2017 Bingo Challenge

books_glassesThe beginning of a year is traditionally a time when people make resolutions and goals, usually to make up for failing to meet them the year before! Maybe that’s because many people are overly optimistic and make goals that are unattainable or that they aren’t fully committed to. It’s tough to stick to something that will change a habit.

For me, reading is definitely a habit and it’s not one I’m going to break. Whether I read something heavy and serious or something light and fluffy, or points in-between, reading is something that transports me. Reading is something that is a permanent fixture in my life. I always used to pick out a new purse (handbag) that was big enough to carry a paperback book. I would generally have 2 or 3 books on the go, often one of them being non-fiction that I could pick up and put down without losing a story.

A few years ago, I signed up at Goodreads.com, a nifty site that features reader reviews of books. You can rate and review and keep track of what books you’ve been reading and connect with other like minded folk. They have forums where you can ask questions and discuss any book and they also have “groups” you can join to discuss specific things such as a particular writer, or genre etc. Goodreads also recommends books based on the ones you’ve shelved. It’s a good site to look up what a book is about if you don’t have a description. I find ebooks, if not bought through an official site, don’t always have blurbs that tell you what the book is about. If it’s registered on Goodreads, you can generally find out and you can read reviews that other members have written. Obviously, reviews of books, just like movies, are very subjective but you can get an idea of whether you might like the book or not.

Last year, I joined a group that seemed to be associated with the Canadian media conglomerate, CBC (The national television and radio station) but which may not have been. The group was apparently not an officially sanctioned group but never mind. CBC Books was where I found a great group of readers who tried to focus on Canadian authors. When the group closed mid 2016, many of the people in that community migrated to another group called Canadian Content, which continued on the same road, promoting great books by Canadians.

Through the discussion topics in the group including a weekly check in for what you were reading that week, I discovered some bloody excellent books and Canadian writers and I hope some of the books I’ve read and loved were picked up and enjoyed by others. The list of books I hope to read someday grew exponentially.

The original group  began a year long reading challenge based on the popular game, Bingo.  After it closed down and people migrated to Canadian Content, the Bingo challenge was also migrated and people were encouraged to continue on with it.  The moderators have now set up a new Bingo challenge for 2017.

The Bingo Challenge gives you a Bingo “card” to fill. Each square has a type of book or author to read. The books are your choice. Reading Canadian authors is encouraged but not mandatory. It’s been fun planning what I might read for each square, looking through the books I already have and browsing the digital library website. Here, then, is the Bingo template and my choices or possibilities for most of the squares. I may move things around or change what I’ll read depending on what I find over the course of the year but this is the tentative plan now.  I will likely be posting updates through the year about my progress.bingo-card-template-5mco5rdr

B1 – A book from CBC 100 Novels that Make You Proud to Be Canadian
Barney’s Version  Mordecai Richler

B2 – A Book from a Province/Territory You Want to Visit
The Jade Peony – Wayson Choy

B3 – Canadian Memoir
The Game – Ken Dryden – I’ve started this one.

B4- A Banned Book
The Diviners – Margaret Lawrence

B5 – Canada Reads 2017
Company Town by Madeline Ashby
Nostalgia by M.G. Vassanji
Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer
The Break by Katherena Vermette
Today I Learned It Was You by Edward Riche
The Elephants in My Backyard: A Memoir by Rajiv Surendra
The Just City by Jo Walton

I1 – Booked turned into a movie
The Toronto International Film Festival reading list
The Rehearsal – Eleanor Catton 2016 TIFF

I2 – Written by an Indigenous Author
The Next Sure Thing – Richard Wagamese

I3 – YA
100 YA books (CBC)
 BayGirl – Heather  Smith

I4 – Written by LGBTQ author
 The Wonder – Emma Donoghue

I5 – sci-fi/dystopia/apocolyptic novel
Neuromancer – William Gibson
Tigana – Guy Gavriel Kay

N1 – past long or shortlist Canada Reads novel
Canada Reads previous winners
In the skin of a Lion – Michael Ondaatje
The Bone Cage – Angie Abdou 2011
Not Wanted on the Voyage – Timothy Findley

N2 – Non-Fiction
Shag Harbour Incident – Graham Simms

N3 – Your Favourite Canadian Novel
Fall On Your Knees – Ann-Marie MacDonald

N4 – Audio book
Stone Mattress – Margaret Atwood

N5- Giller Prize short-list/longlist or winner
Scotiabank Giller Prize past winners
The Best Kind of People – Zoe Whittall
Louise Penny books.
Linwood Barclay

G2 – Book about someone immigrating to Canada
Ru- Kim Thuy

G3 – Book Published in 2017

G4 – Translated novel
Canadian Translations You Have to Read
Twenty One Cardinals – Jocelyn Saucier
Kamouraska – Anne Hebert
The Tin Flute  – Gabrielle Roy

G5 – Book written in your province/territory/city/state (or country if not in Can)
something by Lesley Crewe, I’ve got a stack of books I’ve borrowed

O1 -Canadian novel published the year you were born (1959)
The Watch That Ends the Night – Hugh McLennan

O2 – A book outside your comfort zone
Essex County – Jeff Lemire (graphic novel)
Geeks, Misfits and Outlaws: Short Fiction
The Deep – Nick Cutter (horror )
The n-Body Problem – Tony Burgess (horror)

O3 – A Book of poetry
Margaret Atwood – The Circle Game
Runaway Dreams – Richard Wagamese
Native Song – David Woods

O4 – A Canadian Classic
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

O5 – A Book from the CBC 100 True Stories that make you proud to be Canadian  
Stalin’s Daughter – Rosemary Sullivan

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