Book Bingo 2017

OK, good people. Here it is.

Book Bingo Blackout 2017… revealed!

Again this year, my good friend and I compiled ideas, then narrowed the list down to these 25 categories.

The planning session is tremendous. (It's one of my favorite annual events.)

Then the Dear Man made our categories look terrific by creating this fabulous bingo card. (We said, “Wild West theme, please!” and he did it up right.)

Here’s more...

How to Play
  • Read a book that fits the category. Each book can qualify for only one category.
  • Complete just one row or column, or go for blackout by reading a book in every category.
  • All books must be finished in 2017. Books started in 2016 but finished in 2017 count.
  • We've provided some definitions, but you can free-style it if you like—as long as you can make a case that the book fits the category.
  • All categories can be fiction or nonfiction (your choice), unless otherwise specified.

About the Categories

Pop Psychology
Nonfiction books about why we do the things we do

A book about person who lives by his/her own code

Doom and Gloom
When things go terribly wrong

Guilty Pleasure   
Something you shouldn’t like, but you like it anyway  

Water is a key element of the story, whether it be setting, activity, or natural phenomenon

Indigenous Peoples
A book about Native Americans, First Nations, the Inuit, or Aborigines

The Journey
­­A transformative experience or a literal journey

A Book I Own
Read something from your own shelf

Literary, scholarly, or classic

Boomer Lit
Written by Baby Boomers, for Baby Boomers

Where I Grew Up
A book set in a place where you spent your childhood

A book about someone breaking free—either literally or metaphorically—or a book that is a true escape for you as a reader

Assigned Reading
A book you need to read

Exploring the creative process

A book with an Asian author, character, or setting

Library of Congress Fiction Prize
A book written by an author who won this honor

Bookstore Discovery
A book you found at a bookstore

Bad Title
The title doesn’t fit the book. Or the book sounds good, but you hate the title.

Occupational Hazards
A book about a job or workplace. Or a book that helps you become better at your work

Midcentury Modern
Pick your century, then find a book written in the midst of that century, that has a progressive or modern outlook

Author’s Name Begins With M
The author’s first or last name begins with the letter “M”

Best in Class
One of the best examples of its genre

The Outdoors
A book about, or set in, the natural world

A trending book or author, a steamy romance, or a book set in a hot climate

Up in the Air
Planes, planets, astronauts, birds, pollution, clouds, uncertainty, uprootedness -- anything that’s up in the air

Join the fun!

Nonfiction November: New to my TBR

It’s an embarrassment of riches, the Nonfiction November experience.  

My TBR just grew by a substantial percentage.  

This is not a complaint. 

So, as we finish out this month of nonfiction splendor, here's this week's topic, brought to us to Lory of The Emerald City Book Review:
New to My TBR: It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!

Here are some of my new TBR highlights, with thanks to each blogger who made thoughtful personal recommendations and who wrote such compelling reviews that I’m gonna have to read these books.

Recommended because I like police memoirs…

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sherri Fink

A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back by Kevin Hazzard

Recommended because I adore airplane books...

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying by Wolfgang Langewiesche
Suggested to me by Citizen Reader

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
Suggested to me by Sarah of Sarah’s Book Shelves

Supreme Court
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
Reviewed by JoAnn of Lakeside Musing, who created a great Supreme Court book list

Amazing Women
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot LEe Shetterly
Reviewed by Katie of Doing Dewey, who made this seriously beautiful display of books about remarkable women 

So, in the wake of Thanksgiving, I'm giving thanks for all of these book bloggers and this wonderful community. 

Special thanks to our hosts:

What exciting books are new additions to your TBR?

Skyr and fear

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

3 words: melancholy, unfolding, muted

Oh, Katie darlin’, you got me to read an execution book.

You might be magical.

Here’s how it happened...
During our blogger reunion, we were talking about my recent trip to Iceland and resulting skyr-craving affliction, and Katie (she of Words for Worms) was all, “Oh my gosh, you’ve got to read Burial Rites! There’s skyr in it!

I asked her what the book was about, and she said words that informed me that it was about the last months of a woman convicted of murder, who was awaiting execution. 

And we all know I can’t bear books about prison or execution. Heck, I can barely even read true crime, people.

So I was all, “Ohhhhh…” and doing the shaking of the head and backing away slowly, and Katie assured me it would be OK. (And her excellent review does the same.)

So I went in.

And I survived it.

But guys, this book, it is sad. And it is haunting and it will make you look off into the distance, all melancholy-like.
But it held me, it did. Agnes’s story unfolds slowly, and the author puts you right there in the plain, chilly, little hovels where she lived as a servant and where she awaited her end. So you’re very present in the there and then.  

Since reading Icelandic words is seriously hard work, I listened to the audiobook, and that was a good idea. (At then end, during the credits, they thank the person who advised them on Icelandic pronunciation. It’s the kind of thing that requires an expert.)

The craziest part of all is that Agnes was a real historical figure -- the last person to be executed in Iceland. And during the months leading up to her death, she lived with a family on a farm, and each family member responded differently to the weirdness of having a murderess under their roof. Pretty fascinating character studies.

So: I’m super glad I read this book. Thanks, Katie, for giving me the gentle, necessary nudge.

So, readers… What’s the book that took you the farthest outside your comfort zone?

Nonfiction November: Books about airplanes

Nonfiction November is my new favorite holiday.

This week, we’re hosted by Julie of JulzReads, who gives us this topic:

Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert

Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).

I seriously love this “Be the Expert” assignment, because it lets us fly our freak flags. And heaven knows we’ve got ’em. 

I had to decide among my obsessions: Presidents? Space? True tragedy? The modern West?

It was a dilemma, guys.

But in the end, I went with: Aviation.  [happy sigh]

I’ve been reading about airplanes for years, and I love airplane books.

Here are two of my shelves.

And here’s me flying one of those puppies. 

Today we’re gonna look at the aviation books I’ve read in the past several years and blogged about. 

We’ll start with...

The memoirs
I love a good aviation memoir, especially when the pilot/author keeps it real. Here we’ve got two fine examples, one from a fighter pilot and one from an airline pilot.

And here are two bonus memoirs, because I can’t resist. These books don’t have blog posts about them, but they’re a couple of my favorites from years past.

The Spirit of St. Louis by Charles Lindbergh
(3 words: lyrical, modest, triumphant)

The Fun of It by Amelia Earhart
(3 words: sprightly, forthright, conversational)

Next up: a wonderful book by a great nonfiction author, about one of those days when things went wrong… 

Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson by William Langewiesche

If you’re more into history, check out these books about two guys with the Wright Stuff.

My favorite Wright brothers biography is this one:

For a different approach (ha! pilot pun!) give this one a whirl...

All of these books just make me happy. 

What topic do you keep reading about, over and over again?