We're still two rounds away from declaring the two ultimate winners of the Greatest Chicago Book tournament—the Greatest Book itself and the Reader
reader who best predicted the judges' decisions and will get a trip to Mexico to celebrate his or her fine taste (or clairvoyance)—but we're pleased to announce that we have Reader
reader winners of rounds one and two. More than 400 people entered the contest, but these two readers were able to successfully predict the judges' rulings in their rounds and survive an arduous selection process (a random drawing from the e-mail addresses of other readers who also made correct predictions) to win $50 gift certificates from Barbara's Bookstore.
The round one winner is Peter Strom. The round two winner is Staycie Flint.
Strom, who lives in North Park, writes that he loves books about Chicago, particularly Algren, which informed his choices. He also correctly predicted the winners of the round two bouts, which puts him in the lead for winning the final trip to Mexico.
Flint, a resident of Evanston, had a simple winning strategy: "I selected the books I believed most representative of Chicago's complexity and trusted the judges to be as smart as me (smile)."
Keep these wise words in mind as we move into round three, the final four. Remember, you can still vote until Sunday night.