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Reading Bingo

November 13, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

I discovered this Reading Bingo on Marina Sofia’s blog Finding Time to Write. There are 24 random book categories and you need to find out if you’ve read a book that fits in each of them. I thought it was a funny idea so I indulged and like Marina Sofia, I tried to stick to books read in 2014.

reading-bingo-small

1) More than 500 pages: Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos. It’s fantastic.

2) Forgotten Classic: Cheese by Willem Elschott. It’s a classic for Belgium. So I’ve heard. It’s hilarious, btw.

3) Book that became a movie: The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry.

4) Book Published This Year: Sorry, I only buy paperbacks and I don’t have time to go to a library.

5) Book with a number in the title: The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. I’m cheating a bit here, since I abandoned the book but it’s my only read with a number in it.

6) Book written by someone under 30: Nothing in this category.

7) A book with non-human characters: White Dog by Romain Gary. Please, please, read it. It’s a lot more than a dog story.

8) Funny: Several books qualified for this because as Elizabeth Bennett would say I dearly love a laugh. I picked Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis because I really had a lot of fun with this one.

9) Book by a female author: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Nothing very original. Sadly, most of the books I read this year and that were written by women were a disappointment.

10) Mystery: The Midnight Examiner by William Kotzwinkle. Totally wacked. It could be in the Funny Book category too which is strange for crime fiction, I know. Are you curious now?

11) Novel with a one-word title: Drive by James Sallis. It’s also been made into a film.

12) Short stories: Indian Country by Dorothy M Johnson. It’s difficult to find in English but it’s available in French.

13) A book set on a different continent: On Parole by Akira Yoshimura. It’s set in Japan and relates the story of a man who liberated on parole and needs to start again in Tokyo.

14) Non-fiction: A Parisian in Chicago by Marie Grandin. She was French and accompanied her husband in Chicago 1892. She describes the city and the American society. Fascinating.

15) First Book by a favourite author: Nothing in this category

16) A book I heard about online: Almost all the books I buy come from blog sources. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? by Horace McCord is one of them.

17) Bestseller: I rarely read bestsellers. The last one I read was Fifty Shades of Grey. Out of curiosity about the society we live in. I turned fifty shades of red just thinking so many readers enjoyed that crap.

18) Book based on a true story: Sutter’s Gold by Blaise Cendrars. It’s about John Augustus Sutter’s life, the history of California and the Gold Rush.

19) Book at the bottom of the TBR pile: It’s a bottomless pile.

20) A book that a friend loves: I’ll pick books among the Humbooks I got for Christmas, No Beast So Fierce by Edward Bunker.

21) A book that scares me: The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth scared me. It’s not a scary in a Halloween sort of way, it’s scary because it’s a long poem. I wasn’t sure I could read a novel written in verses in English. Apparently, I can. It’s also a book two blogging friends love.

22) A book that is more than 10 years old: I picked the oldest book I’ve read this year (so far) and it’s Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë.

23) The second book in a series: I have nothing for this category. (yet)

24) A book with a blue cover: Run River by Joan Didion. Billet to come. One of the best books I’ve read this year.

Didion_Run_River

I hope you enjoyed scrolling through my reading bingo. It’s a fun way to look back on books I’ve read this year. I’d love to read about your Reading Bingo.

Cheers!

Emma

  1. November 13, 2014 at 12:12 am

    I recently abandoned Pynchon’s Inherent Vice but bought a copy of the Didion book.

    I promise I’ll get to White Dog…..

    Like

    • November 16, 2014 at 8:39 am

      I’m glad to see I’m not the only one abandoning Pynchon.

      I think you will like the Didion.

      Like

  2. November 13, 2014 at 10:53 am

    This is a really neat idea. I assume that you put a time limit on how far back you go for titles?

    I love your little blurb on Fifty Shades of Grey 🙂

    Like

    • November 16, 2014 at 8:40 am

      I just looked into the books I’ve read in 2014. I was surprised to have one in almost each category.

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    • December 19, 2014 at 5:10 am

      I loved that part too; it’s shocking to me how that series continues to sell. Have you ever heard the Ellen Degeneres skit of her reading it out loud? Google it, you will laugh for days.

      Like

      • December 19, 2014 at 5:11 am

        This was meant to reply to Brian’s comment about 50 Shades…oops.

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      • December 19, 2014 at 9:53 am

        I’ve never heard of that but I’ll look for it. Thanks.

        Like

  3. November 13, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Wonderful list, Emma! Your comment on ‘Fifty Shades…’ made me smile 🙂

    My reading bingo looks like this :

    1) More than 500 pages: Jonathan Strange and Mr.Norrell by Susanna Clarke (at around 1000 pages, probably the 3rd longest book that I have ever read)

    2) Forgotten Classic: Selected Poems by Marina Tsvetaeva (not really forgotten but more like ignored as Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova seem to the more widely read Russian poets), The Luck of Troy by Roger Lancelyn Green.

