A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Summer Book Bingo: Recommendations from Neill Public Library

2024 Summer Book Bingo, our free summer reading program with The Seattle Public Library, is in full swing! Download your card here. Start your summer reading now and if you get a bingo or blackout, you can enter for a chance to win fantastic prizes. Connect with other Book Bingo readers by using the hashtag #BookBingoNW2024 on social media.

Did you know SAL partners with libraries across Washington State to give their communities streaming access to our events? Read on for recommendations from a librarian at Neill Public Library in Pullman, WA!

Size Matters  — Suggestions for the Book Bingo “One Big Book” Category

by Kate Ffolliott, Adult Services Technician, Neill Public Library, Pullman, Washington

Greetings from the Palouse! Our signature hills are rolling, and so is our Adult Book Bingo program. We are thrilled to partner with SAL and Seattle Public Library once again for the summer reading challenge with squares designed to stretch our reading repertoires. This summer, we are hosting a “Book Bingo Bash” each month, where we will have both quiet communal reading time and book banter. We hope it’s a fun time for folks to get ideas for their bingo squares and connect with fellow readers. Thanks to our fabulous Friends of Neill Public Library, everyone who plays gets to choose from fun prizes, plus earn entries for grand prize drawings if they complete a bingo or blackout.

Here are suggestions for a daunting square(s), One Big Book. While a 400+ page book may seem like it just impedes progress to your blackout, I personally love a long book. To settle in and know that you will be immersed in the world of that book, invest in the characters, and postpone that terrible last page feeling – these are advantages to a door stopper. Here are some ideas.


The Bee Sting, by Paul Murray

An absorbing epic about the downfall of the Barnes family in a small Irish town, this novel is funny, tragic and riveting. In the wake of the 2008 financial crash, all four members of the Barnes family muddle through their personal dramas and inner tumult. The expansive 643 pages allows for each character’s point of view to be fully realized and for the author to go back in time to excavate the roots of their discontent. The tense final pages will leave your heart pounding.

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

An 800-page debut novel by an award-winning poet, this work of fiction chronicles centuries of Black American histories in a way that manages to be intimate as well as powerfully layered. You will fall in love with main protagonist Ailey Pearl Garfield, as she comes to terms with her own identity amidst complex ancestry. Literary luminaries make cameos, and the writing is fittingly superb. As the New York Times reviewer Veronica Chambers wrote, this book is “so satisfying because it feeds a hunger that you might not have even realized you had.”

Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver

I have somehow never read Barbara Kingsolver, and Charles Dickens’ novel David Copperfield is a distant memory, but this retelling kept me invested for all 560 pages. Rural poverty and addiction are explored in depth, so this seems like it should be a melancholy read, but the humor and humanity in Demon’s voice propels the reader through nearly ceaseless misfortune on a quest to see the ocean – and to be somebody.

Thank you, Kate!

Posted in Summer Book Bingo