The 2018 Tournament of Books
Is Now Over

Are you ready for 2019?

The 2018 Tournament of Books presented by Field Notes has concluded, and the winner of the 2018 Rooster is Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin. You can see the championship match here.

The 15th edition of the Tournament of Books begins in March 2019. Have a look at our long list of contenders, and then, in early January, stay tuned as we announce our final Tournament shortlist. One book you can be sure will be there: Jesse Ball’s Census, which won the 2018 Rooster Summer Reading Challenge, and with that automatically earned a berth in the 2019 Tournament.

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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.”