Aug 1, 2012
Books for fans of London or the Olympics; what's the difference between a mystery, a thriller and a suspense novel? We recommend The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce and Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz
The 2012 London Olympics are in full swing, and here are our picks for some related books (some more related than others!):
What's the difference indeed? It used to be that buyers for large chains made decisions where a book would end up in the store. While that still happens, the internet and book discovery sites like Goodreads give books more chances to be discovered outside of a mystery section. To get a definition of these kinds of books, Ann did some Googling and found a 2008 blog post by former literary agent (and now author) Nathan Bransford, in which he says:
Thrillers have action
Suspense has danger, but not necessarily action
Mysteries have mysteries, i.e., something you don't know until the end.
It seems like a pretty good description to us. Literary agency Bookends also wrote a post (that very same day!) in which they said, "While ... mysteries tend to be about solving the crime, suspense/thrillers tend to be about stopping a killer or crime. In other words, often we know who the killer is, it’s not necessarily a whodunnit, but now we must find him or find a way to stop him."
Ann recently received a new Scandinavian mystery called Midwinter Blood which is subtitled "A Thriller," whereas Jo Nesbo's books say "A Novel." Will they reach different audiences because of the subtitle?
Finally, a recent Flavorwire post titled 11 Thrilling Books for People Who Don't Read Thrillers, included Tana French's latest Broken Harbor and Donna Tartt's The Secret History.
Though I haven't read it yet, I couldn't wait any longer to tell you about The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. It's a book that has been loved by my colleagues, by reviewers, by some of you already, and by the Booker Prize committee who put it on this year's long list. Harold Fry is a retired man whose life is completely changed by a letter he receives one morning, and the journey he undertakes to respond to that letter.
Ann had so much fun reading Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz. Despite the fact the there have been other biographies of Julia Child, and indeed, Julia has told some of this story herself, Bob Spitz has put together a comprehensive look at Julia's entire life, and had access to her diaries and letters. Dearie will be published on August 7.