Unofficial TOB Contest 2013: Brackets Set

The Morning News TOB starts on March 4, 2013 and, just this morning, they released the official brackets. They are not the traditional brackets, but I think we’ll be able to follow along. The circular design reminds me of the Thunderdome, only in reverse. Eighteen books enter, but only one makes it to the center.

Anyway, this means the officially Unofficial TOB Contest can begin. The rules stay the same, only the books change. Entries open until Midnight on the evening of March 3, 2013.

The rules:


The prize will be the winner’s choice of two books from among my “best of” lists (2011 and 2012 to be provided prior to the end of the TOB), the 18 ToB 2013 contenders, and/or Orion You Came and You Took All My Marbles. The particular format (i.e. cover type/publisher/ebook/etc.) will be chosen by me at my sole discretion, but I will strongly consider any expressed preferences so long as they are within my allotted budget.

Eligibility and Entry Requirements:

Everyone, everywhere is eligible, except for me, my immediate family, and close relatives. There is absolutely no entry fee, obligation, or purchase required. However, I would be very pleased if the winner, after reading the prize selections, let’s me know what they think of the book in comments here.

Entries must be received by Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time (US). (I may, in my sole discretion, accept entries after that if they arrive prior to the posting of any results. Send late at your peril.)


Each entrant should e-mail their entry to: kerry_7 at yahoo. The subject line should read: 2013 TOB Contest. (I will reply confirming receipt. If you don’t receive the reply within three days (I am particularly busy this week and next), you may want to check with me, either by e-mail or in comments.)

One entry per person, please. Include your name and mailing address in the body of the entry. This information will only be used to send you the books in the event you win.

When making your selections, you should refer to the official Tournament of Books 2013 brackets. If you print out the official bracket and fill it out, you will see the outer ring contains the three play-in books. The first comlete ring then has a spot for the play-in winner and the other fifteen contestants. The next ring contains your eight Round 1 Winners. The next ring will be your four Round 2 Winners, the next your four Round 3 Winners and Zombies, next the Zombie Round Winners, and, finally, the Champion.

Please format your entry as follows, using the book title for your pick (decipherable abbreviations are perfectly fine):

Play-in Winner
The Yellow Birds

Round 1 Winners
The Yellow Birds, Dear Life, Bring Up the Bodies, How Should A Person Be, Beautiful Ruins, Gone Girl, The Fault in Our Stars, The Orphan Master’s Son

Round 2 Winners
Dear Life, Bring Up the Bodies, Gone Girl, The Orphan Master’s Son

Round 3 Winners and Zombies
Dear Life, Gone Girl, The Orphan Master’s Son, The Fault in Our Stars,

Zombie Round Winners (Finalists)
Dear Life, The Orphan Master’s Son

The Orphan Master’s Son

Winning Votes

The above are my predictions (with a helping of hope, though Dear Life is my favorite of the ones I’ve read). I am, of course, ineligible for anything but bragging rights.

Points will be awarded as follows:
Each correct Play-in pick – 1 point
Each correct 1st Round pick – 1 point
Each correct 2nd Round pick – 2 points
Each correct 3rd Round/Zombie pick – 2 points
Each correct Zombie Round pick – 4 points
Correct pick of Champion – 8 points
Total Possible Points = 41

Please note: You will receive points for your Round 3/Zombie picks even if your “Zombie” pick actually turns out to be a Round 3 winner or vice versa. In other words, I will simply pool your Round 3 and Zombie picks and award points if your pick makes it into that ring of the bracket.

All points will be totaled. The highest score wins.

Finally, as a tie-breaker, guess how many votes out of a possible 17 the winner will receive. (Your answer should be a number from 9-17, obviously.)

If there is still a tie, the earliest entry wins.

Other Info:

I will make every effort to provide reasonable updates on the scoring. The timeliness of the updates, as the chances of winning, depend on the number of entries.

For complete rules of the official Tournament of Books (which is in no way associated with this contest), please check the official homepage of the Tournament of Books.

Good luck and enjoy the Tournament!

2 Responses to Unofficial TOB Contest 2013: Brackets Set

  1. ttwsglen says:

    Thanks for doing this once again, Kerry! Maybe I’ll have better luck this year! The Alice Munro is one of my favorites too, but since it’s up against Building Stories (which I may have liked even more) and the Rooster judges don’t seem to dig short stories, I don’t give it much hope.

    Speaking of which, does anyone else think the circle is top-heavy? That is, I see a lot more of the heavyweights up north. It was hard to decide who would lose up top while (I think) there are two obvious favorites coming out of the southern hemisphere.

    • Kerry says:

      My pleasure.

      I agree that, for my tastes, the circle is top heavy. Bring Up the Bodies is easily my favorite in the Southeast. The rest I could have done without. Out of the Southwest, I’ve only read one (Achilles) and I see it as very much a State of Wonder type book. Solid craft, predictable but still interesting story, absolutely no “wow” factor. By reputation, Gone Girl should easily handle the bracket.

      The Northeast looks very unpredictable. I prefer Dear Life but haven’t read Building Stories which (by reputation, have only read Fobbit of the others) is the only other serious contender. A war book has an outside shot, but which one?

      The Northwest has several heavy hitters. I’ve only read The Orphan Master’s Son (which has to be the heaviest hitter), but each of the others could surprise, I think. Maybe not Bernadette if the tide of opinion is right. But on any given day, any of the others could probably squeak into the Zombie ring not undead.

      But, I tend to be wrong about things like Lemon Cake.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: