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Reading Bingo Challenge Mid-2014 Update

July 9, 2014

July seems like the right time for an update to 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:


When I last checked my card in April, I had 16 out of 24 squares covered overall (without using any book more than once). Let’s see how many of the eight “open” squares I’ve covered in the three months since:

  1. A book with more than 500 pages? √  The last two books I read were each over 500 pages. Read about them in yesterday’s LitMonkey post.
  2. The first book by a favorite author? √ Wow, 2 for 2 on covering blank squares. I may strain my arm patting myself on the back. The book is Less Than Zero, and the author is Bret Easton Ellis.
  3. A book your friend loves? My friend Garl gave 4 stars to Helter Skelter, and he’s a notoriously tough grader. For Garl, 4 stars is true love. (And since I won’t use any book twice, that means Rip it Up and Start Again is my book with more than 500 pages. Glad I read the UK version.)
  4. A book that scares me? All that true crime and yet no real scares. I have a feeling this is going to be my toughest square to fill. Suggestions welcome.
  5. A book set on a different continent: Sid Vicious: No One is Innocent by Alan Parker.Vicious (and girlfriend Nancy Spungeon) both died in New York City, but 90% of this biography takes place in the UK where Vicious, and the Sex Pistols, were born.
  6. A book based on a true story: Here’s what I wrote in April and in July it still stands: Everything I read is either fact or fiction. None of this “based on” stuff.
  7. The second book in a series: Nope.
  8. A book with a number in the title: There’s Less Than Zero, but I used that above. So instead Ill go with One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak. The loneliest number, but still a number.

Five out of the remaining eight filled, which means that halfway through the year I’m at 21 of 24 overall. Yet I know these three will be hardest. I don’t read series, I don’t do “based on”, and I don’t scare easily. Luckily I have more than enough time to work on it …


  1. I’m in a similar position, unable to find a book that scares me so I’ve decided to go at “scare” from another angle and read a poetry collection. At the very least, poetry intimidates me — so to read an entire book is scary.

    Currently at work on a book from the bottom of my pile. Then I need a funny book (I’ve read so much serious stuff this year).

    I had a lot of fun with this challenge.

    • I like your approach to scary. Maybe I’ll do that. I can think of several genres that intimidate me, including poetry. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Funny shouldn’t be too hard to come by. And most funny books are quick reads. If you really like serious books but still want to fill the funny square, I recommend Hyperbole and a Half. Very humorous yet also a serious look at mental illness. Or you could go old school funny – an Oscar Wilde play!

      • I’ve ordered Hyperbole… from my library, which would also qualify for scary because graphic novels are another genre that I avoid. I read a couple funny books this year, but they seemed to fit better in other squares. I like the idea of a Wilde play, appeals to my theatre background. Thanks for the suggestions.

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