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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?

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