Let’s Play Wanderlust Reading Bingo
Somewhat late in the day I discovered a book bingo challenge that sounded more fun than most of the reading bingo challenges I’ve seen doing the rounds over the years. This one is designed to get people reading literature from around the world.
Wanderlust Bingo is the brainchild of FictionFan who wanted a challenge to force her out what she called “my insular British comfort zone.” The idea is to complete all 25 squares reflecting geographic categories such as “Oceania”, “Polar Regions” and “Indian Sub Continent” and location categories like “village”, “beach” and “river” .
At first glance that didn’t seem too difficult. I had a merry time matching books I’ve read this year with their appropriate square and was feeling rather smug when I saw how many squares I’d completed.
My smugness didn’t last long however. I hadn’t spotted this very important “rule”
A country can only appear once.
Eek. That knocked out two squares where I’d used a book set in Wales. I thought I’d been clever in choosing The Long Dry by Cynan `Jones for my “desert” square but if I use Wales for that square I can’t then use it for the “train” and the “beach” categories. And if I use Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan for “village” then I can’t use Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan for “small town” because both are set in Ireland.
I can see now why it’s taken Margaret @ Booksplease more than a year to complete 16 of the 25 squares.
With a bit of re-jigging I’ve managed to fill in 13 squares. Not bad all things considering.
My guess is that by the end of this year, I’ll have completed 16 squares. The square called “space” is going to elude me I think because I never read books set anywhere else other than on this planet.
I have a few books that I’m already planning to read that would fit some of the categories:
Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed (desert/Egypt)
Chasing The King Of Hearts by Hanna Krall (Europe/Poland) – this is on my #20booksofsummer2022 list
But I don’t want to make this too much of a challenge where I read a particular book just because I need to complete a certain square. If I happen to read a book that fits a category then I’ll claim it in retrospect.
How would your card looked if you played along with Wanderlust Bingo?
37 thoughts on “Let’s Play Wanderlust Reading Bingo”
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Oo I love a book bingo, and this is such a fun one. Good to have an ongoing project – enjoy!
It’s a really tough one I think!
Good luck with this. Looks like you’re onto it now!
I’ll be curious whether I actually manage to complete many more squares – I think its going to get tricky from here on
Will be fun to watch.🌻
I feel a bit like you seemed to feel. At first glance, I thought I could do quite well, but I too would be guilty of ‘double booking’. I feel inclined to give this a go – thanks.
it definitely involves a bit of re-jigging. I’ve already made one swap since posting my card
Oooft! This *is* tough (but fun)! That “a country can only appear once” is a killer. And I realised, going through my own recently-read with this bingo card, how many books I read actually have multiple settings. Can Instructions For A Heatwave count for an “island”, because part of it takes place in Ireland, even though the rest is set in England (which I’ve already used for my City square, with London-based Odd Hours)? What a brain-teaser!
I think it’s going to take a lot of jiggery pokery to finish the whole card. I’ve thought of a few in my TBR that I could match to certain squares only to realise that I’d already used that country. Having a block for N America is messing so much up ….
Wow! That’s quite a challenge.
Hmmm. Despite my steadfast vow to eschew Challenges, I must admit this one is tempting me. I probably need to have a long, cold shower to regain my senses.
I hear you loud and clear. I keep repeating: I will not do challenges……
Well done! I’m quite tempted to join you – I had a go and I think I can fill about eight squares with reads this year without really trying, but hopefully should be able to cover a few more by the end of the year!
I was surprised I could fill in so many squares without much effort. Quite gratifying!
So much fun!
For space, I was going to suggest a book, and then realized Carol beat me to it: “For space you must read (preferably listen) to Project Hail Mary!”
For mountains, I recently read At the Mountains of Madness, by Lovecraft. Impressive, even by me who usually don’t read horror
I’ve found the audio version of Project Hail Mary so shall give it a go
Horror I can no longer do sorry
I usually don’t read horror, but this is a classic, and readers who read contemporary horror may not even consider it as horror, or very mild
Ah, I see.
Oh Karen! For space you must read (preferably listen) to Project Hail Mary! The audible version is fabulous. And then, there’s always Wrinkle in Time!
I know how much you loved that book. I’ve just found the audio version available in our library system so shall queue it up as my next listen.
Is the audible narrated by Ray Porter?
just checked and yes indeed that’s the version I have
He’s fabulous! Sounds like Tom Hanks! Enjoy! 🙌
You’re doing great so far, without even trying! Originally I planned to fill the boxes serendipitously, and that worked for about half the card. But since then I’ve been trying to find books to fit and it’s much harder than I intended! Feel free to change the Space box or to interpret it any way you choose – prairie country, maybe? I’ve only got three left to fill but this one year challenge taken me a year and a half so far… 😉 Enjoy!
having only 3 gaps is rather impressive. I can see how the closer you get to the end, the harder it becomes because the range of country options are narrower.
I don’t think I’d do very well, especially if it can only cover this year.
But I think it’s a great initiative because I like anything that encourages people to read more widely.
There doesn’t seem to be any time limit – evenFiction Fan who came up with the idea has taken 1.5 years and still has 3 more squares to complete.
I have read many books so far… but almost all of them are set in England =D
And I would have huge trouble with polar regions anyway 🙂
Why would polar regions be especially difficult for you?
Glad to see you’re having a go at this one too and you’re doing so well! I think it’s a real challenge. I began the same way as you – just reading what I wanted, and was happy when a book fulfilled a category and I also wanted it to be a book I already owned. But the Desert square defeated me and I have bought Margot’s suggestion of The Night of the Mi’raj by Zoë Ferraris, set in Saudi Arabia.
ideally yes I would like to use books I already own or, at a push, a library loan. No way do I want to buy more books!
So far this year I’ve been to Ireland an awful lot, taken there by a long list of excellent Irish women writers – small towns, and a mountain and a beach have been visited.
There are some good writers emerging from Ireland so I’m not surprised. Unfortunately if you play by the rules of the bingo game you can use them only for one square…
Well done! I suspect I would struggle to fill in much of this, because my reading wanderlust tends to take me to the same places!!
Russia has deserts and beaches so still plenty of variety just within one land mass. Though of course not much use for this game