June 2021 BingoDog Reads

Forum2021 Category Challenge

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June 2021 BingoDog Reads

Jun. 1, 7:18am

I read Dotter of her Father's Eyes by Mary M. Talbot and Bryan Talbot, which is an autobiography and biography in comics form ("graphic") revolving around Mary's relationship with her father, a scholar focussed on author James Joyce, interwoven with a biography of Lucia Joyce and her relationship with her father. It sounds complicated but the differing art separates the three time periods covered, cleverly using full colour for Mary's adult life, sepia with coloured highlights for her childhood, and black & white for Lucia's history. 4.5*

Winner of the 2012 Costa Book Award for Biography. A formidable achievement for a comic!

BingoDOG: Arts and recreation (comic art and biography of a dancer, with several literary side characters)

Jun. 1, 11:06am

I'm starting There and Back Again by Pat Murphy, which I'm counting for the "impulse read!" square. I bought it 100% on impulse, based on (1) the title and (2) a slight discussion of the author that I remembered from the movie The Jane Austen Book Club. I chose to read it now because it works with several CATs, so in that sense it's not an impulse read...but as I said, my motivation to acquire it was a total impulse, so I'm counting it anyway. :)

Jun. 1, 4:50pm

I am reading a Golden Age mystery, Who Killed Dick Whittington by E. & M.A. Radford for the two or more authors square.

Jun. 1, 9:56pm

Set in the Southern Hemisphere

Naked and Marooned / Ed Stafford
3 stars

The author decided he wanted to maroon himself on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific (I believe in Fiji) for 60 days with nothing, including no clothes! Now, because he got a tv deal, he did have to take a camera and microphone, and there were daily “checks” (via note), if needed; also the drop place for the notes was also meant to replenish batteries. The notes were not to include anything to motivate.

This was interesting. I listened to the audio, though, so as is often the case, I did lose interest at times. I had a real hard time listening to how he hunted and killed, though. (Even the tv show did not air one of his (more brutal) kills.) The book not only looked at how he survived, but also he reflected on his mental state being so isolated.

Jun. 2, 4:46am

I read The Actual, by Inua Ellams, which is his fifth poetry collection (and his umpteenth publication). How did I love this? Let me count the ways. 5*

BingoDOG: Book you share with 20 or fewer members on LT

Jun. 2, 5:40pm

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn. I bought this yesterday because it is the first in a new series and a bargain on Amazon, then read it the same day, so am counting it for Impulse read.

Jun. 3, 4:07am

I read Fireweed, by Jill Paton Walsh, which is a 1969 YA novel about two teenagers alone in London in 1940 during the Blitz. 4*

BingoDOG: Element in title ("Fire")

Jun. 4, 5:11am

I read Flake, by Matthew Dooley, which is one of those "graphic novels" beloved by people who don't usually read comics: all the text is easy reading, all the pages are divided into multiple easy to follow rectangular panels, all the panels are filled in similar ways with familiar faces and places, and there's absolutely nothing in the presentation or content requiring any effort from a very average reader. This from a country that in real actual history produced the Glasgow Ice Cream Wars because truth is stranger than fiction. But I'm feeling generous as this is the artist's first published long form so: 3*

BingoDOG: One-word title (Flake)

Jun. 4, 10:02pm

A time word in the title: "Constant"

The Constant Rabbit / Jasper Fforde
3.25 stars

It was in the late 1960s that the “Event” happened. The Event caused rabbits (and a few other animals...though not nearly as many as the rabbits) to become anthropomorphized. It’s decades later and many people are leporiphobes. Peter Knox (who works for the Rabbit Compliance Taskforce, sort of tracking down specific rabbits, I think) discovers a long-ago college friend (and rabbit) Connie has moved in next door, along with her husband.

My summary might not be exactly right, as I found the first half-ish of the book quite confusing. I ended up quite enjoying the second half, though, once I (kind of) figured out what was going on… though I don’t want to say too much more in my summary so as not to give anything away. So for the first bit of the book, I kept thinking – ok, Fforde is way too smart for me because this is over my head. I did like the second half-ish, though. At that point, there seemed to be more of a plot and things happened, and I understood what was happening. Anyway, this all made me unsure how to rate it, so I went with 3.25, between ok and good. It seems there was a bunch of “deep” satire that went over my head, but once there as a plot, I liked it!

