Wandering again…

Wanderlust Bingo 2023/4

I love having a challenge on the go that reminds me to get out of my insular British comfort zone and look for books that take me to different places and cultures. So having finally finished the first Wanderlust Bingo challenge, I’ve decided to do it all again! There are some slight differences – I got rid of a couple of the boxes that I found really hard to fill, and have split some of the larger geographical areas up a bit more; so, for example, Oceania has been split this time into Australia and Polynesia. So here it is – the second Wanderlust Bingo card…

The other major change I’m making is to make it a two-year challenge this time! Trying to do it all in one year last time was far too pressured. Two years should be easy-ish, but I’m not really bothered about a deadline – if it takes less or more time than I’m anticipating, that’s fine! It will all depend on what books come my way.

My plan is that for the first year I’ll just wait and see what boxes I can fill from my general reading, and then in the second year I’ll frantically try to find books to fill in any missing squares! Any type of book will count – crime, fiction, science fiction, non-fiction. A country can only appear once and a book can only fill one box, and my home country of Scotland now gets its very own box. Do you have a favourite book that you feel would fill one of my boxes? All recommendations welcome!

If you fancy joining in, I’d love to follow your journey! Otherwise, I’m hoping you’ll give me the pleasure of your company as I travel. 😀

Wish Me Bon Voyage!

79 thoughts on “Wandering again…

  1. This does look fun – although quite a challenge in one year, so I think you are absolutely right to do it in two. I am cutting down on my reading and reviewing commitments, otherwise I’d join you. But then, I always tend to travel in my reading anyway!

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    • Last time I thought it’d be easy to do in one year – ha! Lesson learned! Yes, you’re very good at keeping your reading geographically varied. I tend to fall into a UK rut if I don’t have a specific challenge on the go that keeps me looking for books from or at least about other places.

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      • I think I may join in with this, probably very feasible now I think about it especially if spread over two years! If I don’t complete it in that timespan I shall have to hang up my bibliophile cape and wear my underpants out of sight… 😁

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        • Oh great! We’ve got quite a few people on the journey this time, which always makes it more fun! Haha, call me old-fashioned, but I always prefer underpants to be invisible! 😉 Looking forward to seeing where you get to – and what you choose for the Scotland box! 😀

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  2. This is such a fun challenge, FictionFan! And I do like the reminder to stray out of the comfort zone from time to time and explore other places. I like the categories, too! I’ll be looking forward to the postcards you send from your journey!

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  3. For island or Africa, Red Island House is excellent, set on Madagascar. For Sea, I liked Jess Kidd’s The Night Ship. For Small Town or North America, you can’t go wrong with anything by Mary Lawson, who writes about small remote towns in far northern Ontario, Canada.

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  4. This looks so fun!!! (no, no, NO… I do not need to add this to my challenges!)

    Of course I have suggestions, but will just wait and see if you get stuck with one. 😉

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    • It should be! (yes. yes, YES – you DO!!! 😉 )

      I have quite a few lined up that should fill some of the easy boxes but I know I’ll struggle with some – I shall yell for help when I get lost!

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  5. I love traveling vicariously with you, FF! And I think you’re wise to extend this challenge to two years rather than merely one. Should be a lot of fun trying to fit books into those categories!

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  6. This looks like a really nice combination of specific and broad to work with and I’m sure you’ll come up with intriguing choices! What I might do is use your card backwards-at the end of the year I’d be curious to look back and see which squares can be marked off from the reading I did.

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    • I’ll be looking to you to keep the recommendations coming for books from Central and Eastern Europe! It is quite fun to just see what boxes get randomly filled – the pressure only comes for the last few boxes which seem to remain stubbornly blank. But at least I ditched the Desert box so that’s a weight off my mind… 😉

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  7. I’m not back to regular blogging yet and with more hospital appointments coming, I don’t feel much like writing reviews. But this card does give me something else to think about. Glad the desert and forest squares have disappeared, I found those difficult too. And no free square. I’ve read 2 books this year which will fill the North America and Nordic squares for now anyway. That’s a start.

