Reading

Falling Like Dominoes: A Book Bingo Update

It always happens like this . . . 

I read and read and read with nary a bingo.  And then - suddenly - there they go.  One bingo after another after another!

IMG_9050

Want to see what I read?

Let's take a look at the first row, moving across:

Biography - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot) - So, technically this book isn't a "biography."  But it's a book about a very REAL person, so I'm counting it as a biography.  (My bingo; my rules.)  I found this book fascinating and Important -- with a capital I.  (And some of those researchers?  Despicable.)

Set in more than one time period - Covered in my last bingo-update post.

Borrowed - The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (Lisa See) - I borrowed this book from the library, and read it quickly over a weekend up north.  It was much more compelling than I expected it to be, and I enjoyed learning about tea along the way.

An author with a disability - Last Night in Twisted River (John Irving) - John Irving has dyslexia.  I am a fan of John Irving, and I have read most of his books.  If you're not already a fan, but want to try one of his books, I wouldn't suggest this one for starters (go with Owen Meany or Garp or Cider House Rules instead).  It's definitely not his strongest novel -- but I still found it worth the slog.

Backlist from an author on your current year favorites list - The Gifts of Imperfection (Brené Brown) - I'm working my way through Brené Brown's books as part of my look at all-things-balance this year.  If you're looking for a bit of self-care and personal reflection, her books are not a bad place to start.

BINGO!

Next up, let's check out the last column, on the right, going down:

Backlist from an author on your current year favorites list - See above.

That you want to read because of the cover - Covered in my last bingo-update post.

Banned in a country outside the US - Reading Lolita in Tehran (Azar Nafisi) - This book is banned in Iran. Hmmmm. Although I really wanted to like this book (after all, I am a lover of the classics, and particularly interested in the overall concept of the book), I just . . . didn't. I found it a far more tedious read than expected. Great concept; strong and interesting women; just . . . not quite captivating.

Alternate history - The Yiddish Policeman's Union (Michael Chabon) - Tom read this book when it first came out, many years ago.  It was just sitting there . . . on our bookshelf . . . waiting for me.  As usual, Michael Chabon doesn't disappoint.

Bird or animal on the cover - The Essex Serpent (Sarah Perry) - Okay.  So a "serpent" isn't really an animal.  And there isn't really even a serpent on the cover (although there is the strong suggestion of one).  But . . . my bingo; my rules.  I had wanted to read this book since I first heard about it (when it made the long list for the Women's Prize for Fiction this year), and so . . . by gum . . . it was going to fit into one of my squares!  Lovely book.

BINGO!

And there's one more -- the fourth row across:

About a person with a disability - Shtum (Jem Lester) - Just as we were all sorting through our Bingo cards for the summer, I happened to be driving and caught an interview with Jem Lester on NPR.  I was hooked!  If you're interested in a rather gut-wrenching story about what it's like to live with a severely autistic child, this is your book:  Love. Commitment. Struggle. Redemption.

Wanted to read for more than a year - Covered in my last bingo-update post.

Passes the Bechdel-Wallace test - Chemistry (Weike Wang) - Ah . . . the Bechdel-Wallace test.  For those of you unfamiliar with this category, let me explain a bit.  The Bechdel-Wallace test (or sometimes just called the Bechdel test) was originally applied to films, but has been expanded to include fiction.  The qualifications for passing the test?  The work must include two women who talk about something other than a man.  (Sometimes it further requires that the women be named.)  And this test, my friends, is oh-so-much harder to pass than you might think!

I decided to just . . . read . . . this summer -- fiction I would choose just as I always choose -- with the Bechdel-Wallace test in mind.  I continued to be disappointed.  Because in each book I read, women talk about men!  It really is rather infuriating when you think about it.  Finally, as I read Chemistry, I found two women who talked about something OTHER than men.  They talked about grad school and work in the lab and their careers.  Eureka!  I found it.  But . . . no.  Eventually, our characters ended up . . . talking about men.  But.  This one is the closest I came to reading a book that - at least for a portion of the novel - passes the Bechdel-Wallace test.  (Of course, the characters aren't named.  But that is the style of this particular book.  The characters are the narrator herself and the other woman, known simply as The Best Friend.)  (Further irony?  The only named character in the book is a man.)  No other book of fiction I read this summer came even close to meeting the Bechdel-Wallace test.