    3) Book that became a movie: The Millstone by Margaret Drabble, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

    4) Book Published This Year: The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

    5) Book with a number in the title: 101 Great American Poems

    6) Book written by someone under 30: Relish by Lucy Knisley.

    7) A book with non-human characters: Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones, Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Jackie Morris, So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

    8) Funny: This is really sad, but I can’t think of any. There were books with humour, but I wouldn’t say that any of the books I read were funny completely.

    9) Book by a female author: The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

    10) Mystery: Not really a mystery-mystery. But I think I will include The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon here.

    11) Novel with a one-word title: Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones, Relish by Lucy Knisley.

    12) Short stories: 50 Great Short Stories edited by Milton Crane, Short Shorts edited by Irving Howe and Ilana Wiener Howe.

    13) A book set on a different continent: Lots of them. My choice is The Newton Letter by John Banville

    14) Non-fiction: Promise at Dawn by Romain Gary, The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.

    15) First Book by a favourite author: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

    16) A book I heard about online: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

    17) Bestseller: I don’t think any of the books were technically bestsellers. Probably, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

    18) Book based on a true story: Probably Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.

    19) Book at the bottom of the TBR pile: Hard to answer that. TBR is truly bottomless.

    20) A book that a friend loves: Ronia, The Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren.

    21) A book that scares me: Jonathan Strange and Mr.Norrell by Susanna Clarke (because of its size).

    22) A book that is more than 10 years old: The oldest in my list is The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

    23) The second book in a series: None.

    24) A book with a blue cover: Plain Kate by Erin Bow.

    It looks like I read lots of books by non-human characters 🙂 I didn’t know that!

    Like

    • November 16, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Thanks for taking the time to write your Reading Bingo.

      Sadly, I’ve never heard of most of the books you mention.

      I bought The Awakening after you recommended it. I’ll get to it one of these days.

      We have a Baldwin in our Book Club reading list. I’m looking forward to it.

      I’m glad to see Romain Gary on your list. Perhaps it will catch someone else’s attention!

      You have indeed a lot of book in the “non-human character” category! 🙂

      Like

  4. November 13, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading your Didion review. I keep rather chickening out of writing mine now it’s in the backlog. I will do so, but she’s not an easy writer to write about.

    I’m not sure I’ve read 24 books this year sadly…

    Like

    • November 16, 2014 at 8:44 am

      I have the same problem as you regarding the Didion review. The billet will come soon, though. I really want to share about this one.

      You may not have read 24 books this year (I’m not sure it’s true) but you’ve read Don Quixote, The Luminaries…which count for more than one.

      Like

  5. November 13, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Well, since you asked… I was surprised at how many books I read this year fit into one of those categories — and also at how many fit into several.

    1) More than 500 pages: David Bellos’s biography of Georges Perec.

    2) Forgotten Classic: “Inventaire Universel des Oeuvres de Tabarin.” Wonderful stuff!

    3) Book that became a movie: “Astérix chez les Bretons.”

    4) Book Published This Year: “Rokfogo,” by Richard Toronto, about outsider artist Richard Shaver. (I wrote the intro, so maybe that’s cheating.)

    5) Book with a number in the title: “Two and Two,” by John Cowper Powys. “The Three Christs of Ypsilanti,” by Milton Rokeach.

    6) Book written by someone under 30: I guess not. I’m old!

    7) A book with non-human characters: “Calculus Cat,” by Hunt Emerson.

    8) Funny: Many! “Innocent,” by Alphonse Allais and Alfred Capus, for one.

    9) Book by a female author: “Get Ready the Wreaths,” by Fannie Hurst.

    10) Mystery: I finally read “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”

    11) Novel with a one-word title: “Fury,” by Salman Rushdie (which I disliked).

    12) Short stories: “Le Képi,” by Colette.

    13) A book set on a different continent: “The Ascent of Rum Doodle,” by W. E. Bowman. The Himalayas, of course!

    14) Non-fiction: Several. “Understanding Media,” by Marshall McLuhan, for one.

    15) First Book by a favorite author: I don’t think so.

    16) A book I heard about online: “Anthologie Scatologique” and “Les Fous Littéraires” by Pierre Gustave Brunet. What a curious career that man had!

    17) Bestseller: I’m afraid not.

    18) Book based on a true story: Just non-fiction.

    19) Book at the bottom of the TBR pile: Oh, several. Trollope’s “Kept in the Dark.”

    20) A book that a friend loves: “Oulipo Compendium,” by Harry Mathews and Alastair Brotchie.

    21) A book that scares me: “Les Tarahumaras,” by Antonin Artaud. Artaud is scary.

