If you want to have a little more fun with your summer reading this season, consider playing Summer Book Bingo, presented by Seattle Public Library and Seattle Arts & Lectures.

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We all look forward to summer, perhaps because somehow the season seems to bring a promise of more lightness, more hours, more time to spend doing what we love. Of course it isn’t really any more time, but somehow it feels like it; perhaps it’s left over from childhood days when summer seemed to stretch before us like a vast, unexplored country. For those of us who love reading, the idea of extra time seems delicious; it means, to our delight, more books.

Summer Books Guide 2018

(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)
(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)

If you want to have a little more fun with your summer reading this season (which is, let’s admit it, already way more fun than weeding), consider playing Summer Book Bingo, presented by Seattle Public Library and Seattle Arts & Lectures. Bingo cards are available at seattletimes.com; in the Sunday, May 27 print edition of The Seattle Times; at any Seattle Public Library branch; or at spl.org.

Get your reading on, as the summer progresses, and fill the card out; either a bingo (five squares in a row) or a full blackout. Submit it by Sept. 4 (see the back of the card for details on how to do this, physically or digitally) and be eligible to win a bookstore gift card or, for those who achieve the full blackout, the grand prize: a library of books by 2018-19 Seattle Arts & Lectures speakers and two tickets to the entire SAL 2018-19 season.

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So, what to read, to fill out your card? Some of the categories are interactive: ask a librarian, an independent bookseller, a young person, or your best friend for a recommendation. I asked a young person (a friend’s teenage daughter) for book recommendations the other day, and she came up with an intriguing trio: “Dreams From My Father” by Barack Obama, “Farthing” by Jo Walton and “It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays” by Shane Dawson. (Dawson is, I just learned, a YouTube personality with, according to Publishers Weekly, “a signature brand of twisted humor and neuroses.” Giving that one a miss, but I did put “Farthing” on hold at the library.)

If you want a recommendation from me (hmm, why is “Ask a harried Seattle Times writer” not a category this year?), I’ve got plenty. This spring, I’ve been reading an assortment of new titles with summer reading in mind (mostly fiction/mystery, often on the lighter side, with a few biographies thrown in). Here, you’ll find a selection of what I’ve recently read and liked, all of which fit into at least one Summer Reading Bingo category. Good luck, and happy reading!