Skip to content

Safer At Home Book Bingo Success!

At long last, I have my cover all for my Safer At Home Bingo card! I read 5 books in April, 3 books in May (all that care-giving really cut into my reading time), 8 books in June and 9 books in July. I’m so glad my reading mojo is back and I read some really great books over these last 4 months.

Most of these books were already on my to-read list. I moved some up that I’ve been meaning to read forever (Olive Again, The Good Lord Bird, and I’m Still Here) and I added few that I had always meant to read, too (Anne of Green Gables, re-reading Harry Potter, When No One is Watching). I also sought out some in particular because of the theme of a particular square (Fangirl, Citizen: An American Lyric, Harriet Jacobs, The Far Field). I enjoy this particular aspect of book bingo . . . the challenge of finding a book to fit a square is particularly fun for me.

I know you like my reviews so I will share the ones I have finished since the last time I gave a reading update.

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious LifeOf Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The parenting stuff and lists were funny but mostly this was too preachy for me.

Their Eyes Were Watching GodTheir Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s a classic for a reason: the Florida setting, the story of Janie and her personal growth as she searched for a real love, the incredibly written dialect, it draws you in and keeps you mesmerized until the very end. Hopeful, tragic, realistic, I highly recommend it.

Citizen: An American LyricCitizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book made me feel many emotions, anger, sadness, incredulity, exhaustion. And I’m just reading about this not living it every day as Black people do. Important and recommended.

When No One Is WatchingWhen No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fast paced and timely, this book is on the surface a thriller about the gentrification of a neighborhood in Brooklyn. But underneath the obvious there is so much going on about the treatment of Black people in this country, both micro and microaggressions, about the history of housing and redlining, and just how far people will go to make money. This is an excellent read not just for the entertainment factor but for understanding what’s happening in our country right now in terms of racism and race relations. Recommended! (I was provided a free copy of this ARC by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For summer book bingo and it’s just as good the 3rd time as it was the 1st and 2nd!

Long Way DownLong Way Down by Jason Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Short but powerful, Jason Reynold’s has written a brilliant book addressing the tragic consequences of gang violence. Highly recommended.

The Far FieldThe Far Field by Madhuri Vijay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book grabbed me from the beginning and I raced through it. The descriptions are so realistic, I could visualize the mountains and village, taste the food, and I truly felt like I was right there. I know very little about the violence and problems in India that this story is based on, I was as naive as the main character as she set off on her journey, but that made me enjoy it all the more.

The Good Lord BirdThe Good Lord Bird by James McBride
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I feel a little guilty for not loving this book which has received so much praise, including winning the National Book Award. I enjoyed the antics of the protagonist and found his voice to be genuine n a satirical way. But for me it just dragged on too long before it finally culminated in the raid at Harper’s Ferry.

Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and ConnectionHealing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection by James Crews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am completely undone by this collection of poetry. So many spoke directly to me, to the events happening in my life right now, to the state of our world, the poems are poignant, charming, vulnerable, uplifting, tender, and challenging. My favorite is Listen by Barbara Crooker but truthfully they are all wonderful in one way or another. Highly recommended.

Olive, Again (Olive Kitteridge, #2)Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think an alternative title to this one could be Olive Grows Up because I definitely saw a lot of growth for Olive in this book. I love the way Strout connects the stories in the book to each other through Olive’s presence and I love that even the bleakest stories have a shimmer of hope and a possibility of change. Highly recommended for fans of the town of Crosby, Maine and it’s realistic albeit cantankerous main character, Olive Kitteridge. (Even better when read while vacationing on the coast of Maine, I must say.)

FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this book for a Bingo square (story within a story) and enjoyed the main part, the plot, setting, and characters were realistic and entertaining, but the fanfiction parts (the story within a story parts) were boring and did nothing to add to the quality of the book. I read them because I kept thinking they would become relevant to the main story but they never did and if I’d known that I would have skipped right over them. Overall it’s a good coming-of-age/romance but it’s uneven and I think it would have been better without the fanfiction element.

Harriet Jacobs: Incidents in the Life of a Slave GirlHarriet Jacobs: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading first person accounts of slavery is important and this book does an excellent job detailing the horrors of that time.

The Book of LongingsThe Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I truly enjoyed this historical novel about Ana, the wife of Jesus. I will admit that I didn’t want to read it, not because I can’t accept the idea of Jesus having a wife (I think he very likely did) but because I feared it would be too religious. It’s not. It’s a beautiful story of a strong woman far ahead of her time, a woman who longed for so much more than was available to her in her patriarchal society, a woman who was fully supported by her husband but also had to make incredible sacrifices because of who he was and the politics of the time. I was intrigued by the portrayal of Jesus as a man and I think the way Sue Monk Kidd wove in stories from the Bible, including parables and the death of Jesus, was pretty brilliant. Highly recommended.

And that’s a wrap on this season’s Book Bingo. I can read whatever I choose (which was always the case in reality but you know what I mean) just in time for our Cape Cod vacation next week.

Thanks to Mary for hosting this wonderful event yet again!

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Wow! I just added so many books to my list! What amazing reading you did! (and I am working on finishing The Good Lord Bird as well and my thoughts are mirroring yours… it absolutely drags on)

  2. The only two I’ve also read are HP (of course! The whole family are HP nerds) and Sue Monk Kidd. I was so-so about that book, but I think there is basis in history re the documents she buried in a vase. Check Camille Paglia.

  3. Carole thanks, I love reading your book reviews. I always end up putting more books on my ‘wish list’. I have started ‘the Eyes Were Watching God’ and know I will be glad I read this book.

  4. Well done on the reading and thanks for the reviews. I am not so good at the reviewing part and appreciate the extra work.

  5. Bravo for your reading success and for a variety of reading! I also loved Olive Grows Up and Healing the Divide, and will have to look for Long Way Down. I hope you take some great books on your vacation!

  6. I’ve wanted to read Good Lord Bird since it was first published, but so many reviews were on the negative side and I’ve put it off. You’re thoughts have made me put it aside again (for now). Ultimately, I’m sure it’s worth reading. I’m finishing up my second card! I’ve never had more than a couple of Bingos so you can tell what I’ve been doing this year!

  7. All the squees! LOVE that you had such a great season of reading … and thank you for sharing all the reviews!

Comments are closed.

Back To Top