Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Beyond Basketball: The "Tournament of Books"

Are you a "bibliophile" (a lover of books)? Spring is a great season to read, and we even have a convenient break week coming up. Although many book awards are announced around at the end of the calendar year, March has one particularly oddball book contest that is a lot of fun:

The Tournament of Books at The Morning News website.

Each day Monday-Friday in March, books published in 2014 and chosen as the favorites by The Morning News' readers face-off against each other. A judge from the Tournament of Books panel (usually another author, but sometimes a critic, a musician, or an "interesting personality") will read both books and explain how each book made them think and feel...

And then one book is chosen by that judge as the"victor" and is passed to the next round.

In the final rounds, books that were eliminated early on but are audience favorites can come back as "zombie picks" to complete against the semifinalist winners for a chance at making it to the final round. Coming out on top means the book is named the "Rooster" winner and the author is awarded a live rooster (no, really).

The Tournament of Books is an offbeat way to add a few titles to your "for fun" reading list, and because each judge  and the comments at the site discuss the books as they go, you have the added bonus of being able to join an online conversation about the books!

Past years' commentary and titles are fun to browse, as well. We have selected past Rooster contenders at the Holman Library, including:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (2013 finalist)
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (2012 semifinalist)
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (2012 quarterfinalist)
The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht (2012 quarterfinalist)

This year's titles:
The 2015 brackets for the Rooster.

(Books that have been eliminated have been crossed out below-- although they might come back in the Zombie round.)

Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Adam by Ariel Schrag
A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall by Will Chancellor
Wittgenstein, Jr. by Lars Iyer
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante
Redeployment by Phil Klay
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

Many of this year's current titles are available through the King County Library System if you'd like to join in-- happy reading!

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