The Shortlist for the 2016 Tournament of Books

The Shortlist for the 2016 Tournament of Books

After much refreshing (and Twitter stalking) this morning, the list appeared! If you’ve hung around here for a while, you probably recall my intense love for The Tournament of Books. Every March, The Morning News hosts a bracket-style battle of books! In each round, one judge reads two books and picks one to move forward, explaining with as much transparency as possible the reasoning for their decision. There’s even a zombie round where two books come back from the dead. It’s a literary delight.

I discovered the Rooster five(!) years ago, and I love every second of it. I can’t wait to delve into this year’s finalists, taken, mostly, from this long list:

The Shortlist for The Morning News 2016 Tournament of Books

The New World, by Chris Adrian and Eli Horowitz [read]
The Sellout, by Paul Beatty [currently listening]
Bats of the Republic, by Zachary Thomas Dodson
The Turner House, by Angela Flournoy [read]
Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff [read]
Our Souls at Night, by Kent Haruf [read]
Ban en Banlieue, by Bhanu Kapil
The Story of My Teeth, by Valeria Luiselli
The Tsar of Love and Techno, by Anthony Marra
The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Whites, by Richard Price
Oreo, by Fran Ross
The Book of Aron, by Jim Shepard
The Invaders, by Karolina Waclawiak
A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara [read]

Play-In Round:
Avenue of Mysteries, by John Irving
A Spool of Blue Thread, by Anne Tyler

This year, I have read only one of these: Fates and Furies. I own one other: The Turner House. And I’m sure I’ll be buying, borrowing, and begging copies of as many of the others as I can get my hands on. Again, the 2015 Booker winner did not make it to the list. And I’m a little sad there is a play-in round, just because I don’t want to spend my limited tournament prep time on a book that isn’t for sure in the thing, you know?

Do you follow the tournament? Have you read any of these books?