Book Bingo Begins!

That’s right friends, yesterday marked the official beginning of Summer 2021 Book Bingo! I love reading all the time, but there is something about summer reading that feels particularly enjoyable. Carole posted last week about her love of reading, and she shared these words

“to use a food analogy, books don’t all have to be filet mignon, sometimes you need a cheeseburger and fries.”

l commented that I think of summer reading as ice cream and a special bottle of wine … books that are pure treats, and maybe ones I’ve been saving to really savor and enjoy. Summer reading means porch time, piles of library books, and occasionally, abandoning “plans” in favor of spending time with pages. which is exactly what I did yesterday. I started Swimming Lessons Friday afternoon and was immediately drawn into the story. I read a little more yesterday morning, and then spent much of the afternoon curled up in the chair to read it all the way through. What a treat! and a great start for my Bingo Card. This was my first Claire Fuller and it won’t be my last – the writing is gorgeous and the story is engaging (I’m not sure any of the characters are likable, but that doesn’t bother me). The story is told in two timelines, and the “looking back” timeline is told in letters (I love anything epistolary!)

Two more things I especially loved – as a reader:

  1. The letters aren’t actually mailed; instead, the writer leaves them in books … and the closing lines for those chapters tell us the titles of those books. I loved learning those titles!
  2. One of the characters collects second-hand books because of their marginalia and because what that marginalia tells us about the reader’s experience with the book:

“Forget that first-edition, signed-by-the author nonsense. Fiction is about readers. Without readers there is no point in books, and therefore they are as important as the author, perhaps more important. But often the only way to see what a reader thought, how they lived when they were reading, is to examine what they left behind. All these words … are about the reader. The specific individual — man, woman, or child — who left something of themselves behind.”  (p. 135)

One of the reasons I started buying books again is so I can write in them. and re-visiting a book I notated some time ago is such a wonderful way for me to revisit that past self who read the book.

The book takes place in England, some in London, and some at the Dorset seaside … both places I’d love to vacation (4th row, 5th column).

This book could fit a variety of other squares – maybe you have one of these on your card:

  • The cover is gorgeous.
  • The story has two timelines, one told in letters (and those chapters are also told in the first person).
  • The audiobook has one narrator.
  • The book was published in 2017 (21st century).
  • Claire Fuller is a prize winning author.

…and of course it’s been recommended by a friend! Seriously, I loved this book – 4-1/2 stars!

I’m thinking I’ll make a lot of progress on my card next month – these are most of the books I’d like to read:I’m not sure how they’ll all match up with squares, but hopefully most of them will fit at least one.

At this point, I know I have books on my to-read list for all of the squares on my card. However, if you are struggling with a square (and have decided not to generate a different card 😉 ), please leave a comment and let me know the category. I’d love to crowd-source recommendations. I’d also love to pair up folks who might be willing to swap squares (again, please let me know in the comments; I’ll pair you up with another reader – of course if you’d like to reach out to a fellow Bingo player on your own, please do!)

It’s been fun to think about how this one book could maybe fit into your Summer Bingo plans and I’m planning to write similar posts every week or so throughout the summer (leaving myself plenty of room to “abandon plans and just read”).

Again, I’d love to know more about your summer reading and Book Bingo plans – please share!

and happy Summer Reading!

12 thoughts on “Book Bingo Begins!

  1. I have never heard of that book and it sounds interesting. I have a spreadsheet where I listed my squares and possible books (up to 3 choices) but I’ve been paring it down to what I want to read and I own almost all the books that I want to use and that was my plan. I did the build your own card and some of my squares ended up harder than I thought they would be to find the book to match. I bought about 7 of them at a new used bookstore and I plan to donate most of them back once I’m done with them. I don’t plan a cover all but I am hoping to get 2 bingos.

  2. I have the About Emigration square on my card and I had to think about this one because there are so many books about immigration. I think the one I have chosen for this square will cover enough about the process of leaving one’s country to fit the category and it is a book I have been wanting to read.
    I always enjoy seeing what everyone chooses to read for their bingo squares!

  3. Of course I have found that book at the library and put it on my For Later shelf, just in case. The one square I don’t have any ideas about is Debut. I know that shouldn’t be so hard but nothing comes to mind.

  4. I read Claire Fuller’s debut novel (Our Endless Numbered Days) and really disliked it, but with a cover that lovely and your intriguing description of so many things I love in a book, I may have to give Swimming Lessons a try. I just ordered a second-hand book today and I’m hoping for marginalia! I never thought about leaving my thoughts in books I give to our Little Free Library, but that might be interesting.

  5. I spent some time last week matching up my to-read list with my squares and I think I’ve got something lined up for just about every square. The tricky part is getting them from Libby at the right time, they often come all at once and I can’t read them that quickly. I finished a book on Saturday so I’ve got one square checked off now (In A Series) and I’m hoping to finish The Souvenir Museum today which will check off Prize Winner, I’m counting the author as the Prize Winner and not the book for this one. Hooray for summer reading!

  6. I think the main reason I love bingo so much is that it really challenges me to get outside my normal comfort zone and try some new things to fill some of those more obscure categories. And of course it makes me want to read more in general! I was thinking that a cover-all was going to be ambitious given that the time frame for this year is much shorter than it was last year, but looking at my general pace this year, I think it’s very likely that I’ll get into a second card!

  7. What a great recommendation, and I will certainly keep an eye out for it. I’m having a Slow Reading Summer, so won’t be joining in with bingo but am looking forward to all your posts :).

  8. Summer reading is really special! For me, I’m pretty sure it’s all mixed in with the freedom of summer vacation and a big pile of books from the library as a child. It just lights up the “happy” parts of my brain. 🙂 And Claire Fuller is really wonderful; I love her books. Happy summer reading, Mary!

  9. I love the feeling that Summer Reading brings to my inner child. That undescribable joy of checking out a stack of books from the library and having the librarian share in your joy of reading!

    I managed to fill in a square this weekend so I am feeling some joy at a good start! I wish I had space to put purchased books, but I am happy to have an amazing library that has more books than I could ever read!

  10. I’ve got my card and one book already read for the summer. Not sure how my card will look at the end of the summer, but I’m going to try to mark off all the squares [for once!]

  11. I have printed a card many times and never been able to get the reading off the ground before. I hope this year might be different. My card is printed and I have spent SO much time deciding what to read. I have a square or two without ideas, but certainly enough to get started. Hoping for a bingo, or a least a few squares getting covered!

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