Special Announcement: Tournament of Books 2012

For those of you who missed it, the lineup for the Tournament of Books has been announced. The judges have been identified. You still have time to vote for the Zombies (polls close Jan. 18). And I again will be running an unofficial pool for those of you who want to complete brackets and try to win a book or two.

I don’t plan to try to get to them all this year, but I will read the eight I find most enticing.

In other news, I will be posting my reactions to books here again soon. My next book-specific post in awhile is scheduled to appear tomorrow. Presumably, others will follow closely on its heels.


9 Responses to Special Announcement: Tournament of Books 2012

  1. Sarah says:

    Kerry – Despite my poor showing last year I am still keen to humiliate myself again, and the line-up is very interesting. I have actually read some of those books, which adds an appealing personal element to the proceedings.

    I am curious now to see which eight you consider worthy. Although your choices could conceivably prejudice competitors completing brackets…

    Looking forward to your book-specific post. Way to build the suspense!

  2. Kerry says:


    Yes, building suspense…..that’s what I am doing….heh.

    I am very pleased you’ll return to the officially unofficial contest. Having read some of the books makes a huge difference in the TOB enjoyment factor. The past two years I have read about 29 or so of the 32 contenders and found that many didn’t go down very well. So, I am going to try to cherry-pick selections that are either (a) sufficiently important I ought to read them or (b) seem likely to appeal to me. Thus, “book club” type novels or novels which are primarily first drafts for movies are likely not to be chosen. *

    I can tell you that I have already read The Sisters Brother and The Sense of an Ending is next up in my queue. The Marriage Plot is on my list. I loved Middlesex and the love/hate of the book has me intrigued. Where will I fall?

    So, that’s three definites.

    In choosing my eight or so, I will, of course, be taking into account the opinions of bibliovores with impeccable taste such as yourself.

    Thanks, as always, for your comment!

    *(The Sisters Brothers ought to have failed my selection process on grounds that it is a made for the movies book, but I really wanted to read it for some reason.)

    • Sarah says:

      The Sisters Brothers made it onto the Booker short list and was not the only contender getting a bit of stick for being too populist. But I, too, am inclined to give it a go. I think it was Random Reflections who got me interested.

      I was greatly impressed by The Virgin Suicides and I have been intending to read the Marriage Plot, but how can I justify that when Middlesex has been sitting on the shelf for over a year?

      • Kerry says:

        The TOB gives you the perfect excuse to jump The Marriage Plot ahead of Middlesex. The latter will still be there for your next Rat’s Chance challenge….

        I was hopeful for The Sisters Brothers because it made the Booker shortlist and the (Canadian) Giller Prize shortlist. The Shadow Giller Jury was less impressed, so my expectations were suitably (and appropriately, it turns out) lowered. It’s probably about what you’ll be expecting if you followed KfC’s Booker and Giller coverage.

  3. Justine says:

    Not sure I’m game to be re-humiliated… my recent reading track has been most dismal. Arrrghh!!

  4. Kerry says:

    I’ve not been knocking it out of the park either, but I can’t help picking my own favorites rather than trying to predict judge’s choices…..at least, that’s what I tell myself and the world.

  5. Sorry Kerry, I missed this post when it went up — thanks for doing this again.

    I’ve read five of the list (Barnes, deWitt, Hollinghurst, Ondaatje, Eugenides) and had another (Harbach) on my schedule. I’m also interested in the Cole and there are three that I won’t be reading (Murakami, Obreht, Russell) simply because they don’t suit my tastes.

  6. Sorry, hit the post button too early.

    That means I’m more than halfway through all ready! I haven’t checked out the other eight yet, but I suspect at least a couple will spark interest.

    • Kerry says:


      Thanks for your continued support. It is always more fun when friends join in. Besides, you have done me a great service with both your Booker coverage and the Giller Shadow Jury (not that either of those things are for me personally, but I hugely benefit from them).

      “more than halfway through”…..made me smile…..and true too.

      I have to refresh my recollection of your Hollinghurst reaction…ah, yes…”a difficult slog” and echoes of The Finkler Question about which I shared your opinion. I do not think that is one I will be reading and, based on your review, I will be hoping for an early exit.

      I would like to read Ondaatje on the strength of In the Skin of a Lion (thank you) and Eugenides on the strength of Middlesex. I may try Murakami, though, apparently, it isn’t his best. Open City, The Last Brother, and Salvage the Bones do not seem like books I will definitely like, but I want to read them all.

      I do not expect much, other than a possible first round upset, for The Sisters Brother, which, based on its Booker and Giller props, I thought deserved a higher seeding. Based on its quality, I think the seeding is probably not far off.

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