Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It's Here! It's Here! The 2012 Tournament of Books!


It's the most wonderful time of the year. The 2012 Tournament of Books is almost here! It's ridiculous how excited I am by this. Ridiculous.

Today, they released the titles for the 2012 tournament. It's a different roll out than last year, but I think I like it. In previous years, they released a long list of about 50 titles in December, the list of 16 in January, and the brackets in late February.

This year, they skipped the long list altogether (I did like the long list, because it had lots of good books on it that I didn't know.). Instead, they just waited to release the list of 16 already in brackets! This is revolutionary. In previous years, I'd been proud of myself for reading books, but it's sort of useless unless you've read its competition. This way, I can be more more targeted in my reading choices over the next few weeks. The good news, I've ALREADY READ FOUR OF THE 16! Yes! The bad news: 944 pages of IQ84. Gulp!

Here are this year's books in their first round match-ups. The ones I have already read are in bold.

1. Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending vs. Donald Ray Pollock, Devil All the Time

2. Helen Dewitt, Lightning Rods vs. Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones

3. Haruki Murakami, 1Q84 vs. Nathacha Appanah, The Last Brother

4. Alan Hollinghurst, Stranger’s Child vs. Téa Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife

5. Ann Patchett, State of Wonder vs. Patrick DeWitt, The Sisters Brothers

6. Karen Russell, Swamplandia! vs. Michael Ondaatje, The Cat’s Table

7. Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot vs. Kate Zambreno, Green Girl 

8. Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding vs. Teju Cole, Open City

Of the remaining books, I can get Open City, The Art of Fielding, State of Wonder, and The Cat's Table from my school library. I bought a copy of Swamplandia! with my winnings from Book Riot, and Erik gave me IQ84 for Christmas. Finally, I cleverly saved my bookstore gift cards from Christmas for just this reason and just ordered the other 6. Total cost to me for my Tournament of Books 2012 reading: $10.63. Yahoo!

Time for me to get cracking! Let's see how I do!

PS. I yell at my students all the time for excessively using quotation marks. And look at me.


  1. Well, I've only read one of these (The Marriage Plot, so I'm looking forward to your reviews/recommendations.

    I've been looking at 1Q84 for awhile -- I considered it on audiobook because I love a long audiobook, but a lot of reviewers said that the narrator was "annoying." Listening to the clip, I can see why and I don't want to listen to someone with an annoying voice (who also speaks verrrry slowly) for 47 hours.

    I really enjoyed The Wind-up Bird Chronicle from last year -- want to read 1Q84 together?

  2. K,

    Sure, I'd love to read IQ84 together...we should do it on Subtext (I'd buy a digital copy of that behemoth in a second)! I've been playing around with it, and it turns out you can do it for any book, not just the ones they have professional annotations for. And, it's basically the FIRST thing I've ever done that has actually made me really see the value in my iPad.

    Basically, you'll need to get the google books app and the subtext app. Then, download the book to google ebooks (the cool thing about this is that you can do this *through* the page of your favorite indie bookstore. It's basically the way to buy digital AND support a local business. Yay! Read more about that here: )

    Then, you open the book in the Subtext app, we find and friend each other and we can write back and forth to each other IN THE BOOK. It's pretty sweet. I'm going to run a book club for some of the middle school parents and I've been trying it out for that book, which is Unbroken. I think I'm going to get some kids on it for our next literature circle book.

    The future of reading is here. Let's get on board.

    PS The very thought of spending 47 hours with an annoying audio book makes me shiver. Speaking of audiobooks, I'm ready to send you the Harry Potters if you're still interested. It's A LOT of discs. You still want them? All of them or just the first few books. I couldn't pull the trigger on it because it feels cruel to send someone that when they are about to move.

  3. I think 'The Cats Table' by Michael Ondaatjte is going to be a fabulous read for a wide range of people. I heard about this book on Elaine Charlses 'The Book Report' radio show on Sunday. You can get to hear the taped version of her show on ''. I didn't know that Michael Ondaatje has written 13 poetry books and of course he's written 'The English Patient'.
    The Cats Table is actually the dinner table that is furtherest from the Captains Table and the unimportant people get to sit there and the table might also be nearest to the kitchen.
    Phrases from the book that was mentioned on the show was "who realizes how contented the ferrel children are" and "free of the realities of earth' on board the ship.
    It sounds like the boys get up to delightful mischief and get to meet a wide variety of interesting people in their adventures.