2012 Book Challenge!

An area for literary challenges and ongoing competitive events of all kinds.

Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Mauthos » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:01 am

I have a question regarding actual comic books.

I know there is already allocated a scoring system for a Graphic novel, but as I read a lot of comic books separately I was wondering how, if at all, this could be scored.

Most comics I read have a story arc over 6 issues, therefore the average comic book issue has an average of 22 pages, this equals 132 pages in total for 1 story arc so I was wondering if it would be possible to label, for example, Resurrection Man - Issues 1 - 6, (GN) etc.

Let me know :)
Simplicity is the key to brilliance.
User avatar
Mauthos
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:43 pm
Location: Bristol


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Xisor » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:27 pm

How's Hammer & Bolter calculated? It's pretty hefty. Basically half of an anthology!
"When my housemate puts his bike in the middle of the living room floor, I find that inordinately jarring, annoying and rude, but for me to refer to it as "genocide" would be incorrect." -Ath
xisor.wordpress
Xisor's Dice-o-matic Maiminator
User avatar
Xisor
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4993
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:13 pm
Location: Canterbury


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:29 am

Updated my list. I've added a couple stand-alone short stories I read #SASS and have at the moment taken a point each for them. Is that ok?

Also, I don't really remember the dates I finished some of the Jan books so I just put the date as the end of the month.
Shadowhawk's Shade My 40k/writing/review blog. You can check out all my reviews here.

My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
User avatar
shadowhawk2008
 
Posts: 7716
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:17 am
Location: Battle-barge Spear of Lycaeus of the Angels of Retribution


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Xisor » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:08 am

Novella compendiums.

Individually, BL novellas are big enough to constitute stand alone books. (~120 pages is a book.) Plainly we've been counting, say, 'The Primarchs' as a separate entity, but arguably it's also an omnibus of (smaller) novels.

I'm inclined to mark 'em under as 'The Primarchs' and 2pts, but then the technicality is appealing beyond simple point-grabbing: the style & distinction of novella compendiums feels like something more weighty, less...ephemeral than a normal anthology of shorts.

Thoughts on this conundrum?
"When my housemate puts his bike in the middle of the living room floor, I find that inordinately jarring, annoying and rude, but for me to refer to it as "genocide" would be incorrect." -Ath
xisor.wordpress
Xisor's Dice-o-matic Maiminator
User avatar
Xisor
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4993
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:13 pm
Location: Canterbury


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Ghurlag » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:03 am

I've just noticed that the way the challenge is formed doesn't actually stop us writing reviews, as I thought it did (read more carefully, I must). I've been itching to write some brief reviews for the books and justify my star rankings, but that said, I don't want to break up my nice list.

Should I append the reviews to the end of my post, or place them separately?

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
User avatar
Ghurlag
 
Posts: 697
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:57 pm


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:17 pm

We can post the reviews on the forum blog and you can linkback here :-)
Shadowhawk's Shade My 40k/writing/review blog. You can check out all my reviews here.

My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
User avatar
shadowhawk2008
 
Posts: 7716
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:17 am
Location: Battle-barge Spear of Lycaeus of the Angels of Retribution


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Ghurlag » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:33 pm

The Code Book by Simon Singh

The Code Book is well known as an excellent guide to the history, and indeed practise, of cryptography. The historical approach Singh takes means that the reader starts off by observing the first principles as they were originally conceived, and gradually progresses along the art into deeper and more complex systems, mirroring the historical development of the art. With a gripping writing style and an intriguing and educational topic, it will be no surprise to read that this is a very good book. Some of the more modern material is a bit simplified for the taste of a technical reader, but probably suits the layman much better and is nonetheless a solid grounding.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
User avatar
Ghurlag
 
Posts: 697
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:57 pm


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Pipitán » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:17 pm

1. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien (F) (01/01/12) (****) (2) (Ah, still awesome)
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (F) (09/01/12) (**) (2) (predictably superficial but gripping)
3. Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez (NF) (11/01/12) (***) (2) (fascinating)
4. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (F) (12/01/12) (**) (2) (still frustratingly gripping)
5. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (F) (17/01/12) (**) (2) (terrible conclusion)
6. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (F) (27/01/12) (****) (2) (Jesus Christ, phenomenal fantasy)
7. First Love by Ivan Turgenev (F) (31/01/12) (***) (1) (startlingly touching)
8. The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie (F) (10/02/12) (***) (2) (brutal and epic, if empty)
9. The Penelopiad The Play by Margaret Atwood (P) (11/02/12) (**) (2) (felt forced, bitter, but interesting)
10. The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (F) (14/02/12) (****) (2) (psychotic)
11. Memorial by Alice Oswald (F) (24/02/12) (**) (2) (dull, but strangely beautiful)
12. The Wasteland by T. S. Eliot (P) (03/03/12) (****) (1) (blew my tiny little mind)
13. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (F) (07/03/12) (****) (3) (holy fuck)
14. Ian Dury: The Definitive Biography by Will Birch (B) (28/03/12) (**) (2) (highly interesting)
15. Emphyrio by Jack Vance (F) (31/03/12) (***) (2) (glorious world-building)
16. The King Must Die by Mary Renault (F) (06/04/12) (***) (2) (excellent reinterpretation of the myth)
17. A Brief Guide to Classical Civilisation by Stephen Kershaw (NF) (12/04/12) (**) (2) (interesting, took a while to warm up)
18. The Odyssey by Homer (F) (13/04/12) (****) (2) (I'd say it's dated, but blimey, they do not exaggerate)
It’s genius. This story absolutely BLEEDS 40K, start to finish... I freaking loved it.
- Aaron Dembski-Bowden on my story 'Sating Desire'
User avatar
Pipitán
 
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:32 pm


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Squiggle » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:51 am

Emphyrio is a wonderful book, eh? I adored it.
If my mind's the weapon, my heart's the extra clip

Forum Moderator

@sqyiggle
User avatar
Squiggle
 
Posts: 1084
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Pipitán » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:11 pm

I especially loved the early childhood sequences, there was something rather beautiful and honest about it, despite the flamboyant sci fi, it's hard to explain. Similarly the Masked Ball.
It’s genius. This story absolutely BLEEDS 40K, start to finish... I freaking loved it.
- Aaron Dembski-Bowden on my story 'Sating Desire'
User avatar
Pipitán
 
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:32 pm


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Ghurlag » Fri May 11, 2012 12:50 am

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

A translation of a foreign author, lent to me by a friend who's a fan of the series in the original Polish. I wasn't quite sure what to make of this one. There's a certain cool self-possession and wryness inherent in the character of the protagonist which makes the story a mildly amusing read without ever moving to direct humour. The stories play on preconceptions in a counter-cultural manner which, together with the dark fantasy setting, would fit well in a Warhammer Fantasy novel, but I must say I didn't find the twists overly surprising or the storyline that engrossing.

While a plot does emerge from the fragmented tales, it's not particularly bound together, and in many ways the book seems like a collection of scenes which seemed good to the author. The translation also suffered from some clumsy and inelegant phrasing, though I tried to look past that. On the whole, I could see the angle through which the book might be favourably received as an abnormal adventure story, but it failed to grab me entirely due to a disjointed nature and a slightly naive treatment of the reader's expectations. It's good, but not excellent.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
User avatar
Ghurlag
 
Posts: 697
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:57 pm


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Ghurlag » Tue May 15, 2012 10:44 pm

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

A classic which has well earned its place, I feel. There is no greater explanation of the novel than reading it, but to make an attempt, I will say that Catch 22 is a novel about the insanity of war and, by extension, of life. 'If you don't laugh, you'll cry' seems an apt way of summarising the way the novel is highly comedic and bizzare and yet manages to slippingly reveal some dark, depressing truths. The circling, confusing manner of the narrative highlights the crazed nature of what goes on in the story, even as the circle becomes a spiral and we see friends slip away.

Insane bureacracy, delightfully proposterous characters and a sparkling of wit together make a poignant point about the futility of it all. A most definite recommendation.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
User avatar
Ghurlag
 
Posts: 697
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:57 pm


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Ghurlag » Tue May 15, 2012 10:57 pm

Fermat's Last Theorum by Simon Singh

A delightfully well-written book which really grabs the reader's interest and holds it. It was about 3:00 at night, my partner had gone to bed hours before, and yet I was still reading because I wanted to know how it ended. What's this, you ask? A murder mystery? A thriller of some kind? No, a discussion of a mathematical problem - in many ways, one of the most important mathematical problems of history, provoked by the most infuriating margin-note in history and solved within our lifetime by a single dedicated genius.

