Almost to the end of Round Two! Then it should take me about a week to wrap up further rounds.
Turn of the Screw vs. Funny Boy
Winner: Turn of the Screw
Funny Boy was a good read, but it can't match the impact of Turn of the Screw. No matter what you think is going on, this is one creepy book. The supernatural possibilities are scary, the natural ones terrifying. And the narrator's reaction troubling. I can't say I liked the other Henry James I read this year, but I liked this one.
Leviathan vs. Trunk Music
I enjoyed my first delve into Michael Connelly territory quite a lot, and intend to return. But unless it's crappy, science fiction and fantasy always remain my first loves, and so, Leviathan takes out Trunk Music in the second round. How can you not love a giant living blimp? And bats that poop razors?
The Violent Bear It Away vs. The Magic Mountain
Winner: The Violent Bear It Away
The Violent Bear It Away has some major issues, but it also is this incredibly stark look at belief that, at times, took my breath away. That carries it over The Magic Mountain, which, frankly, bored me at times. Overall, it was a good book, but The Violent Bear It Away is sort of breathtaking. If only it didn't have that sudden dip into homophobia.
Foundation and Empire vs. A Hawk and His Boy
Winner: Foundation and Empire
A Hawk and His Boy was entertaining, but Foundation and Empire is a classic. Not for the writing style, which is serviceable science fiction at its best, but for the story Asimov weaves. The first book reads more like history, and in Foundation and Empire, he changes it up for some more rollicking adventure. Also, if they're done well, I almost always enjoy intrigue and subterfuge.
I Capture The Castle vs. The Sixth Column
Winner: I Capture The Castle
It's kind a relief to knock The Sixth Column out of the competition. I was feeling weird about keeping it in, given its rather troubling subject matter. And up against I Capture the Castle, which may not have been deep, but was very charming, it's an easy call. Diaries being written in castles about eccentric and bohemian families? Sign me up!