Prose Bowl: The Winner

by JackieProseBowlWinner

You voted, we listened. The Readers’ Services Team started off with over 300 titles, narrowed it down to 32, and you, the fine people of Snohomish and Island Counties have crowned The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins the winner of the 2015 Prose Bowl!

Fifty-one weeks after publishing, Hawkins’ debut novel has remained near the top of bestseller lists, and smashed a curious record: it’s the fastest selling adult book of all time. The Girl on the Train will be released on Oct. 7, 2016 as a motion picture starring Emily Blunt and directed by Tate Taylor. But popularity alone doesn’t a Prose Bowl winner make. As mentioned previously, The Girl on the Train was only the third most popular title in contention. Since this was a March Madness, sports bracket-type set up, titles were essentially eliminated by popular vote. If we went only by the most frequent title chosen to win individual’s brackets, we’d have an entirely different winner: The Nightingale by local author, Kristin Hannah. But, collectively, Hannah’s title was eliminated by more brackets than Hawkins – often when the two went head-to-head – as you can see happened in the collective bracket below.

Based on how we voted overall, here’s what the final bracket looked like:

In case that’s a little too much squinting for you, in the final, The Girl on the Train went up against Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Station Eleven beat Circling the Sun in the quarter finals, and Girl on the Train beat Furiously Happy in its quarter-final match. You can see the whole list of contenders here.

girlonthetrainFor those of you who haven’t yet read the fastest-selling adult novel of all time, here’s a synopsis from the pulisher: “Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life — as she sees it — is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?”

The top ten participants, according to points earned by the accuracy of their voting are listed below. Since they clearly have a finger on the pulse of what our community likes to read, we’ll be contacting at least a couple of them to create booklists of their favorites they’d like to share with Sno-Isle readers. We’ll share those lists with you closer to the end of the month.

  1. Stacey: 670 points
  2. Terri P. 650
  3. Michelle 600
  4. Bekah 560
  5. Danielle 550
  6. Elaine 540
  7. njengen 510
  8. Kari B 510
  9. ddb 500
  10. Charlotte 490

How were points awarded? In round one, each of the 16 match-ups you guessed correctly on you earned 10 points. In the second round, each correct match-up was worth 20 points. The third round, 40, and so on. Even if your match-up wasn’t completely the same as the collective bracket, if you still had the winning title, you would have received the points.

So, what do you think? Did your favorite win? What were your 2015 favorite reads? Share in the comments, and thanks for participating!



12 responses to “Prose Bowl: The Winner”

  1. Chick Wheat says:

    This was fun! Can’t wait to see what the winners recommend!

  2. Laurie Lyon says:

    Pretty fun and educational contest. I loved your entertaining write up too for the end of this contest, and look forward to the next one!!

  3. […] we have a winner! Not the winning book. We already know what that is from a previous post. More precisely, we have one of our top finisher’s favorite reading list. From Michelle, one […]

  4. Karen Richmond says:

    I didn’t see “All The Light We Cannot See” on the list. Wasn’t this a popular book last year? I really enjoyed it. Most on your list I’ve read but I found 5 books I haven’t read and would like to so I’ll look to reserve them.
    This list is a great idea as I’m always looking for fabulous new reads and this seems like a good way to discover new ones. Thank you Sno-Isle Library!

    • Hi Karen! I’m so glad that you had fun with this – and that you found new books to read! We didn’t include Anthony Doerr’s book because it was published in May 2014, and we set the eligibility for books published in July 2014-December 2015. But you are correct, it is still very popular.

  5. […] another one of our Prose Bowl bracket winners is sharing her reading suggestions. This time we hear […]

  6. […] from children’s classics such as The BFG, and The Jungle Book, to the winner of our Prose Bowl, The Girl on the […]

  7. […] we are with another of our top Prose Bowl Bracket-makers! Today we have Bekah’s favorite reads of 2015. From […]

  8. […] The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a psychological thriller and the winner of the Prose Bowl. […]

  9. Kerry says:

    Can we get some clarification as to what constitutes a Prose Bowl Finalist? I looked at the winning bracket, but the book images are so small that I couldn’t read it.

    • Since we started off with thousands of titles, narrowed it to 300, and then to 32, any of the 32 titles that made it into the Prose Bowl are considered finalists. Much like in the basketball tournament happening right now – if a team has made it this far, they’re in the finals. Mostly, we just want to make sure that every reader can find something new and interesting (to them!) to read. Let us know how it goes, Esme!

  10. […] first read was the winner of the Prose Bowl, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I think I may have been the last person I know to read it! […]

Leave a reply