Friday, May 2, 2014

Read ALL the Books!

Well, happy May! We ushered it in over here with some very lovely sunshine. It was great...even if I only got to experience it for a short period of time since I was at work. I'm hoping that I'll have some time this weekend to hang out in the nice weather and maybe put some sun on my super pasty legs.

Now that we've left the craziness that was the A to Z Challenge, it's time to shift gears. That means shifting themes. I'll be making a pretty big transition for this month, moving my focus from individual projects to one project...books. That's what May is going to be all about. It's the first of my two book-themed months. (The second one is August.)

What does that mean? Well, basically I'll be doing a LOT of book reviews and I'll be participating in Bout of Books 10 from May 12th through the 18th. I'm pretty excited about that.

Today, how about a little warm up? Maybe a Book of the Year update? I think so.

I know a few of you are new around here, so let's start off with a little background. I do an annual project called Book of the Year (BOTY for short). Ya...I know, pretty ingenious title, right? But...this isn't just some plain Jane pick of my favorite book of the year. Oh no... this is a tournament. Yep. That's right. A tournament of books. (Am I the only one who just heard that in my head as a grand announcement, Excalibur style? Yes? Oh...okay.)

This is what we start out with...

Just a plain old bracket like the ones you see for NCAA Basketball during March Madness.

During the year, books will earn slots in my bracket. Then it's a duel to the death in each section until there is only one winner. Because, you know...there can only be one.

The game has changed a little over the years. Back in 2011, every book got entered in the bracket. I started at the top left and filled the top brackets all the way down and then repeated with the right side. After that, I filled the bottom brackets on each side. It mixed it up a little.

In 2012, I moved to a more randomized location system and moved back and forth between the two sides.
Last year, I eliminated the lowest scoring books before even starting the bracket and used a random number sequence generator to fill the slots.

You can see that there's been some evolution...

This's going down very similar to last year. I've set my goal at Goodreads for 64 books. If I make that goal, then everyone will go into the bracket. If I don't, then we'll go down to the 32 slot bracket and the lowest rated books get an automatic elimination. If I go over that amount, then we stick with the 64 slots and the lowest rated get booted before we start. Are you with me so far?

Here's the trick to that. I really like being able to fill in the bracket as the year progresses. That way I can visually share where I'm at in the Book of the Year progress. So...we're going to tweak things just a little bit. (No, not twerk. Tweak. I don't dance. Is twerking really considered dancing anyway? Or is it now just classified as some kind of minor seizure. I may have gotten off topic here.)

Back to the bracket. Here's my plan. It may completely unravel at the seams and need changing at the end of the year, but this is what we're going with.

I have already ran the random sequence generator to set up the 64 seed bracket. I will be filling as I go along. All books will be entered into the 64 slot bracket, assigned a number in the order that I read them. This bracket will be the one that I continue to update on the blog for the remainder of the year.

If I wind up using the 32 slot bracket, I will use a random number generator to set it up at that time. Only books rating four stars or higher will be automatically entered into the 32 slot bracket. If these books don't fill all 32 slots at the end of the year, then I will determine some wild card entries to fill those slots from the books rated at three stars. I think that covers all bases.

Wow. That was a lot. Sorry about that.

So...based on the books that I have read so far this year, this is what the current bracket looks like:

It's kind of coming together.

Hopefully, with all of the reading that I should be doing this month, that will look a lot fuller when May ends. I'll be posting the updated bracket on May 30th. Let's see what I can get accomplished by then!


  1. Can't wait to see what books you read and review in May!

  2. That's so neat! For a swap recently, the ladies in my swap did a all time favorite book bracket. Of course, my winner was what I knew it would be, but how NEAT that you did that for the individual year. May I steal your idea? :) It'd be fun to keep track of just the books I rated 5s and 4s along the way. Can't wait to follow your progress!! You should totally host this, so we can do it with you!! :D

  3. What a great idea Karsyn! You can absolutely steal the idea. We can compare notes at the end of the journey. I'll put out the word and see if we can get other reading bloggers involved. It would be really fun!


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