Jun. 5, 1:05am

Jun. 5, 7:57pm

I read Creating Short Fiction for Arts & Recreation.

Jun. 6, 8:05pm

For the classical element in title square I read The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. Although I've read one of his novels, Go Tell It on the Mountain, this was his first nonfiction book for me.

Jun. 7, 12:51am

I read Postcard Stories 2 by Jan Carson illustrated by Benjamin Phillips

An entrancing, delightful collection of stories that can fit on a postcard. Carson started writing these innovative stories when she hit a writer's block. Now at over 800 she has published two small books of the best. The originals were on postcards mailed to friends. Different, funny, with a humour born in Northern Ireland, what else would you expect from the author of Malcolm Orange Disappears?

I can't remember who mentioned these books, but I have to thank you. I suspect it might have been HelenLiz.

Jun. 7, 6:14am

I have finished Feuer in der Hafenstadt for the classical element in the title (Fire in the harbour city). One more to go!

Jun. 7, 10:11am

I read Samarkand, by Amin Maalouf. The first half is inspired by the life of Omar Khayyam and the second half appears to be trying to explain 20th century Iranian politics to the French (and USians). 3.5*

BingoDOG: Book about history (11th century Muslim world, and 20th century Persia / Iran)

Bearbeitet: Jun. 8, 6:48am

Someone reminded me it's LGBT pride month (or LGBTQQIA+ or whatever) so I dug this 2019 book out of my To Read pile.

I read Sensible Footwear: a girl's guide, by Kate Charlesworth, which is an autobiography of Kate Charlesworth and her perspective on British lesbian history from 1950 to 2019 in comics form, with some gay / bi / trans history and biographies included. The history is very focussed on white lesbians and middle class lesbians and their respectability politics. The art employs various styles and some of them appeal to me more than others but they're all chosen for reasons, whether it's collage for the history, or girls' own for Kate at school, or the nods to Alice in Sunderland, or etc etc. 4*

BingoDOG: By or about a marginalised group (lesbians, feminists, women)

Jun. 10, 10:38am

I just finished The Naturalist (Hapgoods of Bramleigh) by Christina Dudley. It's a Regency romance in which the hero is a naturalist working for the Royal Society, and the heroine (disguised as a boy) is his assistant. Since their shared love of the natural world is a big part of the romance, I'm counting this as a "book about nature/the environment."

Now I'm starting Death in Ecstasy by Ngaio Marsh for the "Southern Hemisphere author or setting" square. The book is set in England, but Marsh is from New Zealand.

Jun. 10, 10:55am

I read Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest, by A. Lee Martinez, which is a comedy fantasy novel about two teens on a road trip across Enchanted America. There are a lot of familiar jokes and one liners in this but Martinez delivers them well. 3.5*

BingoDOG: Book with or about magic (fantasy novel with magic)

Jun. 11, 7:40am

I read Sally Heathcote: Suffragette, by Mary M. Talbot, Kate Charlesworth, and Bryan Talbot, which is history presented as historical fiction in comics form. 4.5*

BingoDOG: Book with a character you think you'd like to have as a friend (probably at least Sally, Arthur, Fred Pethick-Lawrence, Hannah Mitchell, Teresa Billington-Greig, and Esther Knowles)

Jun. 12, 4:04pm

Written by more than one author

Mrs. Mike / Benedict and Nancy Freedman
3 stars

In the early 1900s, Katherine (Kathy) is sent to Calgary, Alberta to live with her uncle due to her health, where she meets RCMP Mike. Although Kathy is only 16, they get married and move further north – where there aren’t many white women, and life is much more primitive than Kathy is used to.

Apparently this is based on a real person – I only found that out by looking at a few other reviews. I listened to the audio, which wavered in and out on holding my attention (or not). It was ok. Some parts I liked, but overall, ok. Had a hard time with a couple of parts about injured animals. I’m not sure I particularly liked any of the characters. Except for one secondary character (due to the unusual name), I tended to get those secondary characters mixed up. One of the good things, though, were descriptions of hardships encountered: loss, fire...

Jun. 13, 5:57pm

I'm currently reading Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin for the "by/about a marginalized group" square. The protagonist is the daughter of Indian Muslim immigrants to Canada -- as is the author.

Jun. 13, 7:11pm

Just finished The Song Dog by James McClure for the Southern Hemisphere square.

