March has finally arrived. Spring is around the corner. There will be more sunshine and rain. And it’s time for Mookse Madness.

As I announced several months ago, this year’s Mookse Madness tournament is all about Booker Darlings. I selected the eight male and eight female authors whose books have shown up on the most Booker Prize shortlists over the years. Each author has four books in the tournament, for a total of 64 books.

Click here to see the brackets (Google Sheets link)

Do you have to read them all to participate? No! This is Mookse Madness! You can — you should — vote anyway! I’m going to! The discussion and polls are all happening over on Goodreads in the Mookse and Gripes group. Some of the folks have been reading and discussing the books since this was announced. Others started with good intentions and are not nearly as knowledgeable as they’d hoped to be. Again, knowledge does not matter in Mookse Madness.

Click here to see the group’s discussion

The voting for the first round — which showcases four books from Margaret Atwood and four from Thomas Kenneally — begins on Monday. The polls will be in the group at Goodreads. I will be linking to each poll in a discussion thread there as well. This really isn’t a ploy to get folks to join the group, but it’s the easiest way to keep my work load down when new match-ups are starting each and every day until the tournament ends.

A Prize?

Is there a friendly competition to predict the winners? There can be! Will there be a prize? Yes! If I get enough interest! If you’ll send me a filled-in bracket (all the way to the final winner) by Monday morning, I will keep them safe and keep track of who has the best prediction-ability.

If more than five people enter, I will put up a good book prize for the person who scores the highest.

Score would be tabulated as follows:

Round 1: 1 point per winner, for a total possible 32 points.
Round 2: 2 points per winner, for a total possible 32 points.
Round 3: 4 points per winner, for a total possible 32 points.
Round 4: 8 points per winner, for a total possible 32 points.
Round 5: 16 points per winner, for a total possible 32 points.
Final: 32 points if you correctly guess the winner.

I will tabulate the score over the entire course of the tournament, so someone could do very well in the first two rounds and then start losing and still end up with the highest overall score, though obviously this favors folks who guessed the best for the later rounds.

Anyway, to be eligible, send me your filled-in bracket (no blanks) by Monday, March 4, 8:00 a.m. mountain time (or thereabouts). To clarify, the entire bracket must be filled in, not just the first round; you must fill in the entire tournament. Totally okay for you to share these with anyone you like. You can brag or be embarrassed publicly :-) .

Please let me know if you have questions! I will announce on Goodreads if we cross the threshold and get the five eligible entries. I will fill one out as well! If I happen to win (very unlikely, I’m terrible at these things), the prize goes to second place! I will share my prediction bracket here prior to the deadline.

To fill in your own bracket, simply open up the link in Google, click on “File” at the top left, go down to “Make a copy.” That will create a new file of your own. You can edit it all you want, though I’d recommend you simply fill it out and send me a link or a PDF or something, so I can get your entry.

The First Round

For those of you who cannot click the link above, for whatever reason, here is the schedule and match-ups for the first round:

March 4-6:
-The Bell v. The Sea, the Sea (Iris Murdoch)
-The Unicorn v. The Black Prince (Iris Murdoch)

-A Dutiful Daughter v. Gossip from the Forrest (Thomas Kenneally)
-Schindler’s Ark v. The Widow and Her Hero (Thomas Kenneally)

March 5-7:
-Midnight’s Children v. Shame (Salman Rushdie)
-The Moor’s Last Sigh v. Shalimar the Clown (Salman Rushdie)

-The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie v. The Abbess of Crewe (Muriel Spark)
-A Far Cry from Kensington v. Loitering with Intent (Muriel Spark)

March 6-8:
-The Remains of the Day v. Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
-The Unconsoled v. The Buried Giant (Kazuo Ishiguro)

-The Grass Is Singing v. The Golden Notebook (Doris Lessing)
-The Good Terrorist v. The Fifth Child (Doris Lessing)

March 7-9:
-Hotel World v. The Accidental (Ali Smith)
-How to be both v. Autumn (Ali Smith)

-The Love Department v. Fools of Fortune (William Trevor)
-The Children of Dynmouth v. Felicia’s Journey (William Trevor)

March 8-10:
-The Cement Garden v. The Child in Time (Ian McEwan)
-Atonement v. The Children’s Act (Ian McEwan)

-The Road to Litchfield v. According to Mark (Penelope Lively)
-Moon Tiger v. The Photograph (Penelope Lively)

March 9-11:
-Flaubert’s Parrot v. Arthur and George (Julian Barnes)
-A History of the World in 10½ Chapters v. The Sense of an Ending (Julian Barnes)

-The Bottle Factory Outing v. An Awfully Big Adventure (Beryl Bainbridge)
-Every Man for Himself v. Master Georgie (Beryl Bainbridge)

March 10-12:
-Surfacing v. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
-The Robber Bride v. The Blind Assassin (Margaret Atwood)

-The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne v. The Doctor’s Wife (Brian Moore)
-Black Robe v. Lies of Silence (Brian Moore)

March 11-13:
-The Bookshop v. The Beginning of Spring (Penelope Fitzgerald)
-The Gate of Angels v. The Blue Flower (Penelope Fitzgerald)

-Illywacker v. Oscar and Lucinda (Peter Carey)
-True History of the Carey Gang v. Parrot and Olivier in America (Peter Carey)

Round 2 will start on March 14.

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