NCAA tournament vs. Hunger Games

March 12, 2012|By Dave Rosenthal

I face a tough choice this week: Start filling out my NCAA tournament bracket or continue with the Hunger Games trilogy.

I finished the first book in Suzanne Collins' series over the weekend, just in time to clear the slate for a week of college hoops. Mid-March is generally the time that my reading goes on hiatus -- back-to-back-to-back-to-back basketball games will do that. And this year there's a special reason to watch: To see if my home-state team, the University of Connecticut Huskies, can defend its national championship. (I'll also be cheering for the women's team, which has a better chance of winning the title.)

But the Hunger Games threatens to interfere with my salsa and Coke-fueled week of watching hoops. Collins has mastered the cliff-hanger style of authors such as Dan Brown, and the first book in the series pushes you to read more. I'm not so interested in the love triangle that develops, as in the future of protagonist Katniss Everdeen and the nation of Panem.

Actually, the solution may be to continue with Collins' "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay" while watching the games. Collins' books are quick, adrenaline-fueled reads, and may be perfect for timeouts, commercial breaks and the other delays in the on-court action. It wouldn't work with Dickens or Dostoevsky, but it might be just right for a couple of weeks of March Madness.

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