Sunday, 3 March 2013

Tournament of Books

Today heralds the first day of the 2013 Tournament of Books and it's my first.

The Tournament of Books was conceived during a drunken night out in a Brooklyn bar by staff of The Morning News. They all agreed that they 'equally loved and despised book prizes and couldn't there be another way, rather than the big awards’ incestuous juries and smoke-filled-rooms, to discover the best?'

Apparently, the way it works is each weekday in March, two fiction books from 2012 will go head to head, with one of the judges deciding to advance one title into the next bracket. At the end of the month, the winner of the tournament is blessed with the Rooster (I have no idea why it's called a Rooster!)

Along the way, each judge has to say if he/she has any biases, interests or connections to the participating authors, and, most importantly, how they decided between the two books.

They chose the books from various sources ('publishers, agents, editors, writers, and critics. Newspapers’ best-of-the-year round-ups, and radio reports we half-heard in the car. Online merchants, neighborhood booksellers, and also plenty of ToB readers and followers. We consulted the staff of The Morning News, we consulted our parents, and we consulted some cowboys in a bar in rural Idaho (really'). So I think they've pretty much got it covered, don't you!

I caught wind of it through Book Riot and have been following their reviews of all the books involved as I didn't have the time to read any of them myself. Although I have made a want-to-read list after reading the reviews.

I am entering my predictions on hungry like a wolf's unofficial TOB 2013 contest.

Play-in Winner
The Yellow Birds
Round 1 Winners
May We Be Forgiven, Building Stories, Bring Up the Bodies, Arcadia, The Song of Achilles, Gone Girl, The Fault in Our Stars, The Orphan Master’s Son
Round 2 Winners
May We Be Forgiven, Bring Up the Bodies, Gone Girl, The Orphan Master’s Son
Round 3 Winners and Zombies
Gone Girl, The Orphan Master’s Son, The Yellow Birds, Bring Up The Bodies
Zombie Round Winners (Finalists)
Bring Up The Bodies, Gone Girl
Gone Girl
Winning Votes

Here are a list of the final books chosen and a list of the original long list.

The 2013 Tournament of Books Finalists
[Winner of the Pre-Tournament Playoff Round] 

Pre-Tournament Playoff Round

The 2013 Tournament of Books Long List
Fobbit by David Abrams
At Last by Edward St. Aubyn
The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg
Toby’s Room by Pat Barker
Maidenhead by Tamara Faith Berger
HHhH by Laurent Binet
Country of the Bad Wolfes by James Carlos Blake
Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon - having just finished this book and it being fresh in my mind, I have to say I was unimpressed with it really but I'm not surprised it made it in.
With Blood in Their Eyes by Thomas Cobb
What They Do in the Dark Amanda Coe
Perla by Carolina de Robertis
This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
Absolution by Patrick Flanery
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Threats by Amelia Gray
Arcadia by Lauren Groff
The World Without You by Joshua Henkin
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
A Working Theory of Love by Scott Hutchins
In One Person by John Irving
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
That’s Not a Feeling by Dan Josefson
The Dead Do Not Improve by Jay Caspian Kang
Good Behaviour by Molly Keane
Gone to the Forest by Katie Kitamura
Ivyland by Miles Klee - want to read
Gods Without Men by Hari Kunzru
The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy
Railsea by China Miéville
Pure by Andrew Miller
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Magnificence by Lydia Millet
Dear Life by Alice Munro - want to read
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
Boy21 by Matthew Quick
The Cove by Ron Rash
The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling - after all the either love or hate reviews on this book, I'm pleased this made it as I loved this book 
Redshirts by John Scalzi
Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
Mr.Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan -this is one of my favourite books of last year, so I'm very disappointed that it didn't get in to the final 16 but am pleased it made on the long list at least!
NW by Zadie Smith
This Bright River by Patrick Somerville
Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
The Dream of Doctor Bantam by Jeanne Thornton
By Blood by Ellen Ullman
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Building Stories by Chris Ware - this one fascinates me and I can't wait to read it
Jack Holmes and His Friend by Edmund White
Care of Wooden Floors by Will Wiles
Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe

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