2014 Book of the Year Bracket Challenge Sign-up Post & Bracket Reveal

January 03, 2015

2014 Book of the Year Bracket Challenge

The Book of the Year Bracket Challenge is a blogging challenge open to all reading bloggers and operated by Elle at Erratic Project Junkie.  Participants set a goal for the number of books they wish to read in a year and then enter those books into an NCAA style bracket of any size and in any order they choose. During January 2015, all participating bloggers will begin working through their brackets, eliminating books and picking champions with the ultimate goal of naming their favorite book (book of the year) for 2014. For all BOTY Bracket Challenge information, scheduling, and updates, visit Erratic Project Junkie.
Because I'm a little late to the game on this one, I'm going to combine my Book of the Year (BOTY) Bracket Challenge sign-up post with my bracket reveal. Forgive me, Elle! :)

I read 48 books this year (note: two of the books on my GR challenge page are actually short stories, thus the total of 50). Amazingly, I trimmed my count down for the 32-slot bracket just by removing my books ranked 1, 2 and 3 stars. Convenient, eh? This leaves me with my 4- and 5-star reads for the year!

  1. Where'd You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple (4.5 stars)
  2. The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy (5 stars)
  3. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis (5 stars)
  4. White Teeth, by Zadie Smith (5 stars)
  5. Possessing the Secret of Joy, by Alice Walker (5 stars)
  6. He, She and It, by Marge Piercy (5 stars)
  7. The Cider House Rules, by John Irving (5 stars)
  8. The Ways of White Folks, by Langston Hughes (5 stars)
  9. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (5 stars)
  10. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy (5 stars)
  11. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson (4 stars)
  12. Ancillary Sword, by Ann Leckie (4 stars)
  13. On Immunity: An Inoculation, by Eula Biss (4 stars)
  14. The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien (4 stars)
  15. Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie (4 stars)
  16. To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis (4 stars)
  17. A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett (4 stars)
  18. The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin (4 stars)
  19. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker (4 stars)
  20. Dracula, by Bram Stoker (4 stars)
  21. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller (4 stars)
  22. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson (4 stars)
  23. The Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon (4 stars)
  24. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander (4 stars)
  25. The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson (4 stars)
  26. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson (4 stars)
  27. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood (4 stars)
  28. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke (4 stars)
  29. Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad (4 stars)
  30. Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe (4 stars)
  31. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck (4 stars)
  32. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens (4 stars)

Here's my bracket:

I put this together while sitting in the airport, so excuse its ugliness—I may fix it up for future posts, but it's entirely possible it will remain an eyesore. Again, forgiveness requested.

Some of the book titles are shortened for space. I seeded it by the same randomized method Elle used. There are already clear winners for many of the pairings, but others are going to require more thought. This will especially hold true for the books I read earlier in the year, before I began blogging and dedicating so much of time to mulling over my reading.

I can't wait to see everyone else's brackets and let the bookish games begin!

Is anyone else participating in the BOTY Bracket Challenge? Show me your brackets!

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  1. No forgiveness necessary - I'm really happy you're joining in! You have a lot of classics in your bracket. I'm curious to see how the modern reads stack up against the tried and true ones.

    1. This was a pretty classics-heavy year! Too bad I only joined up on the Classics Club Challenge after the fact. ;) I too am curious about how this is going to turn out.

  2. Great to have you joining in! :) I've never read any of those books. I hope you enjoy doing your matchups and don't have too many hard ones. I had to move some of mine around so my favorites weren't against each other. :) Look forward to seeing how your matchups go.

    1. Ack, one of mine (White Teeth/God of Small Things) are two of my tops for the year. Damn you, random number generator!

      I look forward to seeing how yours go as well! :)

  3. What a great variety of classics you have up there! Your bracket will be fun to watch. And don't feel bad - I just joined in at the very possible last minute :)

    1. Glad to have you with us! :)

      And yes, I'm super excited to see how it turns out too, though even just my Sweet 16 was painful. It's like trying to pick your best friends. Bleh.