Getting Ready for TOB 2017

And so it begins…   Tournament of Books 2017

When you search online for “Tournament of Books Rooster“, you will get the final results from last year’s contest. But if you search “TOB Rooster Long List 2017” you should find the list of 120 books published in 2016  that we all must read before March.

HA ha ha ha ha,… sniff, SOB.

Yes, I cried. A little.sobemoji

You don’t really have to do that searching because I linked ’em up for you. I’m nice like that. Though, if you do want to search for that second list, you’ll get a results option for reading about the best toaster ovens in 2017. Gotta love the internet…

And the nice folk at The Morning News provides a link to a spreadsheet in case you want to print and check the thing off with a highlighter and colored pens and have a paper copy to fondle and hold and a hug and put in a notebook like I have. I had been despairing about a printable list when I realized that I didn’t read the ENTIRE post (thus missed the bit about a spreadsheet – I’m so lame.) Also, I like the Facebook Rooster page to keep track of news on this wonderful favorite event.

I am providing a list with my reviews of the books I’ve read so far in order of my most favorite to almost but not quite favorite — because all have been enjoyable or moving or startling or… Um, after the top two, I couldn’t really put the other 4 in any ranking! (Book covers link to my reviews. Pie mentions noted.)


My Name is Lucy Barton mnilbbyes by Elizabeth Strout * Elvis Pie

Commonwealth cwbyapby Ann Patchett * Apple Pie

The Fireman tfbyjh by Joe Hill * Peach Pie

The Vegetarian tvbyhk by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith

The Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist yhismtsoafbysy by Sunil Yapa

The Nest tnbycda by Cynthia d’Aprix Sweeney



OWNED on Kindle but not yet read:  Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt


Requested from the library:

Alexander Chee’s The Queen of the Night – position in line:  1

Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing – position in line: 2

Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn – position in line: 3

Brit Bennett’s The Mothers – position in line: 5

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad – position in line: 62

pieratingsmlHave you read any that I haven’t and you think will make the shortlist? TELL ME! And let me know if any of these are excellent audiobooks. Thanks, most appreciated. Let’s get reading, people!  We’ve got a tournament to prep for.


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19 thoughts on “Getting Ready for TOB 2017

  1. Oooohhh! I’ll have to do a post, but quickly: I’ve read nine, so only 111 to go! I think I own but haven’t read another six, and I’m reading one right now (Behold the Dreamers) that I checked out of the library. Mostly I just see all the good books I missed this year. So many more for the list! I hope Commonwealth makes the shortlist. I loved it. Also The Underground Railroad and Lions. Both terrific.

    1. Uh oh! I haven’t heard anything about Lions. I still can’t believe how many books they put on this list. I just realized that Muriel Barbery’s The Life of Elves is on the list and I know I want to read that. Not much buzz about it, though – or not in my circles. I loved Hedgehog.

    1. I know! I’m hoping I can get half the short list done by the short list announcement day – but it will take lots of luck more than time, I’m sure. I just ordered the audiobook of The Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien – because I can read it and count for the What’s in a Name Challenge in the furniture category. Crazy, huh.

  2. You’ve already got a pretty good start there. Those all sound like books that could make the list. The ones on the list I have read: 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, Yiddish for Pirates, The Wonder, American Housewife, and Homegoing, I have no idea whether they will make the shortlist or not, but I loved them all except for American Housewife. I predict that Homegoing will make it. And I saw Hag-Seed on there – Atwood could make it.
    David Adams Richards is on the list!! I didn’t even know until now that Canadian books were allowed on the list – I thought it was an American thing.

  3. I started looking at the list the other day but it is such a long long list I got tired and didn’t make it to the end.

    I have read All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. It was good but I wasn’t that impressed. I like the idea of it more than I liked the reality of it.

    1. Yea, I was a little peeeeved, is that the right word? I don’t care about surprises but let’s make the necessary cuts, shall we? We don’t have time to read everything!

  4. I’m with Stefanie, the longlist makes me tired! 🙂 I don’t have a hope of reading more than 10 books on the list in any given year, but I really do enjoy the commentary during the judging! I’ve read 5 from the list and quite a few are on my TBR. So hopefully there will be a few I can root for.

    1. I have barely given the ones I didn’t recognize a second glance. Plenty of them I have heard of and a few I read a few pages of and rejected. We will see, we will see what happens.

  5. I fully think Homegoing and The Underground Railroad are going to make the shortlist — I’m excited to see if I will be right! I admit that I might be biased because I read both of those two and liked them a lot. I think the Tournament of Books, maybe more than other book prizes?, tends to do some surprising things and steer away from obvious choices. Which is fun.

    1. I think you are right. I think both of those will be in. I’m betting on The Vegetarian and The Nest, too. Other than those four, not sure at all. (until I look again at the list…)

  6. I am with Michelle. I will wait until the short list to seriously tackle reading any of the titles. Otherwise, I just end up hate reading books that don’t even make the cut (such as Only Ever Yours from last year). Of the long list, I have already read 9 and I am going to read Commonwealth soon. I also will only try what I can get from the library, so none of the more obscure stuff anyway unless I Interlibrary loan it.

    That said, if I see any of the long list available at the library, I will pick it up and give it a 50 page whirl. I picked up How to Start a Fire and The Nix this weekend. Who knows, I may not want to stop reading after 50 pages! : )

    And just to confirm, the TOB is for any book published in the U.S. in English within a certain time period (not clear on the month to month dates, if it is 12 or what) But otherwise, it can be Canadian or French or Zimbabwean or whatevs. Like last year Oreo was a reprint from an original 1970’s publication date and The Story of My Teeth was translated from Spanish. Skys the limit!

    1. YAY Ruthiella! Thanks so much for sharing that info. I will email Naomi to tell her. (eventually, if I remember, or she might see this).

      Hope you like Commonwealth. Just had book club on it last night. We all liked it and still lots to talk about.

      I can’t often comment on your blog without jumping through lots of hoops so do know I have visited and lurked. 🙂

  7. sarahsbookshelvesblog

    I always love watching people try to read the TOB nominees, but last year I really had an urge to join in. Maybe I will this year! Although I have already read a good number on your list.

  8. buriedinprint

    I’ve read only seven, mostly Canadian ones, and I’m guessing you’re right about The Vegetarian being a popular choice for debate. Swing Time could be good for that too, and obviously Zadie Smith is a well-known figure in the literary world as well. Mostly I recognize authors rather than titles here, and I’m not usually uptodate with them but kinda mean to read them “someday” (like the Patchett and the Strout you mentioned). But I love the fact that they’ve shared the longlist for adding new-to-me writers’ names to my TBR. I’ll go through it in more detail at some point and methodically add the ones that intrigue me most – maybe over the holidays after things have calmed down a little in the beyond-books world. Thanks so much for posting the link :I’d forgotten that it appeared before the year was out!

  9. I’ve already read 14 books on the list, mostly because they took a bunch from the Booker shortlist, but the only one I’d consider a shoo-in is The Underground Railroad. Of the others that I’ve read, I think The Lesser Bohemians has a decent chance, because the writing is so unconventional. And Hystopia might have a shot because it has an oddball structure. (I really didn’t like that book, though, so I’m not suggesting you seek it out!)

    I have several of the others already on hand and may try to read a few before the shortlist announcement, but I’m not pushing myself to do so just for the TOB. The last time I did that, I struck out on every single book I tried. (The books themselves were fine, but they didn’t make the list.)

  10. litandlife

    120 books? Well that is just not going to happen! I’ll just have to read as many of the ones on the list that I wanted to read as soon as I can and call it good.

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