Sam Sam's Comments (member since Aug 16, 2009)


Sam's comments from the The Seasonal Reading Challenge group.

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Aug 31, 2010 07:48PM

21757 15.4 - Author's Favorite: The Railway Children - E. Nesbitt
(920 Lexile, favorite of Kate Atkinson, 1906)

15 + 10 = 25

New Points: 25
Mega Finish: 35
Grand Total: 920
Aug 31, 2010 05:04AM

21757 10.7 - Indies Choice: The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
(2009 Young Adult Buzz Book)
10

10.10 - Square Peg: Roseanna - Per Wahloo & Maj Sjowall
10 + 10 (LiT) + 5 (Oldie - 1965) = 25

15.8 - Snape: Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
(Discrimination natural-born children and their parents)
15 + 5 (10.5) + 10 (Oldie - 1932) + 10 (Canon) = 40

New Points: 75
Exclusive Finish: 25
Grand Total: 860

Let's see if I can get a post done correctly before this challenge ends...
Aug 27, 2010 05:03AM

21757 10.4 - Espionage: The Accident Man - Tom Cain
(CIA,KGB,MI6 central to plot)
10 + 5 (Combo) = 15

15.2 - India: The Man Who Would Be King - Rudyard Kipling
(1888, The ___ Who ___)
15 + 10 (Oldie) + 5 Combo = 30

15.10 - Group Reads: The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie
(1936)
15 + 5 (Oldie) = 20

20.6 - Pre-1450: The Struggle for Mastery: 1066-1284 - David Carpenter
(640 pages)
20 + 5 (Jumbo) = 25

20.8 - 1st Person: Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer
(690 Lexile)
20

New Points: 110
Grand Total: 780
Aug 17, 2010 06:42PM

21757 El wrote: "Meghan wrote: "Wow...I am so glad that I did not major in English or Pyschology or any of the liberal arts. I probably would have had major issues with the teachers. (I was a Chemical & Biologica..."

My experience was like yours, El. To defend the Women's Studies folks...along with my English major, I have a minor in WS and had good experiences in all the WS classes I took. Because I wasn't the typical WS student, professors had to modify assignments for me on occasion, and there was never a problem there.

I'm a liberal arts wonk, but I'm also the English department's resident tech guy and math person, so I feel like I'm relatively unbiased. The only class where I had a real issue with a professor was biology. He was subsequently promoted to dean of the college--I am convinced--in order to keep him safely away from students.
Aug 17, 2010 06:28PM

21757 Kiri wrote: "Rhea wrote: "Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote:
I think with that score, it's just possible you may get to choose the first place task."

700 points above second place, with only 13 days left in the challe..."


Doubtful? Like it's doubtful that the Harlem Globetrotters aren't going to beat the Washington Generals?
Aug 17, 2010 06:45AM

21757 Kiri wrote: "The Citadel by A.J. Cronin (1937) 342pp (SRC 15.1A )
     Score: 15 (15.1) + 5 (10.5 - Combo) + 10 (Oldies) = 30
[book:The Forest Lover|25850..."


I'm glad my main job is to create the challenge instead of compete in it...there's no way I can keep up with some of you.
The Future of SRC (464 new)
Aug 13, 2010 02:30PM

21757 Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Why do you need to ask for a book to be "approved"? Are the tasks written in such an obscure way that you can't tell whether or not a book fits? Or are you trying to make a book fit that doesn't re..."

Let's all step back in the Wayback Machine and consider this moderator decision from Spring 2009 in denying a book selection:

"The word Three does yes rhyme with the word Sea but the numerical digit 3 isn't a word and therefore can't rhyme from my perspective."

Now, say "3" and "sea" out loud. They rhyme, don't they? I still don't understand Cynthia's logic, but she had apparently made that decision earlier in the challenge. The task itself, however, hadn't been amended, and the challenge was still all in one place because it was still part of TNBBC. How was someone who joined after there were 5,000 comments supposed to know that? Some of you were part of the challenge back then and probably remember all that. Regardless, examples like this (and there were more) where the decision seemed arbitrary/lacking in logic made me ask more times than I think were necessary to make sure a book was okay.

This is one example of why it's a really, really, really good idea to do the following things:
1) Write tasks with clarity that take the reader into consideration.
2) Make clarifications and amendments to a task visible in the same place as the task itself.
3) Make questions/answers about tasks easy to locate.

