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OLD TASK HELP THREADS > 30.1 - Ms Anderson's Task - Birthdays and Birthmonths

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message 1: by Cynthia (last edited May 26, 2010 12:21PM) (new)

Cynthia (pandoraphoebesmom) | 1378 comments 30.1 - Ms Anderson's Task - Birthdays and Birthmonths
Since roughly 90% of the people in my (Ms. Anderson's) life were born in June, I thought it would be fun to do a task related to birthdays!

For your first book, pick out your birthday month from this list and read a NONFICTION book about that topic.

January: Architecture (EXAMPLE: The Architecture of Happiness)
February: Polygamy (EXAMPLE: Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs)
March: Musical Theater (EXAMPLE: Our Musicals, Ourselves: A Social History of the American Musical Theater)
April: Disasters, Natural or Man-made (EXAMPLE: Catastrophe! The 100 Greatest Disasters of All Time)
May: Amusement Parks (EXAMPLE: The Kid of Coney Island: Fred Thompson and the Rise of American Amusements)
June: South America (EXAMPLE: Revolution!: South America and the Rise of the New Left)
July: Body Art (EXAMPLE: Customizing the Body: The Art and Culture of Tattooing)
August: Occultism (EXAMPLE: The New Encyclopedia of the Occult)
September: Everyday Objects (EXAMPLE: The Whatchamacallit: Those Everyday Objects You Just Can't Name)
October: Hundred Years’ War (EXAMPLE: The Last Crusaders: The Hundred-Year Battle for the Center of the World)
November: Video Games (EXAMPLE: The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon--The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World)
December: History of Language (EXAMPLE: Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World)

For your second book, find out what day of the week on which you were born (if you don't know already) and read a FICTION book from that genre.

Sunday: Noir (or Hard-Boiled) Mystery (EXAMPLE: Let's All Kill Constance)
Monday: Novel in Verse (EXAMPLE: Eugene Onegin)
Tuesday: Alternate History (EXAMPLE: The Yiddish Policemen's Union)
Wednesday: Fanfiction (Many websites exist with examples of fanfiction)
Thursday: Dystopia (EXAMPLE: Fahrenheit 451)
Friday: Western (EXAMPLE: A Century of Great Western Stories)
Saturday: Sports (EXAMPLE: The End of Baseball: A Novel)

Note: The books are two distinct categories, so therefore do not need to be related at all.

If you need suggestions OR have suggestions for books to read for this task post them here.


message 2: by Megan (last edited May 15, 2010 10:48AM) (new)

Megan Anderson (ms_anderson) | 1481 comments I hope everyone enjoys the task! Here are some answers to questions I suspect I'm going to get asked.

1. Fanfiction (fanfics) is basically a genre of stories written by people who like a certain show/movie/game/etc. that take the characters or setting of said show/movie/game/etc. and putting their own spin on it. For example, Star Wars: The Courtship of Princess Leia, one of my favorite fanfics, takes the characters from Star Wars and puts them in a new situation. In a fanfic, the other form of media came first.

For the purposes of this task, I'm going to ask that all you Wednesday people do not use fanfics using characters from other books (so no Twilight or Harry Potter fics, please). It's preferred that you use something that's actually been published to make it easier for Cynthia, but if you can't find any novel or e-book versions, keep in mind that the rules of the challenge still apply--the fanfic you read still needs to be 100+ pages.

Some published fanfic series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Wars, Star Trek, Halo, Starcraft, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Hannah Montana, Warhammer, and Dragonlance (from Dungeons and Dragons). Obviously, your best bet is to look in the SF and Fantasy section at your local bookstore/library.

2. For the nonfiction part of the task, any aspect of the topic is fine. If you were born in May and want to read a book about the history of roller coasters, that's fine. If you were born in December and want to read about the history of English, that's fine, too. I tried to make the topics broad so that people could find their own niche within the topic.

3. To find the weekday you were born, just Google or wiki your whole birthdate. It will pop up right away.


message 3: by Felina (new)

Felina I was born in December on a Sunday. Umm...help! I don't know what Noir Mystery means and I don't really know where to start for History of Language. What all would that include? I'm getting visions of dusty library tomes.


message 4: by Megan (last edited May 15, 2010 01:01PM) (new)

Megan Anderson (ms_anderson) | 1481 comments History of Language: My favorite for this one is The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way, which I read for one of my college classes. It's humorously written and not too terribly technical. If you like languages, you could pick a language you prefer and read about that instead. Some of the books on Chinese calligraphy are really interesting, since those characters evolved from pictographs.

