Yesterday, I was reading a fun interview with writer friend Amanda C. Davis and I discovered a delightful game I couldn’t wait to try. It’s a variation of the “Kiss/Marry/Kill” game (to use the polite name), where you rate people you might find attractive. The rules are simple: you’re given three names and you have to put one name in each category. You can’t say, “Oh, but I don’t want to put anyone in that last category!” You have to choose, like it or not.
For the book version, you take three titles and put one in each category: Buy, Borrow, or Ban. (I admit, I changed the last category, which was “Burn”, on the grounds that I can’t imagine burning a book, ever. “Ban” captures the idea while being slightly more civilized.)
So how do you pick your books? Amanda picked the three most recent titles on her Kindle, but I opted for another method — partly because my Kindle is new and I’ve only finished one book there (coincidentally, it happens to be Amanda’s). Instead, I exported my Goodreads collection into a spreadsheet and sorted them by title, then used a random number generator to pick 3 numbers between 1 and 202.
The numbers I got were 117, 167, and 194, so my selections are Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella, The Nanny Diaries by Emma Mclaughlin and Nicola Kraus, and True Love (And Other Lies) by Whitney Gaskell.
I’m a little surprised to have two chick-lit selections in the mix, and kind of shocked that there’s no fantasy represented, since that’s the main genre in my collection. Not sure what that says about the randomness of my picks, but oh well.
The “Buy” choice is easy: The Nanny Diaries. You can rail about the vapidness of bestsellers, but I really enjoyed this book — it was both funny and poignant, and it offered a detailed glimpse into both the world of the nanny and the inhabitants of New York’s wealthier class, who seem far, far removed from the real world. I’ve read it several times over the years, and it’s stayed in my collection through many, many moves, so it’s a proven keeper.
Deciding between the other two was a bit harder, but I’m going with my initial instinct: the borrow slot goes to Kinsella’s Remember Me, while True Love (and Other Lies) ends up banned. Both are lightweight novels — beach reads to some, though I think of them as travel reads: something breezy and entertaining to pass the time while you’re in an airport, on a plane, or enduring a long car ride. (For the record, that’s exactly how I read True Love — on a New Year’s guerrilla road trip to visit family, with stops in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.) While both were entertaining, the coincidence factor in True Love was too high, and the events too predictable; hence it gets the losing spot.
I hope you enjoyed this post and have fun playing the Buy, Borrow, Ban game yourself! I plan to revisit the game here once in a while, since I think it’s a neat way to provide mini-reviews of books I’ve read.
Happy New Year and happy reading!
UPDATES: Per Amanda, credit for the book version of the game goes to Gef Fox (
@WagTheFox on Twitter). Also, I like Amanda’s suggestion that we call the last option “Bin” instead of “Ban”, so I’ll be going with that in future.
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