Wisdom of Kammbia 3.22: Who Is The Best Novelist? (March Madness Style Pt. 4-Sweet 16 Match-ups)

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In my last couple of posts, I revealed the authors who made the Sixty-Four Novelists March Madness Bracket Style Tournament to determine who is the best novelist or most beloved novelist in North America.

We had thirty-two novelists in the Stephen King Bracket covering pop & genre fiction and thirty-two novelists in the Cormac McCarthy Bracket covering literary fiction.

The votes are in and here are the results for the Cormac McCarthy Bracket:

1 seed Cormac McCarthy vs 32 seed David Guterson (McCarthy wins 83% to 17% over Guterson)

2 seed Philip Roth vs 31 seed Walker Percy (Roth wins in an unanimous decision over Percy

3 seed Toni Morrison vs 30 seed Sandra Cisneros (Morrison wins 80% to 20% over Cisneros)

4 seed Don DeLillo vs 29 seed Paul Auster  (DeLillo wins 60% to 40% over Auster)

5 seed Thomas Pynchon vs 28 seed Gene Wolfe (Pynchon wins in an unanimous decision over Wolfe)

6 seed John Updike vs 27 seed Russell Banks  (Banks wins 66% to 34% over Updike in the biggest upset of this bracket)

7 seed Joyce Carol Oates vs 26 Donna Tartt  (Tartt wins in an upset 60% to 40% over Oates)

8 seed Richard Ford vs 25 seed Athol Dickson  (Ford wins in an unanimous decision over Dickson)

9 seed Gabriel Garcia Marquez vs 24 seed Isabel Allende (Garcia Marquez wins 66% to 34% over Allende)

10 seed Mark Helprin vs 23 seed John Irving (Irving wins in an upset 66% to 34% over Helprin)

11 seed Louise Erdrich vs 22 seed Michael Chabon (Chabon wins 80% to 20% over Erdrich in the 2nd biggest upset of this bracket)

12 seed Jane Smiley vs 21 seed T.C. Boyle (Boyle wins in an upset 66% to 34% over Smiley)

13 seed Margaret Atwood vs 20 seed Alice Walker (Atwood wins 86% to 14% over Walker)

14 seed Wallace Stegner vs 19 seed Jim Harrison (Stegner wins 66% to 34 over Harrison)

15 seed Anne Tyler vs 18 seed Flannery O’Connor  (O’Connor wins in an upset 75% to 25% over Tyler)

16 seed Harper Lee vs 17 seed Ralph Ellison (Lee wins 86% to 14% over Ellison)

Here are the Sweet 16 Match-ups: (Vote for the author you want to win the match-up)

1 seed Cormac McCarthy vs 27 seed Russell Banks

2 seed Philip Roth vs 26 seed Donna Tartt

3 seed Toni Morrison vs 23 seed John Irving

4 seed Don DeLillo vs 22 seed Michael Chabon

5 seed Thomas Pynchon vs 21 seed T.C. Boyle

8 seed Richard Ford vs 18 seed Flannery O’Connor

9 seed Gabriel Garcia Marquez vs 16 seed Harper Lee

13 seed Margaret Atwood vs 14 seed Wallace Stegner

Vote often and thanks for your participation!

Wisdom of Kammbia 3.21: Who Is The Best Novelist? (March Madness Style Pt.3-Sweet 16)

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In my last couple of posts, I revealed the authors who made the Sixty-Four Novelists March Madness Bracket Style Tournament to determine who is the best novelist or most beloved novelist in North America.

We had thirty-two novelists in the Stephen King Bracket covering pop & genre fiction and thirty-two novelists in the Cormac McCarthy Bracket covering literary fiction.

