I tried writing a preamble for this post… and after about 500 words of dross (and no end in sight), I ditched it in favour of the following:
- I have thus far avoided book bingo-type challenges for various complicated reasons, but the main one can be more or less deduced from the title of this post.
- I read an intriguing review of a graphic novel and wanted (needed?) an excuse to read one.
- I also wanted (needed?) an excuse to read some stuff that I might not otherwise read.
- Upon deciding all of this I spent an absurd amount of time trying to find a name for a bingo card that only had three columns.
There. Done. So this is what the card looks like:
|Something from my Goodreads to-read list||Something from Bibliomama’s All-Star round-ups||A poetry book or collection|
|Something I didn’t read in high school||A graphic novel or short-story.||Something A.J. Fikry recommends|
|Something A.J. Fikry would never read.||A zombie book.||A classic.|
And this is what it means:
Something from my Goodreads to-read list. I know, this kinda seems like cheating if the goal is to read something I might not otherwise read, but the fact is that for any book that hits Goodreads without magically landing in my hands in less then 36 hours, the chances of it getting read are right up there with the chances of winning the lottery. So I’m holding a lottery: pick something from the list using a random number generator, and then actually read it… regardless of whether I can remember how it got on the list in the first place.
Something from Bibliomama’s All-Star round-ups. By this I mean something from one of Allison‘s 3-, 4-, and 5-star round-up posts. And this is cheating, because I totally would have done this anyway.
A poetry book or collection. I have a weird relationship with poetry. I’ve written poetry (or, well, rambly prose uninfluenced by grammar, does that count?), but any time I try to read it I feel like I’m missing something. This frustrates me so much that I once wrote a poem about it… I may not get poetry, but I’m all over irony.
Something I didn’t read in high school – This could be something everyone else had to read in high school, but I
somehow managed to avoid missed out on (Of Mice and Men and The Catcher In The Rye come to mind). It can also be something I technically had to read, but didn’t (The Great Gatsby … which I didn’t read because I didn’t get it, or like it, and for someone who adored reading, the thought of reading something you weren’t enjoying just did. not. grok.)
Graphic Novel – I suppose this doesn’t require much explanation, except perhaps to say that I don’t mean 50 Shades of Grey. I’m going to do this because, if I’m going cling to the opinion that comic-books aren’t literature, then I should at least make it an informed opinion. And who knows, I may even like them. (Which would be nice, because I don’t actually like being a snob.)
A. J. Fikry recommends – I recently read, and have very nearly finished re-reading, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry. Sprinkled throughout the book are reviews of short stories (and possibly some novels) – and I want to add nearly all of them to my to-read list. The fact that in the time it takes to read one book twenty new ones get added to GoodReads may have something to do with my burgeoning to-read list.
Something A.J. Fikry would never read. Honestly, I could have created an entire bingo card based on this book. This square comes from A.J.’s response to a question about what he likes to read. His answer:
I do not like postmodernism, postapocalyptic settings, postmortem narrators, or magic realism. I rarely respond to supposedly clever formal devices, multiple fonts, pictures where they shouldn’t be—basically, gimmicks of any kind. I find literary fiction about the Holocaust or any other major world tragedy to be distasteful—nonfiction only, please. I do not like genre mash-ups à la the literary detective novel or the literary fantasy. Literary should be literary, and genre should be genre, and crossbreeding rarely results in anything satisfying. I do not like children’s books, especially ones with orphans, and I prefer not to clutter my shelves with young adult. I do not like anything over four hundred pages or under one hundred fifty pages. I am repulsed by ghostwritten novels by reality television stars, celebrity picture books, sports memoirs, movie tie-in editions, novelty items, and—I imagine this goes without saying—vampires.
Suffering, as I do, from some of the same literary snobbery as good old A.J,, I figured both of us should read something from this list. Actually, I’m surprised zombies aren’t on there, and since they aren’t, I also have a square for…
A zombie book. I’ve never intentionally read a zombie book. I did start one accidentally once, and was completely drawn in. But around the same time I discovered it was about zombies, I hit a scene that was just so disturbing that I had to put it down.
A classic. By this I mean something that it seems like everyone has read, or should have read, and is constantly referred-to by other books and book reviews and just writers in general and so it makes me feel dumb because I’ve never read whatever-it-is. Some titles that come to mind are Mansfield Park, Anna Karenina, and Lolita… but in this (and any other category) I am totally open to suggestions.
What are you reading? Any suggestions?