These are all things that have gotten better since then. The approved book list at the beginning of a thread is a good idea, but it's labor-intensive. Having separate threads for each task that one can scroll through has made the issue of finding which books have been accepted and which books haven't an easier task.

I am of the mind that you generally shouldn't criticize or complain unless you have a better idea or solution, which is what eventually led me to ask Cynthia for separate discussion space (we have our own group now) and permission to repurpose SRC tasks to create Reading with Style. Granted, that's a bit of an extreme, but I think that anyone who doesn't agree with something in the challenge or has a better idea should speak up in a way that can better the challenge itself. It looks like the environment is becoming more conducive to that than what it was when I first joined.
Aug 13, 2010 09:26AM

21757 Liz wrote: "Sam wrote: "120.7 - Q&A: WHERE Angels Fear to Tread - E.M. Forster / The Dogs of RIGA - Henning Mankell
(Forster - 1905, discrimination against Italians, numerology=11 )
(Mankell - Swedish, Soviet ..."


Now I remember that discussion. Since then, I have--literally--had my head examined. As I've told Krista, I'm blaming all my more-than-usual mistakes on that.
Aug 13, 2010 06:03AM

21757 10.9 - The Elements (& Wind): Chronicler of the Winds - Henning Mankell
(Swedish, 1st person, main character is under 12, discrimination against Africans, Europeans, rebels, guerillas, street kids)
10 + 15 (Combo) + 10 (LiT) = 35

10.5 - Villain POV: Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
(1st person, Ann Patchett's List, 1955, Canon)
10 + 10 (Combo) + 5 (Oldie) + 10 (Canon) = 35

15.7 - Anniversary (Candy): Like Water for Chocolate - Laura Esquivel
(Spanish, Element, Five Best Combinations of Fiction and Food)
10 + 10 (Combo) + 10 (LiT) = 30

15.10 - Group Read: The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie
(1936)
15 + 10 (Oldie) = 25

20.3 - Great Minds: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie
(Villain, 1st person, 1926)
20 + 10 (Combo) + 10 (Oldie) = 40

20.7 - Q&A: WHERE Angels Fear to Tread - E.M. Forster / The Dogs of RIGA - Henning Mankell
(Forster - 1905, discrimination against Italians, numerology=11 )
(Mankell - Swedish, Soviet conspiracy/espionage)
20 + 10 (Combo) + 10 (Oldie) = 40
+5 (Combo) + 10 (LiT) = 15

Total Points:220
Grand Total: 660
Aug 05, 2010 03:39AM

21757 Cait wrote: "


"


Click...save...done.

Thanks!
The Future of SRC (464 new)
Aug 04, 2010 08:52AM

21757 Since a couple of people have already mentioned it on this thread, I wanted to share that the new Reading with Style group is now open!

Reading with Style, for those of you who don't know, was formed as the result of conversations that occurred in The Suggestion Box, a thread I created last November. Reading with Style is a lighter challenge that has less tasks and more ways to score points. I hope many of you will check us out and join if you like what you see!
Aug 04, 2010 08:48AM

21757 Check out the new group!

We're opening the new group ahead of schedule for two reasons:
1) We're excited to share the changes that we've come up with so far.
2) While there's a lot left to be determined over the next few weeks, we wanted all of you to have the chance to make suggestions to help us make those determinations.

So...read the "Rules and Guidelines" post, look around, and start posting!

One last note: The Summer RwS challenge will still be located here. After 8/31, we will completely migrate to the new group.
Aug 03, 2010 05:20AM

Aug 03, 2010 05:19AM

21757 Reading with Style Update:

In light of the SRC's current status, Krista and I want to open the new Reading with Style group as soon as possible. We're currently fine-tuning a new feature of the challenge; once that's done, I think we'll be ready to make the group public. At that time, one-third of the tasks will be posted and ready for you to plan.

