May 2021 BingoDog Reads

Snak2021 Category Challenge

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May 2021 BingoDog Reads

1spiralsheep
maj 2, 10:30am

I read The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia, by Mary M Talbot and Bryan Talbot, which is a biographical sketch in comics form ("graphic novel") of French feminist anarchist utopian Louise Michel, concentrating on the Paris Commune of 1870-71 and her imprisonment on New Caledonia from 1873-80. It begins with quotes by Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett, a dedication to Iain (M) Banks, and an extended cameo appearance by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. What more could any intellectual utopian want even in the best of all possible worlds?! 4*

Oscar Wilde: "A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not even worth glancing at".

Samuel Beckett: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

BingoDOG: Book by two or more authors

2MissBrangwen
maj 2, 12:12pm

I finished Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, my favorite book of the year so far!
It fits "Dark or Light Word in Title".

Now I have only three squares to go!

3NinieB
maj 2, 12:34pm

I read Somerset Maugham's long short story Rain for the one-word title square. Six square remaining!

4pamelad
maj 2, 4:36pm

I read Mr Rosenblum's List, which was set in Dorset, for the Place you'd like to visit square. I want to visit the Jurassic coast.

5christina_reads
maj 2, 5:08pm

I'm currently reading Murder in the Museum by John Rowland, which works for the "type of building in the title" square.

6Kristelh
maj 2, 9:37pm

was there an April thread? I can't find it but I read I read Mustaine by David Mustaine which works for art and recreation. (writing music, playing music, and recreational drug use????)

7spiralsheep
Redigeret: maj 3, 2:36am

I read Liberty Lyrics by L. S. Bevington (Louisa Sarah B.) which is an 1895 poetry pamphlet. 2*

BingoDOG: Author I haven’t read before

8MissWatson
Redigeret: maj 3, 7:52am

I have finished The fate of Rome for the nature or environment square. It explains the fall of the Roman Empire as a consequence of climate change and three pandemics.

9spiralsheep
maj 4, 2:27am

I read The Dark Matter of Mona Starr, by Laura Lee Gulledge, which is a semi-autobiographical exploration of depression and anxiety in comics form, aimed at young adults. I love Gulledge's art, and the stories in her three books so far have all been well-meaning. This one also includes tips on self-care. 4*

BingoDOG: Dark or light in title

10VivienneR
maj 4, 1:24pm

I read After the Funeral by Agatha Christie for the "senior citizen protagonist" square. A Christie book is always fun and this is one of her better tales.

11spiralsheep
maj 5, 11:09am

I read The Dream Years, by Lisa Goldstein, which is a fantasy (or sf) novel about surrealism, art, revolution, and time travel, set in Paris in 1924 and 1968 and The Future (allegedly 2012 but bear in mind this was published in 1985). 4*

BingoDOG: Time word in title (Years) and time (time travel) is a subject

12pamelad
maj 5, 11:58pm

For the Fewer than 20 copies on LT, I read Pending Heaven by William Gerhardie

13spiralsheep
maj 6, 2:40pm

"For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?"

I read Unmarriageable, by Soniah Kamal, which is a novel retelling Pride and Prejudice but set in contemporary Pakistan. 4.5*

BingoDOG: One word title

14Helenliz
maj 7, 7:05am

I read Dear reader as an impulse read. I saw it was available on borrowbox, so snaffled it quick.

15dudes22
maj 7, 10:24am

I read The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay for the block "with the name of a building in the title".

16spiralsheep
maj 7, 3:26pm

I read Mouton by Zeina Abirached which is a short French illustrated children's book about a curly haired child achieving a more positive self-image. 3.5*

BingoDOG: Arts and recreation (art / illustration)

17spiralsheep
maj 8, 7:18am

I read Jazz, Perfume & the Incident, by Seno Gumira Ajidarma, which is a novel about jazz, perfume, and an incident of violent government repression in occupied territory, except the parts about the incident are actually factual reports of the November 1991 Santa Cruz massacre, aka the Dili Massacre, when the Indonesian military murdered 250 or so human rights protestors at a funeral in East Timor / Timor Leste.

Before I read this I thought it was going to be worthy and of historical interest and with an interesting structure, which it is, but it's also full of mischief and joie de vivre. I loved it! 4.5*

BingoDOG: Book about history

18MissBrangwen
maj 8, 9:56am

I read Forsberg und das verschwundene Mädchen by Ben Tomasson. This was recommended in the newsletter of the managers of my former local bookshop (I know them personally), who are boomers while I'm a millennial.
Thus, I count this for "Recommended by someone from another generation".

Only two squares to go!