The votes are in and here are the results for the Stephen King Bracket:

1 seed Stephen King vs 32 seed Terry Brooks  (King wins 91% to 9% over Brooks)

2 seed John Grisham vs 31 seed Lillian Jackson Braun   (Grisham wins in an unanimous decision over Jackson Braun)

3 seed Dean Koontz vs 30 seed John Saul  (Koontz wins 86% to 14% over Saul)

4 seed Mary Higgins Clark vs 29 seed Tony Hillerman  (Hillerman wins 83% to 17% Higgins Clark in the bracket’s biggest upset)

5 seed Ray Bradbury vs 28 seed William Gibson (Bradbury wins 56% to 44% over Gibson)

6 seed Tom Clancy vs 27 seed Terry McMillian (Clancy wins in an unanimous decision over McMillian)

7 seed Anne Rice vs 26 seed Francine Rivers  (Rice wins in an unanimous  decision over Rivers)

8 seed Nora Roberts vs 25 seed Frank Peretti  (Roberts wins 67% to 33% over Peretti)

9 seed Nicholas Sparks vs 24 seed Sidney Sheldon  (Sheldon wins 60% to 40% over Sparks)

10 seed Sue Grafton vs 23 seed Elmore Leonard  (Leonard wins 67% to 33% over Grafton)

11 seed Robert Heinlein vs 22 seed Ursula Le Guin  (Heinlein wins 70% to 30% over Le Guin)

12 seed James Patterson vs 21 seed Anne McCaffrey (McCaffrey wins 78% to 22% over Patterson)

13 seed Robert Jordan vs 20 seed Michael Connelly  (Connelly wins 75% to 25% over Jordan)

14 seed Danielle Steel vs 19 seed Richard Paul Evans   (Evans wins 75% to 25% over Steel)

15 seed Jan Karon vs 18 seed Karen Kingsbury   (Karon wins 75% to 25% over Kingsbury)

16 seed Gillian Flynn vs 18 seed Dennis Lehane  (Lehane wins in an unanimous decision over Flynn)

We have reached the Sweet 16 phase of the tournament.  Vote for the author you want to win the match-up:

1 seed Stephen King vs 29 seed Tony Hillerman

2 seed John Grisham vs 24 seed Sidney Sheldon

3 seed Dean Koontz vs 23 seed Elmore Leonard

5 seed Ray Bradbury vs 21 seed Anne McCaffrey

6 seed Tom Clancy vs 20 seed Michael Connelly

7 seed Anne Rice vs 19 seed Richard Paul Evans

8 seed Nora Roberts vs 18 seed Dennis Lehane

11 seed Robert Heinlein vs 15 Jan Karon

I will reveal the Sweet 16 results on my next post and pick the match-ups for the Elite 8.  Vote often!

Wisdom of Kammbia 3.20: Who Is The Best Novelist? (March Madness Style Pt. 2)

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Who is the best novelist?

Who is the most beloved novelist?

Well in my last post, I attempted to get those questions answered by doing a NCAA March Madness Bracket Style for the best novelists in North America.

I got a great response to my last post and I want to thank everyone who has voted and provided comments about the bracket.  I was glad to see that serious readers can have a little fun.

I released the Stephen King Bracket of 32 novelists covering genre & pop fiction in the last post.  Now, it’s time to release the Cormac McCarthy Bracket covering Literary Fiction.

Here are the match-ups: (please vote for the author you want to win the match-up)

1 seed Cormac McCarthy vs 32 seed David Guterson

2 seed Philip Roth vs 31 seed Walker Percy

3 seed Toni Morrison vs 30 seed Sandra Cisneros

4 seed Don DeLillo vs 29 seed Paul Auster

5 seed Thomas Pynchon vs 28 seed Gene Wolfe

6 seed John Updike vs 27 seed Russell Banks

7 seed Joyce Carol Oates vs 26 Donna Tartt

8 seed Richard Ford vs 25 seed Athol Dickson

9 seed Gabriel Garcia Marquez vs 24 seed Isabel Allende

10 seed Mark Helprin vs 23 seed John Irving

11 seed Louise Erdrich vs 22 seed Michael Chabon

12 seed Jane Smiley vs 21 seed T.C. Boyle

13 seed Margaret Atwood vs 20 seed Alice Walker

14 seed Wallace Stegner vs 19 seed Jim Harrison

15 seed Anne Tyler vs 18 seed Flannery O’Connor

16 seed Harper Lee vs 17 seed Ralph Ellison

Let’s have some fun and vote often!!

Wisdom of Kammbia 3.19: Who Is The Best Novelist? (March Madness Style)

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Who is the best novelist?  

Who is the most beloved novelist?

