Monday, January 2, 2012

My Favorite Book of 2011 - Finding the Sweet Sixteen.

It's finally here! It's the day when the books go head to head to see who will come out the favorite. Are you ready?

Here's what we're starting with....32 books duking it out for #1.

In each round, the books will be separated into heats. The winner of each heat will be determined by one of two methods. If a book has a higher star rating than its competitor, it will automatically move on to the next round. If the two books are tied for rating, then I will decide based on individual merits.

Because of the number of books that are being dealt with here things will get pretty long. So...I'm going to break the competition into three separate posts. Round 1, followed by the Sweet Sixteen, followed by the Quarterfinals, Semifinals & Finals.

Round 1

In Round 1, the playing field will be cut down by 1/2...leaving us with 16 remaining contenders.

Heat 1 :

        (rating of 4)  vs.  (rating of 5)

Winner : The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 

Heat 2 :

 (rating of 5)  vs.  (rating of 5)

This is a tough decision. Jane Eyre has been a favorite of mine for a very long time. Catching Fire was an amazing new read. In this case I have to go by which one I would reread first. Though I'd like to say that I'm sticking to my guns, I think that Catching Fire has a clear edge here.

Winner : Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins 

Heat 3 :

 (rating of 5)  vs. (rating of 4)

 Winner : The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Heat 4 :

 (rating of 5)  vs.  (rating of 5)

It's another head-to-head, but this one is an easy decision. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest was an absolutely amazing read. I would read it again right now and I just finished it last week.

Winner : The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

Heat 5 :

 (rating of 4)  vs.  (rating of 4)

Again, the newbies come out on top. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo wins easily.

Winner : The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Heat 6 :

 (rating of 4)  vs.  (rating of 5)

Winner : The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Heat 7 :

 (rating of 5)  vs. (rating of 4)

Winner : The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Heat 8 :

 (rating of 5)  vs.  (rating of 4)

 Winner : Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

Heat 9 :

 (rating of 4)  vs.  (rating of 3)

Winner : Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult

Heat 10 :

 (rating of 4) vs. (rating of 3)

 Winner : Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Heat 11 :

 (rating of 5)  vs.  (rating of 4)

 Winner : Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Heat 12 :

 (rating of 4)  vs.  (rating of 4)

Another tied up match. And again, an easy choice for me. The White Queen was a smoother and easier read.

Winner : The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Heat 13 :

 (rating of 5)  vs. (rating of 4)

Winner : The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

Heat 14 :

 (rating of 4)  vs. (rating of 5)

Winner : Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Heat 15 :

 (rating of 4)  vs. (rating of 4)

Two historical novels from the same time period, but opposite ends of the earth in competition for the same spot. What are the odds? I'm going to have to go with Memoirs of a Geisha. The detail was just amazing.

Winner : Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Heat 16 :

 (rating of 4) vs. (rating of 5)

 Winner : Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Ok...that completes that round. This was more or less the easy round to decide. In the next round, very few books will be ranked less than 5. That will certainly make for some stiffer competition.  Three authors have multiple entries in the sweet sixteen : Suzanne Collins, Stieg Larsson, and of course...Audrey Niffenegger (you saw that coming, didn't you?)

There they are...the Sweet Sixteen! On to Round 2...


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