Posted by: Lisa Hill | November 29, 2016

Reading Bingo 2016

Following Emma at Book around the Corner, I’m also having a go at Reading Bingo via Cleo at Cleopatra Loves Books. The idea is that you’re supposed to find a book for each square from among this year’s reads.


Poor Fellow My CountryLa Debacledoctor-faustusA Book with more than 500 pages

I read quite a few chunksters this year, including La Débacle by Émile Zola and Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann and but the place must definitely go to Poor Fellow My Country by Xavier Herbert, which at 1443 pages is the longest book I’ve ever read.  It took me four weeks to read, reading, reading about 50 pages a day whether I felt like it or not.  (And some of the time I didn’t, Xavier Herbert is like that).

the-beauties-and-furiesJourney to Horseshoe BendA Forgotten Classic

Journey to Horseshoe Bend by TGH Strehlow gets an Honourable Mention but obviously this spot goes to Christina Stead’s The Beauties and Furies! (Hopefully Christina Stead Week and the re-release of this novel by Text Classics will mean Stead is forgotten no longer…

 The Breaker (Kit Denton)A Book That Became a Movie

I think I usually fail this one but this year I’ve got The Breaker, by Kit Denton. I’ve seen the Bruce Beresford film too.

Seeing the ElephantThe End of SeeingA Book Published This Year

Would you believe that (as of today’s date) I’ve read 62 books published this year?  I started tracking the Year of First Publication this year, and have surprised myself with this one.  Spoilt for choice, I am torn between Seeing the Elephant by Portland Jones and The End of Seeing by Christy Collins.

One (Patrick Holland)seven-poor-men-of-sydneyA Book With A Number In The Title

Easy: One by Patrick Holland, destined to be one of my Top Ten Reads for this year, and also Seven Poor Men of Sydney by Christina Stead.  But if it’s not cheating to have the number in the sub-title I could also have Ryan O’Neill’s spoof  Their Brilliant Careers: The Fantastic Lives of Sixteen Extraordinary Australian Writers

IndianaA Book Written by Someone Under Thirty

The trick to doing this one is to choose a dead author with a title list at Wikipedia!  George Sand (1804-1876) was twenty eight when she wrote Indiana, and I read this novel in French!

the-famished-roadA Book With Non Human Characters

The Famished Road by Ben Okri is full of capricious spirits wreaking havoc on the wonderful world Okri creates. .

GiftedOur Tiny Useless HeartsA Funny Book

I tend to like subtle satires rather than laugh-out-loud comedies, so although I’m going to mention Toni Jordan’s romcom farce Our Tiny Useless Hearts, the gong goes to Gifted which is a delicious spoof of the literary industry in New Zealand by Patrick Evans.

A Book By A Female Author

The Floating Gardenan-isolated-incidentSalt CreekAgain I am spoiled for choice because I read 108 female authors this year, and it feels mean to choose just three because so many of them were great reading, but I’m going to go with a recent read, The Floating Garden by Emma Ashmere, and you can read more about the author here;  An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire; and you can also read about the author here; and Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar and you can read about her here!

The SympathizerA Book With A Mystery

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, which won the Pulitzer Prize, is the ultimate mystery because spies are a mystery to themselves as well as everyone else.

ChappyRadishA Book With A One Word Title

This could be Radish a little novella from China by Mo Yan, but I’m choosing Chappy by Kiwi Patricia Grace.  This is one of the few war-themed novels that I could happily read again and again.

After the CarnageDining AloneA Book of Short Stories

This is usually a difficult square for me because I like long-form fiction, but this year I read After the Carnage by Tara June Winch, and also a really interesting collection about the experience of solo dining for women Dining Alone, Stories from the table for one, edited by Barbara Santich.  .

The Book of FameFree Square

How about The Book of Fame by Lloyd Jones?  I really enjoyed this story of a Kiwi Rugby team’s tour of Britain and Europe, a very clever pastiche forming a commentary on celebrity culture.

haiku-rhapsodiesA Book Set on a Different Continent

I have lots to choose from for this square, but I’m going to choose Haiku Rhapsodies, verses from Ghana by Celestine Nudanu because it is such a beautiful book of poetry that I really would like to spread the word.

translation-a-very-short-introductionA Book of Non-Fiction

Again, I have lots to choose from but this has to be Translation, a Very Short Introduction by Matthew Reynolds, because it introduced me to many new ideas about translation and I know that it has really enriched my understanding of the translation process and the issues involved.

Hill of GraceThe First Book by a Favourite Author

The closest I can get with this one is Hill of Grace (2004) by Stephen Orr.  But it’s actually his second novel, after Attempts to Draw Jesus (2000).

 QuartetA Book You Heard About Online

This is Quartet by Jean Rhys, and I read it for Jean Rhys Week, hosted at The Lonesome Reader and JacquiWine’s Journal. .

crimes-of-the-fatherA Best-selling Book

Tom Keneally is always good for this square: everything he writes turns out to be a bestseller.  But Crimes of the Father, tackling the issue of clerical abuse is also particularly topical this year, and a brave choice of topic for Keneally to choose.

