Prose Bowl 2020: Round 2


by Lois H. (they/them or she/her)

Welcome back to Prose Bowl 2020!

At the beginning of March, we started with 80 of the best books from 2019. After a week of voting, you narrowed our contestants down to the top title of each genre. Now it’s time for a genre showdown!

Here are your Round 2 competitors:

Biography & Memoir vs. Crime Fiction

Louise Penny won Prose Bowl 2018 with Glass Houses. Will her latest Chief Inspector Gamache novel, A Better Man, move onto the next round? Or will First, bestselling biography of the first female Supreme Court judge by Evan Thomas, triumph in this genre contest? Only you can decide!

Fantasy vs. General Fiction

Up next, we’ve got Fantasy versus General Fiction! Our Fantasy contender, The Starless Sea, is a well-spun love story by Erin Morgenstern, award-winning author of Night Circus. It goes up against Ann Patchett’s best-selling novel, The Dutch House, which prevailed in the General Fiction category.

Graphic Novels vs. General Nonfiction

Some heavy hitters in this genre battle! In our Graphic Novel category, we’ve got George Takei’s stunning graphic memoir about his childhood in American concentration camps. Representing General Nonfiction is a perennial favorite Malcolm Gladwell and his newest thought-provoking book, Talking to Strangers.

Romance vs. Science Fiction

American politics and British royalty come together in this delightful romantic comedy competing for the top spot! This humorous romance is opposed by science fiction royalty Margaret Atwood and her long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale.

Time to vote!

Looks like it’s going to be quite the competition! Voting in Round 2 will be open until noon next Tuesday, March 17.

Round 3 | Wednesday, March 18 

Final Round | Wednesday, March 25

Winner Announced! | Wednesday, April 1

Prose Bowl 2020: Round 2



3 responses to “Prose Bowl 2020: Round 2”

  1. Margaret says:

    Not yet having read The Testaments, is Science Fiction an accurate one? Remembering The Handmaid’s Tale as thoroughly Dystopian Future– with few or no elements of Science Fiction except Futurism.

    • Jackie Parker says:

      Here’s how to determine speculative fiction subgenres: Is is something you could see possibly happening if…? If your answer is yes, then it’s sci-fi. If it’s no, then it’s probably fantasy. Of course, you have to preface that with the question: Is this the world we live in now or have lived in? Then, obviously, the answer is general fiction or historical fiction. The Testaments is not, thankfully, the world we live in, but it does fall into a social science fiction category – as you said dystopian. It’s definitely science fiction.

      • Jackie P. says:

        Another way to approach it would be: Do the rules of physics as we know them still apply? If yes, and it reflects the world as currently known, it’s general fic. If it reflects a world that COULD BE, then it’s sci-fi.

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