Well, I wanted to have some fun and see if I can get an answer those two questions. Since it is the month of March and the NCAA College Basketball Tournament is coming in the next few days.  I thought of getting those aforementioned questions answered with a Sixty-Four Novelists March Madness Bracket Style Tournament.

Here are the rules for the Novelist March Madness Tournament:

–I have chosen 64 novelists and divided into 2 brackets.  32 Novelists for the Pop/commercial Fiction Bracket  and 32 Novelists for the Literary Fiction Bracket.

For this week’s blog post, I’m releasing the Stephen King Bracket and that covers genre fiction (science-fiction, mystery/thriller, horror, romance, and Christian Fiction) and mainstream pop fiction.  

For next week’s blog post, I will release the Cormac McCarthy Bracket and that covers Literary Fiction.

The authors in each bracket are seeded one to thirty-two.  And the match-ups like the NCAA Tournament are created to get one winner from each bracket.  Then the winner from the Stephen King Bracket will meet against the winner of the Cormac McCarthy Bracket to determine who is the best novelist and winner of the tournament.

Now the readers will select the winner for each matchup in the corresponding bracket. For example, Stephen King is the 1 Seed and he will face Terry Brooks who is the 32 seed as the first match.  Whoever gets the most votes from that match will win and go to the next round called the Sweet 16. 

Then those winners from the Sweet 16 will go onto the Elite Eight for the next round.  The Elite Eight Winners will go on the Final Four after that and then the Final Four winners will go on to the Terrific Two and so on until we get the tournament winner and crown the best novelist.

Readers can vote on the match-ups as many times as they want within the time range selected by the tournament chairman (yours truly).  You can place your votes here, Goodreads, or Library Thing, or email me at kammbia1@gmail.com.  

The Round of 32 matches starts today for the Stephen King Bracket and I will need all votes for the matches by Tuesday March 19th at 11:59 p.m.  I will release the Sweet 16 from the Stephen King Bracket on Saturday March 22 and the Cormac McCarthy Bracket Round of 32 at that time.

Here are the match-ups:

1 seed Stephen King vs 32 seed Terry Brooks

2 seed John Grisham vs 31 seed Lillian Jackson Braun

3 seed Dean Koontz vs 30 seed John Saul

4 seed Mary Higgins Clark vs 29 seed Tony Hillerman

5 seed Ray Bradbury vs 28 seed William Gibson

6 seed Tom Clancy vs 27 seed Terry McMillian

7 seed Anne Rice vs 26 seed Francine Rivers

8 seed Nora Roberts vs 25 seed Frank Peretti

9 seed Nicholas Sparks vs 24 seed Sidney Sheldon

10 seed Sue Grafton vs 23 seed Elmore Leonard

11 seed Robert Heinlein vs 22 seed Ursula Le Guin

12 seed James Patterson vs 21 seed Anne McCaffrey

13 seed Robert Jordan vs 20 seed Michael Connelly

14 seed Danielle Steel vs 19 seed Richard Paul Evans

15 seed Jan Karon vs 18 seed Karen Kingsbury

16 seed Gillian Flynn vs 18 seed Dennis Lehane

Let’s have some fun and vote often!!!

Wisdom of Kammbia 3.18: Resolutions Don’t Work!

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I agree with this header.

My 2013 Reading Resolution has changed significantly since I posted it at the beginning of the new year.

My resolution got off to a bad start when I didn’t finish reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell  until the middle of January. And if you’ve read my list, I was supposed to read In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helprin for that month.

I did read my February book, The Unspeakable by Tessa Stockton.  However, I got sidetracked when I starting reading the Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison after The Unspeakable. I read one hundred forty pages of Song of Solomon and couldn’t finish it.

Instead of reading In Sunlight and In Shadow, I went to my local library here in San Antonio and bought a copy of Pirate Freedom by Gene Wolfe for a dollar and started reading that for the rest of February and now into March.

Whew…..I can see why resolutions don’t work.   It is so easy to get sidetracked and once you get off that highway you can never get back on.

However, I’m determined to get back on track and have revised my resolution list:

March’s Book-Vale of Laughter by Peter De Vries: This novel was recommended me to by someone on Library Thing.  De Vries was considered one of the funniest American novelists and compared to authors like Evelyn Waugh and Mark Twain. However, all of De Vries’ novels are currently out of print and there’s a push to have his work republished.

