The Madness Approaches

February 22, 2007 | 3 books mentioned

All sorts of madness is coming in March. Of course, there is the basketball sort, of which it appears my long beleaguered alma mater may finally be taking part (go Wahoos!)

But more cogent to this blog and its readers, the literary world’s more refined yet no less raucous brand of madness is on its way, The Morning News 2007 Tournament of Books. If you aren’t familiar, here’s how it works: the TMN editors pick a bunch of books from the past year or so and align them in a bracket, tournament style. However, instead of having these books hash it out on a basketball court, which wouldn’t make much sense, TMN assigns each pair of books to a prominent blogger or reviewer or literary type, who then picks which one goes through to the next round.

Why does TMN do this? Well, tournament commissioner Kevin Guilfoile explains it thusly in this year’s introductory essay:

Exchanging emails with the TMN editors after a few glasses of Argentinean Malbec, we each confessed that we’re attracted to the sexiness of book awards despite the fact that book awards are also arbitrary and stupid.

And so the Tourney was born. Just like with that other tournament, the brackets aren’t out yet, but several candidates have been named, among them a few books that have been reviewed here at The Millions, including Against the Day, which was reviewed by Garth, The Lay of the Land, which was reviewed by Noah, and Kate Atkinson’s One Good Turn, which I wrote about a few months back.

Also, at the bottom of that introductory essay, readers can vote to pick which books should be included in the “Readers’ Favorites round.”

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.

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