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March Book Madness Update


It’s time for our first update in what has been one of the craziest March Madness Tournaments in a while. Yesterday effectively killed any chance I had in winning. Scroll to the end for the scoreboard. Since books were matched to teams, here are how the books fared in the first round.

Books in blue are advancing on and those struck out are eliminated. Participants: You will get 1 point for reading a book in blue (if you correctly predicted it as the winner) and 1/2 point (consolation prize) for the books that were eliminated. Please note that the 1/2 point will only be given in round one. From here on, if a book is eliminated, you won’t get any points for it for that round.

Between the World & Me vs. The Great Spring…
The Hot Zone vs. The Year of Magical Thinking
H is for Hawk vs. In Other Words
Henrietta Lacks vs. Dark Money
Into Thin Air vs. I See you Made an Effort
Maus: A Survivor’s Story vs. Charles Bukowski
The Warmth of Other Suns vs. The Snow Leopard
Boys in the Boat vs. Archive Fever
The Martian vs. Traitor Baru…
Hild vs. Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Station Eleven vs. New World Fairy Tales
Fifth Season vs. All the Birds
Never Let me Go vs. The Library at Mount Char 
Neverwhere vs. Uprooted
The Dispossessed vs. Ancillary Sword 
Lions of Al-Rassan vs. The Beautiful Bureaucrat 
The Noise of Time vs. What Lies Between Us
The High Mountains of Portugal vs. The Illegal
A God in Ruin vs. Heather Blazing
Room vs. Shylock is my name
Colorless Tsukuru vs. Snow 
Rebecca vs. Bone and Bread
I Capture the Castle vs. Readers of Broken Wheel..
Half of a Yellow Sun vs. Minister without Portfolio 3/18/16 @9:20pm
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena vs. Your Heart is a muscle…
We are Water vs. Did you Ever Have a Family?
All the Light We Cannot See vs. Fates and Furies

City on Fire vs. Infinite Jest
Lonesome Dove vs. Euphoria
Night Film vs. Edge of Lost
Queen of the Night vs. Turner House 
Epitaph vs. The Sellout

Scoreboard (for predictions only):
28 -Dan
26- Jen
25 – Oliver
23 – Cora
22 – Andrew
22- Rachel
21 – Anita
21 – Tracy S
21- Annapi
20 – Gwen
20 – Morgen
18  – Kate
17- Karin
17 – Tanya
16 – Becca
16 – Book Worm
16 – Jolene
16 – John M
15 – Andrea J
15 – Jan H
11 – Katrina

It probably looks very suspicious that my husband and I are in the top two places in the leaderboard but never fear because both of our brackets are done. Both of us picked Michigan State to win the whole thing. Some of you at the bottom have a lot of potential to move to the top in the next few rounds. Scores are really meaningless at this point.

Scores will be updated on a regular basis on the challenge page. If you finish reading a book, post your reviews on the challenge page to qualify for points.

What were the major surprises (positive or negative) in your brackets? Those of you who nominated books, are you books still in it?


22 Comments Post a comment
  1. Anita #

    Interesting! My real bracket (where I picked based on my extremely limited basketball knowledge) is in the 35th percentile on ESPN. This bracket picking on books I liked/wanted to read . . .um, not so hot. I mean seriously, how could Into Thin Air not beat that other never-heard-of-it title? At least Fates and Furies is still in it – – my pick to take the whole thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 19, 2016
    • Ah but the difference being emotional investment. You probably had more investment in the books whereas less so for basketball teams so you might not have felt compelled to pick certain teams. That said, it has been a crazy two days of upsets.


      March 19, 2016
      • Anita #

        Ha ha, now both my brackets are totally a disaster! It’s still fun though. I think we can clearly say I don’t know a thing about basketball and only a modicum more about books.

        Liked by 1 person

        March 20, 2016
      • oops, you had Fates and Furies winning it? Don’t worry yet, half our group has had their champion knocked out.


        March 20, 2016
      • Charisma #

        Jen, that’s why I decided to not go with the challenge. I know nothing about basketball, and I would have spent a ton of time trying to figure out who has more potential to win and who didn’t 🙂

        I think I need a break!

