Tournament of Books 2016

Last night, reader emailed me (and so can you) that this year’s Tournament of Books is under way. The ToB is one of the most entertaining and unique items in the Book event calendar. A literary March madness: in 5 brackets a selection of recent books (mostly novels although I’ve also seen story collections nominated and there’s poetry in the bracket this year, I think?) are pitted against each other and a judge (from book journalists to novelists like Jeff Vandermeer and Celeste Ng) picks the winner in each bracket. The championship round then unites all the judges as the book with the most votes takes home the trophy.  The great advantage (and sometimes source of frustration) is that it is absolutely the luck of the draw, not just who you encounter in your bracket, but also what kind of judge is asked to render judgment on any given bracket. Thus, due to idiocy, a few years ago, Kathryn Stockett’s The Help beat out John Wray’s masterful Lowboy. More details on the way the tournament works here. For the first time in several years, I actually reviewed one or two of the books in the tournament. I have linked them in the list of the brackets below. Interestingly, I have mentioned a different Paul Beatty novel in the Oreo review yesterday, and I’ll link my Luiselli review although the book in the tournament is actually the Mexican novelist’s sophomore effort. Ok. Here you go, the brackets of this year’s ToB:

Fates and Furies
v. Bats of the Republic
judge: Maria Bustillos

The Sympathizer
v. Oreo
judge: Brad Listi

The Turner House
v. Ban en Banlieue
judge: Miriam Tuliao

Our Souls at Night
v. The Whites
Judge: Syreeta McFadden

A Little Life
v. The New World
judge: Choire Sicha

The Book of Aron
v. The Tsar of Love and Techno
judge: Doree Shafrir

A Spool of Blue Thread
v. The Story of My Teeth
judge: Daniel Wallace

The Sellout
v. The Invaders
judge: Liz Lopatto

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s