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Reading Bingo Challenge 2014 Update

April 20, 2014

This 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 the Retreat book club Reading Bingo Challenge for 2014. By way of reminder, here’s the 2014 card, courtesy of Retreat (part of Random House Canada) book club:


As always, I’ll only allow one square per book.  But since I don’t have to decide just yet what squares I’d like to “use” for each book, for now I’ll list the squares I’ve covered and at least one of the books I’ve read that qualifies. Later in the year I’ll get more scientific and figure out exactly what squares I need to hit for full card.

Starting with the B’s:

  1. A book with more than 500 pages? 0 for 1.
  2. A book by someone under 30: Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh. This one was much harder to fill than I thought. I think that the only other book that I read that qualifies is American Psycho.
  3. A book with a one word title: Lying, by Sam Harris. I knew that book was good for something.
  4. The first book by a favorite author? That’s going to be nearly impossible to fill. I could have hit that last year when I went back and finally read Fight Club, but for most of my favorite authors I’ve already read his or her first book. Will have to think about that some more.
  5. A book your friend loves? Not sure about this one either. Goodreads may have to help me out here.

Only 2 for 5 on the B’s, but I think it will get better from here. Moving on to the I’s:

  1. A forgotten classic: I’ll go with Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. Definitely a classic but one I think is often neglected.
  2. A book with non-human characters: It’s Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider, by Jim Henson. Puppets (ahem, Muppets) are non-human. If you prefer Shel Silverstein to Jim Henson (or lions to frogs), I also read Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back.
  3. A book of short stories: Ladies and Gentlemen, by Adam Ross. It says “stories” right there on the cover. It’s like Ross had Reading Bingo in mind.
  4. A book I heard about online: There are several, but the most obvious is the book that I read online right on the website: Machine of Death. Hyperbole and a Half would also qualify.
  5. A book that scares me? Not Brave New World, not Machine of Death, certainly not American Psycho. I’m going to take a pass on this one for now, but still 4 for 5 on I’s.


  1. A book that became a movie: Here’s where American Psycho slots in. And what a fantastic movie it was. Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman … wow.
  2. A funny book: I’ll go with Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson, which may wind up being the funniest book I read this year.
  3. Free Square!!
  4. Best-selling book: Manic: A Memoir, by Terri Cheney, was a New York Times bestseller. That doesn’t change the fact that it wasn’t even my favorite book by or about someone with a mental disorder that I read this year.
  5. A book that is more than 10 years old: This square is way too easy. Savage Night by Jim Thompson, Lafcadio, and Brave New World are each over 50 years old. For now let’s assume I’ll have this square covered, which means …

A clean sweep on the N’s! And 10 out of 14 overall brings me to the G’s:

  1. A book published this year: Two books from the 33-1/3 series (Exile in Guyville, Entertainment!) cover this square for me. Thanks for the Advanced Reader’s Copies guys!
  2. A book by a female author: This square is a little insulting. As if there are so few female authors that this would be hard to fill. I’ll mention just one that I haven’t yet: Dept. of Speculation, by Jenny Offill.
  3. A book set on a different continent: Once again I can mention Brave New World, but is that really it? I don’t think I can give myself credit for this one as I can’t come up with a non-repeat book set on a different continent.
  4. A book based on a true story: Everything I read is either fact or fiction. None of this “based on” stuff. Another fail (so far).
  5. The second book in a series: Waiting on Fight Club 2 …

2 for 5 again. Not great. On to the O’s:

  1. A book with a number in the title: Does Hyperbole and a Half count? Even if it does, I’ve used it already. Oh well.
  2. A book with a mystery: Savage Night is a mystery, and though I’ve also used this one I’m sure that there will be many books that fit the other category (books over 10 years old).
  3. A book of non-fiction? That’s at least half of what I’ve read this year!
  4. A book at the bottom of my “to-read” pile: How Soon Is Never? by Marc Spitz had been there for as long as I can remember and I ear it because I found a copy for a $1.
  5. A book with a blue cover: To Rise Again At A Decent Hour, by Joshua Ferris. At least this lousy book (which I won and felt compelled to finish) was good for something.

4 out of 5 makes 16 out of 24 overall. Two-thirds done less than one-third of the way through the year!

And that’s What’s Making Me Happy This Week.

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  1. Reading Bingo Challenge Mid-2014 Update | 2bitmonkey

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