19spiralsheep
maj 9, 2:11am

I have a question about the square for "classical element in title (Western: earth, water, air, fire, aether/void. Chinese: wood, fire, earth, metal, water)". Would it be reasonable to count "spirit" as a fifth Western element along with aether/void? I admit I'd never heard of void as an element and assumed it was aether/spirit until I rechecked.

20spiralsheep
maj 9, 8:56am

I read Two Serious Ladies, by Jane Bowles, 1943, which is a batshit novel about terrible people and their alternately batshit and terrible lives. Bowles appears to be trying to render the banal as interesting and the interesting as banal, which didn't work for me. But this doesn't mean I didn't enjoy reading the book. So 3.5 for fun and 2.5 for style = 3*

BingoDOG: Read a CAT or KIT (GeoKIT)

21DeltaQueen50
maj 9, 1:37pm

>19 spiralsheep: It is my understanding that the Bingo Challenge, like many of our challenges are open to interpretation by the participants and if you feel that a certain book fits - then I say go for it!

22spiralsheep
maj 9, 2:39pm

>21 DeltaQueen50: Thank you. I've read an "earth" title and a "water", and I have an "air" to read, so I could look for a "fire"... but I already have a book with "spirit" in the title on my shelf so I thought I'd ask people's opinions. Maybe I should look for a book with "aether" in the title though because I don't think I've ever read one! :-)

23susanna.fraser
maj 9, 7:49pm

I read Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith for "title describes you" because it would work decently well as a title for my memoir too, if I were the memoir-writing type.

24MissWatson
maj 10, 5:05am

I have used Tage der Kindheit (Days of childhood) for the time word.

25pamelad
maj 10, 7:01am

Concluding by Henry Green - single word title.

26spiralsheep
maj 11, 4:05am

I read Potiki, by Patricia Grace, which is a novel set in a Maori community in Aotearoa (New Zealand) about family, cultural and economic survival, and how all are linked to environmental caretaking. 4*

27MissWatson
Redigeret: maj 12, 3:14am

I have finished The doll's house and other stories by Katherine Mansfield. Only four squares left to fill.
ETA: for the "building in the title"

28spiralsheep
maj 12, 12:12pm

I read Keepers of the House, by Lisa St Aubin de Terán, which is supposedly a semi-autobiographical novel, although the present date in the book is around 15 years too early for the author's time in Venezuela. The framing story is about a young English woman who marries into a landowning Venezuelan family and moves to her incapable husband's run-down sugar plantation in the Andes where she receives tenebrous tales of his family history from an elderly servant. 3*

BingoDOG: Building word in title (House)

29sallylou61
Redigeret: maj 12, 10:15pm

For the BingoDOG senior citizen protagonist square I've read An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten, translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy. This is a fun read about an 88 year-old Swedish woman who manages to get rid of people who are inconveniencing her by killing them. She manages to do this to three people without being investigated. The fourth person, a male antique dealer, is found dead in her apartment, and she is investigated. The male investigators decide that such an elderly woman could not have committed the murder, and let her go. The two female investigators believe that she is the chief suspect but the men will not listen to them.

30pamelad
maj 13, 12:00am

A book I heartily recommend is The Exploits of Engelbrecht. Absolutely!

31susanna.fraser
maj 14, 12:54am

I'm using The Assassins of Thasalon by Lois McMaster Bujold for fewer than 20 LT members, though I know very well that's only the case because it's such a new release, which I dropped everything to read as soon as I heard it was out.

32pamelad
maj 14, 2:59am

I'm using When We Cease to Understand the World for the Nature/Environment square because the of the Haber-Bosch Process, which isn't a large part of the book, but gives it the original Spanish title, translated as "A Terrible Greening" after Haber's fear that his process for fixing atmospheric nitrogen would lead to plants taking over the world.

33JayneCM
maj 15, 11:08pm

>22 spiralsheep: I have had this one on my TBR for a while, Aether: An Out-of-Body Lyric by Catherine Graham.

34spiralsheep
maj 16, 7:26am

>33 JayneCM: Thank you for that title!

By coincidence, yesterday evening I read Aetheric Mechanics, by Warren Ellis and Gianluca Pagliarani, which is a metafictional, late Victoriana, science fiction / detective comic. The early mentions of Ruritania and Grand Fenwick (roar!), and "intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic", etc, clued me in to what the story would be about although not the precise detail of the plot twist ending. 3.5*

BingoDOG: Element in the title (Aether)

35VivienneR
maj 16, 10:12pm

I read Diamonds are Forever by Ian Fleming for the "time word in title" square. It wasn't as enjoyable as other Fleming novels. I found Tiffany, the Bond Girl, to be unaccountably annoying.

