So, last year, my wife and I decided to do a Book Bingo Challenge. We did 25 different categories that ranged from “Owned, Never Read” to “Should Have Read in High School” to “Translated from Another Language”. On some of them, we played fast and loose with the title categories (I’m looking at you “Relationship Book”), while others were more literal.
The ones I had the most fun with were the categories I could use to read something I want, to have an excuse to finally read a specific book that was in my TBR pile. This year, my Book Bingo is more personalized. There are 25 different categories. Some of them are specific books (I’m finally reading The Shining), some are writers I have wanted to read for a while, a few are extremely broad in scope (a Presidential Biography, History, and Occult to name a few).
Where I screwed myself is in deciding to read James Clavell’s Asian Saga.
Chronologically, the first book is Shogun. I’ve read the book before, so I know what to expect. And I know that I’m in for 5,000 pages of only Clavell. What just occurred to me is that if the other books are anything like Shogun, I am in for a serious case of Literary Blue Balls.
For those who are unfamiliar with Shogun, it is the story of an Englishman living in Fuedal Japan. Based on the life of William Adams, this 1,200 page novel details the lives of the main character, John Blackthorne, but several Japanese and Portuguese characters as well. It is richly detailed, allowing the reader to feel as though they are right alongside each character. We feel everything Blackthorne feels, including his isolation, and we are right there with Toranaga as he maneuvers his way to become Shogun. After 1,200 pages of build up, the story conclude in two paragraphs.
So, I repeat, if the other books are anything like this, I’m going to have Literary Blue Balls.