In the meantime, I have a request to make...we haven't decided on a logo/picture for the new group yet. If you have any ideas, please post them here.
Jul 31, 2010 04:47AM

21757 Krista wrote: "Hey Sam: For Task 20.1, the book needs to be non-fiction book written by someone who usually writes fiction.
East of Eden is fiction, so it won't qualify for combo points with Task 20.1. "


Hoisted with my own petard.
Jul 29, 2010 06:40AM

21757 10.5 - Discrimination: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet - David Mitchell
(Discrimination against Europeans/Africans/Asians by all sides)
10

10.6 - Children: On the Banks of Plum Creek - Laura Ingalls Wilder
(720 Lexile, 1937)
10 + 5 (Oldie) = 15

15.9 - Swimsuit: East of Eden - John Steinbeck / Medium Raw - Anthony Bourdain
(Steinbeck - 1952, 1st Person, also wrote non-fiction, Melissa Bank Top Ten, 608 pages)
(Bourdain - 1st Person, also wrote fiction)
15 + 25 (Combo 20.1 (2x)/20.8 (2x)/15.4 ) + 5 (Oldies) + 5 (Jumbo) = 50

20.1 - Non-Fiction: Changing My Mind - Zadie Smith
20

20.4 - Congo: The Eye of the Leopard - Henning Mankell
(Swedist, set in Zambia)
20 + 10 (Lost in Translation) = 30

20.5 - Victorian: Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
(1861, 1st Person, Fictional Portraits of the Legal World List, Canon, Elizabeth Spencer Top 10 (read short stories))
20 + 10 (Combo 20.2/20.8/15.4) + 10 (Oldie) + 10 (Canon) = 55

20.9 - Empire: An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire - David Mattingly (622 pages)
20 + 5 (Jumbo) = 25

20.10 - White Whale: The Savage Detectives - Roberto Bolano
(Spanish, 1st Person)
20 + 5 (20.8) + 10 (Lost in Translation) = 35

Total Points:240
Grand Total: 445
Jul 26, 2010 12:01PM

21757 Just a quick post for anyone who's keeping up with the latest SRC developments here...

1) Reading with Style will exist as a separate group as of 9/1. The group has already been created, and Krista and I are working to get it up and running by 8/15.

2) If the SRC ceases to exist as we know it following the current challenge, there will not be any crossover between RWS and SRC.

And I want to make sure that Krista gets all the credit she is due for doing all the heavy lifting associated with the RWS. Setting the challenge up isn't the hard part...it's maintaining it.
Jul 21, 2010 03:47PM

21757 Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Do you think that having less overlap would mean the tasks are posted closer to the start date? The 20-pointers at SRC are usually posted after the start of the challenge, and you have waited for t..."

My plans regarding the next challenge have led me to wanting the only tasks that are not posted prior to the challenge's beginning to be the ones that are decided by who won the previous challenge, which logically can't be posted until 9/1 at the earliest. I would have said previously that RWS tasks would be posted in August very soon after SRC tasks are posted, but I'm not sure how SRC is going to work next season. I'm thinking through a back-up plan now.

A couple of other thoughts:
-I liked a lot of Cynthia's two-book tasks in the past. Most of you who have spoken up so far on the subject seem to favor the one-book tasks more. While I won't guarantee that all tasks will be one-book tasks in the future, I wouldn't want to have more than 2 multi-book tasks in a challenge.

-I hadn't really thought about the redundancy of the Canon and Oldies style categories. As of now, I believe the Oldies style category will not be part of the Fall Challenge. I have a few thoughts about a new style category that may take its place. There will, however, be a significant incentive to reading older books in the next challenge
Jul 18, 2010 01:15PM

21757 The different varieties of style points are intended to be used in a "revolving door" manner. I don't want the challenge to become too big because, as some of you have noted, less is more. Thus, the idea is to have a fixed number of style categories per season, with the style categories themselves rotating in and out.

We haven't started discussing style categories for the fall yet, but there are some new things coming that I think you'll enjoy.
Jul 18, 2010 08:43AM

21757 Hey everyone,

We've been talking about some possible changes to Reading with Style in the future, and we'd like your input. If you could take a minute to answer the three questions below, we'd appreciate it. Post your thoughts here or send me a message with your responses. Thanks!

1) Do you think you will continue to participate in Reading with Style in the future?

2) If Reading with Style started to develop more tasks that were unique (i.e., not part of the Seasonal Reading Challenge), would you be less likely to participate? Or would it make no difference?

3) If Reading with Style became a group separate from the Seasonal Reading Challenge group, would you be less likely to participate? Or would it make no difference?
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