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#ToB
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sarahbarnes
Dayswork | Chris Bachelder, Jennifer Habel
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Pickpick

I‘m so glad @merelybookish pointed me toward this book! I agree with you that it definitely has Ducks, Newburyport vibes. 🩵 I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this story about marriage, life, getting older, finding meaning, and yes, Melville. With poignant pandemic moments throughout, which felt timely as I read this almost exactly four years later. A #TOB long list gem this year for sure.

Liz_M Ok, I've wanted to read this because Moby-Dick, but Duck vibes?! 😍 Now I think I need to own a copy!!! 2mo
sarahbarnes @Liz_M I loved the flow of the text. I hope you like it! 2mo
merelybookish I'm so glad you liked it too!! It doesn't seem like it should work, but it does! 2mo
40 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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ImperfectCJ
Blackouts: A Novel | Justin Torres
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Well, the results of the "official" #ToB are out and Blackouts won by a landslide over The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, which is interesting to me because I DNFed Blackouts pretty early on. I guess I like the "tyranny of narrative," which judge Kyle Chayka says Blackouts resists. Now I feel like I should give Blackouts another attempt, maybe in a different format, but the thought makes me want to go back to bed.

BarbaraBB I have read such mixed reviews of the book that I am not tempted to read it even though it won the ToB! 2mo
38 likes2 comments
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TieDyeDude
Boys Weekend | Mattie Lubchansky
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this exploration of navigating personal growth and toxic friendships through the lens of a bachelor party weekend and an apocalyptic cult. An excellent LGBT graphic novel with very fun, stylized art. #comicscount

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BkClubCare
Boys Weekend | Mattie Lubchansky
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Look what I picked up from the library! Via ILL ❤️

I have gotten away from posting my readings 😢 Let‘s get back to it.

Updated later: found it confusing, but I am glad to have read it. It was a MUCH quicker read than I expected!!!!

AmyG Hahahaha for a split second I thought-a dog???? 3mo
BkClubCare @AmyG 🤣🤣🤣 3mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 3mo
dabbe @AmyG I did, too! 🤩😂😃 3mo
40 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Larkken
Boys Weekend | Mattie Lubchansky
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Pickpick

Newly transitioned, non-binary Sammie goes on a debauched bachelor‘s weekend for their best friend from before they transitioned. They contend with micro- and macro aggressions as they try to figure out if these relationships are worth saving - literally saving, as it turns out, since the weekend happens at the site of an apocalyptic cults‘ bid to awaken their eldritch god. So… lots going on. The part with the clones felt most thought-out. ⬇️

