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March Madness 2017

Book bracket.png

Welcome to our March Madness Challenge page! Our March Madness challenge is a reading challenge that is linked to the college basketball tournament. Books are selected and matched to specific basketball teams based on your nominations and subsequent voting. To see a larger version of the bracket go to this excel sheet. Sheet 1 has the book bracket and sheet 2 has the list of books and will have their basketball matches when released.

The core task of the challenge is to use your skills, knowledge, and/or luck to try and predict which basketball teams will win various rounds of march madness tournament and then read the books that are matched with those teams. How many books you choose to read is up to you.

Steps and timeline:

The final book bracket has been posted (top image) but their basketball counterparts will be posted on Sunday March 12 when the NCAA releases their brackets. Each book will be matched with an NCAA basketball team. So top seeded book on the top lefthand side division will be matched with the top seeded basketball team in NCAA bracket, top lefthand side division.

Step 1: Sign up for the CBS Sports pool by clicking on this link which will take you to our specific pool. You will need to set up an account and then make sure you are part of our league (the link takes you there automatically): The Readers Room Challenge.

Step 2: Fill out your bracket before the games start (March 16). NOTE: You will not be able to fill out brackets on CBS site until the basketball bracket is posted there on Sunday night March 12. We will post instructions on how to fill out your bracket on March 12. Simply pick your predicted winner from each matchup until you are left with only one overall winner. Submit your brackets on the site before the start of games or you will get locked out.

Step 3: Reading period. March 16-April 30. During this period you will try to read as many books you picked as possible. Only books you picked to advance will count for points. Since all books will be matched to basketball teams, the outcome of each basketball game will determine which book moves on.

Be strategic. You won’t have to time to read every single book you picked so you should prioritize books that make it into later rounds since you will get more points for later rounds. You can read 0 books and up to 32 (although I doubt this is possible in the time frame). Your score will be your prediction score (on the CBS site) plus your reading score. It is possible to do very well by only reading 1-2 books.

Step 4: Post your review. Once you have finished a book for the challenge you need to post a review. You can do that in 3 ways: 1) post a 1-4 sentence review on this page in the comments section, 2) post a link to your blog review or GoodReads review of the book in the comments section here, or 3) Post a review on Litsy but make sure to tag me: JenP and use hashtag #marchmadness.

Step 5: Keep score. Final scores will be a combination of your predictions and your reading. So total score will be your CBS total score + reading point score. You can use this scorecard to keep track. Submit your final score to me (here in the comments, in an email, or on Litsy) on the last day of the competition so I can review and award grand prize.

Exceptions:

  1. If you have already read a book on the list but want to pick it for your bracket, you may make a reading substitution. You may read another book by the same author or if it is a debut  novel, you may pick a similar book (same genre) of approximately the same length.
  2. If a book on the bracket is part of a series (E.g., March vol 3, or Monstress vol 1) you may read a different volume of the series as a substitution. For example, you can read March vol. 1 or a later volume of Monstress.

Winners will be announced May 1.

Prizes:
Grand Prize: $100 gift card to Book Depository and a box of hand-curated bookish goodies (total worth approximately $200)
Best coach (for the person who nominated the winning book): $25 Amazon gift card & your choice of book from a stack we post.

55 Comments Post a comment
  1. Rachel #

    Jen, is there a more legible version of the book bracket? I can’t read the one you posted and I’m going to pick based on what book I want to read not what basketball team it’s connected to.

    Like

    March 10, 2017
    • Yes. I’m about to publish a post with a link to an excel sheet. Working on it jow

      Like

      March 10, 2017
  2. I’ve submitted my bracket. Is that all I need to do?

    Like

    March 12, 2017
  3. I’ve had a reminder to complete my bracket, even though I filled it out on Sunday. When I went to the bracket page, none of my selections have been saved. Has anyone else had this happen?

    Like

    March 14, 2017
    • Hmm, book worm had some issues. Did you include the final score of the game? It won’t save unless every single selection and score is made. Let me go in and check my list of brackets

      Like

      March 14, 2017
      • Yes, I put a figure in the box before I saved. I’m doing it again now.

        Like

        March 14, 2017
      • Ok. I’m online most of today to help out as needed

        Like

        March 14, 2017
      • I see your bracket in the system now

        Like

        March 14, 2017
      • I wonder what happened on Sunday. I had the same pop up that I just saw, saying my picks had been saved. I’m glad you can see it now!

        Like

        March 14, 2017
      • Yes, sounds strange. There have been a few issues this year with it but hopefully it’s all working correctly now. This is the first time I’ve seen your bracket listed as submitted though

        Like

        March 14, 2017
    • I do not see your bracket listed as one of the completed brackets. Try again. You should get a confirmation when your brackets is submitted

      Like

      March 14, 2017
  4. Tanya Dietz #

    I’ve submitted a bracket on the CBS site, do you need me to submit one to you as well?

