Video: 3 Book Predictions for the 2018 Tournament of Books

Watch these 2018 Tournament of Books predictions and and other bookish videos on my Read Remark YouTube/BookTube channel.

Halfway into 2017, my TBR pile already overfloweth.

This has been a SPECTACULAR year for books fo far. I’m already seeing a few books break away from the pack and seem worthy of the 2018 Tournament of Books.

What is the Tournament of Books, you ask? It’s the greatest thing ever! …for readers. Each January, The Morning News puts together a long list of the previous year’s best books, as deemed by them and the critical mass.

Then, they narrow it down to the 20ish best books. Those remaining go into a bracket, March Madness-style. They narrow the list down until we find an ultimate winner. For 2017, it was The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. In 2016, it was The Sellout by Paul Beatty.

It’s a lot of fun and elicits some strong STRONG opinions.

So, being the competitive person I am, I’m already thinking about what might make it to the long list in 2018. Here are three I think we’ll see:

A Separation by Katie Kitamura

Yeeeaaah, I’ve made my opinions on this book and its mismarketing abundantly clear. It was part of The Rooster Summer Reading Challenge for June. While it missed its entree into the 2018 ToB through that avenue, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of it.

Victor LaValle and The Morning News judges gave me an appreciation of the book that I hadn’t had before…but I stand by my original opinion. Although it’s too passive for my tastes and it didn’t win its round of the Summer Reading Challenge, we haven’t seen the last of it by any means.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

George Saunders is a literary genius. That fact has been cemented in my mind since reading Tenth of December, his collection of short stories. Lincoln in the Bardo is his first foray into a full-length novel.

Saunders gets an A for effort, but a C for execution here. To me, Lincoln in the Bardo was a bit clunky with brief glimpses of brilliance. But mostly clunky.

But darnit, I know he has visionary greatness and I want to praise this effort, because it makes me so excited to see what he comes up with next. And it’s different enough that it’s already gotten lots of attention.

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

More like The Whamimators, because this book WHAMS into your heart. This is another book I initially dismissed as millennial ennui/slice of life nothingness. And then the story develops and as these women stumbled through their lives and excel at their careers, I became completely enraptured.

They are at the top of their crafts with artistry. But in their personal lives, they suck. They just can’t get it together. But they’re so there for each other, it’s touching. If they have nothing else, they have each other. And it seems like there’s a universe in that.

This list is not at all exhaustive. There are so many others I’m sure will make the 2018 ToB, including Exit West, Woman No. 17, The Leavers, This is How it Always Is, Marlena, The Book of Joan, aaaaaah. I could go on and on.

Happy reading!

Read Remark