What is my favorite online literary event of the year? The Tournament of Books! Now March Madness is my favorite time of the year! They always pick 16 interesting well-written books, which sometimes align with the books that have been hyped during the year and sometimes, not so much. The decisions and commentary are intelligent and irreverent. While many of us may think that picking one book over another because it included a chart is insulting (Wolf Hall won a round for that reason last year), I have no doubt that books have won awards for similar reasons, the only difference here is that the decision-making is transparent. The tournament describes itself as “the only book award that admits to its own ridiculousness.” The award? An actual live rooster, what author wouldn’t metaphorically fight to win?
Today’s Tournament of Books Pre-Game Primer contains a search for this year’s theme plus a pat on the back for the gender parity among the authors, and troubled musings about the fact that all the writers are white. Sexual preferences are unknown. All posts allow for comments, so chime in, should they do something different next year to provide for more diversity? That’s the beauty of this award, you can talk back. But remember, this audience is sharp, keep the silly comments for your Facebook page.
So fill in your brackets and play along. The Morning News provided an elaborately decorated bracket that I can’t read because the print is so small when it’s reduced to fit letter-sized paper. For those of us with ‘weaker’ eyes, Hungry Like the Woolf developed an easy to read version. Want to play along for prizes? Enter Hungry Like the Woolf’s contest before 9PM PST today.
First up tomorrow is the battle between Freedom and Kapitoil, I’m picking Freedom for no other reason than I saw Franzen interviewed, badly, and felt embarrassed that he and the audience had to endure it. I love the Freedom to be just as ridiculous as the next guy.