One of my favorite books of last year (The Tsar of Love and Techno, by Anthony Marra) got knocked out of the Tournament of Books yesterday. I was so annoyed that, like many other people on the Internet, I took to Twitter to express my dissatisfaction. One would think I’d be used to this. Only rarely do books I love win awards. I feel lucky when a book I’ve at least heard of wins, let alone one I’ve actually read.
One thing I really like about the Tournament of Books (even if they sometimes pass on books I think are fantastic) is that the judges actually explain why they advance some books and pass on others with more than a short blurb. With awards like the Pulitzer or the Booker or the Bailey’s Prize, the selections are a mystery to me. Book awards are always subjective and I don’t envy the judges trying to pick one book out of dozens or hundreds. But if I have a thorough explanation of what the judges’ decision and criteria, at least I can say, “Okay. You’re wrong, but okay.”
Perhaps it’s serendipity that last week’s Top Ten Tuesday was “Top Ten Books We Love But Feel Like We Haven’t Talked About in a While or Enough.” I’ll just have to keep getting the word out about books I adored through this blog and through bothering my bookish friends.