    Liked by 1 person

    March 15, 2017
    • Nope. CBS will track. You will only need to post reviews as you read then at the end you submit your total score (scorecard) which I will review. Good luck

      Like

      March 15, 2017
  5. Colleen #

    I have a quick question about The Essex Serpent. Amazon shows it’s not to be released until June of this year, is there a way people are reading it somehow? I’m not familiar with how people get ARC’s and have a very limited budget. There’s a lot of reading to be done, so I know I probably wouldn’t be able to get this one read but I just wondered. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 16, 2017
    • I think in this case we could allow an exception to the rule of substitutions since a large portion of our readers may not be able to track it down. If you pick this book and it’s. it out yet in your area, you can pick a similar genre to read in place of it. Good question

      Like

      March 16, 2017
  6. Tracy S #

    Review for Pachinko posted on Litsy. Jen, please let me know if I tagged you correctly!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 18, 2017
    • Yes, I saw it. Thanks

      Like

      March 18, 2017
      • Tracy S #

        Whew. This technology stuff, I tell ya!

        Like

        March 18, 2017
  7. Rachel #

    Lab Girl by Hope Jahren 4 stars

    Part a memoir of Hope’s life and part stories of plants, especially trees and their development. I majored in plants and soils so I really enjoyed the biology parts of the book. The author skips around a lot when describing her own life. It would have been nice if she spent more time covering her own life in the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 29, 2017
  8. Diane Shea #

    My review of Hidden Figures

    https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1929786461

    I’m hoping this works, but I have never done it before so please let me know if you can’t get to the review.

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 29, 2017
  9. Rachel #

    substitute for Dark Matter

    Pines by Blake Crouch 4 stars

    The book begins with a man waking up next to a river with no memory. Soon he realizes he is Ethan Burke an agent with the Secret Service sent to Wayward Pines, Idaho to find two missing colleagues. Ethan soon realizes something is very wrong with the town. This book was very creepy with lots of action. The book does eventually explain things which I’m glad of, I wasn’t sure it would since this is part of a trilogy.

    Like

    April 1, 2017
    • Rachel #

      I think it’s going to be harder to track if I keep posting reviews individually so I’ll post the rest of my reviews as replies to this review. Please note I did review Lab Girl already in an above post.

      Like

      April 8, 2017
    • Rachel #

      Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi 3 stars

      The book begins with two half sisters in Ghana, Effia and Esi, one of whom marries a British colonel and the other is sold in slavery. We then follow their ancestors through many generations. Each chapter is devoted to a different person. The book is very ambitious, covering over 200 years in 300 pages. Due to the short chapters I didn’t feel connected to any character.

      Liked by 2 people

      April 8, 2017
    • Rachel #

      Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly 4 stars

      The story of several African American women hired to be computers at NACA, which later becomes NASA, during WWII. I found the stories of these women’s work to be fascinating and I’m surprised that before this book most people had never heard of the women computers. The book follows primarily three women, while mentioning several others, up to the moon landing. I found these women’s stories to be inspiring.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 12, 2017
    • Rachel #

      Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates 3 stars

      This is written as a letter by the author to his son discussing the authors thoughts on racism and race in the U.S. I listened tot he audio which is read by the author which I don’t recommend because the author talks very fast which makes it hard to follow his arguments. I respect the authors views but I was dislike that he seems to think my life is somehow false because I chose not to live in fear every day. I chose to live a life of love, peace and forgiveness with God at the center of all things which is very different from the authors views and made it harder for me to connect with his writing.

      Like

      April 15, 2017
    • Rachel #

      Moonglow by Michael Chabon 4 stars

      Purportedly a memoir of Chabon’s maternal grandfather, though at the beginning of the book he makes it clear that much if not all of the book is made up. I hope at least some parts are true. The book skips around in time mainly between his grandfathers time during WWII, a time when his grandmother suffered from mental illness and a time in Florida right before his grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. I had never read Chabon before and I found his writing to be amusing and engaging.

      Like

      April 17, 2017
    • Rachel #

      Swing Time by Zadie Smith 2 stars

      The story begins with the unnamed narrator befriending Tracey in dance class. It then travels between the narrators time with Tracey and her time being an assistant to the pop star Aimee. I didn’t connect with any of the characters. they all came across as self centered and annoying. I also have no idea what the point of the book is.

      Like

      April 20, 2017
  10. Jen, I’m going to post all my reviews as a reply to this comment, so it will all be in one thread – easier for both of us to find, I hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 3, 2017
  11. AJ #

    Reviews

    Like

    April 5, 2017
  12. Diane #

    https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1954888558 Here is the link to my review of A Gentleman in Moscow.

    Like

    April 7, 2017

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. We Need your Help: March Madness Challenge | The Reader's Room
  2. Two more days to join our challenge! | The Reader's Room
  3. March Madness Reading Challenge: Last chance! | The Reader's Room
  4. Born a Crime | What I Think About When I Think About Reading

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