I am a judge in this year's Tournament of Books at The Morning News. The Tournament is a bracketed competition that pits sixteen books against each other, two books at at time. It's sort of like March Madness, if March Madness didn't bore me to death.*
I love to read, and I have so much going on**, I don't have as much time as I need to read everything I want. When something like this comes along that basically gives me an excuse to read books and not feel guilty because I should be doing something else, I always get excited.
The round I judged went live today. Here's a little bit:
I’ll spare you any sort of contrived suspense (there’s plenty of that in State of Wonder) about which book I picked to send to round two, and just cut to the chase: I had to restrain myself from reading The Sisters Brothers in one sitting, and State of Wonder felt like the most tedious homework assignment I’ve ever had in my life. The Sisters Brothers easily and handily wins this matchup.
Of course, there's much more to it than that, but why bury the lede? I hope you'll take a moment and head over to the tournament and check out the whole thing, then come back.
Okay. Welcome back. I hope my judgement entertained you. I knew that I wasn't going to write as intellectually as the other judges, so I just embraced who I am, and wrote my judgement the same way I'd write a blog post or one of my columns. I made a deliberate choice to be direct, hopefully humorous, and unapologetically opinionated.
I expected to be savaged in the comments over there, but they've been almost entirely awesome, whether they agree with me or not. In fact, it's one of the rare times I've actually enjoyed reading a comment-based discussion. See, kids? Reading makes you a smarter and better person than not reading. And that's a fact!
*Insert sportsball joke here.
**I'm kind of a big deal. /smirk