i love the literary discussion that happens every year during The Tournament of Books. there's no better literary conversation happening anywhere else on the internets right now. it's a complete time-suck, but so very worth it.
if you've never heard of this fantastic event, a brief description from the website:
Each weekday in March, two works of fiction will go head to head, with one of our 16 judges choosing one to move ahead in the brackets. Along the way, each judge reveals his or her biases and interests, any connections they have to the participating authors, and, most importantly, an elaborate explanation of how they decided between the two books.
. . . .
From the eight opening round matches to the four quarterfinal matches through the two semifinal matches, the original field of 16 competitors is whittled down to two books. However, before those books can enter the final, championship match, they must compete in the Zombie Round, which brings back two books that were eliminated during gameplay.
. . . .
The two books that emerge victorious from the Zombie Round enter the championship match, which is decided by all 16 judges plus an additional tiebreaker judge. Each judge picks their favorite of the two final books, and the book that receives the most votes takes home that year’s Rooster.
today's match-up was last year's literary juggernaut, All the Light We Can Not See versus the small, indie print Wittgenstein, Jr. i haven't read either (i have All the Light on my TBR shelf), but i've had so much fun reading the commentary about WWII books, and idle intellectuals that it doesn't even matter. you'll discover new books and have your opinions about the books you have read challenged and shaped. it's a book club of the highest order, and i wouldn't miss it for the world.