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    • Don’t feel under any pressure, Margaret, though hopefully the two-year schedule will make it a bit easier this time. Ha, yes, but I bet every second book we read this year will be set in either a desert or a forest! 😉 You’re doing better than me – I haven’t filled a single box yet!

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      • This is amazing. I have now read three books that fit into the boxes for North America, Nordic and Scotland. Each one a book I had lined up to read this month. Now I just have to write about them! 🙂

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        • Wow! You’re off to a flying start! I’ve only read one book so far this year and I don’t think it really fits any of the categories except maybe UK. I’ll need to race to catch up with you… 😉

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    • Hurrah! I do hope you enjoy it and find some great books! I’m also so glad you commented since it made me realise that I seemed not to be following you, though I think it can only have been for a few days – don’t know what happened! Anyway, now fixed, and I look forward to seeing where your travels take you! 😀

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  8. I just saw Cath’s post signing up for this. I am interested in joining in, but still giving it some thought. Extending it to two years is a good idea.

    I may need some help with which countries in Europe are Western vs. Southern vs. Central or Eastern. I am very geographically challenged.

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    • I’d be delighted if you decide to join in, but no pressure! Some people have decided they’re just going to use it to look back at the end of the year and see what boxes they can fill out of their usual reading. Haha, I’m hopeless at geography! But if you google any of the box headings, Google helpfully lists all the countries in a region – that’s kinda how I came up with the region headings. Western is kinda France/Germany/Switzerland area, Southern would be Spain/Italy/Portugal, and Central and Eastern would be Russia and the countries that used to be under Soviet control, if that helps. But each of the regions has loads of smaller countries in them too.

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    • I find I get into a UK rut unless I make a real effort to travel more in my reading, so I love having a travel-based challenge on the go! Hope you find some interesting places to visit! 😀

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  9. Excellent! I look forward to starting this Wanderlust Bingo just as soon as I finish the last one. For the Africa square, I really recommend Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo, which I absolutely loved. And for the Middle East, I’m currently listening to Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak (Turkey) and enjoying it enormously – I’m only 2/3 way through, though, so it will depend on whether she sticks the landing!

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    • Hmm, I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the Shafak. I loved Ten Minutes, and hated the most recent one with talking trees(!) so I’ll need some persuasion! Welcome to Lagos sounds great, though! I have a tentative one for Africa, but it’s a review copy and might be awful, but even if it’s great Welcome to Lagos could probably fit the City box. Either way, it’s now on my wishlist – thanks for the rec!

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  10. […] FictionFan is doing another Wanderlust Bingo card for 2023/4 – it’s a two year challenge. It took me two years to complete the first card and I’m looking forward to this new challenge. There are some slight changes from the original card but the idea is still the same – any type of book will count – crime, fiction, science fiction, non-fiction. A country can only appear once and a book can only fill one box. For further details see this post. […]

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  11. Bon Voyage FF, I can’t wait to follow you along this journey. This new card looks delightful, and like you, this is one of my favourite parts of reading – travelling to new places (and times) without ever having to leave my comfy reading chair 🙂

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  12. I’m still making my way through the first version – 7 still to go. Definitely not easy!

    Splitting Oceania means when I eventually come to do version 2 I can’t use anything from New Zealand. Oh hell…

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  13. Happy travels, FictionFan!
    Oceania is a big area geographically with people living completely different lifestyles in each country (or areas within countries) so I’m a big fan of the new categories.
    I’ll be checking the mail box regularly for postcards.

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  14. I do wish you bon voyage but I’m so late to the game that you’re probably away already! I would love to come and like you will happily sail along this year and start paddling like mad next!

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    • Ha, I seem to have got stuck at passport control! Every book I’ve been reading so far this year is set in England! Oh good, I hope you find some fun places to visit – I shall look forward to following your journey! 😀

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