Tournament of Books discussion

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2020 TOB General Topics > 2020 Super Rooster General Discussion

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message 1: by Amy (last edited Mar 31, 2020 03:14PM) (new)

Amy (asawatzky) | 1643 comments location to discuss our favorites, early predictions and strong opinions on the past Rooster winners that will fight to the death in 2020! (+ of course, all you statisticians slicing up the data re: author demographics, zombies, small presses etc.)
Includes:
2020: Normal People
2019: My Sister the Serial Killer
2018: Fever Dream
2017: The Underground Railroad
2016: The Sellout
2015: Station Eleven
2014: The Good Lord Bird
2013: The Orphan Master's Son
2012: The Sisters Brothers
2011: A Visit from the Goon Squad
2010: Wolf Hall
2009: A Mercy
2008: The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
2007: The Road
2006: The Accidental
2005: Cloud Atlas


message 2: by Dianah (new)

Dianah (fig2) | 255 comments It started in 2005, right? I think you're missing the Sisters Brothers? With SB it's 15 books; what will the 16th book be? Commentariat choice?


message 3: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Blue | 23 comments I assume the 16th book will be the winner of the 2020 ToB.


message 4: by Jan (new)

Jan (janrowell) | 1043 comments Woohoo! I’ve read all these except The Accidental, and this will give me a nudge to get it off the old TBR and finally read it.


message 5: by Dianah (new)

Dianah (fig2) | 255 comments Sophia wrote: "I assume the 16th book will be the winner of the 2020 ToB."

Ah, for some reason, I thought this was happening before the next tournament.


message 6: by Dianah (new)

Dianah (fig2) | 255 comments Jan wrote: "Woohoo! I’ve read all these except The Accidental, and this will give me a nudge to get it off the old TBR and finally read it."

Lucky you! There are four books here that I abandonded!


message 7: by Jason (last edited Apr 05, 2019 02:37PM) (new)

Jason Perdue | 591 comments Yes, missing The Sisters Brothers. Also, anyone know why it says at the top, This topic is about My Sister, The Serial Killer?


message 8: by Amy (last edited Apr 05, 2019 12:24PM) (new)

Amy (asawatzky) | 1643 comments Jason wrote: "Yes, missing The Sister's Brothers. Also, anyone know why it says at the top, This topic is about My Sister, The Serial Killer?"

we get one book pic per thread. I selected the latest contender into the TOTOB. Didn't realize it unhelpfully adds the text along with the cover. - maybe I'll rotate the covers to give even play.


message 9: by Janet (new)

Janet (justjanet) | 630 comments There are quite a few of these that I DNF'd before I started following the TOB. I think my strategy for reading these is going to be audio.


message 10: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 06, 2019 08:27PM) (new)

I can't believe so many of you have already jumped into the 2020 tournaments! I'm going to need a little time away from all things ToB, so this will be my last post for a couple of weeks. I'll see you all soon!


message 11: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle Carter (rachellerain) | 43 comments Is it too soon to make predictions?


message 12: by Jan (new)

Jan (janrowell) | 1043 comments Rachelle, not too early! Got a prediction? I’m thinking Nickel Boys is a pretty sure bet. :-)


message 13: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle Carter (rachellerain) | 43 comments Actually Jan, I was thinking of predicting the overall winner from the last 15 years...sorry if I was misleading...but I haven't read Nickel Boys yet...will do so soon.


message 14: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 712 comments No, go for it! There are a handful that (I'm pretty sure) don't have a chance, they were definitely worthy of going far but their becoming "champions" seemed to say more about their competitors than about the profundity of those novels themselves, but I wouldn't be shocked to see any of the others.


message 15: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle Carter (rachellerain) | 43 comments Orphan Master's Son and The Road would be my two...


message 16: by Dianah (new)

Dianah (fig2) | 255 comments Jan wrote: "Rachelle, not too early! Got a prediction? I’m thinking Nickel Boys is a pretty sure bet. :-)"

Completely agree, Jan!


message 17: by C (new)