36MissWatson
maj 17, 3:26am

I used Drei Kameraden for the RandomCAT and the Read a CAT-square. Three more to go.

37spiralsheep
Redigeret: maj 17, 5:29am

I completed my third BingoDog card with 25 x 3 books, out of 82 read, on 17 May 2021. Onwards! :D

I read The Authenticity Project, by Clare Pooley, which is a "feelgood" novel about friendship. 3.5*

BingoDOG: Senior protagonist (Julian who is 84 but claims 79, and Lizzie 65, and Mary 75)

38pamelad
maj 17, 9:25pm

Added Robert Walser's Jakob von Gunten to the New author square.

39spiralsheep
maj 18, 9:51am

I read Momo, by Michael Ende, which is a 1973 children's fantasy novel by the author of Neverending Story. I'm not sure how children today would react to this fable as their social conditions have changed somewhat since 1973. However I can say that this is a perfect story for GenXers and I suspect middle age is as good a time to read it as childhood. 5*

BingoDOG: Suggested by a person from another generation

40VivienneR
maj 20, 1:21am

I read The Way Through the Woods by Colin Dexter for the "element in title" square.

Dexter - and Morse - can always be trusted to provide a clever, puzzling plot dotted with humour and misdirection. I have to admire Lewis for tolerating Morse with such good grace.

The only downside was that it took me ages to read because the print was so small and dense that I could only read it for short intervals at a time and yet I was enjoying it too much to abandon.

41spiralsheep
maj 20, 6:08am

I read Return Match, by Elizabeth Cadell, which is a 1979 contemporary romance novel set in England. The protagonist is a woman in her fifties and the ensemble cast are her extended family, friends, and social circles. As in all Cadell's novels, the inevitable romance plot is one of several subplots and the ensemble cast of supporting characters are as interesting as the will-they-won't-they couples. People don't always find their mate first time and life is complicated, although the tone is generally upbeat with a tendency towards well-observed comedy of manners. Several scenes made me laugh aloud but the idea that amused me most was two old friends needing a safe-word to use when one of them enthused about grandchildren for too long, lol, "Amber!". 4*

BingoDOG: A book that made you laugh (I've read a dozen Cadell's and even the 2.5* novels made me a happier person at least temporarily)

42MissWatson
maj 21, 2:56am

I'm using Von alten Menschen, den Dingen, die vorübergehen by Louis Couperus for the "describes yourself" square. Two more to go.

43spiralsheep
maj 21, 6:59am

I read A Woman of Five Seasons, by Leila Al-Atrash, which is a 2002 translation of a 1990 novel about a wealthy Palestinian couple and their marriage, while living and working in a fictional Gulf state Barqais (Qatar/UAE) then Europe. This actually reminded me most of those 1980s blockbusters about jet-setting millionaire businessmen, but with an unusual emphasis on the protagonist's marriage because after financial success he's secondarily motivated by matrimonial success. An odd but interesting novel. 3.5*

BingoDOG: Time word in title (Seasons)

44sallylou61
Redigeret: maj 29, 2:52pm

I've read A Nantucket Wedding by Nancy Thayer for the set somewhere you'd like to visit square. This is my first bingo and 17th square filled in. I don't think it has ever taken me this many squares to get a bingo.

45spiralsheep
maj 21, 7:41am

>44 sallylou61: Congratulations on your first bingo line of 2021!

Only 8 more squares for a full card! :-)

46sallylou61
maj 22, 12:04pm

>45 spiralsheep:. Thanks -- both for the congratulations and for your optimism. I think at least 2 of the 8 will be rather difficult for me. This year's card as a whole is the most difficult for me since we started playing bingoDOG. I know for some others it has been the easiest.

47dudes22
maj 22, 6:47pm

I read The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg for the "book with time in the title or subject" block

48dudes22
maj 23, 4:11pm

I've decided that I'm going to use the book I just finished White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht for the "book I highly recommend" square. It's a fictionalized story based on the Korean women who were captured and used as "comfort women" for Japanese soldiers during WW II.

49msemmag
Redigeret: maj 23, 11:44pm

Ahhhhhh I'm so close to a row but I'm also too burnt-out to start something new rn (T.T)


1.1 Free space: Read a CAT or KIT: SHORT STORIES/ESSAYS FOR MAY- Sister Outsider
1.3 Book with a type of building in the title: Howl's Moving Castle
1.10 Book about nature or the environment: Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera
1.11 Book of history or alternate history: To Say Nothing of the Dog
1.12 Book about or that contains magic: Super Mutant Magic Academy
1.13 Book by or about a marginalized group: Braiding Sweetgrass
1.14 Book about art or recreation: The Goldfinch (this was my only real disappointment so far this year- I wouldn't recommend this book, even if you liked Donna Tartt's other works.)
1.16 Book that contains a love story: Sense & Sensibility
1.17 Book that has a character you'd be friends with: The Horse and His Boy (Aravis is a badass!)
1.20 Book you heartily recommend: Between the World and Me (It's so good! It's also emotionally devastating!)