As for the book itself, I think I liked it because of the chemistry.  Having gone through Tom's chemistry graduate school experience along with him - and seeing what life was like for the (few) women grad students in his lab - I could really relate to the story and situations.

Thriller - Covered in my last bingo-update post.

Alternate history - See above.

BINGO!

Like I said . . . falling like dominoes.

 

 

 


No Time for Unraveling

My knitting has been very slow this summer.  A row here; a row there.  Some days, not even a stitch.

I finally finished this earlier this week . . . 

IMG_9035 2

That's Kirsten Kapur's Mystery Shawl 2017 -- in all its unblocked glory.  (I don't have a good place to block up north, and the well water is just kind of . . . well, smelly.  I will block when I get home.)  

And now, I'm working on this blob of lace weight . . .

IMG_9036 2

Because, really.  With less than 3 weeks until a wedding, shouldn't every mother-of-the-bride be working on a lace shawl with beads for her daughter?  (Like the title says, no time for unraveling.)

(If you hear maniacal laughter in the background, just smile and look away.)

Reading continues apace.  I may get a Bingo coverall after all, but it's hard to tell at this point.  Right now, I'm slogging through John Irving's Last Night in Twisted River (we'll just say . . . this one is NOT A Prayer for Owen Meany* - although it's every bit as long -  and leave it at that).  I've also just started Beartown (Fredrik Backman) -- which is, so far, everything you've already heard it is.  (Watch for a Bingo update post tomorrow for a more detailed look at my recent reading.)

How about you?  What are you knitting and reading today?

==========

Today's post is part of Kat's Unravled Wednesdays.  See what everyone else has to say here.

==========

* One of my top-5 favorite books Of All Time.


At Last ... A Book Bingo or Two

I've been reading and reading this summer.  But until I was on my way home from visiting Erin in California earlier this week . . . no actual bingos to report.  

And then, suddenly, there were two!

IMG_8658

Want a closer look?

Here's what I read for the second column, going down:

Set in more than one time period - Dark Circle (Linda Grant) - While most of this book is set in the early 1950s, the last part of the book is set in the current day - serving as a then-what-happened conclusion.  So . . . definitely two time periods, and a book worth reading.

Part of a series - Blue Lightning (Ann Cleeves) - This is the 4th book in the Shetland Island mystery series -- and this one has quite a surprise at the end!  (Can't say I was sorry to see her go. . . )

Recommended by a librarian - Necessary Lies (Diane Chamberlain) - This is my book group's August selection, and was also recommended by my local librarian.  Alas . . . not for me.  I found it tedious and flat.  Much eye-rolling.  Enough said.  (I am just not a fan of "chick-lit" -- even when it revolves around a meaty social issue.  There are many, many fans of this book.  Just . . . not me.)

Wanted to read for more than a year - Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking (Susan Cain) - This is an excellent book, well-researched and just plain interesting.  Especially for an introvert . . . who is married to an introvert . . . and who raised at least one (and possibly two) introvert children.

Non-fiction about science - Storm in a Teacup (Helen Czerski) - Physics demystified . . . with everyday explanations.  What's not to love?  (I will think of this book every time I handle an egg.) 

BINGO!

And here's what I read for the 2nd row, going across:

Already own - Anything is Possible (Elizabeth Strout) - I wanted to read this one so badly that I just couldn't wait through the incredibly long library hold list.  So I bought it.  If you loved Olive Kitteridge and Lucy Barton, this one will not disappoint.  Another beautiful, stark "necklace of short stories."  (My kind of book.)

Part of a series - (See BINGO above.)

Written under a pseudonym - The Running Man (Richard Bachman, aka Stephen King) - This one was a bit out-of-the-box for me, but I tend to enjoy Stephen King books (he's a great storyteller) . . . and every once in a while, a little dystopia is good for the soul.  Apparently, there is an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie based on this book (I've never seen it) that is terrible and not at all like the book.  Anyway, this was a very fast read for me.  Because Richard Bachman/Stephen King always sucks you right in, y'know?

Written in the first person - The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (Arundhati Roy) - Okay.  So the whole book is not written in the first person, but one of the major characters' "sections" is written in the first person . . . so I'm counting it!  Because, let me tell you, this book is an Investment (time, attention, sanity) -- and it needs to count for something.  (If you're looking forward to reading this one because you loved God of Small Things . . . let me tell you, this is NOT God of Small Things.  At all.)