C | 473 comments SO how has everyone been doing catching up on the past winners of the ToB? I think it should be happening probably a year from now?
It was my goal to read both the winners and the second place books at least once, and then even re-read some favorite winners. But I'm a slow reader and I've hardly started on the winners I haven't read yet since the announcement of the Tournament of Winners... which was already a while ago now. Other books keep getting in the way! I even have them all in a stack on a table! Not counting re-reads I'm planning, it's a stack of 14 books. I really need to get started! But luckily I've already read 15/30 of the first and second placers at least once.


message 18: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 69 comments I think these are all great books but they feel done to me, somehow. I find myself wondering which ones for me would demand a re-read if they weren't in TOB of TOB's. We'd probably all have different answers to which are re-readable, though! I've already read Wolf Hall three times and I would guess some of us dnf'd it promptly, because that's the mystery of fiction.


message 19: by C (new)

C | 473 comments Lark wrote: "I think these are all great books but they feel done to me, somehow. I find myself wondering which ones for me would demand a re-read if they weren't in TOB of TOB's. We'd probably all have differe..."

Yeah, Wolf Hall is one of the books I'm the least looking forward to, so every reader is certainly different. haha. My top re-reads would be: Cloud Atlas, The Orphan Master's Son, & The Sellout.... which happen to my three favorite out of what I've read so far.

Also, I'm wondering how the heck Remainder was in the ToB for 2008 when I think it was published much much earlier?!!? Everywhere I look is saying a different year of publication.


message 20: by Amy (new)

Amy (asawatzky) | 1643 comments I'm working through Wolf Hall (my first time) and very much enjoying it but the Summer TOB has prevented me from getting many other past tourney winners concluded (finished Station Eleven earlier in the year, that's it so far). Got a lot to go and several that I'm truly not interested in so yeah, TOB is funny.


message 21: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 712 comments Luckily(??) I have bad memory, so books always seem fresh to me after a couple of years. I want to reread most of these. (No interest in rereading The Road or Geek Squad, though.) So far I've gotten through Station Eleven and The Accidental (which I loved even more this time, as an audiobook.) I'm making my way through David Mitchell (now on Slade House) in preparation for a group read of Cloud Atlas in September. For me, all great books are worth a re-read, because there are always things you miss the first time through.


message 22: by C (new)

C | 473 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Luckily(??) I have bad memory, so books always seem fresh to me after a couple of years. I want to reread most of these. (No interest in rereading The Road or Geek Squad, though.) So far I've gotte..."

I agree with all of this, Elizabeth! It's one of the highlights of having a bad memory... at least re-reads will seem fresher??


message 23: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 802 comments I’m also slowly making my way through the list. Since it’s at least a year out, I keep letting other books cut in line. ;)

I’m with C; really dreading Wolf Hall. I’m not sure I’ll get through that one since 1500s England is the least interesting setting for my taste and it’s a long one. I’m listening to “The Accidental” now though, and “Orphan Master’s Son” sounds really good!


message 24: by Amy (new)

Amy (asawatzky) | 1643 comments What is your opinion of The Accidental on audio? I always have to pay such close attention to Ali Smith in print (she’s just SO different from most lit fic!) that I am afraid I would miss a lot of the goodness listening during my commute. I’m a big fan, I just take 2x as long over her sentences vs any other author.


message 25: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 712 comments Amy wrote: "What is your opinion of The Accidental on audio? I always have to pay such close attention to Ali Smith in print (she’s just SO different from most lit fic!) that I am afraid I would miss a lot of ..."

I thought it was great on audio...I agree with you on much of Ali Smith (I think the Seasons series would be really difficult to wrap your head around on audio), but the story in the The Accidental is much more straightforward...And the voice acting is great, a different narrator for each character...I liked a couple of voices more than the others (Astrid was great!) but they're all done really well, and it added a lot to the experience for me, because this book really is all about character.


message 26: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Oertel | 802 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Amy wrote: "What is your opinion of The Accidental on audio? I always have to pay such close attention to Ali Smith in print (she’s just SO different from most lit fic!) that I am afraid I would mi..."