Noir Mystery is like film noir, those dark, gritty, black-and-white mystery movies--think Dick Tracy or The Maltese Falcon. According to Wikipedia (the source for all things "true"), the most famous noir writers are: James M. Cain, Cornell Woolrich, Dorothy B. Hughes, Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Charles Williams, and Elmore Leonard. According to the site where I got the genres, Stieg Larsson's books could also count as noir.

Edit: looking at the other tasks, the Wall Street Journal has a list of the 5 best books on language: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12400...


message 5: by Felina (last edited May 15, 2010 01:09PM) (new)

Felina OH man Ms Anderson I could kiss you! The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress on the Wall Street Journal list looks AWESOME. A lesson in Science Fiction language - Or more Russian and Chinese. I am sooooooo in!

Think I'll read Stieg Larsson as I have been wanting to read his work for some time.


message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (writers_soul) Okay I was born in February and it says I have to read a book on Polygamy. I really need suggestions for this task, the book has to be non-fiction. If you have suggestions please try to make sure they have few pages because this is just not a topic I find intresting! I find it very disturbing! So if anyone could help that would be awesome! Thanks:)


message 7: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 16275 comments Mod
Amanda wrote: "Okay I was born in February and it says I have to read a book on Polygamy. I really need suggestions for this task, the book has to be non-fiction. If you have suggestions please try to make sure t..."

I'd love more suggestions for a nonfiction book on occultism, too, since this isn't a subject I know anything about.


message 8: by Megan (new)

Megan Anderson (ms_anderson) | 1481 comments Amanda: I don't know many titles (though The 19th Wife is on my tbr list), but just within that topic you could read about the role of women in pre-1920s China or in India or any other culture where polygamy was a common practice. Maybe someone else has actual titles for you.

Sandy: Occultism encompasses many different areas: magic/magick, numerology (like that one task!), astrology, dream study, and a variety of other topics. I don't know any specific books for that, but you could look into any of those possible topics and see what you can find.


message 9: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 16275 comments Mod
When I did a search on the term, books on Wicca came up as well - found one that's described as a basic primer on it (Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner), and my library has it, too! So it looks like I'm good to go.


message 10: by Jill (new)

Jill | 25 comments For Tuesday, alternate history - would this include historical fiction? I wasn't sure if that was just supposed to be more futuristic. Thanks!


message 11: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1314 comments Jill wrote: "For Tuesday, alternate history - would this include historical fiction? I wasn't sure if that was just supposed to be more futuristic. Thanks!"

Alternate History is a type of fiction in which the author imagines history has taken a different path. An example would be The Plot Against America.

This might help too http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternat...


message 12: by Megan (new)

Megan Anderson (ms_anderson) | 1481 comments Jill: Harry Turtledove is one of my favorites in this genre--I highly recommend Ruled Britannia. Another really good one is Roma Eterna, and The Years of Rice and Salt is supposed to be amazing (I own it, but haven't read it yet). I hope you find something you like!


message 13: by Dlmrose (new)

Dlmrose | 17946 comments Mod
Jill wrote: "For Tuesday, alternate history - would this include historical fiction? I wasn't sure if that was just supposed to be more futuristic. Thanks!"

I read Making History for a previous alternate history task- it was really thought provoking.


message 14: by Cindy AL (new)

Cindy AL (cangelmd) | 664 comments Fatherland is an alternate history book that is different from most - no time travel, no following the war. It is basically a mystery/thriller in a world where the Nazis had "won".


message 15: by Jill (new)

Jill | 25 comments Thanks for all your help!


message 16: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1314 comments Anyone have any thoughts on great books about body art?

It's really not my thing and I would prefer to not read a 500 page book about it.

Thanks!


message 17: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1314 comments I have been researching. Apparently body art includes body modification as well (scarification, tribal practices etc.)

Some books that sound great that I have come across

In the Flesh: The Cultural Politics of Body Modification- I really want this one, but it is not at my library, not on Paperbackswap and costs 20 on Amazon. Maybe the other July babies will have better luck finding it!

