The Rooster

Announcing the 2013 Tournament of Books

Oh, you guys. I am beside myself with excitement. As you probably, hopefully know, each year The Morning News hosts the Tournament of Books. It is a March Madness style tournament held, appropriately, each March in which 16 books face off, leaving only one book standing as the champion. In their words, it’s “the granddaddy of highbrow bracketology.” And I can’t wait.

Though the tournament doesn’t start until March, the kind folks at The Morning News announced the finalists today, so that I have enough time to find and devour the books before “the Rooster” begins. (The nickname for the tournament stems from the fact that the winner gets a live rooster.)

Here are the finalists:

The 2013 Tournament of Books Finalists

Pre-Tournament Playoff Round

  • Fobbit by David Abrams
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain – own, but haven’t read *Winner of Playoff Round*
  • The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

Fortunately, I’ve already read two of the books on this list: The Fault in Our Stars and Gone Girl. I also own Arcadia, Bring Up the Bodies, and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. So that leaves a mere 13 for me to track down. (I’ll track my purchasing and reading progress on the list above.)

Have you read any of these books? Are you going to follow along with the tournament?

Categories: Book Events


  • Jackie (Farm Lane Books)

    That is a fantastic list of books! I’ve read 9 of them and while they weren’t all to my taste I think they are all worthy of a place on this list. HHhH is my favorite book of the year so I hope you enjoy that. Arcadia was also wonderful. Enjoy your reading!

    • Jessica

      You’ve read 9 already! That’s awesome. I’m definitely looking forward to HHhH. In fact, I’m working on getting my hands on them now – my Amazon cart is at $175! Eek.

  • Mene

    I haven’t read any of those books – but I also haven’t heard/read anything about them! Maybe they’re more popular in America?

    Though I’m not going to try and track them down – I have enough on my TBR pile already :P

  • Nicole

    I feel like I have a head start since I have read 4 of the books. I usually look at lists like these and wonder how I’ve been spending my time since they hardly match up with y reading. I’ve read Gone Girl, Bring Up The Bodies, Where’d You Go Bernadette and Song of Achilles and out of these it would be a toss up of the last two for me. Good luck with your reading!

    • Jessica

      That IS a head start! I know how you feel with feeling like lists don’t match up with your reading. I feel that way too. But I had such a fun time with the Tournament of Books last year without having read any of them, that I think it’ll be even more fun to be able to really contribute to the discussions.

  • L

    already I had HHhH on the list thanks to Jackie’s review, but I haven’t gotten to a one on the list yet. About half are familiar to me. Now to get a hold of them sooner than later. Thanks for the heads up!

    ~L (omphaloskepsis)

    • Jessica

      There were quite a few on the list that I was unfamiliar with as well. But I’m getting familiar! Good luck with your quest.

    • Jessica

      I think we’re all behind. There are just too many books! But you’ll definitely be hearing more about the tournament from me, so stay tuned!

    • Jessica

      The ebook of SONG OF ACHILLES is on sale for about $4 through 1/7! And I want to get to HHhH really badly. I may just have to cave and buy the hardback.

  • Emily

    I can’t believe it – I’ve read three of these books! (I usually have never read any when it comes to these awards and such.) A few of the others, like Round House, are already on my TBR, so maybe I’ll get to them sooner rather than later.

    • Jessica

      Emily, thank you for being the person who alerted me to the fabulous Louise Erdrich. Your Erdrich month last year made me finally read something by her. I received THE ROUND HOUSE for Christmas, and I can’t wait to dive in.

      • Emily

        I am so glad you started reading her work! I just about popped with joy when I found out The Round House won the National Book Award. She definitely deserves the win!

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