That you want to read because of the cover - The Lonely Hearts Hotel (Heather O'Neill) - This is the book I was reading as Book Bingo began, back in May.  The cover . . . is the best part of the book.  And we'll just leave it right there.

BINGO!

How's your reading going?


Unraveled . . . Tales of Stitching and Reading

These days, most of my "creative time" is spent out in the garden (and my fingernails really show it . . .), but I still try to find time to stitch every day.

IMG_6886 2

No unraveling this week.  (At least, not of the knitting or stitching variety.  In the garden, though?  I have a MAJOR unraveling going on, but I'll save that for another blog post.)  

The Colorwash Scarf continues to be a joy to knit, and it's growing quickly.  I'm hoping to be finished before Kirsten Kapur releases the first clue (June 15) for this year's Through the Loops Mystery Shawl -- but I'll have to knit quickly.  Because . . . 

See that sort of mustard-y green pile of fabric underneath?  Well.  That's my basic Alabama Chanin Factory Dress . . . and it's hogging most of my stitching time these days.

As for reading, in the ears I've got David Sedaris' newest book, Theft by Finding (audiobook-read-by-the-author, if you're following along with Summer Book Bingo).  In print, I'm reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (biography).  Earlier this week I finished The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (borrowed).  

How about YOU?  What are you reading and unraveling this week?

==========

Today's post is part of Kat's Unraveled group.  Click here to see more posts about stitching and reading.
 

 


Unraveling . . .

Here's what I started knitting yesterday . . . 

IMG_8606

It's Kirsten Kapur's Colorwash Scarf from Wild Yarns, the Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 3.  I've been planning this knit for weeks -- but wanted to finish a few other things before casting on.  I had planned to only knit with the "wild" yarn" (some lovely stuff I picked up at Rhinebeck a couple of years ago), but after I saw Vicki's finished Colorwash Scarf, I decided to throw in a contrast color.

(And hoo boy . . . so glad I did!  Because for the first several rows, I kept forgetting to pass the slipped stitch over.  If I'd been using just the one color, I would have had to unravel constantly.  With two colors, well . . . there is immediate accountability.)  (And I only had to unravel twice.)  (Full disclosure.)

Anyway.  This design hits all my knitting-buttons:  rhythmic pattern, fun color changes, and stripes.  Those three features can keep my interest for hours at a time!

As for reading . . . right now I've got The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill, borrowed through Overdrive, on my iPad.  (This title was on the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction long list this year.)  I've only just read the first 75 pages, so I'm guessing this will be my first Bingo square (although I haven't quite figured out which one yet. . . ).

Speaking of bingo, don't forget that Summer Book Bingo begins this Saturday, May 27.  Check out the sidebar on Mary's blog to learn more.  Grab your card and read along!

==========

I'm joining along with Kat's Unraveled group today.  See what everyone else is . . . unraveling . . . here.


Readers . . . Start Your Engines!

When I was a little girl, I always looked forward to the Summer Reading Program at my local library.  I got so excited when my mom would take me to the library to sign up!  (The librarians loved me.)  I would faithfully use whatever reading checklist they had designed that season to track my progress and, ultimately, claim my certificate at the end of the summer.

Now, as a grownup, I still look forward to summer reading with . . .

IMG_6199

Summer Book Bingo!

Mary has been promoting Summer Book Bingo (a feature born of the old Books on the Nightstand podcast) through her blog for several years now.   With the end of the BotN podcast, Mary decided to carry the Summer Book Bingo torch on her own, keeping it alive for summer reading grownups . . . like me.   (All Hail Mary, Queen of Summer Book Bingo!)

Mary has created an inspiring and comprehensive list of reading categories and a set of Summer Book Bingo rules -- which you can access on the sidebar of her blog.  She's included the link to a bingo card generator -- so you can create and print your own bingo card.  (Go ahead and click the "Get a New Card" link a few times until you find a card that looks good to you.)

Here's the card I'll be playing this year . . . 

Kym's Summer Book Bingo Card 2017

(Although I'm curious about what "Alternate History" is, actually.  Anyone?)  
(Maybe something filled with "alternative facts" . . . hmmmm?)

I hope you'll play along!  Summer Book Bingo is a fun thing to do in the summer -- especially if you enjoy reading anyway.

It's fun to be part of a larger group of readers, all working toward a similar goal.

It's fun to use your bingo card to plan and track your summer reading.

It's fun to challenge yourself to read books you might not otherwise choose to read.

Heck . . . it's just fun to cry BINGO! every once in a while!

