Buried over Christmas was the longlist for the annual Tournament of Books, The Morning News' highly idiosyncratic literature competition.
Although I always enjoy these lists, I approached this one with a little disappointment for my perceived lack of progress (only 7 titles down?!) but largely with excitement. As someone who found 2014 slightly disappointing in its offerings I look forward to this tournament proving me wrong, but -- just as when I scanned the NY Times Notable Books of 2014 -- I felt myself at the bottom of a very large hill. How embarrassing is it to admit that I'm more caught up on potential Oscar nominees than year-end notable books? Very well, then I won't.
I also noticed that a few of these books are either sequels (MY STRUGGLE, BOOK 3) or actual series in themselves (Jeff Vandermeer's), suggesting that either some judges are going to have to do a lot of extra homework or (more likely I think) they have just been included as a courtesy nod in the longlist and don't have a chance at making it to the tournament itself.
Here's my best guess at what is going to make the short list:
Megan Abbott, THE FEVER
Chloe Caldwell, WOMEN
Anthony Doerr, ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE
Roxane Gay, AN UNTAMED STATE
Nick Harkaway, TIGERMAN
Marlon James, A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEVEN KILLINGS
Lily King, EUPHORIA
Catherine Lacey, NOBODY IS EVER MISSING
David Mitchell, THE BONE CLOCKS
Celeste Ng, EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU
Jenny Offill, DEPT. OF SPECULATION
David Shafer, WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT
Emily St John Mandel, STATION ELEVEN
Anya Ulinich, LENA FINKEL'S MAGIC BARREL
Sarah Waters, THE PAYING GUESTS
Round-robin 16th spot: Jesse Ball, SILENCE ONCE BEGUN; Richard Flanagan, THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH; John Darnielle, WOLF IN WHITE VAN. Darnielle will win.
54 minutes ago