Reading Bingo 2017

Thank you to Cleo for reminding me about this, one of my favourite annual memes – the Reading Bingo. It’s always a mad scramble to see if I can fit any of my haphazard reading into the categories at the end of the year, but I was very ambitious last year and did two of each. I’d struggle to do that this year: in fact, I may not be able to fill in the whole sheet!

More than 500 Pages

Retribution Road by Antonin Varenne

Forgotten Classic

Late Fame by Arthur Schnitzler – this was quite literally forgotten, or set aside by the author and never published until a couple of years ago

Turned into a Movie

The Life and Loves of a She-Devil by Fay Weldon – although I haven’t actually watched the two adaptations

Published This Year

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski – what a brilliant, creepy, atmospheric story, capturing our passion for podcasts and the teenage grumpiness very well

Number in Title

Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre – a much gentler pace than this master of the chilling read has accustomed us to

Written by Someone Under 30

The End of Eddy by Edouard Louis – at least I think the author is still very young, and he published this in French quite a few years ago. Correct me if I’m wrong. Besides, I may want to turn this into ‘a book by someone over 70’ instead!

Non-Human Characters

The Humans by Matt Haig – well, it’s an alien and a dog who pull most at the heartstrings


Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson – delightful comedy of manners

Female Author

Folle by Nelly Arcan – so many I could have chosen from, but I decided to choose one that could only have been written by a fierce and bitter woman


The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny – I couldn’t resist picking the title which has the most resonance – and it is, indeed, a mystery in a crime fiction series

One-Word Title

Men by Marie Darrieussecq – not my favourite book, it had a bit of a colonial feel to it

Short Stories

The Stories by Jane Gardam – klipp und klar, as the Germans would say – outstanding stories by a real master/mistress of the genre

Free Square

Most obscure: Vlad by Carlos Fuentes – and perhaps should stay so…

Different Continent

Boundary by Andree A. Michaud – Maine and Canada, border country, and an area I know very little about


The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich – probably one of my top reads of the year

First Book by Favourite Author

Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim – it was a reread, but just delightful, even for a non-gardener like myself

Heard About Online

To Clear the Air by Mechtild Borrmann – I usually think Mrs. P’s recommendations are unbeatable, but this book did not quite do it for me. However, she has written others and they are better.


The Power by Naomi Alderman – I realised this was quite a difficult category for me, as the books I like don’t usually sell in the hundreds of thousand which shout bestseller to me, but I think this one did quite well after winning a few prizes. I’ve certainly seen it everywhere in bookshops and libraries.

True Story

This House of Grief by Helen Garner – just heart-breaking, another contender for book of the year – and I’m not even a huge non-fiction fan

Bottom of TBR Pile

On the Road to Babadag: Travels in the Other Europe by Andrzej Stasiuk – I think this one has been on my bookshelves for quite a while, I can’t even remember when I bought it

Loved by a Friend

Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker – Liz Barnsley, book blogger and crime fiction aficionado/editor had been buzzing about this one for ages – and it really lived up to every recommendation!


We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson – subtle horror – in fact, just put all of Shirley Jackson’s work in this category

More than 10 Years Old

The Last Summer by Ricarda Huch – a nice old-fashioned feel to this, and yet still terribly timely

2nd in a Series

Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner – she’s fast becoming a favourite author, and I can’t wait for the next one!

Blue Cover

Sightlines by Kathleen Jamie

And it will forever remind me of that wonderful, educational and inspirational weekend of poetry!

And, just because there weren’t a lot of pictures involved in the above, here is a gratuitous picture of my favourite non-human, bemused and bedecked for Christmas.



24 thoughts on “Reading Bingo 2017”

  1. Lots to like here (and I don’t just mean the cat!). I find your coverage of so many translations absolutely invaluable, so you’re due thanks for that alone.

  2. Ooh, well done! That author under 30 category is usually a killer – I always have this vision of myself desperately tweeting authors demanding to know their date of birth. The cat is gorgeous, but then you know that already… 😀

  3. I love how much variety there is in your selections, Marina Sofia. And such interesting choices, too. I’ll admit, I haven’t done Bingo, but this does look like fun!

  4. Well done for covering as many of the squares as this. I would struggle to get halfway I suspect. Plenty of options for the female author, books set in another continent but would draw a complete blank on books over 500 pages….

  5. I also quickly became a fan of Susie Stein’s protagonist, Manon Bradshaw. Can’t wait for book three.
    Don’t think I can make the Bingo this year. Did last year. Can make about 2/3.

  6. And yet more books to add to my burgeoning`Marina recommended it so it must be good, and invariably is` list.

    Loving the bingo, and will see if my reads this year can cause me to shout housey housey, in a bingo stylee! x

    1. I have no mercy for you, Raven, since you yourself have been my downfall in book buying matters many a time! I’d love to see you do the bingo. I was very sceptical it would work this year, but somehow I squeaked through…

  7. Well, I have nearly completed the Book Bingo, missing only a classic, short stories and perhaps an author under 30. Don’t know the age of one author who is young.
    Still have a few weeks to try to catch up.

  8. Since I keep coming back to enjoy this (and see if I can think if I have books that fit), I thought I should share my thoughts. You must have endless energy to do this and all the other things you do (reading, posting, working, parenting….). I love your Christmassy kitty too.

Do share your thoughts!

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