2010 Tournament of Books Shortlist

The shortlist (and a somewhat lengthy explanation of the rules and traditions) is now up.

The contenders:

The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood
The Anthologist, by Nicholson Baker
Fever Chart, by Bill Cotter
Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth, by Apostolos Doxiadis
The Book of Night Women, by Marlon James
The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver
Big Machine, by Victor La Valle
Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
A Gate at the Stairs, by Lorrie Moore
Miles from Nowhere, by Nami Mun
That Old Cape Magic, by Richard Russo
Burnt Shadows, by Kamila Shamsie
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, by Wells Tower
Lowboy, by John Wray

I have read three of these and was hoping two would not make it. I had intended to read them all, but The Year of the Flood? I may rely on the excellent review by The Mookse and The Gripes.

Enjoy and stay tuned…

9 Responses to 2010 Tournament of Books Shortlist

  1. I’ve read five (Mantel, McCann, Moore, Russo, Shamsie). I very much liked the Russo, but suspect it isn’t weighty enough for a competition. McCann and Shamsie were both on the positive side of neutral, but have slipped somewhat in my evaluation since I read them. I was disappointed with both the Mantel and Moore. I’ve seen reviews of the Kingsolver, Tower and Atwood (none appeal to my tastes)– the rest are new to me.

    I will stay tuned.

  2. Kerry says:

    Thanks, Kevin. The three I have read (Let the Great World Spin, That Old Cape Magic, and A Gate at the Stairs) were all not far from neutral on my scale and there are several (e.g. Atwood, Mantel) that I was hoping to make it a point not to read. This makes the shortlist a little disappointing. Still, I am looking forward to the tournament and will try to read all sixteen. No guarantees on Atwood and Mantel, though. I think Mantel might be more suited to my wife’s taste (she likes those period pieces, that period in particular).

    We’ll see. But thanks for the comment and support.

  3. anokatony says:

    An excellent book on this list is “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned” by Wells Tower. This is a collection of short stories, and I’m happy the award is open to story collections.

  4. Kerry says:


    If you recommend it, I will be looking forward to Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned. From the little I have seen, it looks quite interesting.

  5. Haven’t read any on the above list, but, do have four of them on my wishlist (Wolf Hall, The Help, Burnt Shadows and The Year Of The Flood). Good luck with the reads, and hope you get on well with all the books!

  6. Kerry says:

    Thank you! Even the books I would not have read are almost certain to be interesting. Plus, comparing Logicomix and The Year of the Flood could be fun.

  7. I’m thinking you may have to design a contest, Kerry. Given that every American I know can design a NCAA 65 spreadsheet, I’m sure you can come up with a simple version that we can all understand. ūüôā

  8. Kerry says:


    Great idea. I had actually been kicking around a couple ideas. I am sadistic like that. But your suggestion has solidified my decision.

    There will be 2010 TOB-related contest on this blog. Details to follow in a new post.

  9. Thanks, Kerry. Can’t wait.

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