It's Wednesday, and that means it's time to take a look at the third "regional" in the 2014 UW-Madison Libraries Book Madness tournament! I call this one the Trash and Treasure Regional, because the subregions are Required Reading, comprising books often assigned in lit courses, and Guilty Pleasures, composed of books that definitely would not be so assigned.
- A Tale of Two Cities vs. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
- Maybe it's just me, but I would have chosen a different book to represent Mark Twain in the tournament. Actually, that's true of Dickens, too. Great Expectations vs Huckleberry Finn, that'd be a matchup for the ages. Maybe next year. This year, with these books, I'll guess that A Tale of Two Cities will win, but I'm not at all confident about that prediction.
- Beloved vs. The Scarlet Letter
- I think Beloved is somewhat more accessible than the alternative, if not no other reason that it doesn't start with an unrelated and all but unreadable essay. (Apologies to fans of "The Custom House," if there are any.)
- Lord of the Flies vs. Animal Farm
- The kids today, they love dystopian fiction, and that's basically what Lord of the Flies is.
- Wuthering Heights vs. The Great Gatsby
- I worry that my great fondness for one of these books and my dislike of the other is influencing my prediction here, but I can't see The Great Gatsby not wining this matchup, especially with the recent movie adaptation.
- The Bridges of Madison County vs. The Notebook
- I'm told that college-age women really dig Nicholas Sparks, so I imagine The Notebook will win this race rather handily.
- The Secret vs. Flowers in the Attic
- Fun fact: one time, I had the idea that it would be cute and funny to work some V. C. Andrews reference into a Jeff/Annie fic I was working on, but what seemed cute and funny in my head turned out to be creepy and weird when written down, so I rewrote the whole thing. Anyway, reading Flowers in the Attic was something of a rite of passage for many young women of my generation, and if that's still true, I think nostalgia will propel it to a win over its competition.
- The Da Vinci Code vs. The Devil Wears Prada
- I don't think The Da Vinci Code is nearly as bad as its reputation, but its reputation will hurt it nonetheless. That said, I think of the popularity of its film adaptation is what will ultimately make The Devil Wears Prada the winner in this matchup.
- Eragon vs. Divergent
- Remember what I said a few paragraphs ago about dystopian fiction? Still true. Divergent in a walk.
Tomorrow: the Either End of the Ocean Regional!