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A true underdog story

  • ConVal librarians Ashley Jones and Rachael Bowman have organized the third annual literary March Madness. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal librarians Ashley Jones and Rachael Bowman have organized the third annual literary March Madness. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal librarians Ashley Jones and Rachael Bowman have organized the third annual literary March Madness. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Visit the ConVal library this month and you’ll learn a whole new definition of “bracketology.” Librarians Ashley Jones and Rachael Bowman have put together the third annual literary March Madness tournament, pitting the opening lines of books against one another in a quest to crown a winner.

The concept is just like a college basketball bracket. The opening lines of a sweet 16 books are printed out and paired off; each week, students and staff vote for their favorites, and half are eliminated. It’s a true test of just how well the books draw in the reader right from the opening tipoff.

“Who has the best hook?” Bowman said. “Who gets you interested in the book in the first couple sentences?”

Last year’s theme was books that have been made into movies, which saw “The Great Gatsby” cutting down the nets after dispatching “The Lightning Thief” in the finals. This year, it’s a true underdog story, as the theme is critically acclaimed books which aren’t checked out frequently.

“I was thinking it might be nice to highlight some books that haven't been checked out very often,” Jones said.

Since the books aren’t identified until they are eliminated, picks are made solely on face value, on the quality and content of that opening line. Not only does that lead to unbiased voting, hopefully, Bowman said, it will lead to students becoming interested in genres they might not otherwise read. Not into mysteries or young adult graphic novels? Little did you know you just voted for one!

A winner will be crowned in the first week of April.