So I didn’t participate in many book challenges this year – no time or patience! – but Novel Heartbeat’s 2016 Reading Bingo Challenge was one of ’em. I did better than I expected; I hit 23/24 squares, with the only miss being one I saw coming a mile away: “A book with a steamy romance.” Romance, not really my bag.
It was pretty fun; not super-challenging to the point that I forced myself to read books I’d rather not, but challenging enough that I really had to reflect on the books I did read. It was kind of like a treasure hunt: “Okay, where’s the cat? The shifter? Does anyone have an antihero?!?”
Anyway, after the jump is my completed card (I stamped it with snowflakes! ‘Tis the season!) and a rundown of the books that met the criteria. I had multiples for most of the squares, but just picked one each for simplicity’s sake.
- Listen to an audiobook
I listened to eleven audiobooks this year, but Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer was the very first!
- An author’s sophomore book
- A book with red on the cover
- Re-read an old favorite
I don’t know if this counts, hence the question mark in the corresponding square, but: Pretty Deadly, Volume 1: The Shrike by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos. It was a reread of a favorite, but I wouldn’t call it old, exactly: I first read it in 2015. (The reread was in anticipation of Volume 2: The Bear.)
- Read an anthology
The Gods of HP Lovecraft, edited by Aaron J. French. Again the was just the first of several.
- A book with a number in the title
- A book with an animal sidekick
- An author you’ve never read
- A book with a one-word title
- A book that’s been on your TBR for a long time
The Gilda Stories: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition by Jewelle L. Gomez. Okay, so the 25th anniversary edition obviously wasn’t in my TBR for more than a month, but … surely the story itself counts?
- Read a dystopian
- A book that made you cry
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (ugly crying like whoah).
- A book with a shifter
Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones (spoiler alert: they’re all werewolves!).
- A book from a debut author
Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1) by Sylvain Neuvel (though it’s hard to believe this is his first book, it’s so damn good!).
- A book with star-crossed lovers
- A book with an antihero
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis. (Alex will always be a straight-up hero to me.)
- A book with a sword or dagger on the cover
Cold-Forged Flame by Marie Brennan. Surprisingly, this was the ONLY book I read that qualified for this square.
- A book with a male protag
- A book from a genre that’s outside your comfort zone
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker (it’s poetry. Enough said.)
- A book with more than 600 pages
Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer was the longest at 824 pages – but I listened to the audiobook, so I don’t feel like it counts. Luckily, I have a backup: The Fireman by Joe Hill, which weighs in at a close 768 pages.
- Read a book with a cat
- A book with a steamy romance
Nope nope nope.
- Read a middle grade book
- Read a book you own