Monday, January 25, 2010

The Tournament of Books 2010

by Jim

Long time followers of our blog may remember that I’m a giant fan of any awards shows or competitions. And if it wasn’t exciting enough that it’s Oscar season, the Olympics are coming, and the Australian Open is going on, the Morning News recently revealed the judges and competing titles for their annual Tournament of Books.

It’s a sort of predictable bunch of literary fiction with limited concessions to commercialism (The Help sold a ton of copies) and some other trend (last year featured a YA title, this year it’s a graphic novel). But who cares?! It’s a contest that acknowledges how arbitrary it is, AND that gets people engaged in a dialogue about books. So I don’t mind that my favorite book of last year (This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper) didn’t make the shortlist. Or that what I thought was the most overrated book of last year did (Lowboy by John Wray, how twee and dull I found you).

Instead, I’m going to celebrate that I’ve already read four of the sixteen competing titles (also including Let the Great World Spin; Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned; and Miles from Nowhere). Then I’ll pretend I’m going to read the other twelve, get through maybe two of them, and follow the tournament like a bookie at the races.

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