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March Madness 2018

march madness

And we have winners!! Congratulations to all who played. We hope you had fun. If you are one of the winners, please send me a private message with your mailing address so I can send your prize. Below is the final scoreboard. It was a tough race between the top three people. Please note that some people did not submit their final scores so I only awarded them the points for the CBS predictions from the bracket.

Grand Prize: $100 gift card to Book Depository and a box of hand-curated bookish goodies (total worth approximately $200). Anna S
Best coach (for the person who nominated the winning book): $25 Amazon gift card & your choice of book from a stack we post: Hunger (2nd place book b/c Anna also nominated the winning book). Holly B

Scoreboard

Anna S: 278
Hallie S:  274
Rach B: 270
Jennifer P: 262
Michelle M: 252
Andrew P: 250
Tanya D: 231
Katja N: 229
Rebecca D: 229
Emily Haldi: 226
Laura C: 225
Monique M: 217
Rebecca S: 206
Jenni L: 203
Holly B: 201
Diane Shea: 196
Barbara B: 196
Cora R: 194
Jan Hicks: 188
Rachel N: 187
Cindy H: 186
Julie M: 184
Tracy S: 181
Nicole D: 180
Rebekah L: 176
Allyson V: 168
Allissa N: 154
Katie B: 153
Book Worm: 140
Jessica H: 138
Dan P: 0
Katie H: 0
Molly G: 0

———————————————-

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.

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.

The bracket has been posted here

How to play the game: All books will be paired with basketball teams. The ranking of basketball teams will be released on March 11 so you won’t know which teams will be matched with your books until that day. The fate of your book will be determined by how each basketball team performs. Here is what you’ll need to do BEFORE March 15.

Step 1: Create a CBS sports account. We’ll be keeping track of prediction scores on this site. It is free to join and you will need to set up an account in order to join our league. To start the process and join our pool you can click here. If you have any difficulties, send me a quick email.

Step 2: Fill out your bracket before the games start (March 15). NOTE: You will not be able to fill out brackets on CBS site until the basketball bracket is posted there on Sunday night March 11. We will post instructions on how to fill out your bracket on March 11. 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. Day you submit your bracket on the CBS site – May 15. 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 #marchmadnesschallenge.

Step 5: Keep score. Use this score card to track your reading points. CBS sports site will keep track of overall picking points. Your final score for the challenge will be CBS sports site score + reading score.

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,  if it is a debut  novel, you may pick a similar book (same genre) of approximately the same length, or you can pick one of the 4 books that dropped out after the first 4 games.
  2. If a book on the bracket is part of a series, you may read a different volume of the series as a substitution.

Winners will be announced before May 31.

Prizes
Grand Prize: $100 gift card to Book Depository and a box of hand-curated bookish goodies (total worth approximately $200). Anna S
Best coach (for the person who nominated the winning book): $25 Amazon gift card & your choice of book from a stack we post: Hunger (2nd place book b/c Anna also nominated the winning book). Holly B

 

105 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jen, who’s the author of The Toymaker, is it Liam Pieper? I notice that although the paperback and mp3 editions of the book is published in 2017, the Kindle and audio were published in 2016, and I didn’t see any other books of the same title that fit.

    Or is it The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale, published in 2018? I can’t remember the synopsis from the survey.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 6, 2018
    • Robert Dinsdale. I’ll post a second page to the excel sheet when I have some time that will have the full titles and authors

      Like

      March 6, 2018
  2. Diane Shea #

    I’m in! I can’t wait to start.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 6, 2018
    • make sure you see the update. You can now start reading as soon as your bracket has been submitted on CBS site.

      Like

      March 13, 2018
  3. Tracy S #

    Woohoo! Here we go!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 7, 2018
  4. jesshodg #

    I’m going to try playing again!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 10, 2018
  5. Jenni #

    I’m definitely in again this year. For substitutions, do we need to post them here to make sure they are ok?

    Liked by 1 person

    March 11, 2018
    • You can ask me on Litsy or here.

