Tournament of Books X: Unofficial Contest

I have been having something of a blogging crisis, most visible in the absence of posts here. But I am still reading and some of those books are ToB X contenders. This will mark the fifth year I have blogged the ToB, so I guess this is Unofficial Tournament of Books Contest V. The V is for Victory, I guess, if you get your entry in by the time their countdown clock (here) gets to whatever “eightuple zeros” is in actual English.

The rules:


The prize will be the winner’s choice of two books from among the following books:

1. Claire of the Sea-Light by Edwidge Danticat
2. The Tenth of December by George Saunders
3. The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
4. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
5. The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton
6. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
7. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
8. Orion You Came And You Took All My Marbles by Kira Henahan
9. Anything by Samuel Beckett
10. Anything by Albert Camus
11. Anything by Virginia Woolf

There is probably no rhyme and only a little reason to the above list.

The particular format (i.e. cover type/publisher/ebook/etc.) will be chosen by me at my sole discretion, but I will have always opted for the expressed preferences of the winner and will almost certainly do again so long as it does not bankrupt me.

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, tells someone, somewhere, what they thought of their selected books, especially if they liked them.

Entries must be received by Monday, March 3, 2014 at 7:59am Eastern Standard Time (US) (If my calculations are correct, better shoot for 11:59pm March 2nd, to be safe. (I may, in my sole discretion, accept entries after that if they arrive prior to the posting of any results. Dance with the devil of procrastination at your own risk.)


Each entrant should e-mail their entry to: kerry_7 at yahoo. The subject line should read: 2014 TOB Contest. (I will reply to confirm receipt, but will check mail only once per day around 8:00pm-ish. If you don’t receive the reply within three days, hope for the best because the tournament is probably under way already. Feel free to e-mail after a couple days.

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 2014 brackets. If you print out the official bracket (PDF here) and fill it out, you may find it helpful.

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

Play-in Winner
Life After Life

Round 1 Winners
The Luminaries
A Tale for the Time Being
The Good Lord Bird
The Dinner
The Lowland
At Night We Walk in Circles
The Goldfinch
Life After Life

Round 2 Winners
The Luminaries
The Good Lord Bird
The Lowland
Life After Life

Round 3 Winners and Zombies
The Luminaries
The Lowland
Life After Life
Eleanor & Park

Zombie Round Winners (Finalists)
The Luminaries
Life After Life

The Luminaries

Winning Votes

The above are my predictions. I am, of course, ineligible for any prizes.

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!

4 Responses to Tournament of Books X: Unofficial Contest

  1. well — today’s outcome should throw a lot of people for a loop, eh? as much as i was only so-so on ‘the luminaries’, i really felt it would make it past ‘hill william’. i have been out of commission for a couple of days, so only just now caught the shenanigans from scott mcclanahan. how strange!

    • Kerry says:

      Sorry for the delay in responding, but yes, a bit of a loop. I preferred Catton’s The Rehearsal to The Luminaries, at least initially, but the latter is sticking with me. I will say, I know I did not get the full impact having read the Kindle version. No star charts. But I cannot believe it got knocked and was very disappointed in the reasoning.

      The joys of the Tournament, eh?

      I will be providing updates on standings, picks, etc. this weekend, hopefully today. It is beautiful out, though, so it might not be until the evening.

      Thanks for the comment and I hope your favorites do well. I am half way through Good Lord Bird and it is one of my favorites, maybe my favorite next to The Luminaries. Or, you know, The Tenth of December.

      • hi kerry!! no panic — i wasn’t even sure if you would be posting updates this year, so glad to hear you will be doing that! thank you!! i have ‘the rehearsal’ on my shelf..since its release (oops!). a few people have strongly recommended to me. i read ‘the luminaries’ on my nook — but i do have a h/c edition too. my mum’s got it at the moment, but i will flip through when it comes back to me. i still don’t feel that will make it better for me. i mean, i thought it was fine (3-stars), and i totally got what catton was doing, i just wasn’t blown away, like everyone else has been. i did feel like she was trying too hard to show AND tell, so it felt overdone (for me).

        oh – i loooooove ‘good lord bird’. though i haven’t read all of the TOB contenders yet, it is definitely my favourite, and i would like to see it do well. but – yes — it’s a total crapshoot, the TOB.

      • Kerry says:

        I agree with you about The Luminaries. It is good, but not earth-shattering. I liked it more than Bring Up the Bodies, but less than Wolf Hall. And these seem somewhat apt comparisons, being Booker-winning, door-stopping, historical fiction.

        I absolutely agree about The Good Lord Bird, though I am not finished. Wit reminiscent of Mark Twain, dare I say it. (And, I have little doubt, the parallel is more than accidental, which makes it even more impressive that it succeeds.)

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