Saturday, May 1, 2010

Booked Up . . . for a Year

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you may wonder why I haven't mentioned recently what I'm reading.  Well, it's like that CIA joke -- I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you.

Okay, so I'm overstating the case a bit but here's the thing. I am reading A LOT but I have signed a pledge not to discuss the books I'm reading -- not now, not ever.

"What the ...?" I hear you saying.

Indeed. It's weird. But I am one of a committee reading to select five nominees for Best (mystery/crime/suspense) Novel of 2010 We select the nominees; the membership of Mystery Writers of America votes to determine the winner.  

The Edgar Award is prestigious and there are many, many books sent to us readers by the publishers.  The books began to trickle in by the end of February and then in March and April, here came cartons of books -- all shiny new hardbacks. At present I've received just over a hundred novels -- and there will be lots more.

And that, alas, is all I can tell you. I also signed a pledge not to discuss the judging process. I will say that I'm getting a comprehensive overview of mystery writing today.

I bring this up because a list of what I'm reading has always been a feature of my monthly Goodweather Report (published in its own blog the first of every month.)  So now that feature is going to have to disappear for a year and I feel the need to explain to those readers what's up.

And you all too.

It's at once a book lover's dream --  and nightmare.  All these great books -- but I can't talk about them.

Stay tuned . . . the books are mine to keep. Next year, there will be giveaways!


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23 comments:

Merisi said...

Oh Vickii, that is an enormous commitment and a lot of responsibilty too! Good luck, may these all be books worth your time!

Are you going to be allowed to disclose how you voted, once the award has been announced?

vicki archer said...

What a job Vicki....one I would rather love although the volume of reading sounds rather daunting. I will be impatient to know the winner....Happy reading! xv

Martin H. said...

You have one huge task on your hands there Vicki. Good luck, and don't strain your eyes.

Pat in east TN said...

Goodness sakes Vicki, I'd think I'd died and gone to heaven if those boxes of books were delivered to my house! How on earth can you add that to a plate that seems already overflowing? Whew!

Vicki Lane said...

No, Merisi -- I'm not allowed to discuss any of the books or disclose my vote. The five nominees will be announced by Mystery Writers of America in (I think) late February. They'll be voted on by the membership and the winner will be announced in late April.

As I said, Vicki A., it's a dream...and a nightmare.

Re full plate, Pat -- I only took this on because I'll be giving myself a break from writing for a while.

Miss_Yves said...

A great responsability!

First picture:Through the looking-glass...
Last picture:I've got too many books in my house ...but it's too painful to remove some of them ...

June said...

Hundreds of books, gratis, sounds lovely.
Having to stay alert enough to judge why they would rate an award would be difficult for me. Very difficult.

Jean Baardsen said...

That's a big job you've taken on! I've heard that some books, like mysteries, or romances, are written to almost a template in terms of the structure of the book. I imagine that sort of thing would catch your attention as you're reading. I liken this to overindulging in Hot Fudge Brownie Sundaes....

Brian Miller said...

i love to read, but that is huge...enjoy it. i wonder if i would still love it as much as i do...

tori said...

Wow! I can't even imagine! How do you keep it from becoming a chore? I love to read but I'm afraid I would be struggling to keep it enjoyable after the first 50 or so...
I hope it goes well for you! :)

Carol@ Writers Porch/ Book House said...

Hey Vicki ~~~ what an honor but what torture not to be able to talk about a really good book you've read! I'm sure I would not be good at that! :)

Tammy said...

Wow..like Pat, I would think I'd died and gone to heaven. That would be so cool to get boxes and boxes of books. I too was wondering though how you would handle that as well as a writing schedule, until I read your comment about taking some time off from writing. I guess with two books done (mostly) that you deserve some off time! Thinking more about reading all those books though, I think the hardest part would be reading all the way through a book that wasn't that appealing to me. I'm sure you can't just stop and move on to the next one, so that would be a chore. Anyway. Have lots of fun! Look forward to next years book giveaways. Ha.
Tammy

Vicki Lane said...

Miss Yves -- I already had too many books in my house -- I'll probably only keep a few of these new ones. When our judging is over, I'll do some giveaways and donate the rest to our local library.

June -- It's interesting -- my 'favorites' keep switching as I read more.

Jean -- There are, indeed, templates -- but the really good writers don't let it show. And yes, At the end of the year I may never want to read another mystery.

Brian -- Fortunately I am a VERY FAST reader and there's no rule against skimming.

Tori - I'm enjoying the fact that by the end of the year I'll be acquainted with a staggeringly wide range of writers and styles and stories. Kind of research for my own writing, in a way.

Oh, that part's awful, Carol! I'm reading one right now . . . but my lips are sealed.

Tammy -- With somewhere over 500 books, we can't possibly read every one in a year. So we are allowed to put the book down if we realize we don't like it. Thank goodness!

Reader Wil said...

It sounds like a very interesting job. I noticed that a lot of mystery writers are women.
Agatha Christy, P.D. James, Ellis Peters, Ruth Rendell, Dorothy Sayers and you yourself and many more. Daphne du Maurier wrote a few mystery novels as well. I love all of them and wouldn't know which of these books are the best. So I think you are very clever to know which one you are going to choose.

Fran said...

So, another Vicki Lane mystery?! Thanks for signing up to my blog, Vicki, and enjoy all the reading. Sounds like my idea of heaven, being asked to do that. But no doubt decision-time will be tough.

Star said...

So exciting! but you must be a fast reader? Without discussing the books, you could tell us how you read them? What makes for a good book, in your opinion, and what to avoid? if you have the time, that is?
Do you ever watch TV?
Blessings, Star

Vicki Lane said...

Wil -- I'm very fond of all those you name -- except Ellis Peters who I haven't read.

Thanks, Fran!

Star -- I'm a very fast reader - and I can't really say much more than all I have to do is pick out the books I love and decide which I love the most. Each of us on the committee probably has different ideas of what makes a good book -- it'll be interesting to see which books grab all of us.

I rarely tell another person that they'll love a particular book unless I know their reading habits quite well. Al I can say is that I myself loved it.

And no -- I pretty much never watch TV.

maría cecilia said...

Darling Vicki, I wonder how do you manage to read all those books among the many other things you do!!!! Your my hero (heroína),dear.
Hugs from Chile,
Maria Cecilia

Subby said...

Heh, heh, I still mention the "kill" thing from time to time...er...um...nevermind!

This is kinda like bein' on a jury; can't divulge anything 'till it's done with, yes?

Happy reading :)

Vicki Lane said...

Dear Maria Cecelia -- but I LOVE to read -- and this is a learning experience for me -- something else I love!

Subby -- Unlike being on a jury, I can't even talk about it once the year's over. Nothing about these books or the deliberations. Ever. Loose lips sink ships. Or something like that.

Subby said...

DANG!! Sounds like a Free Masons or Knights Templar rite, wot?

Vicki Lane said...

Hey, you should see the handshake that goes with the job...

Subby said...

LOL! ;) You rock!

Oh my! Word verify="reepenti"...!