March has arrived! For many Americans this means basketball, brackets, Madness and, according to Newsweek, roughly $1.7 million in lost worker productivity. But March is also the time for a lesser-known tournament. The online magazine, The Morning News, uses tournament fever to host their annual Tournament of Books.
The first round was yesterday and pitted Jonathan Franzen’s novel Freedom against Teddy Wayne’s Kapitoil. You may have noticed Jonathan Franzen’s presence on APL’s Hottest Authors list so it’s not too terribly surprising that he won the first round of competition. In today’s judging, Emma Donoghue’s Room eked out a victory over Marcy Dermansky’s Bad Marie.
What I like about this tournament, aside from giving me a warm-up for filling out my basketball bracket, is that it serves as a great introduction to some of last year’s best fiction. Each round the judges go over some of the highs and lows of each title, resulting in pretty excellent reviews. They’re offering discounts on the titles in the tournament but I’m happy to report that the library currently owns fifteen of the sixteen books in the tournament!
Yes, the first two rounds are already finished but not to worry! The tournament goes on all through the month of March with the championship round on April 1st! And your bosses would probably prefer you follow a tournament that doesn’t involve hours of streaming video. So happy reading! And don't forget, if none of this year's titles appeal to you, you can always use the library's awesome databases to find your next great read!
p.s. If I were to pick a bracket based solely on titles, I think we’d see The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake versus Super Sad True Love Story in the finals.