I hope you'll play along.  Set some summer reading goals for yourself.  Maybe you want to get a BINGO.  Maybe two or three?  Or maybe you want to cover your whole card this summer!  It's a lot of fun.

Let's READ.

 

 

 

 


Action Tuesday: Let's Read

I just love Goodreads!  It's like a virtual library . . . you can wander through all the virtual bookshelves you could ever imagine.  It's such a handy place to keep track of books you've read, books you want to read, the books your friends read.  You can write reviews and award stars.  There are even virtual book groups and author book talks.  

And, best of all, at the end of the year, Goodreads provides you with your reading stats.

Screen Shot 2017-01-09 at 5.19.07 PM

In looking through my year-end stats on Goodreads, I see that I gave 26 books a 5-star rating. In fact, my average rating for the year was just over 4 stars . . . which tells me I'm a pretty good judge about the kinds of books I'm going to like to read!

If I were going to pick my 5 favorite books in 2016, it would be these:

I've already made a good start with my 2017 reading.  I have a few specific goals.  

  • First, in terms of quantity, I set my Goodreads Challenge at 75 books this year.  This is an increase, but manageable.  And, truth be told, much more in line with the # of books I typically read in a year.
  • Next, in terms of quality, I always have a goal of reading many/most of the nominees from my favorite book awards:  The Orange Prize, The Man Booker Prize, and the National Book Award.  (I have never read ALL of the nominees.  Ever.  But it's always my goal!)
  • And, new for me this year, I want to try to read books that will shake up my perspective and worldview a bit.  You see, since the election this year, I have come to realize that I really and truly hang out in a very specific . . . bubble!  I need to get outside that bubble - even if I don't want to, and even if it's going to make me uncomfortable.  

In other words, this year I'm going to read a few books that I might never (in a million years) choose to read otherwise.

It's another way to take ACTION:  to learn; to expand our perspective; to get out from under our bubbles.  In the words of New York Times columnist Ross Douthat*, reading books that critique Western liberalism can give us a "clearer sense of [our] own worldviews, limits, blind spots, blunders and internal contradictions."

With that it mind, I'm planning to read a couple of books already on my Goodreads To-Read shelf.  These two are books that might help me understand the "red state" thing from a different perspective: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance and Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning in the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild.

I'm thinking about reading How Propaganda Works by Jason Stanley.  Although this one looks a bit ... academic ... it might help me understand how propaganda is working to undermine democracy, and maybe get my head around this whole "post-truth" concept.

I'll definitely read this article in The Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates.  His writing always challenges my  thinking -- and it's essential to understand the racial element of Trumpism.

Ross Douthat of the NY Times recommends The Revolt of the Elites by Christopher Lasch and Who Are We? The Challenges to American National Identity by Samuel P. Huntington.  According to Douthat, both of these books illustrate how Western elite has "burned the candle at both ends," resulting in a rather gross mis-read of the political situation in both Europe and the United States.  

These books will not be "light" reading at all, and - in fact - many of these titles sound downright disturbing to me.  But.  I will be reading at least a few of these books this year.  Because it's important to understand the context of our world.

Bottom line?  READ something unexpected.  Step out of your bubble.  

That's ACTION!

==========

You can read Ross Douthat's recent op-ed piece in the New York Times, Books for the Trump Era, here.


Right Now . . . November 2016

29/30

November has been a crazy-busy month for me, end to end.  Filled with stresses and emotions and too-long ToDo lists . . . but also with love and gratitude and turkey!

IMG_3023

(These gorgeous flowers are from my mom's memorial service last Tuesday.  Aren't they lovely?)

Here's what's happening in my world . . . Right Now:

Watching - I finished watching The Crown last night.  I loved it.  Tom and I watched Love Actually the other night.  Other than that, not much watching going on.

Reading - But . . . I do have plenty of reading happening!  I finished reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (and winner of this year's National Book Award) just yesterday morning.  This is a powerful book -- one I will be thinking about for quite a while.  I also recently finished Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  Again, powerful.  I have two books on library loan through Overdrive -- and I'm going to have to read fast because they're due far too soon (when it rains it pours, it seems): Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh and Hot Milk by Deborah Levy.  (Luckily, they're both on the short side.)  

IMG_3148

Knitting - I have been finding some time to knit a bit.  Not much, but some.  I'm knitting this sweater, and I'm nearing the end (just one more sleeve and the pockets).  On size 11 needles with bulky yarn, this one is clipping right along (so to speak; it's a relative statement).  I'm anxious to try some of these cute little guys -- and I'm still looking forward to knitting up some of these.

