Tag: new york city

2019 Edgar Allen Poe Awards Honors Mystery Writers

Each spring, the Edgar Allen Poe Awards are handed out In New York City. The awards were first started in the 1950s and honor best mystery fiction, nonfiction, theatre, film, and television. The Best Novel went to Down the River unto the Sea by Walter Mosley, Best First Novel went to Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin, Best Paperback Original was If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin, Best Fact Crime was Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation by Robert W. Fieseler, and Best Critical/Bibliographical went to Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s by Leslie S. Klinger.


A picture of a bear standing over a forest with birds flying around it

These are some very cool awards with great authors behind them, earning some well earned recognition for their spooky titles! The full list of winners and nominees can be found here. Grab some of them for your continued reading list! And try to find some this year that’ll possibly make the cut for next year’s awards!



Featured Image Via The Edgars 

Gatsby Was First Published in 1925. So What Else Was Going on?

On April 10th, 1925, Scribner published a short novel by popular author F. Scott Fitzgerald which didn’t sell many copies or receive positive reviews. Today, The Great Gatsby is one of the most widely taught works of fiction in the United States.  Safe to say, the publishing climate in the 1920s was about as unpredictable as international conflict at the time — so what other bookish things were happening in 1925?


1. the Argosy Book store opened



New York City’s oldest independent bookstore, Argosy Book Store, opened for the first time in 1925, although it later moved from 114 East 59th Street to 116 East 59th Street. This famous bookstore still sells rare, used, and new books to customers in its elegant townhouse setting — until 6 p.m. most evenings, anyway.


2. American ya author robert cormier was born



Although he didn’t write his first novel until he was thirty-five , I Am the Cheese and The Chocolate War author Robert Cormier was born on January 17th, 1925, in Massachusetts. His books, later adapted into award-winning films, continues to receive flack today for its violent depictions of mental illness and abuse.


3. the new yorker published its first issue


The New Yorker magazine, a cultural vanguard for New York City and modern culture, published its first issue on February 21st, 1925 — and has hardly stopped releasing world-famous covers, cartoons, and commentary since then.


4. Flannery O’connor died



On March 25th, approximately a month before the publication of a book that would change the world, literature lost a legend when short-story writer and proponent of the Southern Gothic literary style Flannery O’Connor died from lupus at the age of thirty-nine.

5. T.s. eliot published the hollow men



20th Century poet T.S. Eliot officially published his haunting tribute to post-war Europe, “The Hollow Men,” on November 23rd, 1925, though there are many borrowed lines from some of Eliot’s previous works.


Featured Image Via Argosy Book Store.


Subway Ad for One Book One New York. Drawing of three people sittitng down and reading different books.

Did You Know That New York City Has a Book Club?



If you live in NYC, you might have seen the ads for One Book, One New York on the subway. If you have not seen them or you just don’t live here, One Book, One New York is a project organized by the NYPL in which citizens can vote on what book they’d like to collectively read. That book is then advertised with the goal being that many people will begin reading the same book. I think it’s pretty neat and also kind of strange. Anyway, the people have voted and they chose Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach as the winner.



Book cover for Manhattan Beaches

Image Via GoodReads


The follow up to Egan’s critically acclaimed A Visit from the Goon Squad, Manhattan Beach takes place during WWII. According to NYC.gov, “Manhattan Beach tells the haunting World War II-era story of Anna Kerrigan, who becomes the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s first female diver, and her search for her missing father.” Manhattan Beach is not getting great reviews from everyone. Many reviews are positive but some go as follows:


Reading the dust jacket one would have thought this book contained a real good mystery. The only mystery to me was how anyone found this book entertaining! The characters were lackluster, the plot all over, the ending was unbelievable, and all in all, I found this book boring. – Elaine N. (Via Goodreads)


Looking back over the novel, I get an intense feeling of dissatisfaction. Everything is a series of disconnected plot points; many long, slow parts where nothing happens, and even the more action-filled parts were not particularly interesting. Bloodless and forgettable. – Emily M (Via Goodreads)


Pretty harsh reviews. But, as I said, this book does have a ton of positive ones such as:


This is a hauntingly ambitious historical novel of the sea and New York, set during the Depression era and the Second World War. It is impeccably researched in its period details and well plotted. -Paromjit (Via Goodreads)


“What can’t she do?” is right. Turns out Jennifer Egan can do anything she damn well pleases, including take 7 years to write a World War II novel that manages to shuck all the expected conventions of writing about those years. There is some amount of mystery here but it isn’t a mystery novel, just like there’s plenty of history but it isn’t a historical novel. Egan’s writing has all the pleasure of a comfy blanket on a crisp autumn morning – so what luck that this fall brings a joy like this novel. -Drew (Via Goodreads)


Do you let negative reviews deter you from starting a book or do you look to good reviews for recommendations? If you wany yo join in on the party and you live in New York, pick up a copy and see how you like it. I am curious to see what the next book choice will be.


Feature Image Via Vulture