Seeking Normal
Finding the Good

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?


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!



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I'm so glad you addressed the Book Bingo Big Issue of the FREE Square, along with providing several books that I will have to put on my list! I originally thought free meant free, but then like the sheep that I can be, I followed along with others and used it as free choice. Thank you for clarifying Kym's Rule, and also for Nobody's Fool, Winter's Bone, and Glorious Heresies.


Bravo, bravo!! I felt the same way about the Free Square, but I saw others filling it, so guilt took over and I caved and read. I am still working through Knitlandia, which will give me a cover all! XO


I'm with you in regards to the FREE square! The one thing I know & love about BOTNS BINGO, though, is that you can do your own thing (including 100% customizing your BINGO card, if you want) and interpret squares as you wish. I'm with you, and prefer to think of the FREE square as FREE, not FREE CHOICE! But if others want to do that, GO!

I am currently adjust the timeline rules for *my* BINGO card, and hoping that I get one by Thanksgiving. ;)


Seeing as I can't find my card currently...I can't give an update! I think I'll get at least one bingo and for me...that is great. Thank-you as always for sending wonderful reading selections our way. I'd be lost without you. xo


You are so right--the free square is a FREE square! I was entirely intrigued with your description of all of the books. Just stop it (haha), I have too many books in my queue already.


Surprisingly, we only had one square that was the same subject (title with day of the week), but you still gave me several books to put on my TBR list. I ended up with 3 bingos and may have a coverall by the end of the year. Read on!


You are absolutely right about the FREE square. I stuck a book in there because I had read it and wanted to include it in my list of books I read this summer. But yeah. You're right. And also, your card your rules. So glad you enjoyed Nobody's Fool.


Just in case you ever need to read another book with a day of the week in its title: Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him by Luis Carlos Montalvan. Excellent, non-fiction by a Gulf War vet (Iraq war? can' remember) with physical injuries and PTSD and the service dog that changed his life. I picked it up because it was a dog book, but it is also a lot about the VA; I passed it on to Smokey.

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