Book Bingo – A monthly update


It’s time for my monthly update for the Book Bingo Fund-raiser which I initiated for my local library.  Three months in and we have reached the half-way point as we decided to run it for six months.  My card is filling up slowly and (big announcement) …..I’ve got a line!  For that I got a prize, which is a bookmark that I actually designed myself for the fund-raiser, but it’s the achievement rather than the prize.


One side of my double-sided bookmark prize

One of our regular readers has completed her card and was so bereft by not having the card dictate her reading choices that she has started another one- and I’m sure she’ll get that completed by the closing date.

For a reminder of last month’s update click here and if you compare closely you will see that this month I have gained three new balloons (There was an issue in that balloon stickers could not be got for love nor money in our town- we had gone through the supplies of them and had to substitute butterflies for a while- people were not happy).  I held out until the balloons reappeared…..

Second one along on the top row was “A book not originally written in English”. For this I chose another of the set of Apollo Classics taglined “the best books you’ve never read”.  I have already reviewed “The Man Who Loved Children” and “Now In November”.  Book number three is a novel set in Sardinia and originally written in Italian – “The Day Of Judgement” by Salvatore Satta, my review of which will follow in due course.

The light blue sticker on the fourth row was “From the Library’s General Fiction Shelves” and was a book I had been itching to read for some time but the review pile and deadlines dominated, but off the shelves came “Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson, which will be another book I will be reviewing on here soon.

I recently read a book called “Rembrandt’s Mirror” by Kim Devereux and realised I did not know much about the artist who was the central character in the novel.  Lurking in the children’s library I found a book entitled “Rembrandt” written and illustrated by Mike Venezia.  In just a few short pages I got a good overview of the artist’s life and career.  We must never forget how good children’s non-fiction can be for introductions to subjects.  Whereas the novel did not fit in with my remaining squares, the children’s book did and it gave me my line for “A Library Book”.

I can see I have got quite a few library books to read from different sections of the library if I am going to complete much more of my card.  So I better crack on and get visiting my local.  How about giving your Public Library a visit (whilst or if you still have one!)


Book Bingo – A monthly update

Hopefully you will recall that back at the start of February I devised a Book Bingo Fund-Raiser for the local library I volunteer for.  I posted about the setting up the Bingo scheme and its launch which we tied in with National Libraries Day.  You can read more about this here and for a reminder of last month’s update here.  Quite a number of participants now have a line (I don’t) and there are a few who are just a couple of completed squares away from finishing.  Compared to these,  I don’t seem to be doing that well, but there is plenty of time as it doesn’t end until August.  We are still bowled over by the response and actually didn’t really think, when it was set up that many or even any would complete the card but everyone is still taking it very seriously.  This is what my card looks like this month.


I have gained another five balloons making my total 11.  This is what I read this month to cover my bingo squares.  In the top left corner was “A Paperback”.  For this I chose “The Double Life Of Kit Kavanagh” by Marina Fiorato (2016).  This is a highly enjoyable historical romp and has already been reviewed on the site here.   The other book which has already been reviewed here was my lone balloon on the middle row “A Biography Or Memoir” for that I chose “Mae West: An Icon In Black And White” by Jill Watts (2001).  The other three books have been read but their reviews are yet to appear on this site but so I’m giving you a sneak preview of what will be coming up.  “Author’s names begins with the same letters” is a title from the newly published set of Apollo Classics (being marketed as the “best books you’ve never read”).  This was “Now In November” by Josephine Johnson, with the letter J being the recurring one.  This book was first published in 1934 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1935 and has since been largely forgotten.  In the middle row is “With an animal in the title”.  This was “Wolfhound Century” the first part of a fantasy series by Peter Higgins.  This was the 2015 edition of a book which first appeared in 2013.  At the other end of the second row is “A book which has already been made into a film”.  For that I chose to read “Rosemary’s Baby” by Ira Levin (1967) and I will have more to tell you about that in a later post.

So 11 squares covered making 13 to go and four months to do it in.  Hopefully, by next month I will have that peskily evasive line.

Book Bingo – A Monthly Update

Hopefully you will recall that back at the start of February I devised a Book Bingo Fund-Raiser for the local library I volunteer for.  I posted about the setting up the Bingo scheme and its launch which we tied in with National Libraries Day.  You can read about it all here .  Karl over at has been taking a more non-fiction approach to it all and you can read about what how he has been getting on here.

