Summer Reading Bingo
Libraries and bookstores love summertime; with school out, they aim to attract the young by hosting a series of wonderful activities and events. This year I noticed them sponsoring Reading Bingo: a summer activity where children earn a prize — a coupon or a store credit — if they read books in the genres prescribed.
I was dissapointed that they did not have a similar activity for adults. Hence, I decided to create my own! My Bingo board consisted of 10 genres and my task was to read these books within a month.
Following are the genres I chose, the books I selected, and why I picked them:
Memoir — Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War by Annie Ciezaldo
I bought this book randomly online thinking that it would be a disaster. But upon reading, I was surprised by the writer’s detailed research and her capacity to eloquently explain the complications faced by the people of Iraq and Lebanon. I read to prepare for a Mediterranean themed dinner party hosted by our friends and this book was a perfect addendum.
SciFi — I, Robot by Issac Asimov
I added this genre in order to read a SciFi novel as I havent done so in a long while. ‘I,Robot’ was top on my list especially since I am writing a short story on the effects of a particular AI technology on the life of an Engineer. I will be reading that story at Kepler’s Books next Story is The Thing event.
Science — We have no Idea: A Guide to the unknown Universe by Jorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson
I found this book at the Books Inc on Van Ness and immediately decided to purchase it. Now working as an Illustrator for Stanford’s Economic Policy Institute, I have become more interested in the work of graphic artists, especially the ones who create fun doodles to showcase difficult concepts.
History — The Greek Way by Edith Hamilton
For the history genre, I debated whether to pick a book on early US history or Ancient Greek and I finally picked the latter as I thought it would aid my understanding of Plato’s Republic for my upcoming Fall Quarter class.
Prize Winner — The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
I got this book from the library as it was a selection of a book club I recently joined.
Translation — Wittgenstein’s Nephew by Thomas Bernhard
I had purchased Wittgenstein’s Nephew last year but never got to read it. Also, after taking a course on the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, I wanted to see what Thomas Bernhard had to say about his nephew. Plus the book is set in Vienna and I love to devour anything Viennese!
Climate Change — The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future by Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway
This book was part of the Palo Alto Library’s Climate Change book club. Unfortunately, I could not attend the club’s meeting but the book was an easy short read.
Biography — How to live: A Life of Montaigne in one Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell
I had been meaning to read Sarah Bakewell for a long time and I picked up this book as soon as I came across it at the Library. I was also in the mood for some sound advice from a sage and this biography seemed perfect for that task!
Graphic Novel — A Cartoon History of the Modern World Part 1: From Columbus to US Constitution by Larry Gopnik
A wonderful work by a famous cartoonist. I got this book from the library as I wanted to see how Larry is able to tell the whole history of the world via illustrations.
International Author — Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
This is Arundhati Roy’s second novel after 20 years! I had tickets to see her speak at City Arts & Lectures in San Francisco, so I decided to read this book before the event.