Tournament of Books Final Rounds

We’re almost to the finish line, folks! Just the Zombie Rounds and then the finals! Here are my predictions for the rest of the Tournament. 

The Nix v The Underground Railroad. My pick: The Underground Railroad 

The Vegetarian v Homegoing. My pick: Homegoing

My my for the overall winner of the 2017 Tournament of Books is The Underground Railroad. This has been a clear favorite of many since the beginning and I think it’s a pretty safe bet. We’ll see at the end of the week, though!

Top Ten Author Readings

I was excited about this Top Ten Tuesday, because as an undergrad I was lucky enough to attend one of the best English schools in the country. With that came an amazing independent bookstore that had plenty of readings and events that were completely free. I was able to see so many author readings, I bet I’ve forgotten half of them! There were just too many to keep track! So, my list below highlights some of my favorite author readings (except for number 9, which is a future reading that I already have tickets to and just can’t wait to attend!). 

1. Alice Sebold

2. Max Allan Collins

3. Amber Tamblyn

4. Audrey Niffenegger

5. Lawrence Block

6. Dan Choan

7. Julie Rubina

8. Ishmael Beah

9. Paula Hawkins

10. Robyn Schiff 

Tournament of Books Semifinals

We’re so close to a new winner! Now we’re on to the semifinals today, and things are getting difficult. These books are all so amazing, it’s really hard to predict who is going to win it all. Here are my predictions for this semifinal round:

The Underground Railroad v Version Control. My pick: The Underground Railroad 

Homegoing v The Nix. My pick: Homegoing 

The Zombie Round is coming later this week, so stay tuned for a possible twist in the game!

Winter Reading Recap

With the new Spring Reading List up and going, it’s time to go over my Winter Reading List.  I feel like even though I didn’t succeed in finishing my list, I still succeeded in reading some really great books this season.  So, here’s my recap:


Little Women: I didn’t finish.  I don’t know why, but I’ve never been able to get into Little Women.  It just might not be the book for me.  I did get much farther than I’ve ever gotten before, though.  Has anyone else had the same problem?  I still want to read this classic, so if you have any advice on how to get through, I’d love to hear it!

Gone with the Wind: I haven’t finished this book yet.  It’s one of my favorites, and I decided I really wanted to savor it and take my time on it.  My reading of it will continue into the spring months!

Jane Eyre: I didn’t start it.  I’ve already read this book, and while every winter I feel like a reread, I just didn’t feel like picking it up when it was time.  It’s still on the shelf whenever the urge hits again, though.

The Woman in White: I didn’t start this one, either.  I just wasn’t feeling classics this winter, it looks like.



Hillbilly Elegy: Finished!  And I have to say I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed this book!

Talking as Fast as I Can: Also finished!  And loved.  Highly recommend for any Gilmore Girls fan.

Salinger: I didn’t start.  My goal was to read three books from each category, and I decided early on that this wouldn’t be my pick for this season.  I still have the book, though, so maybe I’ll be inspired to pick it up some other time.

The Road to Little Dribbling:  I didn’t finish this book.  I decided that I might want to start with some other Bill Bryson before tackling this one.  Any advice on which one to go for first?


Newer Releases

Swing Time: Didn’t start

Truly, Madly, Guilty: Didn’t start

Today Will Be Different: Didn’t start

The Girls: Didn’t finish.  For some reason I just really didn’t like this book.  I will not be trying this one again.


So clearly I had an issue with newer releases this season.  I have a perfectly good reason for that.  The Tournament of Books shortlist was released in January.  As you can probably tell, the Tournament of Books is one of my favorite literary events of the year.  I started gathering as many of the shortlisted books as I could and read those instead of my Winter list.  I have to say, I am definitely do not regret my choice to forgo this list for the Tournament of Books.  I found some great books.

Even though it doesn’t appear like I did that great reading wise this Winter, I am very pleased with the books that weren’t on this list that I did read.  I’m very happy.

