TOB 2015 Contest Update: Rooster Crowing!

March 31, 2015

It’s the dawn of a new day, the crowning of a new champ.

Susan came into the final week with a nice, but not insurmountable, three point lead.  On Monday, All the Light We Cannot Sees victory over An Untamed Statereshuffled the deck slightly.  Susan maintained her lead, but Jeremy, Felicity, and I climbed three spots each.

Standings after the Semifinals:

1.  Susan – 23 points

2.  Felicity – 19 points

3.  Jeremy and Me – 18

4.-6.  Chris, Melanie, and Timothy – 16 points

With the ultimate victory of Station Eleven over All the Light We Cannot See, Susan’s hopes went from bright to dark.  Like something from the apocalypse.  Chris had prepared well and passed her, 24 points to 23.  Alas, Chris forgot to pack a solar panel and ran just short of the energy needed to win.  Jeremy, apparently holed up in a Walmart next to an REI, outlasted everyone and snagged everlasting glory and a couple new books. Congraulations, Jeremy!

Final Standings:

1.  Jeremy – 26 points

2.  Chris – 24 points

3.  Susan – 23 points

4.  Felicity – 19 points

     Me – 18 points  (I don’t count)

5.  Melanie and Timothy – 16 points

Thanks to everyone who took a shot.  This seems to have been a tough year, comparing the top scores this year to years past.  But I hope you had fun over at the ToB.  Happy Reading everyone!

And just because you didn’t win, say, A Girlf is a Half-formed Thing, doesn’t mean you can’t read it anyway.  It is, hands down, the best 2014 book I read all year.  Ferrante’s trilogy, as great as that is, notwithstanding.  Don’t trust me, rely on the brilliant critic John Self or the Bailey’s Womens Prize committee.  Eimear McBride couldn’t get a publisher for 10 years.  Show Gallery Beggar Press some love for having the courage and aesthetic sense to publish this masterwork.  Or find something new and amazing at McBride’s American publisher, Coffee House Press.  And I am not plugging the book or these presses because I am getting anything for it.  I believe in supporting great writers (Eimear McBride) and the small presses who publish literary work that isn’t commercial enough or something for the big publishers.

If you’re still here, get your nose in a book!

[Formatting errors, lots of them, corrected. I think.]


TOB 2015 Contest:  Standings March 28, 2015

March 27, 2015

It’s been an eventful week at the TOB.  My three favorites have bitten the dust.  I am undecided as to the best of the rest.  Which, coincidentally, is the state of my fan affairs in the lesser March tournament too.  I don’t know why I can’t always get what I want, but there it is.  But maybe you can, especially if you answer to Susan.

Standings as of March 28, 2015:

1.  Susan – 19 points  (Predicted winner:  All the Light We Cannot See)

2.-4.  Chris, Melanie, and Timothy – 16 points

5.  Felicity – 15 points

6.  Jeremy and Me – 14 points

Multiple contestants still have a chance, but, if you’re not in that group, I think your season’s over.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the Tournament and that your favorite still has a shot.

Happy Reading!

TOB 2015 Contest:  Update March 21

March 21, 2015

So far, so good.  By which, I mean that at least several of the books I would find acceptable as champions are still alive.  My favorite too.  I am not quite sure yet whether the list of acceptables includes A Brief History of Seven Killings, but I think it does.  In fact, so far, it is making me rethink my favorites and has me watching a Bob Marley documentary.

But you care mostly about the standings.  They’ve changed.  Melanie and Jeremy are still at #1, but with additional company.

TOB 2015 Contest Standings (as of March 21, 2015)

1-4.  Melanie, Jeremy, Timothy, and Me – 8 points out of a possible 12.

5-6.  Lillian and Felicity – 7 points

No one is mathematically eliminated, yet.  Also, no one has a chance to go the opposite of perfect, which has happened.  Too bad.  The worst possible score at this point is 3.

Best of luck to everyone.  That isn’t really possible, but it is polite.