I'm listening to the audio version from Hoopla (not sure if they're all the same). The quality isn't 100% so it's a little garbled for me. I also struggle with staying connected to narrators with British accents, but it that isn't an issue for you, Amy, it should be fine. ;)


message 27: by Heather (new)

Heather (hlynhart) | 301 comments Since the announcement, I listened to the audiobooks of Cloud Atlas, The Accidental, The Sisters Brothers and The Brief, Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao (I had 8 ToB winners I hadn't read previously). Of those, The Accidental was my clear favorite and Cloud Atlas felt almost torturous to get through....which is about the opposite of what I expected as I've liked Mitchell's work more than Smith's usually. I think it helped doing The Accidental as an audio, and probably hurt doing Cloud Atlas that way.I liked the other two as well; Oscar Wao was narrated by Lin Manuel Miranda so that was a bonus.


message 28: by Gwendolyn (new)

Gwendolyn | 159 comments Elizabeth, I’m glad you mentioned the September group read of Cloud Atlas. I’d forgotten about that, and I’m planning to participate. Thanks for the reminder!


message 29: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 712 comments Gwendolyn wrote: "Elizabeth, I’m glad you mentioned the September group read of Cloud Atlas. I’d forgotten about that, and I’m planning to participate. Thanks for the reminder!"

Glad you'll be joining in! I'm looking forward to it!


message 30: by Nadine (last edited Aug 06, 2019 04:04PM) (new)

Nadine (nadinekc) | 514 comments Gwendolyn wrote: "Elizabeth, I’m glad you mentioned the September group read of Cloud Atlas. I’d forgotten about that, and I’m planning to participate. Thanks for the reminder!"

Me too! Now that it's getting closer, do we have a start date? Sept 1? or Sept 15? I'm assuming we're reading it in sections together rather than starting with a full book discussion? Altough I'm okay either way......


message 31: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 712 comments Nadine wrote: "Now that it's getting closer, do we have a start date? Sept 1? or Sept 15? I'm assuming we're reading it in sections together rather than starting with a full book discussion? Altough I'm okay either way......"

If it works for everyone, I was thinking we could start discussing a week into September? Let me continue this conversation over in the Cloud Atlas thread. LINK I know there were a bunch of people interested who posted there, so they should be getting notifications on that discussion.


message 32: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 712 comments Anyone interested in rereading/reading The Good Lord Bird, the e-book is on sale this week for $1.99.


message 33: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 69 comments If anyone is dreading reading Wolf Hall but plans to get through it somehow anyway, the audiobook is stellar. Narrated by Simon Slater. I enjoyed reading along in the book while listening to it at the same time, for some reason...I just love this novel.

Also for some reason the first scene is really hard to get through, because it's harsh and suddenly violent...I almost gave up because of it. It's short and then it gets much better fast imo.


message 34: by Kasa (new)

Kasa Cotugno | 3 comments good point. I saw the b'way show, tv version, and plan on reading it again before part iii comes out. will do audible since you make it so appealing.


message 35: by C (new)

C | 473 comments Lark wrote: "If anyone is dreading reading Wolf Hall but plans to get through it somehow anyway, the audiobook is stellar. Narrated by Simon Slater. I enjoyed reading along in the book while list..."

Thanks for the encouragement, Lark. :D


message 36: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 69 comments C wrote: "Thanks for the encouragement, Lark. :D .."

otoh I don't think anyone will get me to read part 3. I hear it doesn't end well.


message 37: by Ruthiella (last edited Aug 13, 2019 10:45PM) (new)

Ruthiella | 331 comments Lark wrote: "C wrote: "Thanks for the encouragement, Lark. :D .."

otoh I don't think anyone will get me to read part 3. I hear it doesn't end well."

LOL, That's exactly what I find amazing about Mantel in these books. When Cromwell is offering Anne Boleyn a way out (a way to keep her head!) in the second book, I found myself on the edge of my seat wanting her to accept his offer even when in this case I obviously know what happened historically.


message 38: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 69 comments Ruthiella wrote: "in the second book, I found myself on the edge of my seat wanting her to accept his offer even when in this case I obviously know what happened historically. ..."

