Tuesday, January 17

attention all hardcore literary freaks

the 2012 Tournament of Books is not very far away at all. The Morning News introduced the line-up just last week, and I was quite excited. ever since I heard about last year's tournament, I've been waiting patiently for news about the 16 chosen contestants, itching to see if I'll have time to read any of them as I follow along with the judges. listen up, friend Elsie--this is our chance to get all worked up about this competition even though it might be just as silly as any old athletic sporting event.

the list:
Nathacha Appanah, The Last Brother
Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
Teju Cole, Open City
Helen DeWitt, Lightning Rods
Patrick deWitt, The Sisters Brothers
Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot
Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding
Alan Hollinghurst, Stranger’s Child
Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones
Haruki Murakami, 1Q84
Téa Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife
Michael Ondaatje, The Cat’s Table
Ann Patchett, State of Wonder
Donald Ray Pollock, Devil All the Time
Karen Russell, Swamplandia
Kate Zambreno, Green Girl
have you read any of them? I have not. yet. I stuck a few in bold that I think I do want to read. someday. soon, I hope. and as for the rest, their descriptions did not grab me. nevertheless--the best part of this contest, as I said last year, is reading a lot of great writing about reading a lot of great writing, even if I haven't read it. really getting into the experiences and judgements of other well-read, intelligent people makes me smile. it's going to be good.

did you know they really give away a rooster to the author of the winner? see:
"The winners of those matchups become the Tournament of Books finalists. Each will be read by the full complement of 16 Tournament judges, plus an additional jurist, and the resulting tally will yield us the 2012 Tournament of Books champion, and its author will be awarded/threatened with the presentation of a live, angry chanticleer."
there you go. books. live roosters. and this year, Wil Wheaton is one of the judges. why is that funny? I'm not sure. but it is, isn't it?


e said...

oh wow. that's quite the list. time to elevate my reading from casual novels to possible literary geniuses. my goal is now to read at least one of those.
ready. set. read. :D

amelia c said...

which one? I don't even know where to start. I might have to read them in the summer...
hopefully none of the judges spoil any of them for us. :)

Maria said...

I'm totally excited to read Michael Ondaatje's book 'The Cats Table'.
I heard him talking to Elaine Charles on her radio show "The Book Report"/bookreportradio.com.
Michael has actually written 13 poetry books and you know he's written 'The English Patient'.
The book is about a young boy right of passage, where he and his friends get up to lots of fun and shenanigans on the ship and he gets to meet loads of interesting people on board.
Michael's books are atmospheric and evocative of a place and you are aware that when living on a ship you are "free of the realities of earth" as he puts it.

amelia c said...

in my quick skimming of the book descriptions, The Cat's Table didn't jump at me (maybe we can blame my secret disapproval of children for that), but it would probably be interesting. I wish there were more time to read...