Thursday, February 22, 2007

2007 Tournament of Books Contenders Announced

The Morning has announced this year's nominees for its "prestigious" Rooster Award. For those like me, who missed this event last year, let me try to explain how it works. The website has come up with a list of what it considers to be 16 of the best novels written in 2006 and, much like what happens in the NCAA Basketball tournament, will next divide the books into brackets in which each book will go head-to-head against another book. A judge will read each of the books and will choose one of the two as "best" so that that book can move on to the next round to face another of the 16 books and a different judge. It's not clear to me if all 16 books are in the same bracket to begin with or if the tournament will begin with two groups of eight or four groups of four, etc. But the main point is that at the end of the readings only one book will be left standing as 2007 Rooster-winner.

This really sounds like fun and something to watch over the next few weeks, and it's another of those great ideas that make a person kick himself for not thinking of it himself. Anyway, here are the 2006 Rooster Award contenders:
Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

One Good Turn, Kate Atkinson

Arthur and George, Julian Barnes

Brookland, Emily Barton

English, August, Upamanyu Chatterjee

The Lay of the Land, Richard Ford

Pride of Baghdad, Niko Henrichon, Brian K. Vaughan

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

The Emperor’s Children, Claire Messud

The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, Peter Orner

The Echo Maker, Richard Powers

Against the Day, Thomas Pynchon

Firmin, Sam Savage

Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart

Alentejo Blue, Monica Ali

Apex Hides the Hurt, Colson Whitehead

Much like some of the other challenges that we see in various book blogs, this could be a lot of fun for a group of "judges" to replicate on their own.


  1. What a great list of books they selected! I am looking forward to seeing how this one pans out.

  2. Same here, Stefanie. It will be kind of fun to watch this one progress over the next several months. I haven't read all of these, of course, but I have strong opinions, both negative and positive, about some of them.