Tuesday, January 07, 2020

2019 Resolution: Book Bingo Blackout

I'm never sure whether this challenge is called Book Blackout Bingo or Book Bingo Blackout. Both sound fine to me. I've got another year to get it straight, since I liked this challenge so much I'll be returning for 2020 Book...well, you know.

Although I enjoyed this challenge, I was not completely successful. No blackout for me!  I attribute this to my own poor planning.

Let's unpack this board and see what happened in Bybee Book Bingo:

EDGAR AWARD FIRST NOVEL: Did not complete this category. All year, it skulked up there in the top left corner, accusing me. I'm sorry, Edgar Award!

HEROINE: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Both sisters were heroines.

PALATE CLEANSER: Best American Food Writing, 2018. I'd just read a self-help book and a weird Jim Thompson novel, so this was a palate cleanser in all senses of the phrase. Favorite essay was about a food writer who visits Pawhuska, Oklahoma to see Ree Drummond's (The Pioneer Woman) empire....or tourist trap, depending on your viewpoint.

GENRE BENDING: The Government Lake by James Tate. This is a book of poetry, but it reads like surreal flash-fiction.

GEN X AUTHOR: Gail Honeyman, author of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine gets the nod here. She was born in 1970.

ODD COUPLE: Buttermilk Graffiti by Edward Lee. The blurb on the back of this delectable trip across the USA says it best: "American food is a story of mash-ups. Immigrants arrive, cultures collide, and out of the push and pull come exciting new dishes and flavors." Lee tells their stories with delicacy and gusto, as only a chef could.

CLASSIC I'VE NEVER READ: Did not complete. Late in the year, I grabbed a copy of Black Beauty, but didn't care for it enough to finish. I also bailed on Frankenstein and Tess of the D'Urbervilles. I took several swings at this category but whiffed. No joy in Mudville.

PUSHING BOUNDARIES: Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde.

EXPLORE: The Volcano Lover by Susan Sontag. The titular character is always out looking for treasures around Pompeii.

PLACE NAME: If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin.

LIFE HACK: Nomadland by Jessica Bruder. Finances got you down? Give up paying rent and take to the road in a camper.

UNBELIEVABLE: Maurice in A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne. This guy, like Tom Ripley, gets away with the most heinous acts. My jaw was dropped on practically every page.

GREEN: What Is... The Story of Frankenstein? A nonfiction book for young readers that explains the history behind Mary Shelley's creation, The picture on the cover shows the Boris Karloff incarnation, And yeah. He's green.

FIRE: The Library Book by Susan Orlean. The 1986 fire features prominently in Orlean's look at the history of the Los Angeles Public Library.

BIRTH: Celia has a baby in Middlemarch.

ROMANTIC: Happy All the Time by Laurie Colwin.

LANGUAGE: The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See. Many Korean words and phrases.

LGBTQ: Elevation by Stephen King. A lesbian couple are featured in the storyline.

SOUTH PACIFIC: Did not complete this category. Poor planning on my part.

NOVELTY BOOK: Spam: A Biography.

FOLKTALE: Did not complete this category. Starting to feel sad.

MAP: The Pioneers by David McCullough. The endpapers are a map of Ohio Territory.

DEEP DIVE: I read six books by or about Susan Sontag.

UNRULY WOMAN: Love and Ruin by Paula McLain. Ernest Hemingway's third wife, Martha Gellhorn, was also a writer and a war correspondent. Of course, after she was Papa's woman, she was supposed to stay home and let him have the adventures. She basically told him to stick it in his ear!

LOST AND FOUND: My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl. Reichl was editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, which folded. Through cooking and time with friends and family, she seeks to find the next phase in her career.


Unruly Reader said...

I'm quivering with joy over here... what a great year of reading, my dear! So happy to see Happy All the Time on your list, and so grateful to you for giving me Middlemarch for last year's reading and beyond. When you revisit it, send me a signal and I'll do the same.

On to 2020 with us!

Bybee said...

I'm slated to revisit Middlemarch in 2029, Unruly, so keep a space clear.

Unruly Reader said...

I just added it to my calendar reminder system. On Jan. 1, 2029, I'm sending you a message and picking up a copy of Middlemarch... (shivering with joy at the prospect)