Today is Thursday, so let's have a look at the fourth and final "regional" in the 2014 UW-Madison Libraries Book Madness tournament! Today we're looking at what I first called the Either Side of the Ocean Region, because all the books in this region are award-winning American and British novels respectively, but I've now decided to call it the Vexillological Region, because the subregions are called Stars and Stripes and Union Jack.
STARS AND STRIPES:
- The Corrections vs. Middlesex
- I feel like this matchup, and almost every other matchup in this region, will come down to name recognition, and my perception is that in general, Pulitzer Prize winners are better known than National Book Award winners, so on that basis I'll go with Middlesex.
- Doomsday Book vs. Interpreter of Maladies
- And Pulitzer Prize winners are unquestionably better known than Hugo Award winners (with certain exceptions, such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), so I think Interpreter of Maladies will win this one walking.
- The Hours vs. Waiting
- I see The Hours winning this, not so much because it's a Pulitzer winner up against a National Book Award, but more because it was made into an Oscar-winner movie.
- The Round House vs. The Women of Brewster Place
- Hm, tough one. I feel Brewster Place is better known because of the TV miniseries made based on it, but that was all the way back in 1989, and I don't if that will count for anything 25 years later. I'm flipping a James K. Polk dollar coin ... OK, The Women of Brewster Place it is.
- The Satanic Verses vs. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Neither can live while the other survives, and Prisoner of Azkaban will be the survivor.
- White Teeth vs. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
- I think White Teeth will win, unless people accidentally vote for the other title thinking it's Orange is the New Black.
- Wolf Hall vs. Life After Life
- I think Life After Life is too new to have made much of an impression on voters -- it just came out last year -- so i think this one will go to Wolf Hall pretty much by default.
- The Remains of the Day vs. Atonement
- This might be the most brutal matchup in the whole of the first round; either way, an outstanding book is going to be eliminated. Ultimately, I think Atonement with be the one to advance to the next round, because its Oscar-winning screen adaptation is much more recent than that of its competitor.
Whew, finished! Now I need to fill out the rest of the bracket and get it over to one of the participating libraries so I can win my prize for having the most accurate ballot!