      Like

      March 11, 2018
    • But honestly it’s just a formality to make sure people don’t pick outrageous subs. For the most part I’ll allow all reasonable picks

      Like

      March 11, 2018
      • Jenni #

        ok, Jen… I have a bunch of subs as I have read a lot of the top books. Can you tell me if these are ok? I tried to stick with same author or same genre but it’s not easy to keep the page count even!

        For The Hate U Give: Dear Martin, or if the pg count is not ok, Dream Things True.

        For The Heart’s Invisible Furies: This House is Haunted (same author)

        For Strange the Dreamer: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Cluess

        For Hunger: Bad Feminist (same author)

        For Sing Unburied Sing: Where the Line Bleeds (same author)

        For Force of Nature: The Dry (same author)

        Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

        March 13, 2018
      • Yes, those are all good

        Like

        March 13, 2018
    • Jenni #

      Since my reading choices have been cut down (when my bracket blew up lol), I want to ask about another sub. I have not read Akata Warrior, but I don’t want to read it before Akata Witch. Can I sub Akata Witch? If not, since I haven’t actually read it, I will just try to read them both!

      Liked by 1 person

      March 17, 2018
      • Yes you can. I’ll be doing the same

        Like

        March 17, 2018
      • Jenni Langford #

        Great. Thanks!

        Like

        March 17, 2018
  6. Tanya Dietz #

    I’m in. We’ll see if I manage to read a book this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 12, 2018
  7. Laura #

    I’m in this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 13, 2018
  8. Diane Shea #

    Since we know that LIU-Brooklyn is out, I am going to substitute Origin by Dan Brown for The Hate U Give as I read that last year for March Madness. They are only about 20 pages apart in length, so I’m hoping this is an okay substitution.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 14, 2018
  9. I’m in! I’m so excited! I’m signed up on CBS and will fill out my bracket tonight!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 14, 2018
  10. PS, quick question – it looks like some of the first 4 match ups are actually ranked as #11 and not #16. How will that affect our book brackets if they don’t match that?

    Liked by 1 person

    March 14, 2018
    • They will switch to #16 seeds. Once they’ve one

      Like

      March 14, 2018
    • So they are matched with the first four teams just to decide whether they move on to the bracket but then once on the bracket they would all be #16 seeds

      Like

      March 14, 2018
      • Ohhh, I get it. So the books aren’t necessarily matched with those exact teams, just the seed, right? Sorry, my brain wasn’t fulling comprehending. Thanks! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        March 14, 2018
      • Yes just those four. Once they are on the bracket, they are all matched with their team

        Like

        March 14, 2018
      • Basically it was because I forgot that the first four weren’t all battling it out for a #16 seed so I had to switch it up a bit. But once the games start tomorrow, all will be matched with their team.

        Like

        March 14, 2018
  11. Molly #

    I think I just missed the cut-off, it let me join the group but not create a bracket. Is there a way I can still fill it in?

    Like

    March 15, 2018
    • No sorry, they lock when the games start so I can’t add anyone after a certain time.

      Like

      March 15, 2018
  12. Substitution request – I’ve read The Power and would like to read The Lessons by the same author.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 15, 2018
  13. Diane Shea #

    Book: Before We Were Yours
    Team: Michigan St
    Read: 3/16/2018
    Rating: 5 stars
    Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2204723445

    Liked by 2 people

    March 16, 2018
  14. If I’m reading this right, Idaho is already out 😦 therefore, no point rushing to read it right?

    Liked by 1 person

    March 16, 2018
  15. Rachel N #

    I have a substitution request: I would like to read Britt Marie was Here, by the same author, in place of Beartown which I have already read.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 17, 2018
  16. Rachel N #

    The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

    5 stars

    Thank you to whoever nominated this book! It was wonderful and wasn’t on my radar at all. The book is the story of Cyril Avery, a homosexual man growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s in Ireland. The book visits Cyril’s life every seven years, though the first chapter is really the story of his mother and his birth. Cyril is adopted by Charles and Maude Avery and he lives in country where he is told there are no homosexuals. There is a lot of humor in the book but also places where I cried my eyes out, especially the chapter set in the 1980’s and the end of the book. A wonderful story of love, family and accepting yourself.

