Write Stuff – Let the Games Begin

Ah, summer. Time for relaxing pursuits like reading on the beach or playing games at the cottage. For book lovers, there’s an even better combination: games about all things literary. Kick off your sandals, pull up a deck chair, and get ready to challenge your novel know-how.

The best place to start is at the beginning?the very beginning, as in famous first lines. It Was a Dark and Stormy Night is a board game that tests your knowledge of opening lines from books. As the write-up at Good Reads Games explains, the game isn’t just for devoted bibliophiles. Casual readers will have fun naming the title or author that belongs to the first line in categories that range ?from novels to poetry, from mysteries to children’s books, from science fiction to books made into movies,? and six more categories besides.

If your expertise runs more toward knowing miscellany like Jane Austen’s only sister’s name, there’s the Pride and Prejudice Trivia game. With 300 trivia cards about the book and several bonus questions about the author, this board game should keep even the most diehard Austenite happy during a weekend at the cottage.

Of course, if You’re a fan of Jane Austen you’ll probably know that, like many other writers, she didn’t start out publishing under her real name. But unlike Austen (whose name appeared on her books posthumously), many of those writers have only been published under their noms de plume. Who Am I? is a ?name game of literary stars,? and it tests your knowledge of the authors behind real-life names like Howard Allen Frances O?Brien. Answer: Anne Rice, author of the Vampire Chronicles series.

Younger readers can get in on the fun too, with Little Librarian. It’s a kit made just for kids, and It’s got ?everything they need to transform their book collection into a library.? With book pockets, checkout cards, library cards, and other supplies, it looks like a great way to keep kids interested in reading over the summer.
If you prefer your book quizzes online, you can sit on the deck and surf the trove of book quizzes on the Guardian site. Whether you know the names of every character in Roald Dahl’s books, can quote DH Lawrence for days, or could navigate every nook and cranny of Tolkien’s Shire, you’ll find more than enough quizzes to while away a sunny afternoon.

And if playing all those games makes you hungry for a little snack, why not enjoy a slice of book-themed cake–or at least a look at some? These 24 amazing creations should be more than enough to get you started.

The summer holidays are here. Grab your sunscreen and let the literary games begin.

S.D. Livingston is the author of several books, including the new suspense novel Kings of Providence. Visit her website for information on her writing (and for more musings on the literary world!).