Drinking - Tea.   And plain old water-infused-with-oranges.  And wine.  (Natch.)

Humming - This one.  Four Strong Winds was one of my mom's favorites.  (She was from Alberta, you know.)  Erin sang it at the memorial service last week --- quite a bit different than Neil's version, of course.  Seeing that Erin's voice is classically trained.  And Neil's is . . . not.  Anyway.  I've been humming this song ever since.

Needing to - Resume my usual fitness routine.  Because my life has been so upside-down and inside-out lately that too many of my workouts have, well . . . pretty much disappeared.   (I also need to quit eating so much cheese.)  (But let's not talk about that.)

IMG_3149

Delighted by - Shhhhh.  It's kind of under the radar . . . but I'll let you in on a secret.  My knee has improved enough that I am running again.  Just a little.  And very slowly.  But I'm delighted.  (I'm also delighted by the shoelaces in my new running shoes.  Aren't they great?)

Looking forward to - Bringing light and winter comfort into my house during these dark times (seasonal AND political).  (Stay tuned.)

Celebrating - Something that I can't quite blog about yet.  But it's fun.  And I'll tell you as soon as I can.

Planning - A party.  The holidays.  My dad's move.  What to knit next.  Which book to load on my iPod.  Year-end tax stuff.  Pretty much . . . All The Things.

IMG_1691

Grateful for - These four goofballs.  I was so happy to have them all home last week.  I was happy to buy them drinks and take them out for dinner and laugh with them and listen to their banter.  It doesn't get much better!

How about YOU?  What's going on for you . . . right now?


 


And . . . It's a Wrap!

Finishing just at the wire, I am happy to report a Summer Book Bingo cover-all!

FullSizeRender 92

Let's take a look at my last two Bingo columns, shall we?

First, Column 2, going down:

With an Animal on the Cover or in the Title - I read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I know this book is hugely popular, but I just gotta say it:  tedious, predictable, far too tidy.  (There are much, much better novels set in France in WWII -- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr or Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky, to name a couple.)  3 stars.

With a Mythological Creature on the Cover - Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Yeah.  "Magic" = mythological.  (My book bingo; my rules.)  Just what I needed right now.  4 stars.

Recommended in a BOTNS Episode - Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown.  (This also happened to be my book group's selection for our June meeting.)  Excellent story; worth reading.  4 stars.

About Art or an Artist - This square?  The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith.  Interesting and enjoyable.  4 stars.

Has a Place Name in the Title - Chicago by Brian Doyle.  I just loved this book!  A bit autobiographical, with lovely storytelling twists here and there -- and, of course, Edward.  This might be my favorite read of the summer.  5 stars.

And, last but not least, Column 5, going down:

By an Author Who Endorsed the Last Book You Loved - Okay.  That square's "directive" was just WAY too much for me.  Really?  I'm going to have to pick the last book I loved.  And then I'm going to figure out who endorsed that book.  Are you kidding me?  This is where Book Bingo meets Not Worth My Time.  So I read Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmen.  Because I wanted to.  (And it was endorsed by Barack Obama.  And that's good enough for me.)  4 stars.

With a Red Cover - When I picked this book, it had a red cover.  But by the time I actually read the book?  Not a red cover.  Publishing is fickle.  For this square, I read The Improbability of Love by Hannah Mary Rothschild -- a finalist for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction.  After slogging through the Most Lame Prologue Ever (seriously; I almost gave up right there), this book really picked up steam.  It ended up being the only book I read this summer that I absolutely Could. Not. Put. Down.  Not perfect, but very enjoyable.  (Besides, I was completely taken by the notion of a painting as one of the characters.)  4 stars.

An Audiobook - I listened to several audiobooks this summer, but the one I'm counting for this square?  Whispers Through a Megaphone by Rachel Elliott -- on the longlist for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction.  I really enjoyed this rather unique book -- and especially the second half.  So keep reading.  (That's where things get really interesting.)  4 stars.

Reread a Favorite Book - Back in 1979, when Tom and I were first dating, we both read Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins.  We loved that stupid book -- so much so that we named our first cat after one of the main characters, Bonanza Jellybean (Jelly, for short; the first of the J-pets).  I decided to read it again this summer.  Uh.  Well.  Life has moved forward; this book, however, has not. I found it terribly dated and stuck in the mid-1970s.  3 stars.  (Mostly out of nostalgia.)

