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The Tournament
The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
24 posts | 14 read | 4 to read
A complete successaction fans and PBS types can share their enthusiasm (Booklist, starred review) when a young Queen Elizabeth I is thrust into a gripping game of deception and lust at the height of the Ottoman Empire in this edge-of-your-seat historical thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Great Zoo of China and Temple. The year is 1546, and Suleiman the Magnificent, the feared Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, issues an invitation to every king in Europe: You are invited to send your finest player to compete in a chess tournament to determine the champion of the known world. Thousands converge on Constantinople, including the English courts champion and his guide, the esteemed scholar Roger Ascham. Seeing a chance to enlighten the mind of a student, Ascham brings along Elizabeth Tudor, a brilliant young woman not yet consumed by royal duties in Henry VIIIs court. Yet on the opening night of the tournament, a powerful guest of the Sultan is murdered. Soon, barbaric deaths, diplomatic corruption, and unimaginable depravitysexual and otherwiseunfold before Elizabeths and Aschams eyes. The pair soon realizes that the real chess game is being played within the court itselfand its most treacherous element is that a stranger in a strange land is only as safe as her host is gracious.
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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Here are my suggestions for this year‘s #camptob. I went with nonfiction published in 2022 both because they will not be eligible for the actual #rooster and because I loved the year they did nonfiction for camp. #camptob22

Chelsea.Poole Oh I love your nonfiction choices! I adore NF and didn‘t know if we could select it for camp. I‘m a noob at #ToB! Really looking forward to 2mo
thebluestocking @Chelsea.Poole I love NF too! It may not be what they were looking for, but they said they wanted to shake it up and not have books that would otherwise be in the actual tournament. 🤷‍♀️ 2mo
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Cinfhen I‘m soooo excited you chose to focus on NF!!!! 2mo
vivastory That's a good idea about NF. I almost included the following on my list 2mo
squirrelbrain Great idea to choose NF and some great choices! It‘s all new to me too @Chelsea.Poole so I didn‘t know they‘d had NF in the past either. 2mo
Ruthiella Fantastic idea! I would love it if this were the real list. I don‘t read enough Nonfiction and need challenges like this to encourage me. 2mo
Amiable Love the suggestion for NF. Because I love NF. Currently reading “Ancestor Trouble” right now, in fact! 2mo
BarbaraBB I love that you went with NF. It would make me go completely out of my comfort zone but I‘d love that. 2mo
ReadingEnvy Great idea! I nominated 5 novels I already had eARCs of. 🤭 2mo
merelybookish That would be an excellent way to keep the two tourneys separate! And I'm dying to read Ancestor Trouble. I'm also curious about The 90s although worried the nostalgia might kill me. 🙈 2mo
Megabooks Great choices! I‘d like a NF option. 2mo
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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Getting excited for this year‘s Tournament of Books! #TOB21

This week, I‘ll be reading to catch up and make my ToB bracket.


BarbaraBB Do you want to join the Litsy parallel ToB in which a few of us choose our own Rooster? We‘d love to have you! 1y
BarbaraBB https://forms.gle/Q894nSA3MVW3B8wP8 If you want, here is the GoogleForm! 1y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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It‘s here! The #tob2021 long list. I‘m still going through it, but I think I‘ve read two and have about ten others around my house. I love this reading season!! #tob


merelybookish Love this list, although I have only read 3 titles. Just haven't felt much like reading contemporary fiction this year. But this lmay inspire me to get reading some 2020 books. 🙂 2y
Hooked_on_books I always enjoy this list. Thanks for posting! 2y
Ruthiella It‘s the most wonderful time of the year! ❤️🐓2021 2y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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And the Tournament of Books 2020 is off to the races. To stick with the metaphor, I didn‘t have a horse in this play-in round, but I enjoyed the judgment. What did you think?


#tob #tob2020 #tob20

BkClubCare I enjoyed reading the judgment and respect the decision. It was interesting how the comment faves seemed almost balanced amongst the 3 (but that was when only a handful - I need to catchup) 2y
Suet624 I agreed with the judge‘s decision. I was so-so about both Golden and Shadow and I think she highlighted some of the reasons for my slight disappointment in both. I haven‘t read Oval though and she made me want to track it down to read. 2y
BarbaraBB I haven‘t read this one but her review was very good, as was her judgmental on Oval, like @Suet624 says. I am a bit disappointed that Golden State is out already. 2y
merelybookish I did not have a dog in this fight so wasn't very invested in the outcome. I am invested in seeing Testaments eliminated in Round 1, however. 😛 2y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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The #tob2020 brackets are out! Let the bracketology begin! #tob

As an initial note, I‘m bummed Lost Children Archive and Mary Toft are facing off right away. I loved both of those.