        Although, I will enjoy checking the progress for everyone else.

        Liked by 1 person

        April 1, 2016
    • Rachel #

      LOL, I actually picked I See You Made and Effort to beat Into Thin Air, though I didn’t nominate either one and don’t ask me what real world teams they correspond to 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      March 19, 2016
  2. boy it would have sucked to have read infinite jest for this comp and gotten eliminated in the first round.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 19, 2016
    • Yup. Although if people are smart they will wait until the end of the basketball tournament to read the challenging books.


      March 19, 2016
  3. I thought that my bracket was a complete disaster but upon further reflection 13 sweet sixteen picks are still alive, 7 of the elite 8, and I can still go 4 for 4 heading into the championship. Most of my picks that were eliminated I wasn’t that crazy about reading anyway 🙂 And of course I am shedding no tears for your Spartans.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 19, 2016
    • That’s pretty good. I have 15 of my 16 left, 7 of my 8. The problem is my champion is out which will most likely rule me out.


      March 19, 2016
  4. Rachel #

    Well three of my top four are still in it though one of my top two got knocked out :-(. Only one of the books I nominated is still in it though :-(. I’m definitely more invested in the books than the actual teams though it wasn’t a good day for any teams in my state of Michigan.


    March 19, 2016
    • that’s too bad about your nominated books. But I think your bracket is in good shape.


      March 19, 2016
  5. Tracy S #

    I actually chose the Sellout to win, because that was the book I wanted to read. In my basketball bracket, though, I had MSU winning the whole thing. Oops. But that half court shot in the Northern Iowa/Texas game—YES! Go Panthers!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 19, 2016
    • The sellout is getting a lot of buzz and just won a major award. Too bad about the basketball bracket though.


      March 19, 2016
      • Tracy S #

        The Sellout is, from what I’ve seen, a strong contender for the Pulitzer. Actually, quite a few of the books chosen for the brackets are on the prediction lists that I’ve seen. As a group, looks like we make good choices in books, at least!

        Liked by 1 person

        March 19, 2016
      • yes, that’s what I’ve seen too. I nominated it and I was stunned to see it ranked so low in our voting.


        March 19, 2016
  6. I had very low expectations of getting anywhere in this challenge,and I was right. I only have five picks through to the third round.

    My three nominees were all out in the first round (top tip: nominating books that have been on your shelves for years means nominating books nobody wants to read, even you – don’t do it).

    Out of everything I’ve picked to go through and either own a copy of the book or will borrow/buy a copy, I have three books left. Sheesh!

    Out of everything else, only two more that I picked have made it through, and they’re up against each other in the third round.

    Yep. I’d say I really didn’t know what I was doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 21, 2016
    • The upside is that now you will know what to do next year 🙂


      March 21, 2016
      • This is true, in theory. I fully expect my brain to once more go “SPORT???” and fry itself a little, though.

        Liked by 1 person

        March 21, 2016
  7. JoLene #

    Well, I’m not doing so hot. My scheme of looking at the basketball match-ups and picking the team that I had more connections to (people that went there, state I or friends lived in, favorite colors) got changed when I overlaid the books and couldn’t possibly see book A winning over book B. Unfortunately most of the books that are still in contention are ones that I’ve recently read. (I know we can sub)

    Good thing I can feel better about winter Scavenger Hunt. I think I will finish all but two items by the end of the month.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 26, 2016
  8. Anita #

    Well, this was a disaster, lol. I don’t have any books in the final four.

    In my real world bracket (the world of basketball), I have Syracuse in my final four, but not going beyond that . . .so am slightly above average on ESPN . . .but still not good.

    Better luck next year I guess!

    Or maybe if I read some of these books that will help?


    March 30, 2016
  9. If I was playing I would have actually been able to get some of these brackets right. My Gramps and I have been following the basketball playoffs and are bummed that non of the West Coast teams made it to the final four. Now we’re not sure who we’ll cheer for. Oh well


    March 31, 2016

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