    Like

    March 17, 2018
    • Rachel N. #

      I’m going to leave all my reviews in this thread to make theme easier to track.

      Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman 4 stars

      Eleanor s a bit different from everyone around her, she works doing accounts for a graphic design company but doesn’t really fit in anywhere. One day Eleanor and Raymond, the work IT guy, help a man who has collapsed in the street and Eleanor’s life begins to change. I really liked the two main characters. The book is very sad in parts but there are also moments of much needed humor.

      Liked by 2 people

      March 21, 2018
      • Rachel N. #

        The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin 3 stars

        A fortune teller tells four siblings the date of their death. We then follow each sibling separately for a section of the book. I liked Simon and Varya’s sections but not the other two. I also felt two of the deaths were unrealistic and didn’t fit about what we knew of the characters. It’s an interesting premise but not a great follow through.

        Like

        March 25, 2018
    • Rachel N. #

      Britt-Marie was here by Frederik Backman 4 stars (sub for Bear Town)

      Britt-Marie, who was a minor character in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, is suddenly on her own in her 60’s and in need of a job. She gets a temporary job being a caretaker for the recreation center in tiny Borg. She becomes involved with the local kids soccer group and friends with a local store owner. She soon finds her self doing very untypical things though dinner still must be precisely at 6.
      I didn’t like Britt-Marie much in Grandmother but I liked her a lot here. There’s plenty of humor but also a few very sad parts. The soccer parts of the book reminded me a lot of the hockey scenes in Bear Town, though this is a lighter novel than Bear Town.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 28, 2018
    • Rachel N. #

      The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert 4 stars

      Alice and her mother Ella have spent their lives on the run followed by bad luck. When Ella gets a letter stating her mother author of the book of dark fairy tales, Tales from the Hinterland has died, she believes they can finally settle down but strange events keep occurring. A good creepy read that kept me on the edge of my seat to figure out what was going on.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 30, 2018
      • Don’t forget to submit your final score today

        Like

        May 15, 2018
    • Rachel N. #

      Final score

      Hazel Wood = 3 points
      Hearts invisible furies = 2 points
      Elanor oliphant = 2 points
      beartwon = 4 points
      immortalists = 4 points
      reading points =15

      Cbs score = 172

      total score = 187

      Liked by 1 person

      June 3, 2018
  17. Can I sub “Winter” for “Before We Were Yours” ? 352p vs. 336 p. (there’s no way I’m reading that authors other books! LOL)

    Liked by 1 person

    March 17, 2018
  18. The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert
    4/5

    This was a fun book. Dark fairy tale mishmash which put me in mind of Ready Player One and the Thursday Next books. Some clever ideas and very entertaining.

    The narrator on the audio was really good. Nothing obnoxious, which is always a bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 17, 2018
  19. should I do all my subs now? I’ve read so many of these books already

    Liked by 1 person

    March 17, 2018
  20. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – 4.5 stars
    link to my GR review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2333939629

    Liked by 1 person

    March 20, 2018
  21. Diane Shea #

    Book: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
    Team: Gonzaga
    Read: 3/20/2018
    Rating: 4.5 stars (4 on Goodreads)
    Review: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32620332-the-seven-husbands-of-evelyn-hugo?ac=1&from_search=true

    Liked by 1 person

    March 20, 2018
  22. My review of Home Fire is on my blog https://thinkaboutreading.wordpress.com/2018/03/25/home-fire/

    Looks like March Madness is going to go the same way it usually does for me! I’d picked Tennessee to make the final, and they only made round 2. Hey ho!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 25, 2018
  23. Jen – can you tell my how many games Kentucky won? I’m trying to figure out if I’m doing my scoring right.