Redwritinghood That is an unfortunate pairing. I liked both as well. 2y
Suet624 That‘s funny. I just posted the same thing. 2y
thebluestocking @Redwritinghood I guess I can start getting over my disappointment now. I kind of forget every year that this is a battle. 😂💙 2y
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thebluestocking @Suet624 Great minds... 💙 2y
Buechersuechtling Never ever have heard of this event before but I did a quick Google search and from what I found out I think this will really be fun. Even though it of course might be even more fun if one has read (although) bugs. But anyway, I am really looking forward to what you will be posting about this throughout March 2020. 2y
thebluestocking @Buechersuechtling I‘m glad you discovered this! It‘s a really fun event, made even better by the Litsy community. 💙 2y
BkClubCare @thebluestocking - it is the best online event EVER. ♥️TOB 2y
thebluestocking @BkClubCare Yes it is!! It‘s one of my favorite times of the year. 💙 2y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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It‘s time for a Tournament of Books update! I have but two books left to read, which I have in my possession and should finish in the next week or so. I don‘t usually read the playin books, but I may be compelled to do those last two as a completist. I‘m getting excited for the tournament to start.

How‘s your reading going? #tob #tob2020

Cinfhen Woohoo 🙌🏻 way to go 💕📚🥳 2y
thebluestocking @Cinfhen Thank you!! I‘ve never read this much of the list before. 💙 2y
Cinfhen Do you have a favorite??? 2y
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thebluestocking @Cinfhen My favorites so far are Girl Woman Other, Lost Children Archive, and Mary Toft. What are your favorites? 💙 2y
merelybookish Wow! Nice work! I have read 9 of the contenders and bailed on one of the play-ins. Between my TOB friend and me, we've read them all except Suldade.(We divide the titles and only both read the ones we think are good/worth it.) My personal faves are Normal People and Fleishman. But I think LCA or GWO will win. (And I'm okay with that.) 2y
ReadingEnvy Ooh where did you get this image without the check marks? Love it! 2y
Cinfhen I‘ve only read 8 so far and like you I really love GWO , LCA and 2y
mklong Nice going! I‘ve read 11 so far and will read a few more before it begins, but probably won‘t get to them all. I‘m predicting that LCA will win, but I‘m never right, so don‘t listen to me. 2y
merelybookish What did you think of Overthrow? 2y
BarbaraBB I‘ve read 11 so far. I want to read two more this week and do hope to finish them all before the tournament starts as well - for the first time! 2y
Ruthiella I‘ve read 13 so far and am currently reading Your House Will Pay and Oval. I am pretty certain I will read them all by March. 🥳 As you know I loved GWO but Your House Will Pay is REALLY good too. 2y
thebluestocking @merelybookish That‘s super fun to split it with a friend. I loved Normal People and Fleishman too. I think the list overall was really good this year. 💙 2y
thebluestocking @ReadingEnvy Thanks! I made it in photoshop. I posted a blank one a couple of weeks ago for people to use if they want. 💙 2y
thebluestocking @Cinfhen Those three were really great. And it‘s still early yet. 💙 2y
thebluestocking @mklong I usually land at about 11 too. I‘m not sure what‘s different about this year. I‘d love to see LCA win, but I‘m never right either! 💙 2y
thebluestocking @merelybookish I was intrigued but confused. And then it ended. 🤷‍♀️ I gave it 2 stars. 💙 2y
thebluestocking @BarbaraBB You‘re cruising through! I‘ve never finished the whole list either. It‘s been a fun year so far. 💙 2y
thebluestocking @Ruthiella You‘re a machine! I‘m just three or so chapters in to Your House Will Pay but it‘s very compelling. 💙 2y
ClairesReads I‘ve only read 7- LCA OEWBG and GWO are standouts for me. I think I‘ll get through a few more before/during. I‘m still keen to read Fleishman, Water Dancer and Your House will Pay 2y
ClairesReads Oh and Optic Nerve! 2y
Redwritinghood Wow! Nice job! 2y
batsy I've really dropped the ball on my reading but I hope to still tackle a few. And will be glued to all of your reviews and the tournament. You've done a great job with your reading 👏🏽👏🏽 2y
Cinfhen My lovely friend @BarbaraBB generously sent me 2 books off the list so im eagerly awaiting their arrival 💗😁🙏🏼 2y
BkClubCare Looks like you will make it! So jealous 😜 but I am pleased with my progress. Just finished TWD and near done with YHWP 2y
BkClubCare and just started audio of We Cast a Shadow - it‘s funny! Sort of. Satire-funny 2y
Suet624 @Cinfhen @barbaraBb what? Barbara just sent me one from the TOB list that I was having trouble finding. Such generosity! 💕💕 2y
Suet624 I‘ve read 11 and I have three on my table ready for me to read. Those three are Saudade, GWO, and Mary Toft. (It looks as though I may have saved the best for last.) I adored LCA. Oval and overthrow I might pass on. Hoping to finish them by March but I have some library books here that are calling to me first. 2y
thebluestocking @ClairesReads I really liked those three as well. I‘m right in the middle of YHWP, and it is really good. 💙 2y
thebluestocking @Redwritinghood Thanks! You‘ve been cruising through the list too! 💙 2y
thebluestocking @batsy It‘s still early yet. I love this little mini-community. I watch all the reviews too. 💙 2y
thebluestocking @BkClubCare I‘m reading YHWP right now too and quite enjoying it. I‘ll be very interesting to hear your verdict on WCAS. 💙 2y
thebluestocking @Suet624 Ooh. I hope you enjoy those three you have waiting. And I totally get the difficulty of balancing tournament reading with other reading! 💙 2y
Cinfhen @BarbaraBB is a #BookFairy @Suet624 🧚‍♀️🧚🏼‍♂️🧚‍♀️🧚🏾‍♀️🧚🏼‍♂️🧚🏻 2y
Readerann Wow - only 2 left to read. That‘s impressive! I‘m reading my 7th, so I have a ways to go as I am also trying to be a ‘completist‘. 😁 What app did you use to do your cool book display? 2y
thebluestocking @Readerann I think 7 is great! I‘ve never read so many before. I made the graphic in Photoshop, and I posted a blank one a couple of weeks ago in case anyone wants to use it! 💙 2y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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Here is a blank #ToB #tob2020 image I made in photoshop for anyone who wants to use it to track their own progress!

