Reading challenges: sign-up and reviews

Ongoing language-learning challenges, and team challenge logs (but not individual logs)
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Serpent
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
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Re: Reading challenges: sign-up and reviews

Postby Serpent » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:47 am



Book: Jeff Kinney - Usla utsikter/Dog days
Challenges: TBR Pile, Books in translation, Bookshelf love, Mount TBR
Purchase details: in Akateeminen kirjakauppa in Helsinki, August 2014. It was one of the two best children's books I found in Swedish. (the best for language learners)
Learner's notes: I've recommended this author several times already. I like that the writing is in a diary format, and there are funny doodly drawings by the author himself. I think many children's books are expensive because the illustrations are high-quality and they're intended to be discussed with an adult. But language learners generally don't need elaborate illustrations :)
Representation notes: Heteronormativity, cissexism. Sexist stereotypes. Ageism ;)
Other: Before this book I hadn't heard the term dog days. That's ironic given that the Russian word for school holidays is based on this concept (каникулы - kanikuly). It also makes sense when you remember Sirius Black from the HP books. And random but it's his birthday today - wonder if JKR originally intended for it to be during the "dog days" but had to retcon that.
Anyway, some of you know that I'm very scared of dogs and don't like them at all. The Swedish title doesn't refer to dogs and while browsing briefly I didn't notice that the boy gets a dog later in the book. I later realized this while adding the book on goodreads, and I was disappointed and expected this to be yet another "child really wants a dog and gets it" :evil: Fortunately it's completely different :lol: It's the boy's dad who wanted a dog, and the book portrays the reality of that very honestly and humorously :lol:
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Serpent
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2327
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:54 am
Location: Moskova
Languages: heritage
Russian (native); Belarusian, Polish

fluent or close: Finnish+ (certified C1), English; Portuguese, Spanish, German+, Italian+
learning: Croatian+, Ukrainian, Czech; Romanian+, Galician; Danish, Swedish
exploring: Latin, Karelian, Catalan, Dutch, Chaucer's English
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Re: Reading challenges: sign-up and reviews

Postby Serpent » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:30 am



Book: David&Leigh Eddings - La grande dea (The Treasured One)
Challenges: TBR Pile, Books in translation, Bookshelf love, Mount TBR
Purchase details: via IBS.it in late 2012/early 2013. Another book I might have intended to read during the original Super Challenge :lol:
Learner's notes: One more author I highly recommend to language learners. Most of his books are "soap opera fantasy". This particular series is very repetitive. After I allowed myself to skip a few boring parts, I cruised through the book, reading faster than I ever did in Italian. Same happened when I read Eddings' Belgariad series in Finnish years ago.
Representation notes: Heteronormativity, cissexism. Sexist stereotypes. But the female characters are many and varied. There's also some mocking of the modern feminism I think.
Other: This book has awful reviews on goodreads. It's book 2 of the series, and I guess it's very telling that ibs.it was selling books 2, 3 and 4 very cheaply, about 5€ each I think. Fortunately, the translations make it better. I read the 1st book in German, and it was translated by the same guy who did ASOIAF. Extremely enjoyable. The Italian translation is a bit more average but while looking for some quotes in the English original I noticed how much of the repetition was cut out.
One comment also put these books into perspective for me. Eddings wrote the series while battling cancer. While that's no reason to overlook the flaws, I don't want to criticize him too harshly.
More generally, Eddings is a good choice if you're looking for fantasy with no dragons or magic wands.
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: 2 / 40 Budva na pjenu od mora: 3rd season (Croatian/Montenegrin)
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Serpent
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2327
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:54 am
Location: Moskova
Languages: heritage
Russian (native); Belarusian, Polish

fluent or close: Finnish+ (certified C1), English; Portuguese, Spanish, German+, Italian+
learning: Croatian+, Ukrainian, Czech; Romanian+, Galician; Danish, Swedish
exploring: Latin, Karelian, Catalan, Dutch, Chaucer's English
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Re: Reading challenges: sign-up and reviews

Postby Serpent » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:13 am



Book: David&Leigh Eddings - Abisso di cristallo (Crystal Gorge)
Challenges: TBR Pile, Books in translation, Mount TBR
Purchase details: via IBS.it in late 2012/early 2013. Parts 2-4 of the series were on sale for about 8€ each.
Learner's notes: I found this part easier than the previous ones, perhaps because reading the first part in German and the second one in Italian reduced the flow. Now I finally caught up.
Representation notes: With 20 pages remaining, I actually gave this books five stars on Goodreads, only to change that to four as the wrap-up reminded me on some cringeworthy parts earlier in the book. Basically, one female character is a stereotypically hysterical woman. Spoiler: she's a goddess.
The whote series is problematic in terms of ableism because there are repeated mentions of how the enemy is so stupid and "imb****e" etc... but in this part this begins to be subverted as the enemy turns out smarter than they thought :twisted:
Other: I'm hesitant to discuss this due to the rules, but this is basically atheist fantasy (I think GRR Martin is like that too). A very noticeable contrast with the Christian themes in works of Tolkien, Rowling and of course Lewis.
Specifically, the main characters are gods in-universe, and they're very... human. There are various cults/religions and we get to see which gods are real and which aren't. There's also cool stuff concerning science and evolution, although it's a bit boring that this imagined world is explained by our earthly science. Meanwhile the in-universe magic isn't explained at all. :? :mrgreen:
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MamaPata
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:25 am
Location: Moscow
Languages: English (N), French (B1), Spanish (A2), Russian (low B1), Latin (A2 once upon a time!), Arabic (abandoned)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3004
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Re: Reading challenges: sign-up and reviews

Postby MamaPata » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:31 am

I am doing this challenge over at Goodreads - the aim is basically to read as many classic novels as you can.

Challenge: Never too late to read classics
Book club: yes
Giveaways: Only for the group, not specifically for the challenge
Rules: Classics have to be at last 50 years old (though I think they do have a subsection for modern classics) and regarded as a classic.
Misc: I'm aiming for 12 books (Mole Hill) but would like to push up to a Bump (25) if I can. I'll probably read quite a few in English, but I am also trying to get some French classics in there. Russian classics and I tend not to get along (and I don't think my Russian is there yet!), so I think it is unlikely.

I may also give thisone a go, but I'm not particularly pushing it. Probably, I will just see how many I have covered by the end of the year.

Challenge: Better World Books 2017 Challenge
Book Club: I don't think so, though they are making suggestions for each of the categories
Giveaways: Again, don't think so
Rules: Read a book that fulfils each of the criteria

I am a challenge junkie, I accept it. :lol:
1 x
SC French Hours: 161 / 225 SC French Pages: 5085 / 7500
SC Russian Hours: 70 / 150 SC Russian Pages: 1263 / 5000
Output Challenge: 12100 / 50000


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