The fifth annual Tournament of Books began a couple weeks ago, pitting the sixteen best novels of the year against one another in order to determine a champion. The first round match-ups were thus:
- 2666 vs. Steer Toward Rock
- Netherland vs. A Partisan’s Daughter
- The White Tiger vs. Harry, Revisited
- Unaccustomed Earth vs. City of Refuge
- Shadow Country vs. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
- The Northern Clemency vs. The Lazarus Project
- A Mercy vs. The Dart League King
- Home vs. My Revolution
Sadly, the only book I read was Netherland, which I thought was good. Not great.
Is it normal for writers to miss so many good novels in a year? I’d love to read more, but between teaching and writing, I don’t know where to find the time. When I have the time to read, I find myself writing.
Also, I read a great deal on the Web, as well as magazines that I never seem able to get through. The Economist and Wired are my subscriptions, but others sneak in off the magazine rack all the time.
I’d love to think that I could get through sixteen novels in a year, but that’s more than one a month. Even with audiobooks, that seems like a tall order.
The tournament is currently in round two. Unfortunately, Netherland was knocked off in round one, leaving me with no horses in the race.