The long list for the 2014 Tournament of Books is up; let the opining begin. Out of the 90-odd novels listed I’ve read eight, own another four, and have six or so more either on library hold or vaguely wishlisted. That means I stand a half decent shot of being able to hold forth in biased fashion on most of the brackets come March. Whether or not this is a good thing remains to be seen, but it makes me happy—I haven’t had the bandwidth for a good lit bicker in a couple of years, and I’ve missed it. For anyone unfamiliar with The Morning News-sponsored Tournament of Books, it operates on a March Madness bracket system, with a knowledgeable literary-type person judging each one. But hands down the best part of the fun is in the comments section, which is open to anyone with something to say. And there are a lot of those.
As usual, it’s a good eclectic list. I’m a bit surprised to see We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves missing, as well as Vampires in the Lemon Grove and Bobcat—they were all well-beloved in the circles I run in. But so goes the voting, and I hope the final 16 picks make for some spirited discussion. This will be the tenth Tournament of Books—or ToB X, as they’re calling it, which reminds me of nothing so much as my son, who was eight the year of Super Bowl XXX, asking me what went on in the halftime show to get it a triple-X rating. By those standards the Tournament of Books, in comparison, is only mildly racy, but I’m looking forward to it anyway. Time to get reading so I can kibbitz and kvetch with the best of them.