That You Loved as a Child - I read Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry.  Oh, my goodness!  The sexism in this book shocked me.  But, still.  I loved it.  4 stars.

And.  There you have it! 

BINGO.  2016.

Have a great weekend -- and happy reading.

 

 

 


BINGO . . . is my Name-O!

I haven't been doing much this summer . . . but I have been reading!

Let's get caught up on some of my BINGOs, shall we?

IMG_1961

But first . . . I really need to address something that has me so very curious:  That middle square.  The FREE SQUARE.  I've noticed that some of you have made the interpretation that the "free square" = "book-of-choice."  I'm here to tell you . . . that's not what it says, and that's not How Bingo Work!

In Bingo, you always get that middle square as a free square -- a "gimme."  You automatically mark or cover that square before the game even starts. It's not a square that the caller will yell out to you, it is yours -- and it is free.  (You don't choose which Bingo number is going to be IN the "free square" and then cover it only if the caller yells out that number, do you?  No!  It's a FREE square from the git-go.)

So.  In my Book Bingo, the middle square = Free Square.  Not Book-of-Choice.

And now that we've got THAT taken care of, let's call a few Bingos!

Column 1, going down:

A Classic Mystery - I read Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which turns out to be the first of her Hercule Poirot mysteries.  (I chose this one because it was a freebie through iTunes, and I had long-ago loaded it on my iPad.)  Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this one; truly, I had forgotten how delightful Agatha Christie mysteries ARE!  Highly recommended.  4 stars.

With Any Season of the Year in the Title - For this square I read Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell.  I'm a bit late to this party, I know, having not seen the movie OR read the book before.  But.  Oh, my.  Harsh, stark, chilling.  Absolutely divine.  5 stars.  

That You Started But Never Finished - Earlier this year, as part of my exploration of "risk," I started reading Brene Brown's Daring Greatly.  I was still working through itas Book Bingo started, so it was a natural fit for this square.  Fascinating.  Insightful.  4 stars.

Written by an Author You've Met - I chose My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem for this square.  Because, yes, I have met her.  In fact, I spent a day on the road with her in 1992!  (You can read all about it here.)  And although my story didn't make it into Gloria's book, I really enjoyed reading all about her life and adventures.  4 stars. 

Self-Published - For this square, I chose Still Alice by Lisa Genova, possibly the most successful self-published book in recent history.  Good choice.  4 stars.

And another Bingo -- Column 4, going down:

A Prize Winner - I read The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney, the 2016 winner of the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction.  (I try to read all the Women's Prize nominees each year, so this was a no-brainer for me.)  This one is really intriguing reading -- unique, for sure.  It's full of seriously flawed characters making really bad choices (over and over and over. . . ), but somehow, it just works.  4.5 stars.

Nonfiction About Your Hometown or State - For this square, I read A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach: One Woman's Trek of the Perimeter of Lake Michigan by Loreen Niewenhuis.  (This is another book I had picked out to read during my "risk" year.)  It turned out to be . . . okay.  I had hoped it would be a bit more self-reflective, but it turned out to be a lot more environmentally-focused.  Which is also interesting -- but not what I wanted.  3 stars.

Longer Than 500 Pages - I read Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo -- and loved every single page!  5 stars.

With a Day of the Week in the Title - Just gotta admit it:  This is one of the types of squares I hate most.  I have a queue of hundreds of books I want to read.  NONE of them has a day of the week in the title.  A quick Goodreads search didn't turn up any "day of the week" title books I was interested in reading.  I planned to just . . . punt.  But then I remembered a copy of Virginia Woolf's short story anthology I have on my bookshelf . . . called Monday or Tuesday.  I've been meaning to read it for years! Perfect!  It's, well, Woolf doing her thing -- stream of consciousness with a bit of social commentary.  I loved it -- but it's probably not for everyone.  4 stars.

Published Over 100 Years Ago - I decided to do a little "stretch reading" with this square -- and read The Three Sisters, a play by Anton Chekhov.  It was challenging to read the story in play format -- so many characters!  I'd prefer to see it performed on stage, but still worth the read.  (A good "stretch" is always worth it.)  3 stars.

I'm very close to having a fully-covered Bingo card (except, you know . . . that FREE square!).  
I'll share the last 2 Bingos next week.

Happy reading!