Thursday, January 14, 2016

First Thoughts: Tournament of Books 2016

I'm a huge fan of the Tournament of Books, and yesterday we finally got the "shortlist." It's seventeen titles, so it's still quite long, but it's a list that excites me much more than the last few years, even if my three top novels of 2015 didn't make it.

What's I've Read
Thankfully, I've already read three of the titles: Fates and Furies, which I loved; The Spool of Blue Thread, which was good and fine but not spectacular for me; and The Story of My Teeth, which has flashes of brilliance and an abundance of ambition, but it wasn’t particularly enjoyable to read.

What I Haven't Read
That leaves me with fourteen books to read by mid-March if I want to read the entire bracket. Realistically, it's unlikely, but many of the titles I've been meaning to read, and the Tournament of Books may push me to do so. I hope to find time for: The Turner House, The Sellout, The Tsar of Love and Techno, The Invaders, The Sympathizer, The Whites, and A Little Life. The rest: definite maybes. I'm quite intrigued by Oreo, Ban en Banlieue, and The Bats of the Republic. If I get through all of those, I'll be close enough to all seventeen that I might power through.

What's Next?
I'll be posting reviews as I finish these titles, and depending how many I read, and how the brackets shape up, I may post commentary about some of the rounds here too. I'm also having so much fun reading backlist Baileys Prize nominees and great new 2016 fiction, so my reading life is as fractured as ever, which keeps me from ever reading ALL the books, but at least it has be reading a lot of them.

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  1. I am very excited about this list because for the first time ever, I've read three on the list and have four checked out now. I am on the ball!

  2. Yeah, I totally feel you on this. There's no way I'll be able to finish all before it begins as A Little Life is like one million pages alone. Haha. But seriously, I've only read two on the list so far. I definitely want to read The Sellout, The Turner House, The Whites, and The New World even if I can't complete before it all goes down. I really loved The Tsar of Love and Techno for so many reason, so interested to see what you think! Also, are rereleases, like Oreo, considered new books for 2015? I was confused when I saw it listed as it was originally published in 1976. Just curious. I honestly can't say I know much about the backstory in terms of how it was published, etc, but didn't know previously released books would be considered in something like this.

  3. I definitely want to get to The Turner House since it's one from the list I already own. Same with Fates and Furies. Good luck reading!


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