Unofficial 2012 TOB Contest Leaderboard: Match 2, Round 2

Match update:
Match 1, Round 2: Lightning Rods defeated The Sense of an Ending
Match 2, Round 2: 1Q84​ defeated ​The Tiger’s Wife

1. Mike R. 10
Felicity 10

3. Darren G. 9
Jeremy Z. 9

5. Alice K. 8
Andrew B. 8
Elizabeth L. 8

I am entirely out of the running for bragging rights. My maximum score is now 12 (oops) 10. Unfortunately for the co-leaders, they picked the same ultimate winner I did: The Tiger’s Wife. As a result, if you picked a book to win it all that still has a chance, you still have a chance.

[The following added at the behest of Kevin from Canada (I had considered it already, so he gets credit, but I’m to blame.)]

The Caboose (max in parentheses):

K 1 (9)
J 3 (21)
KfC 4 (12)
L 4 (12)
J 4 (12)
S 4 (16)

me 6 (10)

There are others with 5 and 6 points, I just wanted to point out how poorly my prognosticating turned out to be. I should have picked the books I wanted to advance. I then would have been able to blame the judges’ bad taste. As it is, I have shown I am no good at predicting TOB judges’ behavior.

If The Marriage Plot takes a dive and finds no Zombie love, last place is securely in possession of the third K (in addition to Kevin and myself). Even with some undead help, s/he might be too far back to…um…worst.

On the chance that someone might not want to be identified as having opinions out of sync with the TOB judges (which is no shame), I have tried to give as little identifying information as possible. KfC is (and I am) excepted as we’ve made a point of publicly outing ourselves for low scoring.

19 Responses to Unofficial 2012 TOB Contest Leaderboard: Match 2, Round 2

  1. I think I may be in the running for lowest score ever in your competition — I’m actually cheering for The Sisters Brothers to be defeated since I am pretty sure that would seal my fate.

    Perhaps you could post the bottom numbers as well? Seems to me that for some of us that may be as interesting as who is winning the competition (and I am certainly not criticizing those who had a better feel for this year’s ToB than I did).

  2. Actually, I was thinking that I would be willing to underwrite a booby prize.

    If any entrant in this pool finishes with a lower score than KevinfromCanada, I will send them their choice of a NYRB volume through

    I now have a powerful incentive to lose.

    Now you have to post both the top and bottom. 🙂 I know where my name is going to show up.

    • Kerry says:


      I am sorry I didn’t get back to reply sooner. Yours is not the lowest score. In fact, you are looking good to best me with The Art of Fielding still in the running and looking stronger as Barnes, Obreht, and others drop out of contention.

      But I will edit the above and post the list for the potential, but not yet committed, “booby prize”. You can choose when you see the list.

      • I think we should agree that you cannot win the booby prize. Having said that, I still think that I am a major contender. The Art of Fielding does not fit with this year’s judges so even if it zombies in, I’d say it is history.

        I am a little worried that The Sisters Brothers will advance, which I am sure puts me in mid-pack somewhere.

      • Kerry says:

        Oh, absolutely I cannot win any prize. I just wanted to point out, I have a good shot at being as bad at picking TOB winners as you are. In other words: You want to talk about inept? I am inept.

        I think you are right that The Art of Fielding probably does not pose much threat, but, given our track record, that means it has a good shot at taking it all!

        The only thing keeping me close to mid-pack is that it seems nearly half the entrants have picked some combination of Sense/Fielding/Tiger’s for the finals, meaning very few will get it right this year.

        (I have my doubts any will get to the 35 out of 40 points of last year or even the 29 out of 40 the year before that. Mid-20s is looking pretty strong….meanwhile, you and I will be lucky, or not in your case, to crack double digits.)

  3. Kerry: Just as a matter of interest, what is the all-time low record for points? As bad as my selections are, I am quite impressed that someone (we won’t say who) has only one point so far. That is most impressive.

    • Kerry says:

      Our current Caboose has his/her work cut out. To set a new record, s/he will have to be absolutely imperfect the rest of the way.

      2 points, Kevin. You’ve already doubled that impressive outing.

      Because she’s cool like that and won’t mind, I will tell you that it was Sarah (A Rat in the Book Pile) who was almost perfectly imperfect last year. She didn’t pick up a single point after the first round. (Having conquered one end of the spectrum, she’s going the other way this year and is just outside the lead pack so far.)

      For you, there’s always next year…..

      2010’s contest had a low of 8 points by Darren who finished in the top 5 in 2011 and is in the top 5 so far this year. He seems to have dialed in on what makes a TOB judge tick.

      If I tried to score that low, I would have picked Lemon Cake last year and pulled double digits with it alone. Ditto this year and Lightning Rods. I don’t think I can manage distinction in either direction.

  4. Mike Ramberg says:

    The early lead is nice, but my zombie round is busted and I don’t have the winner, so I don’t see too many more points coming my way. Oh, well – viva la Rooster!

  5. The Sisters Brothers wins and I am done on both ends of the bracket.


  6. neighbors73 says:

    You can identify me if you want. I must be near the bottom somewhere, as one of the Js, probably.

    • Kerry says:

      I did. You are the last one with any chance of keeping “K” out of last place. Good luck?

      • Brad McGinty says:

        Yaaaah for consolation prizes! I’m all or nothing with Open City at this point, can’t do poor enough to win; need a miracle to win. Anyhow… Neighbors, I put on my cheerleading outfit and composed this for you; imagine a rhythmically clapping Steve Buscemi.

        Lose those match-ups one by one,
        Show us how it isn’t done!
        KFC will not expect,
        The level of your picks’ defect!
        Though the losses aren’t intentional,
        We respect the unconventional!

      • Kerry says:

        Awesome cheer. And the skirt suits you…

  7. Jennifer D. says:

    You can totally identify me too – I have no pride! Haha!! It’s been an abysmal run for me!! 🙂

    • Kerry says:

      I am sorry to report that your current point total (4) already beats “K”‘s maximum (3). In fact, you will probably end up doing better than I do. Your “abysmal” is what some of us aspire to achieve….heh.

      • Jennifer D. says:

        Aww. The caboose really is an impressive car this year!! I do think it was a much more challenging tournament – as far as predicting the books that would advance – this year. I haven’t quite nailed down my own feelings on why, though. So, I cannot sound even remotely knowledgable on this right now. Suffice it to say that even the judges, in their analyses, went back and forth and rewarded efforts over successes a few times…so…there’s that which is compounding my head-scratching. 🙂

      • Kerry says:

        I agree that it has been a very difficult year to predict. I haven’t read Lightning Rods, so maybe I would have thought differently if I had. But, the premise just seems perfect to turn at least one of four judges off….not so far.

        I hadn’t read Open City either when I made my picks. Even if I had, I don’t think I would have picked it to fare this well with judges. Now I am hoping, against my gut instinct, that it wins the whole thing.

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