Larkken I am confused (? Conflicted?), however, by this book‘s inclusion in #tob2024. What were the judges thinking? It‘s unlike anything else on the bracket, is uneven in its dealing with some themes, and is really unlikely to go far, given the historical decisions made by judges. This feels like a one-off, a “hey, why not?” And I feel like it deserves better than a footnote in a literary contest. Or is that unfair, and placing these kinds of books in ⬇️ (edited) 3mo
Larkken The public discourse should be a POINT of the #tob? What do y‘all think? I don‘t think it‘s a perfect book, but that also shouldn‘t necessarily be the point of the tourney, and it does have some great themes even if I think other authors/books/formats have done them in a way I thought held together better or at least that I appreciated more. 3mo
TieDyeDude I've never heard of the Tournament of Books. Is that a new thing? I have the same conflicting thoughts about the Oscars, though. Is it patronizing to put a movie on the ballot that has no chance of winning but deserves recognition, or is it “an honor just to be nominated“? 3mo
See All 13 Comments
Larkken @TieDyeDude Tob has been around for a while, but I've only started reading books from it in the past couple of years bc they are always outside my comfort zone and I usually find a new author to obsess over from every year. Here's the website if you're curious https://www.tournamentofbooks.com. However, I've been enjoying even more the ersatz #LitsyToB crew that's been active... Due to general disaffection with the official short list, 🔽 3mo
Larkken @Megabooks @squirrelbrain and @BarbaraBB organized a vote and a separate shortlist ? and a mini readalong camp last summer. It's been fun integrating my "find authors outside my go-to list" quest with the comradery of the litsy fam. (edited) 3mo
Larkken @TieDyeDude but also, yes! You're right, my feelings are very similar to how I feel about the Oscars. I'm impatient with both groups for having "go-to" authors/directors but then annoyed at the token genre picks that are elevated to being worth recognition -why just them? 3mo
Hooked_on_books I liked seeing this on the TOB list because it‘s topical and different. I‘m glad they included it. But I agree, I don‘t want it to suffer from tokenism, and I‘m concerned it will, especially since it‘s going up against the National Book Award winner in the first round. That seems a little unfair. I‘m really curious to read the judgement for the pairing and see how the judge deals with this. 3mo
Larkken @Hooked_on_books oh man, I didn‘t realize Blackouts was a winner in other award venues already. I hadn‘t gotten to it yet myself. That will be… interesting 🤨 3mo
BkClubCare The ToB is unashamedly absurd - the whole point is that you CANNOT pick a “winner”! Read the history and explanation; I never try to take any of it too seriously. Yes, highlighting obscure offerings to the “battles” is somewhat what they want to do to make it all very interesting to discuss books for book-sake. I am enjoying the tourney this week very much even if I was half enthused about a few titles. 3mo
Larkken @BkClubCare yeah, fair, the absurdity is fun, also I like to read the judgements and feel inadequate in how think about books (🙃 kidding! Mostly). But also I think tokenism in any form is damaging. To me, it‘s like saying that the majority of *something* that is like the one example chosen is generally forgettable, but this one thing can be elevated as somehow worthy. And to that, I absolutely balk. (edited) 3mo
BkClubCare @Larkken - okay, I can accept and ponder that. Or,also,maybe? I would have zero exposure and most of the ToB crowd, if you will, would welcome the introduction to these works of art. I appreciate the opening of my mind, introduction to new ideas and perspectives. I certainly understand that this is not meant to be “hey look, this is the best of Xyz”! Celebrate it as an example. (edited) 3mo
BkClubCare Plus, the commentariat really tends to try and keep it informed, respectful, considerate of all angles of analysis. I learn so much and this challenges me and my reading motivations. 3mo
Larkken @BkClubCare the judges and the thoughtful interaction with the books is def my fav part! No complaints on that score - I love how much I learn about the books and even why I engaged with a book how I did just by reading the judgements et al. Even when it‘s a genre or a book I know fairly well, my reading is always deepened by the experience! 🥰 3mo
29 likes13 comments
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Larkken
Slainte | Hassett Hassett
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Happy March #bookspin and # doublespin time! I'm in catch-up mode for #TOB and #LitsyToB and then I'll be looking into a few other rather-neglected challenges...

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AlizaApp
Boys Weekend | Mattie Lubchansky
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Pickpick

In this fun graphic novel set in the future, a non-binary person on a bachelor weekend must contend with a group of former friends who can‘t get their pronouns right, and also a mysterious murder cult.

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psalva
Boys Weekend | Mattie Lubchansky
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Pickpick

This was a wild, strange read. It took me a while to sink into what was happening. I think the terror-filled, apocalyptic, other-worldly weekend away resonated with me in the end as an excellent metaphor for what it can feel like when queer people of many stripes are in extended situations when they have to pretend to be something they aren‘t and accept all manner of uncomfortable and inappropriate situations to survive. Was this over the top? ⬇️

psalva Yes. But in the end I enjoyed it and I feel like it has something interesting to say. That‘s a win for me. 4mo
Reggie I love that she was saved by her other self. Glad you like it! 4mo
psalva @Reggie I agree- I loved that ending! 4mo
20 likes3 comments
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RamsFan1963
Boys Weekend | Mattie Lubchansky
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Mehso-so

17/150 Sammie, a newly out transgender woman, is invited by her best friend to join him and their college buddies at El Campo, a swanky floating resort, for his bachelor party. The guys are pretty much jerks, refusing to see Sammie as a she now, inforcing male stereotypes on her. This is an odd mix of gender drama, social satire (all the men talk in business buzzwords and marketing lingo), paranoia and Elder Gods horror. I thought parts ⬇️

RamsFan1963 of the story were a little heavy handed and lacked subtlety, but overall I liked Sammie. 3 ⭐⭐⭐💫 4mo
DieAReader 🥳Great 4mo
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 4mo
63 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Caryl
Boys Weekend | Mattie Lubchansky
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Pickpick

I‘m looking forward to reading more about this one in the Tournament of Books. I had a hard time with it, as I was so upset by Sammie‘s college “friends.” I think that‘s part of the point. Plus, capitalism is painful, too. The ending was a relief. Go, Sammie!

29 likes1 stack add