Author Madness

2015 Author Madness Bracket - FINAL FOUR
Contest entry is closed. Brackets were due by 9pm on Wednesday, March 25.

Follow us here or on Facebook and Twitter to find out the winners of each matchup. Author champion and bracket winner announced on April 7.

Author Madness Tournament:

Second round/Elite Eight (March 28 & 29)

Rainbow Rowell vs. OCTAVIA BUTLER
This one’s a slam dunk. Not that Rowell and Butler haven’t each given us some fine reads. But how could we not bestow this shimmering bracket crown to the genius who revolutionized SF and Fantasy? I don’t use the term genius lightly. Octavia won a prestigious MacArthur fellowship, nicknamed the genius grant. In Rowell’s Eleanor and Park, Park’s teacher asks the Korean-American why Romeo and Juliet has withstood the test of time.  Butler’s work has. Even after the author’s death, her books are still widely read. They are taught in high school and college classes, and her book Kindred is a popular community read across the country. Both writers explore multicultural themes, but Butler’s rewriting of black American history soars above the more contemporary romances Rowell constructs.  To top it off Butler’s character has mastered the art of time travel, and who can beat that?

MICHAEL KORYTA vs. James Patterson
Michael Koryta FTW! Arguably the most prolific writer the world has ever known, James Patterson has thrilled millions with his Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club series-not to mention his stand alone and romance novels and several series for children.  He has the distinction of being the first author to sell 1 million e-books.  Though Michael Koryta has not sold as many books as Patterson, he too is a New York Times best seller.  His crime and supernatural fiction novels have won many awards-he won the St. Martin's Press/PWA Best First Novel prize before he turned 21! But it is his hometown advantage of being an IU alum and Bloomington native that puts Koryta over the top and the winner of this round.

HARUKI MURAKAMI vs. John Darnielle
Murakami unleashes the full fury of his imagination in this week’s matchup: unicorn skulls, six-foot-tall frogs, men in sheep’s clothing, poison subway gas, human-cat communication, jazz trombonists turned prisoners of war. The lone weapon in Darnielle’s cache? A role-playing game that kills nerds. WINNER: Haruki Murakami

Donna Tartt vs. GEORGE R. R. MARTIN
Two excellent authors battle it out in this round. Tartt’s suspenseful literary fiction is quite enjoyable. She has a knack for creating an authentic sense of place in all of her novels including the fan-favorite title The Little Friend. Her intelligent, intricately plotted storylines pull readers in and keep them hanging on until the end. George R. R. Martin is also a master at creating a sense of place in his lengthy novels. His fans know well the Seven Kingdoms he created in his series, A Song of Ice and Fire, not to mention his unforgettable characters, including fan-favorite, Tyrion Lannister. Both of these authors are dynamic writers and have legions of fans, but this one has to go to Martin because not only are his books wildly popular, but the HBO series based on the books is equally beloved.

Final Four (April 4)

Championship (April 6)


First round, March 26:

Gayle Forman v. RAINBOW ROWELL

Rainbow Rowell and Gayle Forman are both top YA authors. Forman's most well known work, If I Stay, has been made into a movie and Rainbow Rowell has been earning praise and awards from her fellow YA authors, readers, and librarians. Ultimately though, Rowell holds the trump card. Her next novel, Carry On (out this Oct.), is fanfiction of a series that she made up for her novel, Fangirl. Originally only portions of the story, as written by Rowell's character Cath, appeared in Fangirl, but readers loved it so much it's becoming its own book! Rowell is literally writing a reimagined version of a story she made up within another story. That's some super hero authoring right there. Decision, Rainbow, but props to Gayle Forman for also being a pretty fab author. Check out both ladies' books at the library!


Andy Weir’s runaway best seller The Martian has spent over 20 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, has already been optioned for a Hollywood movie and is a fast paced, fascinating thriller. Octavia Butler’s MANY books (11 novels and numerous short stories) have never been made into movies and have not sold as well as the The Martian.  However, Butler was the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Genius Award and most of her science fiction novels feature an African-American woman as the main character. Her lasting and significant contributions to the genre of Science Fiction writing make her our winner!


