This year I am having a go at the Book Bingo Challenge run by Theresa, Ashleigh and Amanda. The idea is to read a book in each category over the course of the year and complete the Bingo card. With 30 squares it works out to be about one book every fortnight with a few double ups. You can read more about the challenge here.
Initially, as I finished a book I would check to see which category would fit and tick off that square. This strategy worked quite well for a while and at first it was quite easy to tick off some squares. But then it started getting a bit harder. None of the books I was reading seemed to fit any of the categories that were left to be filled. Obviously, I needed a different strategy.
So one evening I pulled out my paper copy of the Bingo card, sat in front of my 2019 TBR bookshelf and started pulling out books. My TBR list is a never-ending, constantly growing, work in progress. I actually don’t know how many books I have sitting on my shelves waiting to be read, except that it would be a very big number. And that doesn’t count the ebooks on my iPad – you know, out of sight, out of mind. At the beginning of each year I select a range of books from my shelves that I want to read during that year and place them in a special bookshelf next to my bed. Currently it is called the 2019 TBR shelf. Next year it will be called the 2020 TBR shelf – you get the drift. I try to choose a bit of everything – some historical fiction, some SF, some crime, some fantasy, some non-fiction, some prize winners, some off the 1001 list and so on. A bit of everything.
After perusing the 2019 TBR, the Bingo card was partly covered in pencil scribbles of potential titles for at least some of the remaining squares, but there were still some gaps. I had to widen my search. So I went on a book hunt – up to the shelf by the front door, around the corner to the bookshelf by the kitchen table, past the bookshelf by my desk, to the two remaining bookshelves across the other side of my bed. This scavenger hunt had three main outcomes.
- I now have even more books on my 2019 TBR list.
- I have almost all of the remaining squares scribbled on.
- I have broadened my usual reading zone – which is one of the greatest benefits of completing a reading challenge.
Of course, I still have to read said books, but at least there is a plan in place.
If the last six weeks are anything to go by, the Bingo card is back on track. Today I am checking off…
Memoir about a Non-Famous Person: One Life by Kate Grenville Kind of a biography-memoir, Grenville’s book tells the story of her mother’s life. She wasn’t famous, but a remarkable woman none-the-less.
Written by an Australian Woman: The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland The book is visually gorgeous, the prose is beautiful, and the story packs a punch.
Written by an Author Under 35: Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta Growing up is never easy.
Written by an Author Over 65: A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie Christie is always a winner. Nothing is ever as it seems.
Historical: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Now this was a hefty read. Intriguing mystery set in the late medieval world.
Fictionalised Biography about a Woman from History: Mrs M by Luke Slattery Mrs M is Elizabeth Macquarie, wife of Major General Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales from 1810-1821. An enjoyable, if very fictionalised account of their time in Sydney, told from Elizabeth’s point of view.
I now have one whole row completed!
There’ll be a bit more of a write up about these books, as well as the other books I have been reading, in my next reading update at the end of the month, but until then…