Well they are "fiction!" Maybe Mantel will pull a fast one on us in book 3.

The thing I love most about book 1 is how completely Mantel rehabilitated and enlivened Cromwell as a human being. I graduated from high school in South Africa and at the time there were national exams and everyone in the country, regardless of your school, read the same books and plays and poems to be tested on, and we read A Man for All Seasons that year. So I had this very powerful opinion inculcated in me about both Cromwell and Thomas More, and it was completely the opposite of what Mantel wrote. That was certainly a great part of the delight I got from Wolf Hall...realizing how human and complicated these people were, and how little we really know about their motives.


message 39: by Ruthiella (new)

Ruthiella | 331 comments Lark wrote: "we read A Man for All Seasons that year. So I had this very powerful opinion inculcated in me about both Cromwell and Thomas More, and it was completely the opposite of what Mantel wrote."

If any one reads the C.J. Sansom Shardlake series which is crime fiction set in the Tudor era, one also gets a more negative view of Cromwell.

I kinda have a bookish crush on the man Mantel created in these two books/


message 40: by Amy (new)

Amy (asawatzky) | 1643 comments I’m reading Wolf Hall now (read BUtB years ago but procrastinated on WH due to length) and it’s so funny in a super droll way. I think Mantel is a genius.


message 41: by Nadine (new)

Nadine (nadinekc) | 514 comments Ruthiella wrote: "I kinda have a bookish crush on the man Mantel created in these two books..."

Ruthiella, if you haven't already seen Mark Ryland play him in the mini-series, then you must - you'll have an even bigger crush. Mantel is a genius and so is Ryland :)


message 42: by Ruthiella (new)

Ruthiella | 331 comments Nadine wrote: "Ruthiella wrote: "I kinda have a bookish crush on the man Mantel created in these two books..."

Ruthiella, if you haven't already seen Mark Ryland play him in the mini-series, then you must - you'..."


Thanks for the tip Nadine! :D


message 43: by Kasa (new)

Kasa Cotugno | 3 comments Mark Rylance.


message 44: by Peebee (new)

Peebee | 68 comments Get Wolf Hall now — it just showed up on Pres Obama’s summer reading list. (As did American Spy.)


message 45: by Nadine (new)

Nadine (nadinekc) | 514 comments Kasa wrote: "Mark Rylance."

Oops, thanks ;)


message 46: by Cat (new)

Cat | 34 comments I'm so excited to have this list to work on in advance! I really wanted to read all of the books for the TOB 2019 but hadn't read a lot of them before the list was announced and was really scrambling. It was pretty fun though to have those deadlines. I've read 6 of these so far and just checked out another 6. Happy reading!
Orphan Master's Son is by far my favorite book on the list of the ones that I've read. I read it when it came out and it's stuck with me all these years.


message 47: by Cat (new)

Cat | 34 comments Oh also, looking at this list, I didn't finish Wolf Hall or cloud Atlas which is super unusual for me. I usually stick books out to their bitter ends, so I think that's interesting. And I wasn't that impressed with Brief Wondrous Life, Station Eleven or The Road. I just thought that was interesting that I seemed to not really enjoy half of the winners although I love reading the TOB books!


message 48: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 69 comments Cat wrote: "I just thought that was interesting that I seemed to not really enjoy half of the winners although I love reading the TOB books!..."

This has been my feeling too, Cat. I'll be in love with the long list, and read as many as I can before the round of 16 is announced, and then the short list feels slightly disappointing, and then comes the long heartbreak as one book after another that I love gets thrown out until the winner feels kinda mediocre sometimes. I still love the process, but I find myself not so interested in re-reading the winners from the past.


message 49: by Bretnie (new)

Bretnie | 438 comments I started The Good Lord Bird recently and about halfway through I'm loving it!


message 50: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle Carter (rachellerain) | 43 comments Dianah wrote: "Jan wrote: "Rachelle, not too early! Got a prediction? I’m thinking Nickel Boys is a pretty sure bet. :-)"

Completely agree, Jan!"


Wow...so surprised it didn't make the short list...not sure what I think of this short list...


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