Friday, April 8

curly brackets

last month, most of the world was a bit obsessed with basketball, and I was a bit obsessed with The Tournament of Books.

it started one month ago yesterday, and the final match took place just this Monday. the winning novel was a book I happened to have on my shelf a while back, actually: A Visit From the Goon Squad. I didn't get around to making time to read it then. but now I think I must, just because of what everyone said about it as they judged the final championship.

of the sixteen books The Morning News chose to be part of this rather geeky tournament, I have only read one: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. (it was a weird book. not an unenjoyable book... but definitely weird.) looking over the line-ups from the past six years of the tournament, I'm realizing I am not as well-read as I ought to be when it comes to contemporary literature. six years, sixteen books each, and among all of them only a tiny handful of titles I even recognize? that's just disappointing, right? well. there are a lot of books in the world. no one can read them all, no matter how hard we try...

but I have added a few of this year's titles to my 'to-read' list. in a world where I had nothing to do with my life besides read, I would add them all to my 'to-read' list. but for years now I'd had to admit to myself that not every single piece of printed matter in this universe is worth the time. sadly.

for me, reading a lot of great writing about reading a lot of great writing is infinitely more entertaining than watching ten people rush about throwing spherical objects into hoops and whatnot. how could it not be? I am a writer. I am a reader. this is my element. I may just go back through the archives and read every match commentary by every participating judge in the Tournament of Books, all the way back to 2005.

and I was telling friend Angela just yesterday, in fact, that I think I should write more about books. not that I'd ever call myself a real book reviewer or anything... but it's pretty fun to distill a piece of writing and one's thoughts about it into words. maybe if I get good enough at it, someday I can be a judge for a future Tournament of Books. would that not be really awesome?

{ image copyright The Morning News Tournament of Books }


Unknown said...

I haven't read a single one of those books nor do I recognize the titles. sad. how can I consider myself a reader? and why didn't you tell me about this sooner? I would have loved to follow this!

Amelia Chesley said...

it's all still up there-- you can go back and read all the matches. that's what I ended up doing. I couldn't keep up with them every day of March.

next year we'll have to read all them nominated books and make bets and stuff like the hardcore literary freaks we know we truly are, okay?