Chick Ink: 40 Stories of Tattoos--And the Women Who Wear Them
Bodies of Inscription: A Cultural History of the Modern Tattoo Community
Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo


message 18: by Donna Jo (last edited May 16, 2010 10:04AM) (new)

Donna Jo Atwood | 3157 comments I can deal with my month selection, but I'm way out of my depth on fanfic. I'd like some suggestions please. I don't do well with horror and/or vampiry type things, but I don't mind science fiction. I can do e-book stuff.


message 19: by Cait (new)

Cait Poytress (caitertot) | 662 comments Any suggestions for Musical Theater would be great as well.


message 20: by Donna Jo (new)

Donna Jo Atwood | 3157 comments Cait wrote: "Any suggestions for Musical Theater would be great as well."

Wicked: The Grimmerie, a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hit Broadway Musical is pretty interesting if you liked the musical.


message 21: by scherzo♫ (last edited May 16, 2010 12:13PM) (new)

scherzo♫ (pjreads) Ms Anderson wrote: "History of Language: My favorite for this one is The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way, which I read for one of my college classes. It's humorously written and not too ...

Edit: looking at the other tasks, the Wall Street Journal has a list of the 5 best books on language: ..."


Are all the books on the WSJ list of 5 best books on language okay or just the ones on history of language?

If they're all okay, then is any similar book about language okay?


message 23: by Cait (new)

Cait Poytress (caitertot) | 662 comments Donna Jo wrote: "Cait wrote: "Any suggestions for Musical Theater would be great as well."

Wicked: The Grimmerie, a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hit Broadway Musical is pretty interesting if you li..."


Thanks for the suggestion Donna Jo. I've never read the book or seen the musical, and my library didn't have it anyway. :o(

But it did lead me to A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages, which is what I will probably listen to on audio if I get around to this task.


message 24: by Liz (new)

Liz For noir, would Mistress of the Art of Death work?


message 25: by Liz M (new)

Liz M Felina wrote: "OH man Ms Anderson I could kiss you! The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress on the Wall Street Journal list looks AWESOME. A lesson in Science Fiction language - Or more Russian and Chinese. I a..."

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is a novel. For the birth-month, it has to be non-fiction.

This is a good, fairly easy read that might work:
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary


message 26: by Kristina Simon (new)

Kristina Simon (kristinasimon) | 10973 comments Any suggestions for Novel in Verse? I've found By the River by Steven Herrick that sounds interesting and my library has it. But if anyone has read a really good one, I'd love to hear about it.


message 27: by Megan (new)

Megan Anderson (ms_anderson) | 1481 comments Sorry--I spent the day with my brother, and just got home to see people had lots of questions!

To start off...

Anything related to your nonfiction topic will work, as long as it's nonfiction (meaning anything on language, dictionaries, etc. is fine for History of Language, or a book about a particular musical or famous Broadway actor or librettist (ie. Gilbert and Sullivan or Stephen Sondheim) for Musical Theatre, or a single object for the other September people like me). Therefore, the WSJ Five Best Books on Language are fine except for The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which has already been pointed out to be a SF novel. The other four will work, however.

For a fanfic, Donna Jo, SF is one of the most often-fic'd genres. You can read a book based off Star Wars (I'm reading Star Wars: The Courtship of Princess Leia, which I haven't read since I was about 13), Star Trek, Doctor Who (there's a bunch of new ones I just saw at Borders today), Halo, Starcraft...I can only vouch for the majority of the Star Wars novels, but the others seem popular, and one of my best friends devours all the gaming novels (he read three Halo novels when he was on vacation at my place last year).

Liz: That's not exactly what a noir novel is. While that one may be described as "gruesome," a noir mystery is usually urban, very dark and pessimistic, with a private eye sitting in his office drinking and/or smoking, a fedora and trenchcoat on a hook, and a dame slinks in out of the rain, water dripping from the half-veil on her hat to bluntly request help solving a murder. This is, of course, a very general sort of scene, but it's that kind of mystery. Even something like the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Who Censored Roger Rabbit? was the original novel) could be considered noir. If you're having trouble finding one, try one of the classic authors I mentioned in post 4.

