The ‘What book do I read next?’ tournament bracket challenge

June 10, 2018 0 By SerBuckley

The best and worst thing about finishing a book is that you then have to choose a new book to read. At once, you are cast on an endless ocean of possibilities. At the same time, you are drowning because there’s a hell of a lot of water.

This is the situation I find myself in after finishing Frank Herbert’s Dune this week (unbelievably great). After the usual take-it-all-in period I found myself asking: OK, what’s next?

Some sick individuals probably only keep one or two unread books in the house. Maybe even none (Shudder). I am not this type of person. I went round and counted my unread books, and by which I mean my unread fiction books. If we include non-fiction we will genuinely be here all day.

The number came out at 14. That was lower than I thought it would be.

But still. 14! How can any one man choose between 14 books, and 12 books of varying genre, length, and style? Impossible.

Therefore I enlist your help, my dear friends, by the use of a great tournament. There will be one winner, and one winner only. Of course, 14 for an equal tournament does not make. So I had to dig a little further in boxes and under piles of clothes to find 2 more. Luckily, I was successful, and our number went up to 16.

The battle for my next book begins.


The 16 books have been entered into a bracket, as you would have for March Madness, or more importantly ASOIAF characters when @DavosFingers is in the mood. They are randomly placed and will be facing off, one by one, until we are left with an eventual winner. The winner of each round is going to be decided by Twitter poll, as @DavosFingers like to do. Hopefully, yourselves and the other good readers of Twitter will vote upon which book most deserves to be read next, until a decision is made.


But before we see the bracket, we need some candidates. Here, in the order that I happen to pick them up in, is our 16.


Candidate 1: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley



Candidate 2: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas


Candidate 3: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss


Candidate 4: The Gunslinger by Stephen King


Candidate 5: The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley


Candidate 6: The Once and Future King by TH White


Candidate 7: The Maze Runner by James Dashner


Candidate 8: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn


Candidate 9: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig


Candidate 10: Lost Boy by Christina Henry


Candidate 11: The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell


Candidate 12: Going Postal by Terry Pratchett


Candidate 13: Ravenspur: Rise of the Tudors by Conn Iggulden


Candidate 14: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


Candidate 15: The King Arthur Trilogy by Rosemary Sutcliff


Candidate 16: From a Certain Point of View: a Star Wars anthology by a whole bunch of great writers

Like I said, it’s a wildly varied lineup. We’ve got fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi, YA,  Horror, Wizards, Kings and the goddam Discworld! There will be some interesting matchups out of this bunch, all of them to the death. Or back to the shelf, anyway. But how do they line up?




There we have it. Round One is about to go up on Twitter now, two hours for each round, the first of which looks a little like this:


  1. Aftermath vs Lost Boy
  2. The Last Kingdom vs The Name of the Wind
  3. Star Wars Anthology vs the Maze Runner
  4. The King Arthur Trilogy vs Going Postal
  5. Brave New World vs Mists of Avalon
  6. The Once and Future King vs The Gunslinger
  7. Thrawn vs The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  8.  The Count of Monte Cristo vs Ravenspur

I’ll be updating with the second round as we get to it, so be sure to check in later, and to post your vote on Twitter!


UPDATE: Round 1 is complete!

We’ve lost Lost Boy, The Last Kingdom, Star Wars Anthology, Going Postal (a big upset!), The Mists of Avalon, The Gunslinger, Thrawn and Ravenspur. They’ve earnt their rest on the shelf.

For the others, the battle rages on, and we have some new matchups:

  1. Aftermath vs The Name of the Wind
  2. The Maze Runner vs The King Arthur Trilogy
  3.  Brave New World vs The Once and Future King
  4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy vs The Count of Monte Cristo

Head over to my Twitter and ensure your favourites to get through!


UPDATE 2: Round 2 is complete!

This time the unlucky few were Aftermath, The Maze Runner, Brave New World and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, so definitely some upsets.

But, we do now have books set up for our semifinals:

  1. The Name of the Wind vs The King Arthur trilogy
  2. The Once and Future King vs The Count of Monte Cristo

I really appreciate the votes and the sharing, I’ll update you with the two finalists later on


UPDATE 3: The Finals.

Warriors Cavs? Psh. We’ve got modern fantasy vs classic fantasy. No sweeps here. Instead, one final choice for the book I’ll read next:

The Name of the Wind vs The Once and Future King

Extra hours for this one, as it is so gosh darn important. Get your votes in. These dear words need it!