A Turkish proverb. To gently nudge me back into the confines of my pen. Because of time constraints in my life, I have lived bookishly on Twitter for some time now. But politics gone mad have taken over my timeline, and not that I do not appreciate the intelligence and passion of much that appears there, but it leaves me sad that the conversations about our reading lives are so starkly diminished.
I am a fan of the annual Tournament of Books, not as a literary contest with all parties lusting after that rooster prize, but as a really rich chance for critical thinkers of varying literary tastes to engage in conversations about what most appeals to them and why. Reflections of self, wanderlust, academic objectivity, a thirst for the novel (in more ways than one) - the participating readers come at the annual silliness with a sense of fun and in engaging the broad tastes represented, lend value to spirited debate that makes way for all. Goofy smack talk with hidden depths for book nerds
So when the brackets came out a few days back, I decided to jump in again even though I am very far behind. Part of the fun is making picks between books you know next to nothing about, and then attempting to defend your position. Just like with any March Madness brackets for most people. I have only read three of the shortlist titles - The Vegetarian, My Name is Lucy Barton and Grief is the Thing With Feathers. My plan is to read the three novels that they come up against in the first round of matches first - All the Birds in the Sky, Version Control, and Moonglow respectively. The match up that interests me most after those is Homegoing vs. Sweet Lamb of Heaven. If I can get through all of those that would be awesome. Aside from that I have no plans. Just stacks of the shortlisted standing by. And a desire to avoid monkey books. Look at the shortlist. You'll see what I mean.