Video: 3 Good Books on the 2017 Tournament of Books Long List

Thanks for catching another episode of Read Remark!

Today we’re going to talk about 3 good books I’ve read off of the 2017 Tournament of Books long list.

What is the Tournament of Books, you ask? If you like to read and have a competitive streak, it’s the BEST THING EVER!

Each year, The Morning News compiles a long list of what they deem the best books of the previous year. By long, I mean pretty darn long. This year’s long list is 120 books strong.

Around Feb, they cull out about 100 of those contenders and release a shortlist. This is the best of the best.

Here’s where the Tournament part comes in (you can search Twitter using #tob17):

In March, they take the shortlist books and pit them against each other in a fight TO THE DEATH!!!

Well, okay, maybe not death. But they put the shortlist books into brackets and bet them against each other until you’re left with one ultimate winner.

This is my first year to participate in the Tournament of Books, and it won’t be my last.

Not too sure how well I’ll do on my bracket picks, but even if I lose like the losingest loser that ever lost, it’ll be fun.

Here are three books among the many I read and enjoyed from the 2017 Tournament of Books long list. Though these didn’t make it to the shortlist, they deserve tons of kudos.


Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam.

Two lifelong friends find their friendship fading.

I go back and forth on how well I like this book. Slice of life books are always a challenge – is it book-worthy to watch people go through the boring minutiae of life, even when you don’t like them very much? Sometimes yes.

Ultimately, their fizzling friendship reads much truer here than in some books that manufacture a climax or showdown to force it all to come tumbling down. – Read the full review.


The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.

Adult children are about to inherit their nest egg, but find that it’s hatched and flown the coop (Pardon my messy metaphor, but get it? Nest? Egg? Hatched? Hey-oooooo)

I’m still surprised at how delighted I am by The Nest. I went into it thinking it would be a good cathartic hate read, and left saying “awwww.”

This is another of those slice-of-life books, giving us a glimpse into a family at a moment in their lives. – Read the full review.


The Never Open Desert Diner by James Anderson.

Ben makes deliveries along a desolate desert road and gets embroiled in some bad goings-on.

This book is a slow burn, and boy is it worth the attention.

Part of the magic of the Tournament of Books is that it introduces me to books I wouldn’t have come to on my own. The Never Open Desert Diner is a perfect example of one of those books less traveled. Trust me – give it a visit. – Read the full review.


Bonus: After making this BookTube video, I read another great long lister that must be included: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. A man and boy survive a plane crash, but then must deal with the aftermath and public scrutiny. – Read the full review.

Are you reading through the Tournament of Books, too? Let me know what you think in the comments. I have a lot of feels about a lot of the books (especially The Vegetarian by Han Kang, which I’m still thinking through).

Thanks for watching!


Watch this video and others on my YouTube channel here.