March Madness (of the best kind) is finally here. The Morning News Tournament of Books started yesterday with a wildcard shootout between three Iraq War novels: The Yellow Birds, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, and Fobbit. Judge Nathan Bradley, in a detailed comparison of the three novels, declared Billy Lynn to be the winner of the pre-tourney round, earning the novel a head-to-head match with May We Be Forgiven on March 12.
Official tournament play opens on March 7 with Louise Erdich's The Round House vs. John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. Edan Lepucki will determine the winner of this first official pairing. Including the wildcard winner, there are now 16 books in the tournament, and starting March 7, one book will be eliminated each weekday in March - right down to the eventual 2013 champion.
I have read four of the sixteen books and I'm familiar with four or five of the others, so this one should be fun. I'm pulling for either Alice Munro's Dear Life or Erdrich's The Round House to be the last book standing, but that is probably the kiss of death to their chances, so I will apologize to both ladies now.
You can join the fun here.