Reading challenges: sign-up and reviews

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

Postby KallyFowler » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:31 am

Sounds really interesting
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Re: Reading challenges: sign-up and reviews

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:38 pm

KallyFowler wrote:Sounds really interesting

Welcome to the Forum! Glad to have you with us.
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Serpent
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Re: Reading challenges: sign-up and reviews

Postby Serpent » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:54 am

MamaPata wrote:I am a challenge junkie, I accept it. :lol:
How did your challenges go? Are you doing any this year?
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MamaPata
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Re: Reading challenges: sign-up and reviews

Postby MamaPata » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:52 pm

Serpent wrote:
MamaPata wrote:I am a challenge junkie, I accept it. :lol:
How did your challenges go? Are you doing any this year?


Not too bad! I didn't get around to doing the Better World Books, which is a shame. But I did read the 12 books needed for the Mole Hill of the Classics challenge. I pushed it up during the year to the Bump, but didn't make that. I also had a goal of reading female authors, which I reached, but then failed again when I pushed it up.

I've set similar Classics and Female Author goals this year, but I'm not really going to be able to do much until the summer, so not sure how it will turn out. But I might look at other challenges then.

How about you?!
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Re: Reading challenges: sign-up and reviews

Postby IronMike » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:06 pm

Didn't know we had one of these here!

I am doing a challenge, one that I've made up myself, a combo of a few I saw online. I intend on reading 33 books (minimum) in 2018: 6 books from my bookshelf I haven't read yet; 6 ebooks I already bought but haven't read; 3 books in a foreign language; 15 "classics" as defined by Bloom's Western Canon list; 3 books from Eurolinguiste's Language Learning Challenge.

So far I've read 8 books, 2 of which fall under "ebooks I already bought," 1 of which is from Eurolinguiste's challenge (January) and 1 of which is in a foreign language.
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Serpent
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Re: Reading challenges: sign-up and reviews

Postby Serpent » Tue May 01, 2018 9:35 pm

Trying to get back on track with reading (haven't finished a book since 2016). Found a perfect challenge :D

Challenge: Dread&Read
Rules: finish one or more books you dread reading
Target: Honestly most of my currently reading list...
Giveaway: sort of... you can ask for simple "treats" for up to three books :D But they probably don't ship to Russia :(

My list:
  • Yvonne Hergane - Die verschwundene Trommel
  • Aleksis Kivi - Nummisuutarit
  • Alice Walker - The Color Purple
  • Leigh Eddings - Gli eredi degli dei
  • Clotilde Chaparro Rocha - Duzinda
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