On disappointment, perspective and looking forward

A day before the announcement of the winner of this year’s CWA International Dagger Award (which happened last Friday night in the UK) I shared my thoughts on the shortlisted books I’d read and mused there was only one book I’d grizzle about if it won.

Naturally enough that book, Three Seconds, won the award.

Perhaps if it had been a different week I might have had a real grizzle (or even a fully fledged rant) about the unfairness of that decision but as it happened time provided a bit of perspective. Personally I was very crook with a bizarre stomach bug (the symptoms of which I will not bore you with) for several days so was not up to even a gentle whimper about the judges getting it all wrong. And when I did raise my head from my sick-bed it was to hear the sombre news that the world has produced yet another mass murderer with a twisted, evil agenda; this time in the peace-prize giving Norway. Even my national pride took a hit when I heard a report that several Australian right-wing politicians and conservative leaders were among the evil bastard’s heroes.

Clearly there are a lot of things I have to be more angry about in this world than which book won an award.

Happily I don’t have to dwell on this year’s Dagger disappointment  for long. I can already start speculating about next year’s award thanks to Karen Meek (one of the judges of this year’s award) (and no, I’m not holding it against her) from the excellent website Euro Crime who has already started listing the books which will be eligible. She will update that blog post regularly enough that your credit card won’t ever see the inside of your wallet but if you can’t wait for those updates you can even subscribe to the RSS feed of her Good Reads shelf on which sit all the eligible titles (you don’t have to be a Good Reads member and can use any RSS reader).

I’ve already read a couple of the eligible titles (one being the five-star read Quarry by Johan Theorin) and have several more pre-ordered. It looks like a good year of translated reading ahead and who knows, next year I might just pick a winner 🙂

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12 Responses to On disappointment, perspective and looking forward

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Bernadette – I really like the perspective you discuss here. Such awful news from Norway, and that’s not the only sad thing going on in the world…. I think that’s why I love to read so much. Sometimes reality is a bit hard to take, isn’t it? I hope your choice wins next year’s award. And I do hope you’re feeling healthier now.


    • Margot people often offer me true crime to read but I’m afraid my reading is my escape from a reality that is often too sad to think about for long. And thanks, feeling much better today


  2. The massacre in Norway hit me very hard (there is a reason why we call it a brother country), but I have never bothered much about awards, simply because I don´t get the judges´ decisions most of the time. Well, I am probably just a bit daft.

    And the evil bastard also admired a couple of Danish politicians – small wonder, our leaders have made a sharp turn to the right these last ten years, and now and then they forget all the varnish and say what they really mean! Gross.


    • I can only imagine Dorte, it is probably like us and New Zealand.

      I think most of the world has made a turn to the right over the past few years, a truly terrible consequence of the events of September 2001 in America and the worl-wide reaction to them. Apparently we never learn


  3. Keishon says:

    Yes, the shock of Norway being under attack..I’ve been reading the coverage. Hey, awards to me are useless especially when I disagree with them. Sorry to hear you were sick and hope you’re feeling better Bernadette. Take care.


    • I do agree that awards are pretty useless. I just know that many people will hear about the winner of the CWA Dagger and make a reading choice based on that and I wish they were going to hear about Ernesto Mallo or Domingo Villar instead of those two tiresome Swedes. But it’s not to be.


  4. It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? My mom started chemo yesteryday for her third bout with lymphoma. Book awards are fun to speculate about and disagree with, but they are, after all, just book awards.


  5. Indeed Karen, and so sorry to hear about your mum, my thoughts are with you both.


  6. Kathy D. says:

    Agree with your sentiments and perspective on the Dagger awards. I was disappointed, too, but will still read the nominated books. And I agree with your perspective on what’s really important, like support for the people of Norway who are grieving over the actions of a neo-Hazi “evil bastard.”
    Thanks for posting information on the Australian right wing. I’ll send it to friends who are reading global news on this topic. We have plenty of “Tea Party” right-wingers in the States — some of them spat at African-American congresspeople who are Civil Rights Movement veterans during the 2008 election campaign, and at gay Congresspeoplel Some went ballistic and openly displayed guns at health care plan Town Hall meetings, some went bonkers at the thought of a mosque being built in New York City, spreading bigoted vitriol and threatening violence. Some are beating up and demonizing immigrants over here, etc. They conveniently forget that many people who live here are immigrants or their descendants.
    And, yes, I too don’t read real crime or about wars, as I like escapism, distraction and enjoyment in my reading, and to have “virtual” vacations.
    I do believe that the good folks outweigh the evil-doers. That keeps me going. The whole world mourns with Norway, or a darn good majority. It keeps my hope alive.


  7. Kathy D. says:

    errata: above: Line 4 should be “neo-Nazi evil-bastard.”


  8. JoV says:

    Sorry to hear that you are under the weather. Hope you are better now.


  9. Kathy D. says:

    Yes, hope you’re up and feeling fine as soon as possible.


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