Singh really shines here at bringing the subject to life by walking us through it as it originally grew - you get to watch some of the greatest minds of history grapple with a problem from many angles and fail to solve it. The explanations of the attempts might end up a little frustrating for a strongly mathematically inclined reader, but for the lay and merely mathematically literate reader, the book is accessible, enjoyable and informative.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
User avatar
Ghurlag
 
Posts: 697
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:57 pm


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Xisor » Tue May 15, 2012 11:19 pm

Ghurlag wrote:Fermat's Last Theorum by Simon Singh

A delightfully well-written book which really grabs the reader's interest and holds it. It was about 3:00 at night, my partner had gone to bed hours before, and yet I was still reading because I wanted to know how it ended. What's this, you ask? A murder mystery? A thriller of some kind? No, a discussion of a mathematical problem - in many ways, one of the most important mathematical problems of history, provoked by the most infuriating margin-note in history and solved within our lifetime by a single dedicated genius.

Singh really shines here at bringing the subject to life by walking us through it as it originally grew - you get to watch some of the greatest minds of history grapple with a problem from many angles and fail to solve it. The explanations of the attempts might end up a little frustrating for a strongly mathematically inclined reader, but for the lay and merely mathematically literate reader, the book is accessible, enjoyable and informative.


If I were graduating this year instead of 2009, the Honorary Graduate for my ceremony would be this fine author-chappie.

Still meaning to pick up this one up sometime soon. And by 'pick up' I mean that literally, it's on the other side of the wall!
"When my housemate puts his bike in the middle of the living room floor, I find that inordinately jarring, annoying and rude, but for me to refer to it as "genocide" would be incorrect." -Ath
xisor.wordpress
Xisor's Dice-o-matic Maiminator
User avatar
Xisor
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4993
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:13 pm
Location: Canterbury


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Vivia » Fri May 18, 2012 4:05 pm

Somehow I'll keep track of the books.

15. The Ladies No.1 Detective Agency (Swedish) by Alexander McCall-Smith, F, 12/04, (***), 2 pts (not as vibrant as the rest in the series)
16. The Jedera Adventure by Lloyd Alexander, F, 12/04, (***), 2 pts (first time I read them in English)
17. The Philadelphia Adventure by Lloyd Alexander, F, 12/04, (**), 2 points (not as good, tired attempt for Alexander)
18. Emma by Jane Austen, F, 25/08, (***), 2 pts (not quite as I remembered)
19. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell, F, 26/08, (***), 1 pts (for the nth time, easily overlooked)
20. Valkia the Bloody by Sarah Cawkwell, F, 22/10, (***), 2 pts, (another great story in the WH Heroes series)
21. The Gildar Rift by Sarah Cawkwell, F, 6/11, (***), 2pts, ( first ever SMB novel, solid read)

43 pts
Last edited by Vivia on Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.
There is nothing gay about the Princeton fight song. "Oh, the men of Princeton are charging up the rear, holding all the balls..." Okay, I hear it now. – Jack, episode Queen of Jordan
User avatar
Vivia
 
Posts: 3817
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Stockholm, long nights


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Ghurlag » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:10 am

Foundation, Foundation & Empire and Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov

I'm reviewing these three together because they got the same rating from me, are by the same author, from the same series and most importantly the stories have all run together in my head, so I couldn't reliably tell you what was in which book.

The series is most definitely interesting. The premise of a sociological calculation to bring back civillisation as soon as possible following the death of the Empire is a good one, and the way the story casts aside the need for a continuing protagonist is brave, and compelling for those with a fetish for (pseudo)history (of which I am one).

The stories are definitely not a 'lasers blazing' charge across the galaxy, or even a carefully designed space warfare expedition. Most of the action is a few people sitting around talking about what is to be done (and often, what they decide is executed flawlessly). This is fine in principle, but sometimes it seems that these people live in a world where complex problems can be figured out in an evening of discussion and solved entirely with a simple action. Some of the dialogue is a bit 'pulpy' ("Great Galloping Galaxies!"), but it's not really that noticeable once you're absorbed. My main complaint with the plot is that it often felt like the author was making it all up as he went along - the series gets 'revisionist' as it advances.