Redwritinghood Thanks! 2y
thebluestocking @Redwritinghood You‘re welcome! 💙 2y
BkClubCare Thank you 2y
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Suet624 This is great! Thanks! 2y
ReadingEnvy Awesome! 2y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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It‘s time for a Tournament of Books update. I‘ve read six more books since the shortlist came out, and I‘ve even got myself some bingos. 😉 I have to say that I am extremely impressed by this list; I am really enjoying making my way through it. I plan on reading the last five from the non-play-in selections before the tournament begins in March.

Are you reading along? #tob #tob2020

Soscha I‘m...in yet to start, but I plan to read at least 4 on the shortlist this month. 🤦🏼‍♀️ 2y
BkClubCare I have only completed 2, am 20% in one, have 2 in the mail coming. On hold at library for 5 and will start Water Dancer on audio when I finish current listen. I doubt I make it but I will attempt as many as I can. Go you!! How did you make that bingo (or... how do I get one? 🤨) 2y
BkClubCare In fact, do you want Overthrow after I read it? 2y
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thebluestocking @Soscha Yay! There‘s still plenty of time! 💙 2y
thebluestocking @BkClubCare That‘s amazing. I was just lucky this year that I had already read five on the shortlist when it came out and had access to several others immediately. I usually have only read one or two at most. I just posted a blank image if you want to use it! 💙 2y
thebluestocking @BkClubCare Thank you so much for the offer! But I have a copy of Overthrow heading my way. I‘d offer one in return but so far I have gotten most of them from the library. 💙 2y
Suet624 @BkClubCare do you still have Overthrow to give away? I can‘t find that one at my libraries or bookstores. 2y
BkClubCare @Suet624 - I will as soon as I receive it and read it. Once that happens, I will reach out to you ? 2y
BkClubCare @Suet624 - FYI; I sent a request to my library for Saudade and received a msg 2 days later that they purchased and are sending it to me! I was TOTALLY amazed and awed. Thus, I rec you tell your library to purchase Overthrow 2y
Suet624 Thanks! There are five different town library that I use and I‘ll keep checking with them. 2y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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The Tournament of Books Final list is out!!!
I‘m disappointed that Disappearing Earth didn‘t make the cut, but it‘s always fun to play along.

I‘ve read 10 of the 18, so I‘m maxing out my library holds and diving right in!!! Who‘s with me?

