Tag Archives: Reading Bingo

Reading Bingo

You may have seen this Reading Bingo card on a few other sites as several other bloggers posted their choices in November. Emma’s post caught my eye, and following a conversation on her blog, I decided to have a bash. So, better late than never, here we go. Like Emma, I decided to focus on books read and reviewed in 2014:

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  1. Book with more than 500 pages: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard. My edition clocked in at 528 pages, and I found it pretty compelling stuff. This is the second in the series – I still need to read book one, A Death in the Family. Next year, hopefully.
  2. Forgotten classic: Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker, one of my favourite books of the year. First published in 1962 and reissued by NYRB Classics in 2012, it deserves to be better known.
  3. Book that became a movie: Double Indemnity by James M. Cain. Billy Wilder’s film would make my all-time top ten and the book didn’t disappoint.
  4. Published this year: Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk, published in July 2014. A heartfelt and personal read for me, it’ll make my end-of-year list.
  5. Book with a number in the title: I’ll have to cheat a little here by going for My Brilliant Friend, book 1 in Elena Ferrante’s epic story of the relationship between two women set in 1950s/1960s Naples. Book 2 makes an appearance in category number 24.
  6. Written by someone under thirty: Carmen Laforet was twenty-three when Nada, her debut novel, was published. It’s an amazing book, dark and twisted with a distinctive first-person narrative. A portrayal of a family bruised by bitterness and suspicion, struggling to survive in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.
  7. Book with non-human characters: Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus features the mercurial Fevvers, a creature who claims to be part woman, part bird.
  8. A funny book: Where’s There’s Love, There’s Hate by Adolfo Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo, a playful take on the country-house murder mystery. Tremendous fun.
  9. Book by a female author: Plenty to choose from here, but a recent favourite is Transit by Anna Seghers. Another for my books-of-the-year list.
  10. Book with a mystery: The Art of Killing Well by Marco Malvaldi. In a similar vein to the Casares/Ocampo, this is another delightfully witty novella with a mystery at its heart.
  11. Novel with a one-word title: Severina by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, I loved the mysterious, elusive tone of this novella.
  12. Book of short stories: The Things We Don’t Do by Andrés Neuman. These stories come in a variety of styles and moods. A great introduction to Neuman’s work.
  13. Free Square: I’ve chosen a favourite book from earlier this year. Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton, an author I’ve been meaning to read for some time. I’d like to read another Hamilton next year.
  14. Book set on a different continent: Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami. A subtle and delicate story of an unusual relationship between a woman and her former teacher, a beautiful story,
  15. Non-fiction: Sidewalks by Valeria Luiselli. A short collection of essays, many of which focus on locations, cities and spaces. Highly recommended.
  16. First book by a favourite author: The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante. I’m cheating a bit as this was the first of Ferrante’s books to be translated into English (there’s an earlier novel, Troubling Love, which I hope to read next year).
  17. Book I heard about online: Several candidates here, but I’ve chosen Never Any End to Paris by Enrique Vila-Matas – I found this one through Stu’s blog. Another hugely enjoyable book, smart and engaging.
  18. A best-selling book: I don’t seem to read many best sellers, but Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah is pretty big and thought-provoking.
  19. Book based on a true story: Nagasaki by Eric Faye. A quick read and a rather disquieting one, all the more so considering it’s based on a true story reported in Japan in 2008.
  20. At the bottom of the tbr pile: I’m going to skip this one as I’d prefer not to single anything out.
  21. Book that a friend loves: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. Recommended by a couple of friends and rightly so.
  22. Book that scares me: Maybe This Time by Alois Hotschnig, an unsettling, dreamlike collection of stories with a touch of David Lynch. This eerie collection might appeal to fans of Yoko Ogawa.
  23. Book more than ten years old: Quite a few contenders in this category, but I’ll pick The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald, published in 1988. I plan to read more by Fitzgerald next year
  24. Second book in a series: The Story of a New Name, the second instalment in Elena Ferrante’s epic story of the relationship between two women set in 1960s Naples.
  25. Book with a blue cover: this one has ‘blue’ in the title too, The Blue Room by Hanne Ørstavik. Probably the most unnerving, slippery book I read this year – open to different readings/interpretations.

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I hope you enjoyed scrolling through my Reading Bingo choices. Have you read (or are you thinking if reading) any of these books?