This is the match up of the Indiana titans. John Green was born in Indianapolis but was raised elsewhere. He is the bestselling author of wildly popular young adult books, including The Fault in Our Stars. Michael Koryta is not only a native Hoosier, but is a hometown boy, raised in Bloomington and a graduate of IU. He has written numerous best sellers, both crime fiction and supernatural novels, including a scene set in Nicks English Hut in So Cold the River. This is an easy pick—we have to go with our hometown hero, Michael Koryta, not just because he’s from Bloomington, but also because his books are amazing.

Karen Kingsbury v. JAMES PATTERSON

Both these authors sail in the commercial heavy-weight category, and although Patterson certainly wins in the touch guy strike down villains category, Kingsbury floats through fiction with a legion of angels at her side, and who can discount angels? Yet the great bard said, “What’s in a name?” And alas, roses may be roses but a name counts for a lot: think Rockefeller, think Clinton, think Anheuser-Busch.  On first take the name “Kingsbury” seems impossible to beat, even for a woman who can never be king. But alas the second syllable “bury” could either refer to a messy fruit surrounded by pickers and later plopped indecorously by birds onto the sidewalk or it might come from the German buhr meaning peasant. Therefore, I duly declare Patterson, whose name means son of Patrick, the great saint of the Greenest Isle, as the winner for having a name fit for any good man fighting evil. Therefore we leave Kingsbury to shimmer in the dust of angels, divorced from the silly games and conceits of humans.

First round, March 27:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie v. Haruki Murakami

In the International category, Haruki Murakami beats Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and advances to the next round! This was a tough call since both authors are winners of several awards and their books appear on bestseller lists. The final decision came down to the number of languages the author’s books have been translated into. Murakami’s books have been translated into an astounding 50 languages, while Adichie’s have been translated into 30 languages.

Japanese author Haruki Murakami is best known for his books Norwegian Wood, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, and his opus 1Q84. His most recent book is Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. He is the recipient of the World Fantasy Award, the Jerusalem Prize, and the Franz Kafka Prize, among others.

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of four novels including Americanah, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and has been on NPR’s paperback fiction bestsellers list for the past 53 weeks. Adichie is also the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship.

John Darnielle v. Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk might have more pages under his belt than John Darnielle does, but only John has been a top ten contender for the National Book Award (in 2014 for Wolf in White Van, his debut novel). Some chalk the win up to beginner's luck; others point out that Chuck's books have never recovered from all the in-fighting at the beginning of his career.

Edwidge Danticat v. Donna Tartt

International fiction author Edwidge Danticat has written numerous award winning titles, including the National Book Award winner, Brother I’m Dying. Her novels frequently focus on themes of national identity and diasporic politics, both reflections of Danticat’s bicultural identity.  Donna Tartt recently won the Pulitzer for her bestseller, The Gold Finch. Tartt’s fiction frequently focuses on issues of class and social stratification. Both of these authors are critically well-received and have won numerous awards for their writing. It’s a tough call, but Tartt wins for being named to the Vanity Fair International Best Dressed List in 2014.

Kazuo Ishiguro v. George R. R. Martin

Kazuo Ishiguro has written some absolute masterpieces. His prose is beautiful and his characters are flawed, memorable, and fully imagined. He has won many awards and is an internationally celebrated author. He is an unapologetic story teller who doesn't wrap his endings in a happy resolution bow. Yes, Ishiguro is a master of his craft, but George R.R. Martin is a heartless maniac who kills EVERYONE. Decision, Martin. Red Wedding'ed Ishiguro.


Author Madness Rules:

Welcome to Monroe County Public Library’s 2nd annual #AuthorMadness

  • Deadline to submit your bracket was 9:00 pm on March 25, 2015.
  • Printed brackets should be filled out and submitted to any Library desk. You must include your name and email address (or phone number.)
  • Enter online via Twitter by taking a photo of your bracket and posting it with the hash tag #AuthorMadness.
  • One submission per person.
  • Library staff will select the winners of each head-to-head author matchup. Decisions are arbitrary and final.
  • Library staff cannot enter the Author Madness contest.


  • Round 1: 1 point per correct pick
  • Round 2: 2 points per correct pick
  • Round 3: 4 points per correct pick
  • Championship Round: 8 points for correct pick


  • The thrill of winning it all — and a $25 gift certificate to Hopscotch Coffee.
  • Monroe County Public Library staff are not eligible for the prize.
  • In the case of a tie, a drawing will be held to choose the winner.

**Monroe County Public Library’s decision on all issues will be final.**

Good luck!

MCPL_Author-Madness-Bracket_2015.pdf323.31 KB

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