#tob #ToB2020

Cinfhen @BarbaraBB is with you and so are @merelybookish and @thebluestocking 😜💙I‘m semi invested / too many books I still don‘t really want to read so I‘ll probably be skipping those 🤭 3y
Megabooks I‘m not sure I‘ll read them all but I‘m going to try to read most! I think I‘ve read 8 already. 3y
merelybookish I'm in. Just picked up Overthrow from the library! 3y
LauraJ Also placing library holds. 3y
BarbaraBB I am! 🤓 3y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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The Tournament of Books short list is out! I‘ve read a surprising five of these already and really enjoyed them, so I‘m looking forward to the rest of the list. Next up is Trust Exercise.

#tob #tob2020

BarbaraBB Love your picture! Keep us posted! 3y
AceOnRoam That's a great start. Are you planning to read Trust Exercise? 3y
thebluestocking @BarbaraBB Thanks! Will do. I‘m excited to see your progress too. 💙 3y
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thebluestocking @AceOnRoam Yes! I‘m halfway through right now. Did you like it? 💙 3y
AceOnRoam @thebluestocking hmmm. I am tossing up whether to read it or not. I get a feeling I am going to hate it. I will let you know. But I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of it! 3y
BkClubCare So excited!! I haven‘t ready any (except half of the Luiselli) 3y
thebluestocking @BkClubCare I saw you add everything on Goodreads. I‘ll be interested to see what you think of LCA. 💙 3y
BkClubCare @thebluestocking - For some reason 🤪 I have trouble reading the summer-TOB books! I abandoned LCA when the perspective shifted. And then reading so many reviews makes it seem like I really did read it, if that makes any sense at all. 3y
thebluestocking @BkClubCare That does make sense. It has happened to me too. I have a hard time finishing a book when I stop in the middle, even if I want to. 3y
BkClubCare @thebluestocking - I just bought All This Could Be Yours. I am starting soon. I am currently in the throes of the Dutch House. SO GOOD! 3y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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Excited that the #tob2020 long list is here! 62 books, and I‘ve read 12 (including one im halfway through) which is fewer than I hoped! Some here I‘ve been meaning to read for ages, some I‘ve never heard of. I‘d love to grind through all of them but wow newly released books are expensive. A couple are available in my library as ebooks so I‘ll manage a few more!


8little_paws I've read 10 of them, and have 2 of them on the immediate TBR on my nightstand, and have a number of others I'd like to read. But I have learned that my tastes and the ToB's tastes rarely align well. 3y
merelybookish I didn't realize you had already posted! 3y
BarbaraBB You‘ve read many already! I read only 3... 😨. But I am looking forward to a lot of them! 3y
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Suet624 This came to me in my email and I got so excited. I love TOB! And here I was thinking i was only going to read books I already owned. Guess that commitment is getting pushed back again. (edited) 3y
Emilymdxn @merelybookish i love how these events and lists get so many people excited and everyone‘s posting and overlapping on discussing the books!! 3y
Emilymdxn @8little_paws yeah I‘ve disagreed with them a lot in the past too! I love the discussions tho even when I don‘t like the results. What‘s your fave that you‘ve read so far?? 3y
Emilymdxn @BarbaraBB which three??? I always love reading your opinions on lists like this! 3y
Emilymdxn @suet624 I‘m in just the same position! I can scale mount tbr more gradually if it means fitting a few of these in! 3y
8little_paws Probably bangkok wakes to rain or nickel boys. Honestly I haven't been impressed with a lot of 2019 literature. 3y
BarbaraBB Thank you 😊. I only read On Earth, The Children‘s Archive and Normal People. I loved all three. Which are your favorites and would you recommend? 3y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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So, the 2019 Tournament of Books short list just came out - early. I‘m still processing, but I have read only two of these: There There and Census. Almost all of my long list reading was for naught.

