Bracketology

Not quite a book review, but a pair of book recommendations for the March Madness season


The Final Four of Everything
and
The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything
Mark Reiter knows what makes many of us tick in March. Even for those of us who don’t really care about Basketball, there is something appealing about the idea of a bracketed tournament. The best of the best across the country compete head to head, looking to go to the next round. Upsets! Dark horses! Powerhouses! It’s heady stuff.
Suvudu, for example, is doing brackets of “cage matches” between fantasy characters.
anyway, Mark Reiter takes these concept in his two books, The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything and The Final Four of Everything. He takes on all sorts of subjects in these two books, setting up brackets and letting them duke it out. It would be enough if we had Reiter’s opinions on, say, the best NY Athletes, but Reiter takes his concept to the next level and gets experts to do and fill out how the brackets will go. So, in the aforementioned example, he has sportswriter George Vecsey do brackets for the best NY athletes. (Babe Ruth wins out in the final against Jackie Robinson). Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak takes on Supreme Court decisions. Time science editor Jeffrey Kluger does a set of brackets on astronauts. And so forth.
Both books are filled with delicious fun that encourage reading and debating at the dinner table, or wherever, and are eminently suited to the March Madness season.