    Like

    March 27, 2018
    • I’ll be posting the full list of games and points for each team this weekend. Then you’ll be able to cross reference

      Like

      March 27, 2018
  24. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
    4 Stars

    As a character I love Eleanor Oliphant she is so endearing and relatable. This book made me laugh and cry and it contains some of the funniest dialogue I have read in years.

    At the start of the book Eleanor comes across as socially inept and slightly weird but as you progress through the novel and more is slowly revealed about her past her decisions and thought processes begin to make sense. Eleanor says things as she sees them and this can be off putting to people she also takes things said to her literally it takes a while for her to realise that what someone says is not necessarily what they mean.

    I loved watching her new friendships develop and the way that Eleanor herself changes in terms of outlook over the course of the novel. The book shows how important it is to be with people who care for you unconditionally and who have more faith in your abilities than you do.

    Eleanor has some issues with her mental health and these are dealt with in a caring and compassionate way. The book shows that having mental health issues is nothing to be ashamed of and that seeking help for those problems is braver than just ignoring them and this is an important message in this day and age.

    My one small criticism of the book is the way it uses the idea of a makeover to make life better.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 31, 2018
    • La Belle Sauvage – The Book of Dust
      4 Stars

      Having read and loved His Dark Materials trilogy I was very excited to hear about this new addition to the world of Lyra and friends.

      Set before the events in His Dark Materials trilogy this book explores how Lyra ends up in Jordan College Oxford. In this book Lyra is a babe in arms and actually has very little to do with the action although there are events that explain how and why Lyra is as she is in the later books. Pan is very cute as a baby Daemon.

      This book ends literally as baby Lyra is granted scholastic sanctuary at Jordan College leaving me wanting to know more now about how her early years take place.

      I am looking forward to the next book.

      Like

      March 31, 2018
    • My one small criticism of the book is the way it uses the idea of a makeover to make life better. – I felt the same way when it happened, because she’s so untouched by all of the stupidities of social acceptance, but I also liked that Honeyman showed that having a makeover only makes life better on the outside and is a temporary fix. I also thought that it worked as a device for demonstrating that some people (Eleanor’s work colleagues) find difference hard to accommodate and would rather conform than stand out.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 14, 2018
  25. Diane Shea #

    Book: The Immortalists
    Team: Texas Tech
    Read: 4/5/2018
    Rating: 4 stars
    Review: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35156426-the-immortalists

    Liked by 1 person

    April 5, 2018
    • make sure you submit your final score by end of today!

      Like

      May 15, 2018
  26. Monique Mount #

    Spring has been a terrible reading time for me. So I have a sorry score of 0 for books read. 😦

    Like

    May 15, 2018
    • Oh no, I think you came in first for predictions though so you’ll still get all those points.

      Like

      May 15, 2018
    • I did terribly too in terms of reading

      Like

      May 15, 2018
  27. Hallie Szott #

    Books I Read:
    1. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (2 pts)
    2. An American Marriage (2 pts)
    3. The Power (2 pts)
    4. Sing, Unburied, Sing (5 pts)
    5. One True Loves (sub for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) (2 pts)
    6. Beartown (10 pts)
    7. This House Is Haunted (sub for The Heart’s Invisible Furies) (2 pts)
    8. The Hazel Wood (3 pts)
    9. Hunger (5 pts)
    10. The Great Alone (2 pts)
    11. The Radium Girls (2 pts)
    12. The Unwomanly Face of War (3 pts)

    Total: 41 pts (+ 233 pts from bracket)

    Liked by 1 person

    May 15, 2018
  28. Cora R #

    I am a step ahead of last year where I forgot to report my results. However, I only read one book and its team did not win a game so I get zero reading points.

    I read:

    Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire

    My review: I enjoyed this world McGuire created where ghosts can coexist in our world. The characters were interesting to me, but really I look forward to more stories told in this universe.It was a short and easy read (it is really more of novella) which does make it seem like it could have been fleshed out a bit. I ended up giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

    So my total is 194 points (as calculated by CBS) + 0 reading points = 194 points total

    Liked by 1 person

    May 15, 2018
    • Oh, that’s bad luck but at least it was a good read and maybe next your will be your lucky year. I always love your nominations.

