Over at The Morning News, the Fifth Annual Tournament of Books has begun! Their best books of 2008 go head to head each day during March, culminating in an eventual winner, and the presentation of a live rooster to the lucky author. Previous winners include David Mitchell, Ali Smith, Cormac McCarthy and Junot Díaz, so you know the competition’s tight.

The second bout has just played out, where, inexplicably, Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland (one of my favourite books last year) was beaten by Louis de Bernieres’ The Partisan’s Daughter. Follow the progress of all the books here, and if your favourite falls, don’t worry — there’s always the zombie round, where a fallen book rises from the dead, thanks to votes cast by readers earlier in the year. Come on Netherland!


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