Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tournament! Of! Booooookkkkksss!

The Tournament of Books approacheth! Let us have a moment of silence in appreciation.

That was fun.

So the Tournament of Books, for those who don't know, is the bookish version of March Madness hosted by The Morning News. Every year, the staff over in those there parts consult with publishers, booksellers, their moms, and cowboys in bars (according to their website, that last part is totally true) to pick out some of the best fiction of the previous year (so 2012 for this one). The final books are then put into brackets where they have to FIGHT TO THE DEATH, and by death I mean an appointed judge picks which one is better and will therefore advance to the next bracket. The judges are authors/editors/publishing people/bloggers/journalists, etc. There's also a zombie round, where readers can resurrect an eliminated book and have it put back into the competition. The winner wins The Rooster! (I don't think that really means anything.)

They've released the list of finalists super-early this year so that people can read as many as they want before the For Real For Real bracketing starts in March- and I am going to read them all (except one)!

The List of Finalists! (bolded are the ones I've already read, don't know if I'm re-reading them yet)

HHhH by Laurent Binet
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (TOTALLY skipping this one)
Arcadia by Lauren Groff
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
Ivyland by Miles Klee
Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Dear Life by Alice Munro
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Building Stories by Chris Ware
[winner of the pre-tournament playoff round]

Pre-Tournament Playoff Round
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Fobbit by David Abrams
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

So, these are the books you should expect to hear a lot of chatter about here for the next little while- and keep an eye on Book Riot, as well- this event is a favorite of most of the contributors over there and there will be MUCHOS TONS of coverage (including some from me).

I'm starting with Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk because...that's the only one the library had available for immediate download to my Nook. I'll also be reading Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall in preparation for reading Bring Up The Bodies, which is the sequel. 

Rooster on, readers. Rooster on. (And let me know if you're going to read the field, too!) I hope your favorites make it far.


  1. I'm very psyched for this year--I've already read 6, I think that's a record for me. And I have 4 on the TBR stack. I don't know if I'll make all 16, but I'm going to give it a powerful try. Fault in Our Stars is really, really good, BTW.

  2. i'm not a regular reader, so sorry if i missed something, but why are you skipping john green?

    1. I've already tried to read it twice and just hated it hated it hated it. I got enough of that Precocious Teens Who Talk Like Grad Students watching Dawson's Creek when I was in high school.

  3. I'd love to read them all, but with a tiny infant in the house I don't think this is the year for me. I did like ARCADIA and loved BRING UP THE BODIES (WOLF HALL was great too). Enjoy!

  4. I've read 6 of those listed. I really should read the rest. Bring up the Bodies and The Orphan Master's Son were both excellent btw ;)

  5. I'm going to read a goodly number on the list this year (I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't read any yet).

    I'm going to start with Where You'd Go, Bernadette? because it's on my bedside bookshelf 'cause I won it a few months ago and haven't gotten to it yet!

  6. Oh man, I wish I had time to read the whole field. This sounds awesome. So far I've only read one on the list, making me the lamest book blogging participant ever, woot!

  7. Ive read five already, so I might try to play along. I've seen the list but not the bracket.... Guess I doesn't matter since they'll start out with everything and whittle it down.

    If you know anything about the Tudors, I don't think adding Wolf Hall is necessary before Bringing Up the Bodies. I read the sequel only while reading the Booker shortlist, and other than needing to settle into the narration style I didn't feel like I had any missing pieces.

    1. (Sorry for the typos, on the iPad I can't make changes without starting over, no idea why!)