      Like

      May 15, 2018
      • Cora R #

        Well, this year I posted the one I read which is a step more than last year so maybe next year I will take another step and actually read a book that earns points.

        Liked by 1 person

        May 15, 2018
  29. Katja N #

    I read:
    Home Fire (2 points)
    The boy in the striped pyjamas – replacement for Heart’s Invisible Furies (2 points)
    Eleanor Oliphant (2 points)
    Disobefience – replacement for The Power (2 points)
    Beartown (5 points)
    Unwomanly Face of War (3 points)
    Her Body and Other Parties (2 points)
    The Immortalists (4 points)
    So You Want to Talk About Race (3 points)
    Sing Unburied Sing (5 points)
    Before we Were Yours (2 points)

    For a total of 32 points + 197 from the bracket = 229

    Liked by 1 person

    May 15, 2018
  30. Holly Barker #

    Here’s my info for reading score. I can’t remember my password for the CBS site, so I don’t know what my bracket score is. I read more books than I’m listing here, but I’m leaving off those that didn’t give me any points.
    The Broken Girls = 2 points
    The Unwomanly Face Of War = 3 points
    Sing, Unburied, Sing = 5 points
    The Book of Joan (swap-in for Beartown) = 3 points
    An American Marriage = 2 points
    An Untamed State (swap-in for Hunger) = 10 points
    The Anatomy Of Dreams (swap-in for The Immortalists) = 3 points

    Total reading points = 28

    All reviews were posted on Litsy as Hooked_on_books

    Liked by 1 person

    May 15, 2018
    • I’ll add your bracket score later tonight

      Like

      May 15, 2018
  31. Emily Dargusch Haldi #

    Hello! Thanks for hosting this fun challenge 🙂 If only my teams would have played better….
    Below are the books that I finished:

    1. Salvage the Bones (5 pts)
    2.The Great Alone (3 pts)
    3. Boy at the Top of the Mountain (2 pts)
    4. Beartown (5 pts)
    5. An Untamed State (5 pts)
    6. The Radium Girls (4 pts)
    7. The Broken Girls (2 pts)
    8. Lily & the Octopus (2 pts)
    9. Disobedient (2 pts)
    10. Silver Sparrow (2 pts)

    Total addtl pts: 32

    Thanks!
    @emilyhaldi

    Liked by 1 person

    May 15, 2018
  32. rmbars #

    This was my first year and it was a lot of fun! Next year, I’m definitely going to devote more time in March/April to reading for this, and not focus as much on other challenges. I’m pretty sure I didn’t win, but I enjoyed it! (PS I’m RachLovesTV on Litsy.)

    Books I read:
    – The Power (2 points)
    – Hunger (3 points)
    – Sing, Unburied, Sing (4 points)
    – Radium Girls (4 points)
    – Beartown (20 points)

    Total reading points: 33 (+ 237 bracket points)

    Liked by 1 person

    May 15, 2018
  33. Holly Barker #

    I’m not sure how to send a private message, so I figured I’d just post. Here’s my mailing address:

    Holly Barker
    PO Box 2319
    Gearhart, OR 97138

    Thank you!

    Like

    June 5, 2018

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Bookish March Madness 2018 | The Reader's Room
  2. Brackets are now Live for March Book Madness Challenge | The Reader's Room
  3. Challenge update: March Madness | The Reader's Room
  4. Home Fire – What I Think About When I Think About Reading
  5. Her Body & Other Parties – What I Think About When I Think About Reading
  6. Sing, Unburied, Sing – What I Think About When I Think About Reading
  7. I Was Told to Come Alone: My journey behind the lines of jihad – What I Think About When I Think About Reading
  8. The Hate U Give – What I Think About When I Think About Reading

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