Book Bingo 2015 Finale: What We Do For Fun!

Book-Bingo-ThumbnailWhen we aren’t working, raising our families, herding our animals, or sleeping, we are reading. And when we read, we make it a game, because everyone loves a game. Here’s the recap from our third year of playing Book Bingo. Oh! And if we reviewed it, we linked it.

An Author’s Debut
J: The Martian by Andy Weir
L: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

A Short Story Collection by a Single Author
J: Twin Study by Stacey Richter
L: The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

A Book Over 400 Pages
J and L: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

A Classic Novel (Over 50 Years Old)
J: Strength To Love by MLK, Jr.
L: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A Book of Non-Fiction
J: Revolution by Russell Brand
L: We Are All Weird by Seth Godin

A Book that Could Help My Career
J: The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante
L: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

A Book Recommended by Someone Else
J: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
L: El Deafo by CeCe Bell

A Graphic Novel/Memoir
J: The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
L: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

A Book by an Author I Have Read Before
J: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
L: I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

A Book with a One-Word Title
J: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
L: Euphoria by Lily King

A Book that Takes Place on Another Continent
J: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
L: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsian

A Book Outside of My Comfort Zone
J: Until the End of the World by Sarah Lyons Fleming
L: Speak by Louisa Hall

An Award-Winning Book
J: Sounder by William H. Armstrong
L: Redeployment by Phil Klay

A Young Adult Novel
J: How to Write a Novel by Melanie Sumner
L: We Were Liars by E. Lockheart

A Book I Have Been Meaning to Read
J: God Help The Child by Toni Morrison
L: Americanah by Chimamanda Nogozi Adichie

A Book I Chose Because of the Cover
J: Euphoria by Lily King
L: Single, Carefree, Mellow by Katherine Heiny

A Book Published This Year
J: Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
L: Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

A Book w/a Geographic Place in the Title
J: The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
L: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

A NYT Bestseller (at the time you are reading it)
J: Dept. Of Speculation by Jenny Offill
L: The Martian by Andy Weir

A Memoir
J: Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast
L: Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman

A Book with a Great First Line
J: Redeployment by Phil Klay
L: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

A Book Read by All Bingo Players
J and L: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

A Book of Comedy
J: The Madwoman in the Volvo by Sandra Tsing Loh
L: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

A Banned Book
J and L : Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

And Some of Our Profound Thoughts!

Which book surprised you the most?

Lara: Definitely Kent Haruf’s Our Souls at Night. Though it may be short in length, it packs a mighty punch. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. It’s a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. I am mostly sad because it’s Haruf’s last work (he left us this year).

Jennifer: Maybe Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I expected to like it, so that isn’t it. I just ended up whizzing through it. I think I read it in four or five days, and it’s a big book! I was really into it. But I was really into other books, too: Jenny Offill blew me away. MLK’s sermons were so much more comprehensive and theologically-complex than I imagined. And Russell Brand is, um, a fine writer!

Which book was the most disappointing?

Lara: I think I am going to have to go with Euphoria by Lily King. There was so much good buzz about it, and I just didn’t have the love for it that everyone else did. That book cover, though? I could stare at it for days. Gorgeous.

Jennifer: Well, definitely Harper Lee’s travesty, though The Martian was a drag too. I don’t get it. World, I know you love it, but why?

Which book did you have the hardest time with?

Lara: This is going to sound really weird, but I am going with Orange Is the New Black for this one. So, it wasn’t a hard read… super easy and fast, actually. But, I didn’t get the impression that her prison experience was all that bad. Don’t get me wrong… I don’t want to be incarcerated. And there were clearly bad situations, but she had it pretty good, all things considered. I expected her to share a more harrowing experience—if not hers, then others.

Jennifer: You know what? Probably Redeployment! Maybe my expectations were too high or something. I didn’t like it that much; the stories started to sound the same to me. Right now, I can’t really recall a stand-out. We also discussed The Things We Carried by Tim O’Brien in our Snotty Literati review, and every single story there is a stand-out! I don’t know. I felt like the book was, well, overrated.

Thanks for indulging us. Here’s to a great new year, full of great new reads!