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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

HarperCollins March Madness 2014!

Yes, it’s that time of the year again – HarperCollins’ March Madness! I love this every year, because for some bizarre reason, I really just love voting in things, and what could be more fun than voting for favourite books? (No seriously. I like filling out forms with radio buttons and check boxes. And half the time I will bemoan the fact that labels haven’t been used properly and gosh darn it, if I click on the text beside the radio box it should check the radio box! I shouldn’t have to actually click the radio box itself. /endrant)

What I meant to say was that I love HarperCollins’ March Madness. This is the 7th year that the publisher has run the competition, and each year there are so many wonderful books to get behind and root for. It’s so hard to choose just one book that I want to win! Especially this year – not only are there some of my favourites, but there are some that just look so absolutely amazing that I’ve had to add them to my TBR list!

There are four divisions (each given an awesome name from awesome books), and each book is pitted against another. Each week people vote for their favourites, until there’s only one book left in each division. At that point, the books from the four divisions are pitted against each other, and one final master winner will be picked! (Last year’s winner was Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, which is one of the greatest books ever written. EVER.)

I’m wondering if they named each division as they did on purpose, because for the most part the place they are named after is from my favourite book in that division. Here are my picks from each division and why I want them to win.

Middle Earth

The Fellowship of the RingIn the Middle Earth division, there are a lot of books that stand out for me. I’ve wanted to read Cathy Marie Buchanan’s The Painted Girls for a long time. David Bergen’s The Age of Hope sounds beautiful. Emma Donoghue’s The Room is supposed to be phenomenal. But let’s be honest, I want Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring to win. And not just because the category is “Middle Earth.” This is an amazing story with so much going on in it that every time I pick it up, I notice something that I don’t remember reading before. There’s magic, adventure, friendship, a war between good and evil, and so much more! It has everything a beloved book should have in it.


Mr Penumbra's 24 hour BookstoreI actually haven’t read anything in this category other than Charlotte’s Web and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but I am actually rooting for another book. Specifically, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore which looks positively delightful!

While I did enjoy some aspects of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and while I love the movie, I found the books were too random to really thoroughly enjoy. I realize that’s part of their charm… and it worked really well for the first book, but the other five in the trilogy just felt like they were trying to hard.


The Lion, The Witch and the WardrobeThis category was the hardest for me to pick my favourite in. It had to be either Divergent or The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. One is a new favourite. The other is a childhood favourite that I revisit once every year or two. They both are speculative fiction. They’re both the first in a series (depending on how you read The Chronicles of Narnia – if you’re one of those people who will only read a series in the order it was written). They’re both wonderful and lovely and delightful!

The only thing that will probably be the deciding factor is that The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe has the LOVELY and WONDERFUL Edmund Pevensie. He was my first fictional crush, and is still one of my all-time favourite characters in ANY book.

Also, The Golem and the Jinni is in this bracket, which I have on my TBR pile but haven’t read yet. I’m quite looking forward to picking that one up!


Imposter BrideI definitely do not want Mitch Albom’s book to win this one. I’ve only read one of his books and sobbed the whole way through it. Soooo emotionally draining that I don’t think I could survive another one of his books. I read and quite enjoyed Bridge to Terabithia (and yes, I sobbed through this one too!) but The Imposter Bride really caught my eye, and I think I’m going to be rooting for this one through the contest.

Hey, you should play too!

You should go vote every week if you’re Canadian (and live outside of Quebec) – one person will win a copy of each of the 64 books that are in the competition, which is super awesome because there are some seriously amazing books there! Who do you want to win?

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:18 am March 6, 2014.
Category: Bookish Talk

  • Kelly Rogers

    I have fun with this, too! Maybe one year I may even win the books!

  • Jenn vanOosten

    How fun! I can’t believe that I’ve never heard of this before! Thanks for posting about it!

  • Courtney Wilson

    That’s what I keep hoping too! :)

  • Courtney Wilson

    You’re very welcome! I hope the book you vote for wins! :)