April’s Book: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

May’s Book: The Power and The Glory by Graham Greene

2nd May Book: Culture Making by Andy Crouch

June’s Book: Chess Garden by Brooks Hansen

July’s Book: Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

August’s Book: The Sleeper Awakes by H.G. Wells

September’s Book: Arena by Karen Hancock

October’s Book: The Deep Blue Good-By by John D. MacDonald

November’s Book: River Rising by Athol Dickson

December’s Book: The Little Country by Charles De Lint

I’m determined to stay on course until the end of year. However, I’m done with resolutions after this year.

Has anyone else gotten off track with their resolutions for 2013?

Wisdom of Kammbia 3.17: Reading Rules

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Do you have reading rules? 

Are there guidelines that will make you decide on what you are going to read?

I’ve noticed in the last few years that I have developed a certain pattern to my reading habits.

1) I Will Read From Any Genre: I have never understood folks who read from only one or two genres.  I only read Literary Fiction. I only read Mysteries. I only read Christian Fiction and so on.  I thought reading (like most of art) takes you to new places, different cultures, and the imaginative powers of that author’s mind.  The only criteria there should be: is it a good or bad novel.

My other hobby is listening to music.  I listen to good music from any genre.  Whether it’s Earth, Wind, & Fire or Sting or Van Morrison or Tito Puente or Miles Davis or Chris Tomlin or Israel & The New Breed. It is good music or not.  Heck, I just started listening to the Zac Brown Band this week after someone recommended that I should check them out.  Good music.

I have that same mentality when it comes to reading.  My bookshelf has Jorge Amado, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Philip K. Dick, Greg Bear, Paul Auster, Toni Morrison, Mark Helprin, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck, Athol Dickson, John Grisham, P.D. James, & Stephen King all on the same shelf.

I believe the publishing industry while creating genres has been good for selling books, the downside it causes readers to stay in the neighborhood they are comfortable with and not venture into other neighborhoods.  I thought art is supposed to the ultimate barrier breaker and you can venture into other neighborhoods without fear or backlash.  Hmmmm…

2) I Must Read One Novel a Year Published Before 1950: I started this rule a few years when I read Madame Bovary by Flaubert.  And I have read David Copperfield by Dickens, Grapes of Wrath and The Pearl by Steinbeck, Islandia by Austin Tappan Wright, & Snow Country by Kawabata over the past few years.

Reading novels published prior to 1950 helps me get out of the mood of thinking about the world around me through a contemporary perspective. Also, it takes me into the past and makes me realize that human nature is basically the same.  It reminds of this verse of scripture: “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, See, this is new? It has been already in the ages before us.”  {Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 ESV Bible}

3) I Don’t Read A Novel in Bed.  This is pretty simple.  It will put me to sleep.  I have to read at my desk.  I’ve heard so many people say they read at bedtime.  I don’t think that’s a good way to read.  Your mind and body are in a relaxed state and ready for sleep.  Reading requires concentration and engagement and the bedroom is not the place for those things.

So there are my reading rules.  What are yours?

Wisdom of Kammbia 3.16: Do Book Endorsements Actually Convince You To Buy A Book?

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“I loved BAG of BONES. It’s Stephen King for the new millennium, with all the heart and wit showing through the suspense.” (Anne Rivers Siddons on Bag of Bones by Stephen King)

“Greg Bear’s most ambitious novel yet…..an extremely dense and complex work about nothing less than the nature of consciousness.” (Washington Post Book World on the Queen of Angels by Greg Bear)

“Rapturous….astonishing….GILEAD is an inspired work from a writer whose sensibility seems steeped in holy fire.” (Elle on Gilead by Marilynne Robinson)

“If Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man went underground, Toni Morrison’s Milkman flies.” (New York Times Book Review on Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison)

Those endorsements came from novels I have on my bookshelf.  It got me to wondering that I have never bought a book from any kind of endorsement. I’ve bought books from recommendations of friends, other blogs I read, book reviews, and even taken chances on a whim.

Has anyone else ever bought a book from book endorsements?  If you have, how did it convince you?  If not, why?  And should new writers seek endorsements for their novels.

Looking forward to reading your responses.