World Cup of Literature

So this is happening. It’s basically like that Tournament of Books thing, except without crappy books and with judges who actually know about literature.

The idea is one book from each of the nations represented in the 2014 World Cup. We read and judge head-to-head matches, there can only be one winner, etc.

The floor is currently open for nominations. Rules and instructions here.

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I’ve followed this blog for years, participated in a couple of big reads, and generally love everything posted here–and even when I don’t, I find it challenging and stimulating. But I’m a little taken aback by the blithe dismissal of The Tournament of Books. First of all, it’s NOT all “crappy books” and the judges are not all “crappy” either. They straddle a line, okay, between “commercial” (whatever that means) and “seriously literary” (whatever that means), and a few of my favorite books from the past few years were ones I found through the TOB, and not here. For instance, “Skippy Dies,” by Paul Murray; “The Sisters Brothers,” by Patrick DeWitt; among others. And I loved “The Good Lord Bird,” which one the TOB this year, and adored “The Orphan Master’s Son,” which won the TOB last year. And they’ve had some books in the Tournament that have been mentioned here, too. The World Cup of Literature you mention sounds seriously awesome, and it gladdens my heart and spirit. But your blithe and nasty dismissal of the TOB is just uncalled for, and unnecessary to sell this contest.

That should of course be “won” the TOB this year…apologies for the typo.

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