The first of the Kramer & Zondi series was published in 1971, twenty years later McClure introduced Zondi, the Zulu detective, in this "prequel". The setting is South Africa during Apartheid and if you can tolerate the predictable racism, our black and white detectives, Zondi and Kramer, work well together and show the beginnings of their respect for each other. Using their individual talents they solve the grisly murder case but McClure's novel offers more than just a mystery story, but a glimpse of Apartheid in the old South Africa. A light touch of humour, well-developed characters, and a distinct sense of time and place makes this first-class entertainment.

Jun. 14, 7:48am

I read Steeple, by John Allison, which is a comic ("graphic novel") about two young women in a small Cornish town filled with Allison's trademark wit and weirdness. Billie is a much-needed new curate in the Anglican parish, while Maggie is a trainee priestess at the Church of Satan down the road, and both of them are realising they might have taken a few wrong turnings on their paths through life. 5*

BingoDOG: Book with name of building in title (Steeple - and for those who believe a steeple is merely part of a building and not a whole separate building, I refer you to St Augustine's Church at Brookland where, according to local legend, once upon a time a couple of virgins came to be married and the church was so surprised that its steeple fell off -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:St_Augustine%27s_Church,_Brookland_ED_02.jpg )

Jun. 18, 12:14am

A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss
Truss is better known as the author of the instructional and witty Eats, shoots, and leaves: the zero tolerance approach to punctuation but this farce, a mystery set in Brighton in the 1950s, is even funnier. Details are directly from a British seaside resort of the fifties, from the coin-operated Laughing Policeman in the penny arcade to a nice cup of Ovaltine, and all the popular culture of the day. Literature it is not, but it made me laugh out loud and took me back to the seaside holidays of my youth - except for the murders, of course.

Jun. 18, 6:21am

Claiming There but for the for the place I'd like to visit. Greenwich, the park and Observatory, is a nice place to spend some time.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 19, 12:26pm

I read Poison for Teacher, by Nancy Spain, which is a 1949 camp comedy, murder mystery, girl's school novel with an lgb(t) bent. This is technically the fifth book in a loose series of nine but it works as a standalone. The protagonist is a retired "Russian" ballerina who has recently left her husband to move in with her female friend. Her side-kick is a revue actress turned detective, based on real life star Hermione Gingold at her own request as, according to the author, she literally asked Spain to "Send me up as far as you like, but I do so want to be in a book...". They are employed as fake teachers at Radcliff Hall School for Girls (supposedly named after the red cliffs of Sussex and not anything, or anyone, else). Spain's writing style is the same as her performing style: a rapid succession of humour, clues, and red herrings. If you don't get one joke or clue then don't worry because several more will arrive almost immediately. 3.5*

BingoDOG: Read a CAT or KIT (GeoKIT Europe)

Jun. 19, 12:33pm

I read The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky which worked for Southern Hemisphere (Australia).

Bearbeitet: Jun. 19, 6:57pm

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Jun. 19, 9:00pm

I read Writing the Other: A Practical Approach by Cynthia Ward and Nisi Shawl for Two or More Authors.

Jun. 20, 7:54am

About or contains magic: I read The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, which has a magical creature in it

Jun. 20, 10:27pm

For the type of building in title square I read Death in a Prairie House: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Murders by William R. Drennan.

Jun. 22, 6:06am

I have finished my card with a book set in the Southern Hemisphere: Die vielen Talente der Schwestern Gusmão, about a family and in particular two sisters in Rio de Janeiro in the early 20th century.

Jun. 22, 8:56am

>33 MissWatson: Congratulations on finishing your card!

Jun. 23, 9:36am

>34 sallylou61: Thank you!

Bearbeitet: Jun. 30, 9:53pm

I completed the block for 20 or Extinction by Hannie Rayson. Play produced by LATV. I don't like LATV work but there was some good points made.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 2, 12:47pm

I completed two squares during June, leaving me with just two squares left to complete the card.

: Title Describes You: A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams
: By or About a Marginalized Group: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Jul. 2, 5:47am

>37 DeltaQueen50: - That's a good idea for the "title that describes you" block. I haven't found one yet and may have to read this.

Jul. 2, 8:23am

I read A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking for the 'made me laugh' square.

Jul. 2, 12:48pm

>38 dudes22: I got the idea from someone here who mentioned it as an idea for the square and since I already had the book, I added to my TBR pile.