Also, because I'm crazy and didn't pay enough attention: I mentioned The 19th Wife earlier. This will not work, since it's a novel. However, memoirs about former members of polygamist cults or books about life in cultures where polygamy was/is acceptable will work. I'm sorry for the confusion.


message 28: by Megan (new)

Megan Anderson (ms_anderson) | 1481 comments Kristi (Passion for the Page) wrote: "Any suggestions for Novel in Verse? I've found By the River by Steven Herrick that sounds interesting and my library has it. But if anyone has read a really good one,..."

Ellen Hopkins is my favorite author in this genre. I highly recommend
Burned and Identical. They tend to be pretty dark and gritty, but they're absolutely beautiful books.

You could also check out Lisa Schroeder or Sharon Creech's books Love That Dog and Hate That Cat: A Novel if you want something a little lighter and fluffier.


message 29: by Liz (last edited May 16, 2010 06:27PM) (new)

Liz Thanks for clarifying. I found some interesting ones. Noir is very different from anything I've ever read, so I'm kind of excited to try it out!


message 30: by Donna Jo (new)

Donna Jo Atwood | 3157 comments Thanks, Ms Anderson. I'm good to go now.


message 31: by Kristina Simon (new)

Kristina Simon (kristinasimon) | 10973 comments Thanks, Ms. Anderson. Poetry isn't really my thing, but both of the Ellen Hopkins sound great and my library has them! Very excited. Now I just need to figure out which of the three I want to read. Decisions, decisions...


message 32: by Felina (new)

Felina Liz wrote: "Felina wrote: "OH man Ms Anderson I could kiss you! The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress on the Wall Street Journal list looks AWESOME. A lesson in Science Fiction language - Or more Russian a..."

Bummer. I feel like there are very few options for language that aren't text books.


message 33: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 1341 comments Ho-hum this task makes me wish I was born in another month and day of the week. Not really interested in reading NF on architecture. I like picture books on architecture but those are wildly expensive and not really reading. Part B I probably could find something that has a cute fictional slant to sports without being over the top. I admit to liking some sports comedies/romances.

It really is a very CUTE task though.


message 34: by Rebecca NJ (new)

Rebecca NJ (njreader) | 1060 comments Ms. Anderson, would you accept V for Vendetta by Alan Moore for Dystopia fiction?


message 35: by Cindy AL (new)

Cindy AL (cangelmd) | 664 comments I was looking at some noir lists and shelves on Goodreads, and I found this series, will it count?
Already Dead


message 37: by Donna Jo (new)

Donna Jo Atwood | 3157 comments Another good South American non-fiction is The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey


message 38: by Bridgit (last edited May 17, 2010 04:32PM) (new)

Bridgit | 515 comments So the fan fiction has to be based on a movie or tv?? meaning i can't read one of the many P&P or Jane Austen ones? or Finn: A Novel or ones based off of GWTW like Scarlett or The Wind Done Gone: A Novel? Just trying to figure out what works and why, because I dont have a huge desire to read FF and would prefer to read something more literature based.

Thanks!


message 39: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 79 comments Ok I was born in May on a Sunday. So rollercoasters could be fun, but noir fiction....uhhhh!!! Nothing is very appealing of those I have found. This is new to me, but Wikipedia listed Sue Grafton. While mystery;she doesn't seem like the same sort of mystery as this noir brand of mystery. I however will grasp at straws here and ask if Grafton will work. If not, anybody in the same boat have any ideas???


message 40: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 79 comments For May's amusement park book would Cincinnati's Coney Island: America's Finest Amusement Park be ok for this(assuming I can find it). I live near this park and it would be interesting to read.


message 41: by Liz (new)

Liz noir I'm considering: If anyone recommends any of these, I'd appreciate the input.
The Thin Man
Storm Front
The Big Sleep
The Long Goodbye
Double Indemnity
Rear Window
Get Shorty


message 42: by Megan (new)

Megan Anderson (ms_anderson) | 1481 comments From the bottom up (since I'm just coming back from a 14-hour field trip and don't feel like organizing things properly):

L wrote: "For May's amusement park book would Cincinnati's Coney Island: America's Finest Amusement Park be ok for this(assuming I can find it). I live near this park and it would be interestin..."

Yes!

