It's that time of the year again. March. The month where books grab each other's spine, rip out their pages, kick, grunt, tear, cry, snivel... All to get on top. All the be the one. This year's March Madness Champion.
For the seventh year in a row, HarperCollins Canada is hosting the March Madness, a competition in which 64 books battle it out in four divisions, in the hopes of becoming this year's victor and to forever claim a spot on the Shelf of Fame.
Every week, the books are paired two by two and the one who ends on top at the end of the week - through public voting, once every hour - moves on to the next round. How fun is that?! If you're Canadian, things get even more fun, cause you can win the whole bookish lot.
Since we at The Paper Dragon and Inklingstime are Belgian - although, once every year, we are Pretend-Canadian for one whole month - we're not playing for the big prize. For us, it's pure fun! Drawing our own charts and betting on our favourites, trying to outscore one another (*) and just rooting for some of our darling books. March Madness, an apt name I think.
The whole lot of 64 books is up for view - and vote! - via the link to the March Madness. But let me just share a few of the books I'll be rooting for this year.
Division Middle Earth
The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, while a Fantasy classic, not my favourite book. Still, I'm voting for it since I have some good memories of this as a whole and, besides the fact that it's not The Most Brilliant Book In The Entire History Of Manking And Beyond, it's still good!
Garth Stein's The Art Of Racing In The Rain is one of the few books that made me cry. A frequent competitor in the Madness, so it's time for Enzo to go all the way and race to the championship!
Room by Emma Donoghue was a very moving read. Disturbing, gripping and leaves a lasting impression.
Neil Gaiman's The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is a book I have not read, yet, but solely based on the other offerings from Mr. Gaiman, this is bound to be absolutely terrific and thus a big competitor.
The Golem And The Jinni by Helene Wecker is another book that's still resting on my TBR, but just like gravity, everytime I come near it, it pulls me closer. Will be a soon-TBR, I think.
While there are other books - whom I've actually read and enjoyed - that look like they will be fierce competitors and go far, these five should try to go all the way. In which case there will be a Division Finale between LotR and Racing in the Rain (I hope!), where I hope the latter takes Division Victory and move on to the semi's.
Other big contenders are, in my opinion, Divergent (Veronica Roth), Blood Gospel (James Rollins), NOS4A2 (Joe Hill), Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel), The Book of Negroes (Lawrence Hill), Shatter Me (Tahereh Mafi) and Beautiful Ruins (Jess Walters).
Are you playing along? Who are you rooting for?
(*) Why yes, we even made up our own scoring system, with points awarded for a correct bet, bonus points for favourites who are going through, ...