For anyone who doesn’t care about college sports, March Madness is traditionally a time of much yawning and boredom… but it doesn’t have to be. May I direct your attention towards The Morning News and their 2007 Tournament of Books? For what I believe is the third straight year, TMN (in association with Portland indie bookstore nirvana Powell’s) has put the year’s best reading into a bracket, pulled in a panel of judges, and are gearing up to let the fists fly. Tourney play begins tomorrow, March 8.
This year is extra special because of the caliber of judges participating: Whereas in the past they’ve had, oh, say, me, this year they’ve got terrific authors like Dan Chaon and Brady Udall, not to mention last year’s winner Sam Lipsyte. But the big ticket guest? None other than the Decemberists’ Colin Meloy, who will man the intense first round battle between Richard Ford’s The Lay of the Land and Upamanyu Chatterjee’s English, August.
I can’t wait, can you? Who’s your pick to go all the way? (I’m calling an upset from Emily Barton’s Brookland.) Post your choices below… and as always, PopWatchers: Please, no wagering.