Literary March Madness!

This Sunday the brackets will be revealed for the NCAA March Madness basketball tourney, but that’s not the I’m anticipating.  The funniest, most enjoyable, and completely irreverent book competition launches tomorrow – the Tournament of Books.  Several years ago, a bunch of book geeks (probably inebriated book-a-holics) wondered why basketball should have all the fun?  Why not pit one book against another in a sweet sixteen match to the death?  Or, should I say, to the Rooster, because the winner of this literary mash up receives a live rooster.  Just what I’m sure Claire is daydreaming about right now as she scrambles to finish the last draft of her latest novel.  All that work to earn a rooster pooping all over her back lawn.  Now that she’s a vegetarian, she couldn’t even eat it.  Do people eat rooster?

There’s a different judge for each match up, some are editors or at-large-book-know-it-alls, and others are authors.  Commentary for every match is provided by John Warner and Kevin Guilfoile and in true Tournament of Books fashion, I can’t remember who they are and I don’t really care.  But, I love their banter.  This will give you a sense of their style:

John:   I’m excited to put the Rooster-red blazer back on and join you in the booth for this year’s commentary. In a continuation of a tradition reaching back to last year, we’ve tried to actually read the books in the Tournament. I think I might’ve done a bit better than you, having completed 14 of 16 and sampled the other two. This is mostly due to me having read four of the contenders prior to the announcement of the brackets, though.

Kevin:  I started reading with the intention of running the table, but life intervened, and by “life,” of course I mean Life Unexpected, which airs Tuesday nights on the WB . . . I finished better than half of this year’s contenders, and if I can inject some early optimism into the proceedings, I personally found this year’s field to be very Continue reading

Quick Updates

It’s Grandparents and Special Friends Week at school and Claire and I have family in town, so here’s a quick post with some updates:

I was interviewed about Bookstore People by Eco-Libris, check it out, then equalize your reading!

As discussed in my review of The Shadow Catcher by Marianne Wiggins, her fictional portrayal of Edward Curtis caused controversy because she paints Edward Curtis far darker than his fans perceive him.  Santa Monica chose The Shadow Catcher as its Citywide Reads selection this year.  Bruce Kapson, Curtis expert and scholar, will give a historical overview of Edward Curtis this Saturday at 3PM at the Santa Monica Public Library.

Both Claire and I joined twitter.  Follow us!  I’m BookstoreK and Claire is writemenow.

The Tournament of Books is continuing and I’m loving it!  Today City of Refuge knocked out 2666, but  popular vote returned 2666  to the zoombie round.  The review of the match up between 2666 and Steer Toward Rockwas brilliant in its use of an extended March Madness metaphor.  John Hodgman beautifully wrote his judgment of the Mercy v. My Revolutions competition.  The quarter-finals are over and we’re heading into the semi-Growing Up on the Spectrum: A Guide to Life, Love, and Learning for Teens and Young Adults with Autism and Asperger's Coverfinals. 

And in case you missed it, Claire’s book, Growing Up on the Spectrum: A (actually she co-wrote it) was published last week.  We’ll be having giveaways of the book, National Autism Month, in April.  Stay tuned!

Guide to Life, Love, and Learning for Teens and Young Adults with Autism and Asperger’s

March Madness Reading

The NCAA came out with the team picks and first round pairings yesterday (here’s the bracket).  Amidst controversy, the NCAA named the Louisville Cardinals as the No. 1 seed.  If your city has the best bookstore of the year, why shouldn’t it have the number one seed also?  Who says basketball and reading aren’ t related?  Just ask my daughter, she reads through every basketball game we attend or watch on TV.  Or better yet, ask The Morning News, an online magazine that hosts the Tournament of Books each year.

What is the Tournament of Books?  TMN describes it as “the one and only March Madness battle royale of literary excellence, sixteen books enter, but only one book can win the Rooster.”  TMN chooses sixteen top-touted books from the previous year and pits them head to head in a bracket system eerily like the NCAA basketball tourney (download your own bracketto follow along).  For each match, a different judge evaluates both books and declares the winner.  Kevin Guilfoile and John Warner provide game commentary and readers chime in also.  The ultimate winner receives a live rooster in honor of David Sedaris’ brother, “the Rooster.”

The Regionals started last week and what an upset week it was!  In the Continue reading