Bookish March Madness 2020: Sweet Sixteen

*singing* I don’t know anything about basketball, except that MY TEAM BEAT BAYLOR. La-la la-la la-la laaaa.

Sorry it’s out of my system I think. *cough* Baylor sucks *cough*. Hem, on to books now, shall we?

As an antidote to the annoying phenomenon that is seeing your social media fill up with people who don’t know anything about sports talking about “their bracket,” this month I’m hosting my OWN March Madness tournament. The top 16 books from The Great American read will face off in a match to the DEATH to see which will be MY FAVORITE BOOK. Why? I don’t know, because brackets are fun. *shrugs*

Feel free to give me your thought on the match-ups in the comments. Am I right, or wildly wrong? Did I not do justice to your all-time favorite book? This wouldn’t be sportsball if we didn’t end up in an almost-fist-fight for our team!

So here we are with Week 1, the Sweet Sixteen. [insert generic sports-buzzer-sound here]

To Kill a Mockingbird vs. The Help

Oh, you guys are going to hate me. I read To Kill a Mockingbird maybe five or six years ago and I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Like, I get why it’s a super important book and everything, but I just didn’t really connect with Scout. Her overly simple way of seeing the world frustrated me. And maybe that’s the point, but there it is. On the other hand, I ADORE The Help. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it’s just one of my favorite pieces of historical fiction. Which is saying something, because I love historical fiction. I was so inspired by the women in this book, especially Aibileen.

and the winner is… THE HELP!

Little Women vs. The Chronicles of Narnia

Wooo-eee dog! I love both of these books! Little Women is one of those books that I’ve read over and over again, and every time I read it I find something new. There’s so much to learn about growing up, being a daughter, being a mother, being a sister, and being a friend. And of course, Narnia. Who hasn’t dreamed about going through the wardrobe themselves to the land of snow and talking Beavers? *sigh* I’ll admit the deciding factor for me is that this specifies the entire Narnia series, and I like three of the books much better than the others. I mean, The Horse and His Boy, what is even going on there?

and the winner is… LITTLE WOMEN!

Pride and Prejudice vs. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn after I watched The Great American Read. I can’t remember who it was that talked that book up, but she did such a great job, I just *had* to read it. Y’all, what a beautiful piece of literature. I don’t even really have anything to compare it to. It’s just so lovely. But Pride and Prejudice? How can anyone beat Darcy and Elizabeth? I read P&P every year, and I probably will until the day I die.

and the winner is … PRIDE AND PREJUDICE!

The Lord of the Rings vs. The Grapes of Wrath

Last week I admitted that I’ve never read The Grapes of Wrath. But in general I can’t stand 20th century American literature (with the clear exception of Brooklyn above…), and it’s such a tome. I figured even if I read it, there is no way on God’s green earth I would like it more than The Lord of the Rings, one of my all time favorite books. I know LOTR is a really divisive book, and people either love it or hate it. But I am firmly in the love it camp. The characters are what really make it exceptional for me. Sam, Aragorn, Gandalf, Gimli, Merry and Pippin, Gollum, Eowyn, Treebeard… They’re so enduring.

and the winner is … THE LORD OF THE RINGS!

Outlander vs. The Great Gatsby

Oh hey, finally a challenge! Not because I love these books so much, but because I genuinely don’t care about either of them! I only read Gatsby once in high school, and I admit I didn’t understand it. *gasp!* I’ve been meaning to give it a second chance (maybe with Cliff’s Notes helping) to see if I connect with it more, but I haven’t gotten to it. *shrug* Outlander I read specifically for this bracket, and it was a fun book. I don’t get why it got such a fuss on The Great American Read, it wasn’t life changing by any means. I’m not going to read the rest of the series but I enjoyed it, I guess.

and the winner is … Outlander?

Charlotte’s Web vs. Jane Eyre

Oh wow, could these two books be more different? Charlotte’s Web may be the most beloved children’s books of all time, but Jane Eyre might be the most beloved piece of classic literature of all time. One is a happy romp about country living and believing in yourself, and the other is a Gothic novel with ghosts, murder, and fire. I have to throw in, though, that one of these is one of my favorite books EVER. My copy has been read and re-read to the point that it is literally being held together with tape. No matter how many times I read it I always find myself catching my breath. It’s so effing GORGEOUS.

and the winner is … JANE EYRE!

Harry Potter vs. The Book Thief

There’s not much competition here. I read and enjoyed both, but only one of them am I still re-reading, listening to podcasts about, attending conventions for, and buying clothing in support of.

and the winner is … HARRY POTTER!

Gone with the Wind vs. Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables is the other book on this list that I haven’t read. I meant to, but I forgot about it. Poor Anne. I gather from what I know of the story that this isn’t new for her. It’s too bad, too, because this could well have beaten Gone with the Wind, which is a book I liked, but not well enough to keep my copy of or re-read. The characters, I think ,are what make it enduring, especially since so much of the content … didn’t age well. So, I don’t know, so … Y’ALL PICK!

and the winner is … I don’t know, TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS!

12 thoughts on “Bookish March Madness 2020: Sweet Sixteen

    1. I definitely think that Gone With the Wind is for a certain kind of person. It’s so descriptive and so really appealed to me (the kind of person who loves Lord of the Rings), but I totally understand why others wouldn’t enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwww, I’m sorry! I don’t understand that book *at all*. I know Narnia is supposed to be allegory, but I’ve no idea which section The Horse and His Boy is allegorical too. I’m definitely open to changing my mind!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha it’s all good. I took The Horse and His Boy as its own separate side story – I think I missed the allegorical elements! Also, I originally listened to the BBC radio drama version, which was VERY exciting. Highly recommend.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I adore both Anne of Green Gables and Gone with the Wind, so this would have been a SUPER HARD CHOICE. I don’t think I could do this because SO HARD TO CHOOSE. Anne is hilarious, but in many places so is Gone with the Wind, & Gone with the Wind has Scarlett & Rhett, so it wins. But Anne is REALLY good.

    Liked by 1 person

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