ToB 2015 Contest:  Pi Day Update

March 14, 2015

The Tournament is underway.  There are more comments than I’ve ever seen on the ToB discussion board and only one contestant is perfect.  My favorite is still in the running, though it hasn’t had its match yet.


1-2.  Melanie and Jeremy – A perfect 5

3-7.  Five Contestants – 4

Congratulations to Melanie and Jeremy!  Everyone else still has a great chance, so don’t fret, yet.  The consensus for Monday, in case you are wondering, is Station Eleven by a country mile.  (You, collectively, predict the next four days of next week to go:  Redeployment, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, A Brief History of Seven Killings, and All the Light We Cannot See.)

[Edited to reflect my error in scoring.  Two players had perfect scores.  This is a good opportunity to say, as we move forward, please do e-mail me if I have, or you think I have, miscalculated your score.  I err on occasion, obviously.  Thanks in advance.]

Unofficial Tournament of Books 2015 Contest

March 5, 2015

The contest is back in 2015!  The rules are the same as always.

Step One

Fill out your TOB 2015 brackets.

Step Two

Send your picks to me, in some interpretable format*, at a yahoo address beginning kerry_7.  [Edit:  Please make the subject line:  TOB 2015 Contest.   Thanks.]

I just need your picks from a valid e-mail address.  Your entry is an implicit, and like totally legally-binding, assurance that you aren’t entering more than once.  Oh, and don’t forget the tie-breakers:  1.  Tell me how many votes the winning book will get (out of 17); 2.  If it’s still tied, whoever enters first.  Entries must be received prior to March 9 when the first match goes live.  I don’t know when that is or how long it takes e-mail to arrive once sent, so you should probably try to get your entries in sometime on March 8.

Step Three (optional)

Check back periodically to see how you are doing compared to other entrants.

Step Four

Wait for your awesome prize package in the form of your choice of two books from Graywolf Press (because they recently published a new book by Sarah Manguso, my favorite TOB judge of all-time) or Gallery Beggar Press (because they published A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride, my favorite find of 2014) or Coffee House Press (McBride’s U.S. publisher) or Milkweed Editions (because Orion You Came and You Took All My Marbles and Montana 1948).  Technically, if you win, you’ll first have to tell me your pick of books unless you just want to read what I tell you to read.

That’s it.  Again, please only one entry per person.   In case you care, I selected these publishers for the reasons given, not because any of them are subsidizing this in any manner.  Of course, they could throw in bonus material if they read this and want to be cool like that.  I’ll still be buying two books for the winner, full freight, because I can and because I want to support and promote these particular small presses.  Good luck and have fun!


*  An interpretable format might look like this:


I would like to enter your TOB 2015 contest.  My picks are:

Round 1 Winners (8 books)

Bone Clocks, Brief History, All the Light, Brave Man, Annihilation, Station Eleven, Redeployment, Those Who Leave

Round 2 Winners (4 books)

Brief History, All the Light, Annihilation, Those Who Leave

Zombie Round (4 books:  Round 3 winners plus 2 Zombies)

All the Light, Those Who Leave, Untamed State, Station Eleven


All the Light, Those Who Leave


Those Who Leave

Tie-break: 9

Blog Suspended

December 11, 2012

I apologize for not posting this sort of notification earlier.  Life circumstances have conspired to prevent me from devoting the attention I would like both to this blog and to reading fiction generally.  I do plan to return to regular posting, but have no estimated date of return.

Please do visit the wonderful blogs in my blog roll and, hopefully, maintain the RSS feed because I will return.  Eventually.  This year is looking like a complete wash, however.  Thank you to everyone who continues to check in on me and my blog, who supported the blog with visits and comments when I was doing my part, and who continue to keep the online book world going in various ways, including by continuing your own wonderful blogs.

May the next book you read be a new favorite.  Happy Reading!

I have stepped away from my blog.

May 31, 2012

I apologize for the infrequent posting.  I am swamped right now, so have not been able to give the attention I would like to fiction generally or this blog in particular.  I will post a review of <I>The Buddha in the Attic</i> late next week.

Happy Reading!