louis, Mo.

18. Cincinnati

19. Portland, Ore.

20. Atlanta

We Are Readers, So Read!
Oline Cogdill
we-are-readers-so-read

altWe are constantly being told we are not a country of readers. And while, admittedly, some countries, such as Iceland, read more than the U.S., we do read.

Just think of all the mystery writers you know and how many books you read a year, as well as that ever-growing TBR pile next to your bed. (Or in my case, next to the desk in my office.)

By the way, the photograph is courtesy of my friend and avid mystery fan, Jordan Foster.

And, for a change, there is some good news about the publishing industry.

Total book publishing revenue rose 3.1% in 2010 to $27.9 billion and posted two-year growth of 5.6%, according to figures released recently by BookStats, which is part of a joint program developed to create a comprehensive analysis of industrywide sales. As expected, the gain was due almost entirely to increases in digital products which offset declines in all print formats.
Among the major formats, e-book sales across all categories rose 38.9% in 2010, to $1.62 billion, according to BookStats.

So where are all those readers? Here's Amazon's list of the Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities in America. The list was based on the number of sales on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents.

The most well-read city? Cambridge, Mass., which is home to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Cambridge also was at the top of the cities that ordered the most nonfiction books.

Boulder, Colo., was most well-read in the cooking and food and wine category.

Alexandria, Va., orders the most children's books.

I'm pleased to note that Florida, where I live, is the state with the most cities in the Top 20. Miami, Gainesville and Orlando made list.

Here's the list. Where does your city fall?

1. Cambridge, Mass.

2. Alexandria, Va.

3. Berkeley, Calif.

4. Ann Arbor, Mich.

5. Boulder, Colo.

6. Miami

7. Salt Lake City

8. Gainesville, Fla.

9. Seattle

10. Arlington, Va.

11. Knoxville, Tenn.

12. Orlando, Fla.

13. Pittsburgh

14. Washington, D.C.

15. Bellevue, Wash.

16. Columbia, S.C.

17. St. Louis, Mo.

18. Cincinnati

19. Portland, Ore.

20. Atlanta

Monday, 19 September 2011

altBouchercon is over and what a fine conference it was. Hats off and lots of gratitude to the organizers.

The conference was great.

The panels were great. And the guests of honor were great.

Personally speaking, it was great to see old friends and visit my hometown of Charleston, Missouri, and Columbia, Mo., where I went to college. I spent some much needed quality time with friends I have known since I was six years old and some of my relatives.

With Bouchercon comes awards. The lists of nominees were full of excellent novels.

So here's the list of as many winners as we could find. And, of course, congratulations to all.

2011 Anthony Awards, given by Bouchercon from votes by attendees:
Best Novel: Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (photo at top)
Best First Novel: The Damage Done by Hilary Davidson
Best Paperback Original: Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski
Best Short Story: Dana Cameron's "Swing Shift" in Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side
Best Critical/Non-Fiction: Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks by John Curran
Best Graphic Novel Anthony: The Chill by Jason Star
Best Website/Blog: Stop, You're Killing Me website, maintained by Lucinda Surber and Stan Ulrich

2011 Shamus Awards, given by the Private Eye Writers of America
Best Hardcover P.I. Novel: No Mercy by Lori Armstrong
Best First P.I. Novel: In Search of Mercy by Michael Ayoob
Best Paperback Original P.I. Novel: Asia Hand, by Christopher G. Moore
Best P.I. Short Story: “The Lamb Was Sure to Go,” by Gar Anthony Haywood
The Hammer Award (Best P.I. Series Character): Sara Paretsky for V.I. Warshawski. Paretsky also has been honored this year with the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award and with Bouchercon 2011’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The EYE (Lifetime Achievement Award): Ed Gorman. Gorman has written numerous standalone detective novels as well as the Jack Dwyer, Tobin, Leo Guild, Robert Payne and Sam McCain series.

2011 Macavity Awards winners:
Best Mystery Novel – Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
Best First Mystery Novel – Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva
Best Mystery-Related Nonfiction – Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran
Best Mystery Short Story – “Swing Shift” by Dana Cameron in Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side
Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery – City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley

2011 Barry Awards
Best Novel: The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton
Best First Novel: The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron
Best British Novel: The Woodcutter by Reginald Hill
Best Paperback Original: Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid
Best Thriller: Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer
Best Short Story: "The List" by Loren D. Estleman

Anthony, Shamus and More Winners
Oline Cogdill
anthony-shamus-and-more-winners

altBouchercon is over and what a fine conference it was. Hats off and lots of gratitude to the organizers.

The conference was great.

The panels were great. And the guests of honor were great.

Personally speaking, it was great to see old friends and visit my hometown of Charleston, Missouri, and Columbia, Mo., where I went to college. I spent some much needed quality time with friends I have known since I was six years old and some of my relatives.

With Bouchercon comes awards. The lists of nominees were full of excellent novels.

So here's the list of as many winners as we could find. And, of course, congratulations to all.

2011 Anthony Awards, given by Bouchercon from votes by attendees:
Best Novel: Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (photo at top)
Best First Novel: The Damage Done by Hilary Davidson
Best Paperback Original: Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski
Best Short Story: Dana Cameron's "Swing Shift" in Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side
Best Critical/Non-Fiction: Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks by John Curran
Best Graphic Novel Anthony: The Chill by Jason Star
Best Website/Blog: Stop, You're Killing Me website, maintained by Lucinda Surber and Stan Ulrich

2011 Shamus Awards, given by the Private Eye Writers of America
Best Hardcover P.I. Novel: No Mercy by Lori Armstrong
Best First P.I. Novel: In Search of Mercy by Michael Ayoob
Best Paperback Original P.I. Novel: Asia Hand, by Christopher G. Moore
Best P.I. Short Story: “The Lamb Was Sure to Go,” by Gar Anthony Haywood
The Hammer Award (Best P.I. Series Character): Sara Paretsky for V.I. Warshawski. Paretsky also has been honored this year with the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award and with Bouchercon 2011’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The EYE (Lifetime Achievement Award): Ed Gorman. Gorman has written numerous standalone detective novels as well as the Jack Dwyer, Tobin, Leo Guild, Robert Payne and Sam McCain series.

2011 Macavity Awards winners:
Best Mystery Novel – Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
Best First Mystery Novel – Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva
Best Mystery-Related Nonfiction – Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran
Best Mystery Short Story – “Swing Shift” by Dana Cameron in Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side
Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery – City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley

2011 Barry Awards
Best Novel: The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton
Best First Novel: The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron
Best British Novel: The Woodcutter by Reginald Hill
Best Paperback Original: Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid
Best Thriller: Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer
Best Short Story: "The List" by Loren D. Estleman