It’s still early days – the Bingo is going to run for six months with just about another five to go.  As there has been a lot of interest in it I thought I’d give you a little monthly update.  All of us at the library have been bowled over by the success of it all- with a larger number taking part than we had anticipated and we are particularly thrilled that the place is buzzing with book talk.  Readers bringing their books back want to talk to us about their books rather than just plonking them on the issues counter and people are recommending books to each other.  I’m delighted with how it has taken off and the enthusiasm in which people are carrying out their reading challenges.  People are already talking about next year………

A few people have managed to get a line and have been presented with bookmarks I designed for the Friends of Shanklin Community Library.  I’m not at the line stage yet, but I’m doing alright.  I’ll show you how my card is getting on and tell you what I’ve read to get my balloon stickers (6 to date).


In my last post I just had two in the bottom line so I’ve gained another four this month.  On the bottom line they have been joined by “From your own bookshelves that you haven’t read yet” – that was Claire Vaye Watkin’s 2016 dystopian debut “Gold Fame Citrus” (reviewed here).  Diagonally above that is “A book published in the last three years” – staying with 2016 I went with the newly published “Freya” by Anthony Quinn (reviewed here) which I read on my Kindle.  The bottom of the two yellow balloons (why did I choose two of the same colour next to one another?) is “A book where the main character is younger than you”.  Take a bow 10 year old Dakota Pink from “Dakota Of The White Flats” (1995) written by Philip Ridley and reviewed here.  Above that is “with someone’s name in the title”.  This was another I read on the Kindle and is up there as one of my favourite new reads of the year so far.  “Jonathan Dark Or The Evidence Of Ghosts” by A K Benedict (2016) reviewed here.

I’ve got a couple of potential lines shaping up but my problem is I’ve got quite a stack of review titles at the moment so have not been borrowing from the library which I will need to do if I’m even going to get a line, let alone a full house.  But there’s still plenty of time.  Another update in around a month!  Maybe I’ll have the line by then………………….!

National Libraries Day – Our Book Bingo Launch


It’s great when you get inspiration from the blogosphere. I know a number of you have been using bingo cards to set reading challenges- that got me thinking. Yesterday was National Libraries Day and I volunteer at my local community library which stopped being funded by the Isle Of Wight Council and was taken over by the Shanklin Town Council, one paid member of staff and a team of volunteers. Fund raising in circumstances like these is important. So with the seeds of an idea sown I visited one of those bingo card generating sites in an attempt to devise something that will raise funds for the library and perhaps more importantly – get library users talking about and excited about books.

I put in about 50 categories which will get people using various sections of the library, selecting books off their bookshelves or maybe supporting their local charity shops. The randomly generated cards chose 24 of these. I didn’t want to be too specific because I didn’t want to put the general reader off (24 books is quite a challenge!) but thought it would be fun to put in a few that might require the odd bit of research. I included some that will get people recommending and talking about what they’ve read and we’re following the system set up with the children’s summer reading challenge where the children bring in the books they’ve read and talk about them with the library staff before they get their reward. When you’ve proved you’ve read the book then you get a sticker to cover up your square (we’ve gone for an attractive, sparkly balloon design!)

To turn it into a fund-raiser we’re charging £3 a card with a small prize for everyone who completes a line and a six month deadline for the Full House. The fairest way to do it, after much deliberation, is to have a draw from those who manage to complete the whole card after the closing date. Fund-raising wise, it doesn’t matter if people do fall by the wayside (although I’m sure everybody will be able to do at least a line) because you get the money upfront at the beginning.

We started the volunteers off a few days earlier at a “do” and they are chomping at the bit. I’ve already talked more about books than I would do normally. For National Libraries Day we had a launch of our “Friends Of Shanklin Community Library Book Bingo” and invited the High Sheriff of the Island and our town mayor. The local press and radio were also in attendance and it was a radio item on the hourly news bulletins throughout the day (even got to hear myself interviewed on the radio). The response has been incredibly enthusiastic and because it’s running for six months and there’s not a race for the finishing line then we can get people enrolled over the next few weeks or even months. And all because I saw something on WordPress…..


“Playing” Book Bingo for the press

I’ve read two books since the volunteers started off and I’ve got my first two stickers. I’ve covered up The first in the series for “Death In Profile” by Guy Fraser-Sampson (the first in the Hampstead Murders series) and by an author whose name begins with a vowel for Vaughn Entwistle and his “Angel Of Highgate”. Both of these books will be reviewed on here soon. I’ll be giving you a monthly update on how things are going. It will take me a while to get the Full House – I’ve got quite a few I’ll need to borrow from the library shelves on my card and I’m already grappling with a significant pile with review deadlines – so I better get on with reading…………………..