L wrote: "Ok I was born in May on a Sunday. So rollercoasters could be fun, but noir fiction....uhhhh!!! Nothing is very appealing of those I have found. This is new to me, but Wikipedia listed Sue Grafton..."

Having read the premises of a few of her books (but not the books themselves), I'll accept this. Booze, murder investigations, and pessimism are all staples of the noir genre.

Bridgit wrote: "So the fan fiction has to be based on a movie or tv?? meaning i can't read one of the many P&P or Jane Austen ones? or Finn: A Novel or ones based off of GWTW like Scarlett work for South America?"

Yes, definitely does. Sounds like a good book, too.

Cindy wrote: "I was looking at some noir lists and shelves on Goodreads, and I found this series, will it count? Already Dead"

Because of the way it seems to be written, I will say yes to this one.

Rebecca wrote: "Ms. Anderson, would you accept V for Vendetta by Alan Moore for Dystopia fiction?"

Yes! I still need to read it, though I'm in love with the movie (bald Natalie Portman = <3).

Tanja wrote: "Ho-hum this task makes me wish I was born in another month and day of the week. Not really interested in reading NF on architecture. I like picture books on architecture but those are wildly expens..."

Is there a particular time period, civilization, or style you like best? You could read a bio of Frank Lloyd Wright, or about how castles were built and functioned, or the House of the Dolphin in Pompeii, or the invention of skyscrapers. There can be pictures (diagrams are often useful), and the books can be written for young adults, too (that goes for every topic in every task I ever create). As for sports, I'm not really a big reader of those books, either, but Tangerine has a nice SF slant to it.


message 43: by Rebecca NJ (new)

Rebecca NJ (njreader) | 1060 comments Thanks Ms. Anderson. I'm slowing working my way through Alan Moore's graphic novels.

BTW, I hope you were someplace nice for your field trip!


message 44: by Megan (new)

Megan Anderson (ms_anderson) | 1481 comments The seventh graders went on their DC trip, and because I'm subbing for one of the seventh-grade teachers all week, I got to go in her place. While it was awesome to go to the museums, it was rainy and cold and I got a massive migraine about four hours in that didn't start to go away until we were on the bus heading home. Oh, and three hours on the bus (one-way) is never fun. But I love the museums! ^_^


message 45: by Manday (new)

Manday | 311 comments For May I plan to read Cedar Point: The Queen of American Watering Places.

As for the Fan fic, I have some experience and I have not enjoyed it (i read some X-Files when I was younger). Can anyone recommend a really good book from X-files, dr Who, or torchwood? There are so many and most of them are probably sub par.


message 46: by Megan (new)

Megan Anderson (ms_anderson) | 1481 comments Manday wrote: "For May I plan to read Cedar Point: The Queen of American Watering Places.

As for the Fan fic, I have some experience and I have not enjoyed it (i read some X-Files when I was youn..."


I would think that most of the "real" published ones (as opposed to posted online) wouldn't be THAT bad...but having never read any fanfiction for those series, I really can't recommend any. I guess just look up some and see what they're rated, read the synopses and reviews, then pick one that sounds like you'd like it. That's what I do for most of my selections, anyway ^_^;;;


message 47: by Jennifer (last edited May 17, 2010 07:52PM) (new)

Jennifer  (jml_417) I think I've almost got mine figured out.

I was born in April, on a Tuesday. For April (Disasters), I'm thinking A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester, about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. For Tuesday (Alternate History), I'm still undecided between re-reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (I love this book!) or The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson, which sounds amazing BTW! :)

Just FYI for anyone else born in April and looking for a "Disaster" book - I read Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 (also by Simon Winchester) and it was excellent! I highly recommend it.

Great task Ms. Anderson!


message 48: by Megan (new)

Megan Anderson (ms_anderson) | 1481 comments New read! New read! ^_^


message 49: by Erin (NY) (new)

Erin (NY) (erin_p) | 629 comments I need some fun suggestions on South America. I don't know much about that, so I am open for anything fun!


message 50: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer  (jml_417) Erin wrote: "I need some fun suggestions on South America. I don't know much about that, so I am open for anything fun!"

In messege #2,Ms. Anderson said we could read any aspect of our non-fiction topic. For South America, what about something like Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read?

Hope this helps! :)


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