50sallylou61
Redigeret: maj 23, 9:38pm

>49 msemmag:. No Hurry. BingoDOG and all of the CATs are completely optional and are supposed to be FUN. There is no need to complete the BingoDOG card unless you want to do so. Also, there are many more months to go -- including summer when some but not all people have more time to read.

(Also, on your card, you do not have a marker in square #4, character you'd like to be friends with, but have it listed in books read.)

51msemmag
maj 23, 11:45pm

>50 sallylou61: Oh, don't worry, I'm actually not super stressed about the challenge itself- I'm actually having a lot of fun with it! I'm just a completionist- the sight of something SO CLOSE to being done but not done yet fills me with an unknowable dread. The burnout is work-related.
Also thanks for letting me know about the missing marker! I fixed it in my post. :)

52spiralsheep
maj 24, 10:35am

I read An African in Greenland, by Tete-Michel Kpomassie, translated by James Kirkup, which is an autobiographical travel book by a Togolese author set in Togo amongst Mina-speaking Wayti people, across Africa and Europe, but mostly in Greenland amongst the Inuit where the author spent about fifteen months. 4*

BingoDOG: a book about nature (and our differing human habitats/environments, starting with equatorial snakes and ending at the mercy of Arctic weather).

I thought it would be difficult for me to fill this square within my reading plans for this year so I'm pleased with the variety of books I've read for this category: a social history of pebbles, drowned prehistoric landscapes, environmentalist nature writing, and now travel from equatorial jungle to arctic tundra.

53Helenliz
maj 25, 4:00am

I am using The Lamplighters for the book with light or dark in the title.
And that gives me another complete line. Just 7 squares left...

The one I'm going to struggle with is the "about or contains magic" Any suggestions for titles by female authors that would fill that one are appreciated.

54spiralsheep
maj 25, 4:42am

>53 Helenliz: Lolly Willowes or Travel Light are both VMCs by female authors that include magic (and are both good reads imo, although for differing reasons).

55pamelad
Redigeret: maj 25, 6:40am

>53 Helenliz: How about some magical realism from Isabel Allende?

Adding The Hearing Trumpet, an absolutely wonderful book.

56NinieB
maj 25, 7:02am

>53 Helenliz: >55 pamelad: Chiming in with Pam on Isabel Allende--I recommend The House of the Spirits.

57spiralsheep
maj 27, 10:33am

I read Mission to Kala, by Mongo Beti, which is a 1957 Cameroonian comic novel about a young failed college student sent on a mission from his home village to find someone else's runaway wife. Our educated westernised city-dwelling protagonist quickly finds himself out of his depth when faced with the wiles of his country village cousins and their traditional ways of getting things done. As you can probably imagine from that description the primary form of humour is satire and no character is spared. 5*

BingoDOG: Fewer than 200 pages

58pamelad
maj 28, 7:00pm

A House in the Country by Ruth Adam goes into the Building square. After the fear and overcrowding of the Blitz, the narrator, her family and a group of friends move into a thirty-three roomed manor in Kent.

59sallylou61
maj 29, 2:51pm

Two additional BingoDOG reads this month:
Heartily recommend: Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver.
Two or more authors: The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America's 16th President --- and Why it Failed by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch.

60spiralsheep
maj 29, 5:35pm

I read Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie, which is a Pulitzer Prize winning 1984 novel about two lonely USian academic scholars in London. 4*

BingoDOG: Set somewhere you’d like to visit (London, where I used to live and revisit as often as possible because "when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.")

61DeltaQueen50
maj 29, 7:25pm

I filled two more squares during May:

: Someplace you would like to visit - An Olive Grove At the Edge of the World by Jared Gulian (I would not only love to visit their farm but New Zealand has always appealed to me.)

: Author from the Southern Hemisphere - Lotus Blue by Cat Sparks

I have four more squares to fill in order to complete Bingo Card and I am trying to stretch it out as long as possible.

62Helenliz
Redigeret: maj 30, 6:39am

I'm using Her Father's Daughter to fill the Bingo Square the title describes you. In fact, this is the book that inspired the square. My mother has descibed me as being my father's daughter on multiple occasions, and I'm not going to dispute it.

That brings me to 4 lines and 5 squares left to go.