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Reading Bingo Challenge Update

September 6, 2013

nypl_buttonThis is “What’s Making Me Happy This Week,” a weekly feature inspired by the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

What’s Making Me Happy This Week is my progress with Rerteat book club’s 2013 Reading Bingo Challenge, with special thanks to the New York Public Library.  In my original post about the Challenge, I noted that despite only coming across it recently, I find myself accidentally two-thirds of the way through covering the entire bingo card. Now that I have the card to guide me, my trips to the library have a little more purpose – if a little less direction – to them. What I mean is, in order to fill certain squares I’ve had to keep my eyes open for books I might not have otherwise noticed and wander the aisles a little more haphazardly. This week, I picked up a book that – if I’m bold enough to actually read it – will help me fill the square I thought would give me the most trouble: #9, Book of Poetry. I didn’t go into the poetry section of the library (I wouldn’t even know where to find it), but in the new non-fiction section I found a book of poetry I believe I may actually enjoy: night thoughts: 70 dream poems and notes from an analysis by Sarah Arvio. This book fits into many genres that I tend to enjoy – memoir, psychology, life in crisis. Yet it also is clearly a book well out of my comfort zone (another square on the chart, though I’d rather check off poetry, and I’d never use one book for two spots) and one I probably wouldn’t have picked up if not for the Challenge. And the library.

Meanwhile, here’s an update to my entire Bingo Challenge list (be sure to check out the entire list here):

  • At #12, under “an award-winning book” I simply wrote “Probably not.” I should have given myself a little more credit. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon was joint winner of the 2004 Boeke Prize and won the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year award.
  • And since I refuse to use the same book for two different squares (seems like a reasonable rule), I now need another book to cover #5, book recommended by a celebrity. I covered that last week by reading comedian Lewis Black’s Me of Little Faith, recommended by The Daily Show host Jon Stewart.
  • For #14, book I (should have) read in high school, I probably fudged a little by choosing Guitar Zero: The Science of Becoming Musical at Any Age when I used the following logic: “OK, so it hadn’t been written yet when I was in high school, but I should have read it or something like it then, so that I’d be playing guitar now. I assume that’s what is meant by this category, since there’s no reason to go back and read something I actually should have read in high school, like The Scarlet Letter. I’ve now rectified that mistake by re-reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, a book that everyone should have read in high school.
  • Finally, the final square is for a book “everyone” but me has read. I gave this one short shrift as without too much thought I wrote “I can’t say that I feel this way about anything I’ve read this year.” I take that statement back. I started reading David Sedaris for the sole reason that I felt that “everyone” had read him, especially the book Me Talk Pretty One Day. I can count on one hand the books I’ve seen more often on the subway over the past decade.

I’ve now covered 18 of the 24 squares, and a book of poetry awaits to make 19.

And that’s What’s Making Me Happy This Week.  Support your local library.

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