The 2019 Tournament of Books
Has Ended

See what’s in store for 2020

The 2019 Tournament of Books presented by Field Notes has concluded, and the winner of the 2019 Rooster is My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. You can see the championship match here.

The 16th edition of the Tournament of Books begins in March 2020. And then sometime soon after we crown our 2020 champion, we’ll be bringing you a bonus ToB: a Tournament of Books composed of all our 16 previous champions.

For now, we’re away at Camp ToB 2019, our summer reading program (previously known as the Rooster Summer Reading Challenge), installments from which you can see here. Whichever book wins the summer earns an automatic berth in the 2020 Tournament—so make sure to read along as the action unfolds.

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Help ensure the future of the ToB by becoming a Sustaining Member. It’s no exaggeration to say the Tournament happens because they make it happen. (Here are the details about why.)

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If you’re new to the Tournament of Books, here’s how it works: Over the course of 18 matches—one each weekday—two works of fiction go head to head, with one of our judges deciding which book moves forward in the brackets, according to whatever criteria matters to them. Along the way, the judges reveal their biases and interests, any connections they have to the participating authors, and, most importantly, an elaborate explanation of how they decided between the two books.

From the eight opening round matches to the four quarterfinal matches through the two semifinal matches—and the potentially Tournament-disrupting “Zombie Round”—our original field of 18 competitors is whittled down to two finalists that will enter our championship match. There our entire judging panel weighs in, each judge picking their favorite of the two final books, and the book that receives the most votes takes home the Rooster.

Take a crash course in ToB lore with “A Brief History of the Tournament of Books.”