All in all, a very good series. Not flawless, and I wouldn't expect everyone to enjoy it, but definitely worth a read.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
User avatar
Ghurlag
 
Posts: 697
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:57 pm


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Ghurlag » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:22 pm

I've just started reading the Bible (with the intention of eventually reading the whole thing), and I've added my reading thus far to the list, but I want to ask for opinions on the way I'm marking it down on this list.

The Bible is a collection of texts (as the name implies) so I'm currently taking the approach that each Book of the Bible is in essence a short novella in a series. Some of these texts are longer than 50 pages (Genesis was) but some aren't, so as a nod to this my intention was to mark each book as being worth 1 point, regardless of length.

However, I've noticed that If I applied this throughout it would mean earning 66 points, which seems overmuch. If I counted all 'split' books (Peter, Samuel, Chronicles) as being just one, I think this would be reduced to 57. The Bible is roughly 1300 pages, so this still seems excessive. Can anyone propose a solution other than the below?

The other approach would be to view each Testament as being a book. This would mean a 3pts score for the Old Testament (960 pages) and a 2pts score for the New (~200 pages). This seems to be fair for the page count, but is a bit less motivating for me (The text is quite hard going for a number of reasons. Being able to mark down my progression in some way would be helpful).

My other problem is marking the category of the texts. At the moment my attempts are based on my impression of each book, (F/M) for Genesis (being essentially a series of allegorical parables and pseudo-historical accounts of the origins of the Jews) and F/M/RB for Exodus (As it is the same, but also contains a vast listing of rules. I may be misusing the RB category here a tad). Would it be better to have a 'Religious Text' category? Would that be much used? Advice on this would be helpful.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
User avatar
Ghurlag
 
Posts: 697
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:57 pm


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Xisor » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:37 pm

Anthologise!

They're hard going, varied and translated works that require a lot of contextual understanding and background commentary (indeed: if you've got notes on the differences in translations, the choices of canon [I opt for the Catholic Apocrypha, I think, be included, but that's Catholic background for you!]) to really 'get' the most out of (without adding in all your own madcap interpretations, annotations and or musings).

RT certainly seems fine for me as a category. Splitting on 200-pages (so six or seven "books" worth 2pts each?) seems more reasonable and adds a sense of achievement to encourage you along.

Also, ~200 pages seems like a good measure for a harder going, concentration heavy book. Skim-reading the Bible perhaps isn't the usual way to do it.

http://sco.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible
The Bible, sometimes ca'd The Guid Beuk is the name gien tae the gaitherin o scrievins hauden as haly bi Christians. The first pairt o it, cried the Auld Testament is hauden tae be haly bi the Jews an aw. The Bible wis written bi mony scrievers (aiblins aboot fowery) ower a lang period o time (no kenned for certain, but atween the 6t century BC tae the end o the first century AD is the ordinar time-frame).


The Guid Beuk indeed. :lol:
"When my housemate puts his bike in the middle of the living room floor, I find that inordinately jarring, annoying and rude, but for me to refer to it as "genocide" would be incorrect." -Ath
xisor.wordpress
Xisor's Dice-o-matic Maiminator
User avatar
Xisor
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4993
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:13 pm
Location: Canterbury


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Ghurlag » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:37 pm

A sound suggestion, there. I don't have the book on me at the moment, but I remember that Genesis to Deutronomy is essentially a thematic 'run' which might be of roughly that 200-page length. If I can identify a couple more such runs in the Old Testament, that would be a good way of managing it.

Regarding context/translation notes, I'm reading the New International Version, which comes with footnotes on translation ambiguities. Nothing particularly signficant has come up through them as yet, bar the note that 'adam' is 'man' in hebrew, which casts that parable in slightly different and interesting light.

I must say that what I've read so far seems if anything to provide several positions from which you can question typical christian teaching. For example: in the Garden of Eden story, God outright lies to Man about the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and punishes the serpent for telling them the truth about the matter. If that story convinces me to worship anyone, it's the serpent.

The other main impression I have is how rambling the story is so far. Several events are partially described in one manner, then re-described in another, leading to lots of contradictions and confusion regarding what exactly is meant to have happened.

Anyway, enough of that. Thanks for the solution.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
User avatar
Ghurlag
 
Posts: 697
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:57 pm


Re: 2012 Book Challenge!

Postby Ghurlag » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:19 pm

Anyone other than me still updating?

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
User avatar
Ghurlag
 
Posts: 697
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:57 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Board index

Return to Competitions and Challenges

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest