Today, The Morning News Selection Committee announces the contenders for the Sixth Annual Tournament of Books, the one and only March Madness battle royale of literary excellence, presented by Field Notes. This year’s tournament will begin in March, and so it is time for our annual distillation of the rules. It’s also your chance to determine the contenders for the Zombie Round.
Each spring we take 16 celebrated novels from the previous year and seed them into a competitive bracket like the kind used in the NCAA basketball championship. A group of judges is enlisted, and the tournament plays out over the course of five rounds of matches in March. Each match sees two books battling head-to-head in brutal combat, with a judge explaining how he or she has chosen to move one of them to the next round.
Finally, we declare one work of fiction to be the Champion Book of the Year, and we award/threaten its author with a live, angry rooster, the official Tournament of Books mascot, named after our favorite character in contemporary literature, David Sedaris’s brother.
There will be surprises. There will be new features. There will be prizes. There will even be an official Tournament statistician (more on that soon). Until then, get your Rooster news here on TMN, Twitter, and join us on Facebook. We hope to see you soon.