The Rooster

The 2007 ToB Brackets and Book Bloggers’ Office Pool Contest

The 2007 Tournament of Books will begin this Thursday, but before then we have the brackets, the judges, and a contest for a lucky reader to win every book involved in this year’s bloodshed, courtesy of

Each year we’ve heard great stories about wagers inspired by the Tournament of Books. From our nation’s top English departments to the smallest office cubicles, readers tell us about losing not-quite-great sums of money on the outcome of March's gruesome bracket battles—between contemporary literature’s titans. In the madness, who cares about Duke and North Carolina when you’re seeing red thinking about Thomas Pynchon and Monica Ali in a cage-match? In three days, on Thursday, March 8, the 2007 Tournament of Books, sponsored by Powell's Books, will begin here at The Morning News. And it’s time to release the brackets, so you can get your game on.

But this year we wanted to mix things up. We wanted to a) help you fill out your brackets with some semi-expert advice; and b) set up a contest that would enable one lucky, prescient reader to win every book jousting in the tournament. (Of course, you can also buy them from Powell's at a steep 30 percent discount.)

Enter the Book Bloggers’ Office Pool. We talked to our favorite book bloggers (aside from the ones already judging in the ToB) and asked them to fill out the brackets themselves, using their knowledge of contemporary literature and addiction to free galleys to intuit which book will reign supreme. Not that it was easy: They also had to guess which two books you readers loved the most to anticipate the books that would return in the Zombie Round, and they had to think about each judge’s presumed tastes.

Which brings us to the judges: several top novelists; a music critic at The New Yorker; the lead singer of probably America’s most literary band; TMN staff favorites; a senior writer at The Onion; the web’s best book bloggers; and even—and we’re proud to say it—last year’s tournament’s second-place finisher. Who knows how they’ll vote, and with how much splatter-gore?

Here’s how the contest works. In addition to this year’s brackets, below you’ll find a set of brackets filled out by each of our selected Office Pool Book Bloggers. Review them, then select the one you think is the most likely to win—the bloggers will be scored for each match they predict correctly, with scores updated each day of the Tournament. Email us at the address below with the name of the blogger you like in the email subject line, and your full contact information in the body of the email. (You can only enter once.) We’ll randomly select one reader for each blogger to “play for,” and the winning blogger’s reader will win every book in the tournament, courtesy of Powell's Books. Note: The contest will close at 6 p.m. EST this Wednesday, March 7

See you Thursday! Prepare, for the Rooster doth approacheth!

Brackets for the 2007 Tournament of Books

Click here to view the PDF

Judges for the 2007 Tournament of Books

TMN Founding Editor Rosecrans Baldwin
Author Dan Chaon
Blogger Jessa Crispin
Author and TMN Contributing Writer Anthony Doerr
Author and TMN Contributing Writer Jessica Francis Kane
New Yorker writer Sasha Frere-Jones
Author and A Public Space editor Elizabeth Gaffney
TMN Contributing Writer Sarah Hepola
Author and 2006 ToB Runner-Up Sam Lipsyte
The Decemberists’ lead singer and songwriter Colin Meloy
Blogger Maud Newton
Author Marcus Sakey
Blogger and author Mark Sarvas
TMN Managing Editor Kate Schlegel
The Onion writer and editor Maria Schneider
Author Brady Udall
TMN Founding Editor Andrew Womack

The 2007 ToB Book Bloggers’ Office Pool

Blog: Kate’s Book Blog
Bio: Kate Sutherland’s second book of short stories, All in Together Girls will be published by Thistledown Press this spring. She lives in Toronto, where she is co-organizer of The Fictitious Reading Series.
Bracket: Click here to view the PDF

Blog: Book Nerd
Bio: Jessica Stockton, aka Book Nerd, works at an independent bookstore in New York City, and plans to open a bookstore of her own in Brooklyn. She has been writing about books and bookstores on The Written Nerd since 2005. She is a member of the executive board of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Association Digital Task Force, and the Emerging Leaders Council, but that doesn’t mean she knows what she’s talking about.
Bracket: Click here to view the PDF

Blog: The Millions
Bio: The Millions (A Blog about Books) has been around for nearly four years and in that time has grown to include seven contributors and hundreds of reviews. They give nearly all books—fiction and non-fiction, classics and contemporary—equal time. Among their many mottos are “A man’s library is a sort of harem” and “Never judge a book by its movie.”
Bracket: Click here to view the PDF

Blog: Condalmo
Bio: Condalmo is possibly “Maine’s premier litblog,” unless of course there’s another one—litblog, not Maine—in which case, well, we’re all equals, right? Matthew Tiffany blogs there, mostly about books and writing, sometimes about movies and politics. The first Tournament of Books made him a David Mitchell believer.
Bracket: Click here to view the PDF

Blog: blog
Bio: Brockman presides over the blog, which features guest bloggers like Susan Orlean and Chip Kidd, essays by Powell’s employees, contributors like former Throwing Muses singer Kristin Hersh, and, of course, the daily Book News feature by Brockman himself.
Bracket: Click here to view the PDF

Blog: Shaken & Stirred
Bio: Gwenda Bond posts often about books, writing, good TV, and science fiction at Shaken & Stirred. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College, and has written for Publishers Weekly and the Washington Post Book World.
Bracket: Click here to view the PDF

To enter the 2007 ToB Book Bloggers’ Office Pool Contest, please select one of the book bloggers listed above (Kate’s Book Blog, Book Nerd, The Millions, Condalmo, Brockman/, or Shaken & Stirred), type it into an email’s subject line, put your full contact info into the email’s body, and then send it to by 6 p.m. EST, Wednesday, March 7, 2007; only one entry per person. We will then randomly select an entrant to be assigned to each of the office pool bloggers; the winning blogger’s entrant will receive all of this year’s tournament books after the end of the ToB, courtesy of Good luck! Sorry, this contest is closed.


The Tournament of Books’ organizers Andrew Womack and Rosecrans Baldwin are TMN’s co-founders. Baldwin’s most recent book is Everything Now, winner of the 2022 California Book Award. For his other books, try More by The Tournament of Books Staff