Announcing The Morning News Tournament of Books X

Perhaps it’s wrong for an event that considers itself a celebration of arbitrariness to recognize an anniversary. Or maybe it’s perfectly appropriate—we’re not sure where we’re supposed to stand on irony these days. Regardless, pride compels us to note that the Tournament of Books turns 10 this year.

Ten! If the ToB were a child, we’d call him ToBy, and little ToBy would be obsessed with Minecraft, soccer, Adventure Time, and learning to play guitar. And reading books. ToBy reads a lot.

That’s right! It’s the tenth annual Tournament of Books, presented by Field Notes, sponsored by Powell’s Books, and sharing a frightfully new media partnership with Tumblr itself! Here’s how it’s gonna go down:

In case you’re new to all this, the ToB is an annual springtime event here at The Morning News, where a group of the best works of fiction from last year enter a March Madness-style battle royale.

In March, these novels will be seeded and paired off in an NCAA Tournament-like bracket. For each pairing, one of our esteemed judges will read both novels and advance one, with an transparent explanation of how they made their decision. Along the way, our ToB Chairmen, authors Kevin Guilfoile and John Warner, will weigh in with commentary, and you, the readers, will add your own.

Eventually, only two books will remain, to be judged by our entire panel, and one will be crowned the Rooster of 2014.

Here’s the list of finalists:

  • At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcón
  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
  • The Tuner of Silences by Mia Couto
  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid
  • The Dinner by Herman Koch
  • The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Long Division by Kiese Laymon
  • The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
  • Hill William by Scott McClanahan
  • The Son by Philipp Meyer
  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  • Woke Up Lonely by Fiona Maazel

Our judges list includes such notable persons as Jami Attenberg, Geraldine Brooks, John Darnielle, Roxane Gay, John Green, and others!

Reblog, tell your friends, tell us we’re ruining literary competitions, tell us you like us! Let the literary blood sport commence.

kara walker has been doing 2-d slavery scenes since the beginning of time and i always felt uneasy about how it was received by white viewership. with all of the white people viewing “a subtlety”, i wonder what are their reasons? where does their interest lie? how are they explaining these sculptures to their children? (if you haven’t gone yet, expect tons of babies running amuck) hell, how are they explaining it to themselves? is stopping by domino factory just the current “it” thing to do in nyc? are they leaving with a better understanding of the existence of black people in this country?

where’s the chill button?

Scientists have known about childhood amnesia for more than a century. But it’s only in the past decade that they have begun to figure out when childhood memories start to fade, which early memories are most likely to survive, and how we create a complete autobiography without direct memories of our earliest years.

The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade

There is a kind of voracious reading that happens between the ages of seven and 17 that I thought was reserved only for, well, children. Sometimes I wonder if all my reading since has been a secret attempt to get close to that experience of sustained absorption. To have a book become your entire world so effortlessly is a precious ability that rarely occurs during the exhaustion and distraction of adulthood. SOB.

Jane Hu, judge

(via The Morning News Tournament of Books Championship)

Judge Jane Hu has some thoughtful words to share at the end of the ToB, but she’s not alone. All 17 judges who’ve helped to make the Tournament what it is have contributed to this final match between Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life and James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird. All 17 vote to pick the winner of this year’s Tournament of Books.

If you haven’t read the final ruling yet, click on the link above.

Take 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors, each 7 feet high and 10 feet wide. Control them with computers to focus the Sun’s light to the top of 459-foot towers, where water is turned into steam to power turbines. Bingo: you have the world’s biggest solar power plant, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.

The World’s Largest Solar Plant Started Creating Electricity Today

Whether playing an instrument, singing in the shower or merely rocking out to Miley Cyrus in your car, the simple act of loving music — no matter what your ability — improves your mental status throughout your entire life. And at every stage of your life, it impacts you differently and equally powerfully.

If You Love Listening to Music Now, You’ll Be in Luck Later in Life

Upon the recent conclusion of Norway’s July 22 memorial site competition, Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg was unanimously selected by the competition jury to be the designer. Dahlberg’s designs will become the two public-art memorials, each commemorating the 77 victims who tragically lost their lives in the Oslo bombing and Utøya massacre on July 22, 2011.

Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg to design July 22 Memorial sites in Norway