The Fringe DwellersA Book Based on a True Story

The Fringe Dwellers by Nene Gare.  Gare was upfront about distrusting fiction and based this novel on her life experiences in rural Western Australia.  It could also have ticked off the square for Movies because it was made into a film by Bruce Beresford.

Bridget Jones's DiaryA Book at the Bottom of your To Be Read Pile

*chuckle* This one is Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding.  I picked it up for a song in an Op Shop because I was under the mistaken belief that it was included in 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.  I resurrected it from oblivion when I was in the mood for reading (a-hem) light fiction.  Very light fiction…

A Book Your Friend Loves

For reasons that escape me now, I didn’t review this one, but I know I read The Enchanted Bluff because of Sue’s review at Whispering Gums.

The Notebook TrilogyA Book That Scares You

The Notebook by Ágota Kristóf.  One of the most chilling books I’ve ever read, though if I’d finished it, I might have chosen my current read, The World Repair Video Game by David Ireland.

Ricochet BabyEarth (La Terre)A Book That Is More Than Ten Years Old

Another one by Kiwi Patricia Grace, Ricochet Baby, published in 1996.  Oops, that’s 10 years, not ‘more than’ 10 years. Let’s have one of my Zola’s: Earth, published in 1887 instead.

The Second Book in a Series

I usually have trouble with this one because I’m not a great reader of series, but this one comes after The Notebook Trilogy for the Scary square: The Proof (The Notebook Trilogy#2), by Ágota Kristóf.

A Book with a Blue Cover

The Faint-hearted Bolshevikout of irelandOut of Ireland by Christopher Koch, though I could also have The Faint-hearted Bolshevik by Lorenzo Silva.




  1. Wow a great selection – I’m particularly impressed with a book from Ghana for your choice of a book from another continent


    • LOL I was reading a document about reading just this morning, and was #notreally amused to see that their world map excluded surveying the reading habits of Australia and Africa. So I am happy to remind people that there are plenty of great books coming out of the countries of Africa.


  2. Well done on your bingo! The Famished Road is an all time favourite of mine.


  3. I think I’d have trouble with this… Particularly first book by a favourite author and the series one. Must have a think later. Oh and thanks for the link BTW.


  4. Lisa, what a great selection. I am impressed that you have read 62 books published this year, that is fantastic.


    • Well, as I say, I was surprised too.
      It does make me wonder a bit if too many books are being published for our economy to bear? I mean, I love the choice and diversity and the opportunity… but if one reader can read 62 new ones, there must be hundreds more, and are there enough readers buying them to make it profitable for the publishers?


  5. This is a great way to diversify one’s reading. I would have tried it, but I have always failed reading challenges! Quartet by Jean Rhys has been on my TBR ever since I read Wide Sargasso Sea.


    • I suppose it is if you set out to do it, but that’s not how I play… I read mostly at random.


  6. Ah, I was going to resist this, but I may not be able to…


  7. Congratulations on filling all the boxes. I’m sure I couldn’t come anywhere near since it really wasn’t a very productive reading year for me.


    • Years like that come and go: I couldn’t read anywhere near as much when I was a young mother working full time, renovating the house and studying part time as well!


  8. […] tried to resist it, but first I saw Cleo doing it, then Emma at Book Around the Corner, then Lisa Hall at ANZ Litlovers blog. Yes, I am weak-willed and have the mentality of a herd of sheep, but I enjoyed reading theirs so […]


  9. The Random House Reading Bingo grids are always fun; I especially loved the CanLit one (which might have been last year’s?) but this year’s is fun too. (I can’t remember which year the one you’re playing with was introduced, and it doesn’t matter because of course they work at any time!) I’m on the last square of this year’s grid – an Audie-winning audiobook – and it’s going to be tricky to finish for the year (listening hours are harder for me to find than page-turning time). Do you think you might try 2017’s if you had fun with this one? (And, no, I don’t work for them – I just like their Bingo games!)


    • Well, I like to do them at the end of the year rather than set out to do them at the beginning. It’s a kind of affirmation for me that without any prompting or deliberate reading to anyone’s agenda, I am reading a wide range of diverse books. I actually find it more fun to do it this way too.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, how did I miss this! I know, it was my annus horribilis! I’ve just discovered your link because Bill has read the story and when I responded I saw the trackback. Sorry – and thanks! And well done on completing this big bingo!


    • You must have had a long hard day today, Sue, you didn’t miss this at all! Your comment is above, dated Nov 30, the day I published it:)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh dear! That’s the second time today that I think I’ve commented twice on a blog! I am a bit distracted with my parents at the moment … it’s clearly showing!


        • Put your feet up with a nice glass of wine or hot chocolate and leave it all for another day:)

          Liked by 1 person

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