#ToB #tob2019 #therooster

Ruthiella I‘ve read four. I think it is a good mix. My Sister The Serial Killer interests me most; Census the least. Do you think you‘ll read them all by March? 4y
LauraJ Hmm, do you also have a Powell‘s subscription? 4y
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merelybookish I've read three and am currently reading/listening to a couple others. I like that there's some surprise. But was hoping My Year of Rest and Relaxation would make it. 4y
Ruthiella @merelybookish I hoped a WHOLE bunch would be on it because then I will be “forced” to read them!🤪 The Maze at Windermere, Asymmetry, Fire Sermon, The Friend....so many books 📚! 4y
thebluestocking @Ruthiella Yes. I agree My Sister the Serial Killer sounds very good. I have it on hold. I really liked Census. Did you read The Road? It‘s kind of similar. 4y
thebluestocking @LauraJ I don‘t know what that is. Is it something I should look into? 4y
thebluestocking @merelybookish Well done! I didn‘t get to MYRR. My main disappointment is the lack of The Friend. 4y
ReadingEnvy It‘s always SO hard to predict. Of the shortlist I‘d only read five (and I‘d read a high percentage of the longlist!) and bailed on 3. I‘m pleased that I can return Lake Success with a DNf but I imagine my favorites may have been left behind on the longlist. The Overstory, I‘m pleased by... 4y
thebluestocking @ReadingEnvy I should really learn to simply ignore the long list. 😉 I just returned a bunch of long list library books (I do like the feeling of not “having” to read them now). But I, too, am sad that many of my favorite reads of the year did not make the list. 4y
merelybookish @ReadingEnvy What three did you bail on? 4y
BarbaraBB So early! I had read 20 books of the longlist, of which I miss a lot of favorites on the shortlist! Now I‘ve read only six, no particular favorites unfortunately. On my shelves are two more that I bought because they were Booker nominated but didn‘t get to because they didn‘t appeal. So, I am not too thrilled yet but I am looking forward to reading as much as I can from this list anyhow! 4y
batsy The shortlist seems comparatively tame compared to the books that were left out from the longlist! Those are the books I was most excited to read—like @Ruthiella I was hoping to be motivated to read them if they were on the shortlist 😅 4y
BkClubCare @Ruthiella - oh. I was going to read Census next. (Or first?! Since I haven‘t read any! 😩 4y
Ruthiella @BkClubCare It might be a great read! I‘m just not excited about it for whatever reason.😀 4y
ReadingEnvy @thebluestocking I always find my favorite books every year from award long but not short lists, it's just how my reading tastes fall somehow 4y
ReadingEnvy @merelybookish The Parking Lot Attendant, The Mars Room, and Milkman (which technically I read 50% of and then skimmed to 90% and read the last 10%) 4y
AceOnRoam Thanks for the tag 😀 this year I was so proud of myself finishing about 20 books from the Longlist, but alas only 6 made the shortlist 🤨 4y
AceOnRoam My 2 favourites of the ones I have read are The Italian Teacher and There There 4y
thebluestocking @AceOnRoam Those are decent odds, though. I read 11 from the long list and only 2 made it to the short list. I liked There There quite a bit, and I‘m looking forward to reading The Italian Teacher. 4y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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Happy opening day of the Tournament of Books, everyone! It‘s one of my favorite times of the year. #tob18


BkClubCare Mine, too! 4y
merelybookish Cool mug! 4y
thebluestocking @BkClubCare I love waking up in March and knowing I have a decision to read! 4y
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thebluestocking @merelybookish Thanks! It was part of the Tournament merch a few years ago. (edited) 4y
BkClubCare I love January for “new goals”, February is LetterMonth and March is T.O.B. (April is spring and boat-readiness) 4y
thebluestocking @BkClubCare Ooh. That‘s a good lineup! 4y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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The Tournament of Books bracket is up! (Thanks to @outis for the heads up.) There are some good matchups in here. Right now, the one I‘m most anticipating is Goodbye Vitamin v. Idaho. Which matchup are you eager to see? #tob18

AceOnRoam I really want to see Lincoln knocked out, but I know it will Zombie back in. I feel kind of cornered here with nowhere to turn. I really disliked this book and the whole experience of reading it. 4y
AceOnRoam I'll send you a friend request. 4y
thebluestocking I didn‘t love LitB either. Too gimmicky without enough substance. I accepted your friend request! 4y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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It‘s my favorite time of year! The brackets are up for the 2018 Tournament of Books! #TOB18


#TOB2018 #TOB

susanw Finally! 4y
thebluestocking Yay! Thanks for posting. I got distracted this week and forgot to be impatient about it. 😉 4y
thebluestocking @BkClubCare 🤷‍♀️😉 4y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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I love the Tournament of Books for the intelligent commentary, witty banter, and enlightening analysis. But an exchange like this totally makes my day. 👍😆😆

saresmoore 🤓 I love it! 5y
KarenUK 😂😂😂 5y
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The Tournament | Matthew Reilly

I am a huge fan of Matthew Reilly's books and I know a lot of people didn't think one as good but I really enjoyed this one. It was clever and interesting and something different

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