First Week of #TOB2019 Recap


Link:   The Morning News Tournament of Books

I am excited and relieved to see Milkman advance. And I’m thrilled to have the Tournament vibrant and alive in my life. The Commentariat of the TOB is the BEST. I so enjoy reading all the thoughts, comments, opinions, witticisms, and references to other books I Must. Read. Now. (or next, or rather someday!)

I relish finding the words that capture what I like or don’t like about a book — because I don’t have those words myself. And I appreciate when someone clarifies their opinions that I might disagree with what I felt in a reading experience, good and bad.

Did I do The Italian Teacher a disservice when I DNF’d it? No, yes. Can I appreciate when someone said it was a great page-turning read that was highly enjoyable when I couldn’t suffer through the treatment Bear was giving his wife?  Do I think I need to try again reading The Italian Teacher? I doubt I will. Just too many books in the world (and toppling my tower of 2400 books.) And now, after reading all the C&O (comments and opinions), I don’t have to make myself read it – I feel like I already know the plot and characters intimately well enough.

I did struggle to read Milkman; and I hesitate to call it a difficult read but it is not a “sitting down to enjoy” kind of story. It is an experience, an immersion. It was funny, it was scary, it was amazing. Why was it a struggle? It made me think and feel and I had to stop to process the thoughts (which tended to lead to other thoughts and away my mind would chase off in a direction – a matter of distraction vs focus) and to process the feelings. I just changed my rating to a 5 star and someday, I truly want to listen to the audiobook. I am Team-Middle-Sister for the rooster win.

OK, the above was yesterday’s round. The day before was Warlight vs Call Me Zebra and I didn’t have a dog in that hunt.  Still, I very much enjoyed the discussion of the pros and cons of each. I didn’t rush out to change my Want To Read number to a single digit for either. Warlight moves on.

The Play-in Round kicked off the Tourney on Wednesday and I had only read Speak No Evil. It didn’t survive but I am now terribly interested in listening to the audio of A Terrible Country and the winner, America Is Not the Heart, looks like something I will really like if I ever do get my hands on it. Toying with rushing to it before that next appearance hits the calendar but I didn’t read There, There neither and I know I won’t get to both.

HELP:  Do I attempt There, There on audio maybe?  I’m still 2+ hours to finish Washington Black….  I just attempted to library loan the eBook The Mars Room and I’m 29th in line! 

OK, that’s my quick recap. Of the books contesting next week and beyond, there are only two rounds where I’ve read both books. When Census meets The Golden State, I will cheering for the latter. When the higher seed The Overstory is challenged by My Sister, the Serial Killer, you better believe that I will be enthusiastically waving pompons and losing my voice with shouts for MStSK.  Oh yea.  This was my second favorite in the Tournament. THAT day’s commentary is gonna be WILD.






Copyright © 2007-2019. Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from BkClubCare aka Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

6 thoughts on “First Week of #TOB2019 Recap

  1. So far, my bracket is intact, and the books I was rooting for are advancing! Hooray. And I’m with you on rooting for Golden State and My Sister, the Serial Killer (even though I also liked Overstory). Wondering when a big TOB controversy will break out! There are always a few!

    1. I was intrigued by your Stoner observation. I liked it OK but I didn’t do much critical review of it. Which is another reason I love this month. I really learn so much.

      I’ve also gone ahead and requested my spot in line for Bowlaway from the library. I will drop everything and read it – in hopes it really does get in next year’s TOB.

  2. The Commentariat of the TOB is the best! So entertaining and thought provoking.
    I support your decision to abandon The Italian Teacher. I liked it and like you I appreciated those commenters who defended to help me pinpoint why I enjoyed it. However, I fully agree that Milkman should be the book that advances in that match up. I upped my star rating to 5* too.

    I am also pleased that Warlight advances, though I doubt it will win. I find I just love Ondaatje’s writing style and am interested in reading more from his back-list. Call Me Zebra was challenging but I admired that the author was so in command of her story and so uncompromising.

    I think I would grab There There if you can. It is so buzzy and it isn’t very long.

    1. OK, I’ll get the audiobook of There There – even though I dread the huge cast of character thing I’ve heard. Hoping audio won’t be a bad way to go.

  3. I forgot to do a bracket, but I know that I would have chosen Washington Black to win it all, both because I love it and because I think it’s really strong. So I’d be out from here forward. :p

    I really liked America Is Not the Heart, by the way! It’s a little rambling and unfocused, but in a way that ended up really working for me.

    1. I need to find your review of Wash because it didn’t quite ‘get there’ for me. It was a tumultuous February however, so if I need to blame that, I will.

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