How did everyone else do this winter?  Any opinions on the books I read/didn’t read?

Spring Reading List

Spring has finally arrived!  With it comes beautiful weather, sunshine, and great reading!  I’ll be posting more about my successes and failures with my Winter Reading List in another post, but here are the books that I would like to read this spring.


Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman


Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca

Washington by Ron Chernow

Kill ‘Em and Leave by James McBride

South and West: From a Notebook by Joan Didion

Modern Selections

The Sport of Kings by CE Morgan

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Mister Monkey by Francine Prose

The Mothers by Brit Bennett


Anyone else have any good reading plans for the spring?

Top Ten Books to Read in One Sitting

This week’s TTT is all about those quick reads! I’m listing the top ten books I’ve read in just one sitting. Now, some of these are pretty long; it’s a good thing I started them on a weekend when I had nothing to do, or I’d have been in major trouble!

1. Milk and Honey 

2. Eligible 

3. Franny and Zooey

4. Cheerful Weather for the Wedding 

5. Of Mice and Men

6. Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone

7. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

8. Civil Disobedience

9. Girl on the Train

10. Annihilation 

Tournament of Books Quarterfinals

We’ve now finished the opening rounds of the Tournament of Books!  I’ve done alright with my predictions, but that is something I love about this Tournament.  It’s so subjective and based on the judge it is almost impossible to predict how every round is going to go.  I tend to pick the books that I’ve read and/or placed on my TBR prior to the start of the Tournament.  I’ll also pick books that have a plot summary that sounds like something I would tend to choose over the competition.  I’m always surprised at how wrong I can be sometimes, but I almost welcome it!  I always add new books to my TBR that I would never glance twice at if they weren’t in the Tournament.  I’ve found some incredible books this way.  And to think, I almost didn’t read them!


Here are my predictions for the quarterfinal round:

The Underground Railroad v. All the Birds in the Sky. My pick: The Underground Railroad

Version Control v. The Mothers. My pick: The Mothers

Grief is the Thing with Feathers v. Homegoing. My pick: Homegoing

The Nix v. Mister Monkey. My pick: The Nix 


I’ll be back next week to make my last few predictions for the rest of the tournament!

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday lists took a bit of a break, and so did I, but now that it’s back, I want to start up again, too!  With Spring just around the corner, this TTT is perfect!  I’ve chosen new or upcoming releases that I’m most looking forward to getting my hands on.


  1. The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride
  2. Theft by Finding by David Sedaris
  3. The Idiot by Elif Batuman
  4. Exit West by Moshin Hamid
  5. No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts
  6. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  7. Hunger by Roxane Gay
  8. Borne by Jeff Vandermeer
  9. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
  10. South and West: A Notebook by Joan Didion


What’s on your Spring TBR?

2017 Tournament of Books 

The Tournament of Books is upon us! I have read a number of these books, and started out familiar with even more. So, what I’d like to do again this year is do a little coverage and predictions for the tournament and the results!

Today I’m going to go through my predictions for the first round. As the tournament goes on, I’ll update my predictions and provide my reactions to the events as they take place. So here we go with the Tournament of Books!
Round One

The Underground Railroad v Black Wave. My pick: The Underground Railroad

The Vegetarian v All the Birds in the Sky. My pick: The Vegetarian 

My Name is Lucy Barton  v Version Control. My pick: My Name is Lucy Barton

The Mothers v High Dive. My pick: The Mothers

Moonglow   v Grief is the Thing with Feathers. My pick: Moonglow

Homegoing v Sweet Lamb of Heaven. My pick: Homegoing

The Nix v We Love You, Charlie Freeman. My pick: The Nix

Play-in Winner v Mister Monkey.  My pick: the Play-in Winner will be The Sport of Kings, which will also beat Mister Monkey. 
Anyone else have predictions for this round? Who do you think will win it all?