The mighty have stumbled. Jennifer, Life After Life was the end of yours, I am afraid. Those four extra points (a perfect eight in the Semis) put Adam in the driver’s seat. Well, those four points and correctly picking an early and everlasting exit for The Luminaries.
Entering the Championship Match:
1. 24 Points – Adam S.
2. 21 Points – Jennifer D.
3. 20 Points – Laura C.
4. 16 Points – Jeremy Z.
5. 15 Points – Michelle W.
6. 14 Points – Jim M.
7. 13 Points – Katie M.
8. 12 Points – Susan S., Mike R., Me
Even if you are out of the running for a prize, I will be happy if your favorite wins tomorrow.
FYI, I have read the following contenders, ranked in order of preference, tonight:
1. The Luminaries^
2. The Good Lord Bird*
3. At Night We Walk in Circles*
4. Life After Life
5. The Goldfinch
6. Long Division*
7. The Dinner*
8. The Tuner of Silences*
I am not sorry to have read any of them. In fact, four from the top five (but not Life After Life which I enjoyed more for the idea than the ultimate execution) could easily jostle to the top of my favorite ToB X contender. And positions 4-7 could also reshuffle. The only book I disliked was The Tuner of Silences, but I suspect the culprits are (1) magical realism and (2) my unfamiliarity with the relevant political and cultural touch points.
Also, my favorite reads published in 2013 also included:
A Girl is a Half-formed Thing – Eimear McBride
The Tenth of December – George Saunders
Claire of the Sea Light – Edwidge Danticat
I would have loved for any of these three to have been in the ToB. Eimear McBride is a revelation. People interested in new, exciting literary voices should check her out.
*Almost certainly would not have read it but for the ToB.
^I am a long-time fan of Eleanor Catton, meaning I read her first book, The Rehearsal, a couple months before the ToB and decided I would read the rest of her work until she lays down the pen ever after.