    22) A book that is more than 10 years old: Oh, most of them. Agrippa’s “Occult Philosophy,” for one.

    23) The second book in a series: “More Cautionary Tales,” by Hilaire Belloc.

    24) A book with a blue cover: “Hindu Magic Self Taught,” by Hereward Carrington. One of the “Little Blue Books” of the 1920s.

    Like

    • November 16, 2014 at 9:32 am

      Hi Doug

      Thanks for playing the game and writing your Reading Bingo. Like for Vishy, I haven’t heard of most of the books there.

      I see you’ve read the bio of Perec by Bellos. Perhaps you’d like to try his bio about Romain Gary.

      Astérix chez les Bretons? Funny choice. I love Astérix but not all the film versions. The best one, IMO, is Atérix et Obélix: mission Cléopâtre by Alain Chabat. I don’t know how they translated all the puns, though.

      I’ve never read Alphonse Allais except his aphorisms that can be found in papillotes.

      I’ve never heard of Pierre Gustave Brunet. I checked him out on Wikipedia but there isn’t much information about his life. Too bad.

      I’ve been to an exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay, Van Gogh / Artaud le suicidé de la société. I came out with the same opinion as you: Artaud IS scary.

      Like

      • November 16, 2014 at 8:15 pm

        I haven’t seen Bellos’s bio of Gary, but would be interested. I’ve been reading a lot of bios recently, for some reason.

        I haven’t seen any of the Astérix movies, but I like the albums. I just didn’t read much that fits that category!

        Allais is sort of a writer’s writer: Jarry, Breton, Duchamp, and Brassens were all fans; Oulipo called him an “anticipatory plagiarist.” I’ve been translating his books for Black Scat Books; the last one was a collection of his skits and plays.

        I don’t know anything about Brunet’s life; but he wrote bibliographies of mad writers, scatological books, imaginary libraries, lost books, Pope Joan: he’s almost like a 19th century Queneau.

        My TBR stack includes Artaud’s only novel, an adaptation of Lewis’s “The Monk.” I’m curious about it. You can find recordings of Artaud online; those are scary too.

        Like

        • November 17, 2014 at 10:23 pm

          The bio by Bellos is Romain Gary: a Tall Story. His life is worth reading.

          I like the Astérix albums too but not as much as Mafalda.

          Thanks for the info about Allais and Brunet. He seems interesting too. I wonder what his imaginary libraries look like.

          I’m not sure I’d want to read a novel by Artaud. He was a character, wasn’t he?

          Like

  6. November 14, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I enjoyed looking through your choices and might have a go at my own Reading Bongo at some point. I’m also eagerly anticipating your Run River review as the novel sounds so good – a copy has already made its way into my house.

    Like

    • November 16, 2014 at 8:46 am

      I hope you’ll do your Reading Bingo post, Jacqui, I’m curious about your list.

      I promise I’ll write the Didion billet soon. I think it’s a book you’ll like (or even love)

      Like

      • November 18, 2014 at 11:28 am

        I’ll have a go. It might be December though, as I’ve another couple of German Lit reviews to post before the end of November.

        Like

        • November 20, 2014 at 11:07 pm

          I hope you’ll do it Jacqui, I’m curious. 🙂

          Like

  7. November 14, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Fun.
    I’m looking forward to the Didion review as well. I downlaoded it accidentally. How odd is that? It’s never happened to me. I still don’t know how I didn’t noticed I pressed that button. Yeah well…. If it’s good, I’ll be happy I did it.

    Like

    • November 16, 2014 at 8:47 am

      Another reader curious about the Didion billet, thanks. I want to write about L’or by Cendrars first because there’s a logic to read about Cendrars before reading about Run River.

      Like

      • November 16, 2014 at 10:28 am

        I’ve read that. So I’ll be interested to see the connection.

        Like

  8. November 14, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Indeed an interesting idea! Maybe I’ll take the time to make a BINGO post on my blog too. Amazingly, I don’t know any of the books on your list except Agnes Grey and To Kill a Mockingbird

    I LOVE your red-shaded dig at Fifty Shades of Grey! The hype about the books made me curious too, but reading the blurb was enough to prevent me from even starting to read them ;-).

    Like

    • November 16, 2014 at 8:48 am

      I’m curious about your Reading Bingo, Edith, so I hope you’ll publish it.

      Like

  9. leroyhunter
    November 17, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Interesting idea, and a bit of fun. I had a think about what some of my answers would be. For example, it would be harder for me to pick books I read this year that are *less* than 10 years old.

    Like

    • November 17, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      To be honest, I would have trouble finding a book that is less than 10 years old in my reading list too. I’m not that interested in new titles, it’s like I want to let them go through the sieve of time.

      Like

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