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2011 Individual Challenges > Caleb's Challenge

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message 1: by Caleb (last edited Dec 30, 2011 02:55PM) (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments



001. The Scrubs by Simon Wood The Scrubs - Simon Janus

002. Scourge (A Grim Doyle Adventure) by David H. Burton Scourge - David H Burton

003. The Last Days of Jericho by Thomas Brookside The Last Days of Jericho - Thomas Brookside

004. The Nightmare Within by Glen Krisch The Nightmare Within - Glen Kirsch

005. The Last Watch (Watch, #4) by Sergei Lukyanenko The Last Watch - Sergei Lukyanenko

006. Road Rash by Simon Wood Road Rash - Simon Janus

007. The Summoning Fire by David Michael The Summoning Fire - David Michael

008. A Room With a View by E.M. Forster A Room With a View - E M Forster

009. Under the Amoral Bridge A Cyberpunk Novel by Gary Ballard Under the Amoral Bridge - Gary Ballard

010. The Red Church by Scott Nicholson The Red Church - Scott Nicholson

011. The Know Circuit (The Bridge Chronicles, #2) by Gary Ballard The Know Circuit - Gary Ballard

012. Firefly Island by Daniel Arenson Firefly Island - Daniel Arenson

013. King of Shadows by Susan Cooper King of Shadows - Susan Cooper

014. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

015. Where Darkness Dwells by Glen Krisch Where Darkness Dwells - Glen Krisch

016. Tag (Book One The Zumar Chronicles) by Simon Royle TAG - Simon Royle

017. Flash Gold (Flash Gold Chronicles #1) by Lindsay Buroker Flash Gold - Lindsay Buroker

018. Hal Spacejock by Simon Haynes Hal Spacejock - Simon Haynes

019. Flaming Dove by Daniel Arenson Flaming Dove - Daniel Arenson

020. Dust by Arthur Slade Dust - Arthur Slade

021. The Door to the Sky by David Michael - The Door to the Sky - David Michael

022. Killing With The Edge Of The Moon by A.A. Attanasio - Killing with the Edge of the Moon - A. A. Attanasio

023. 1984 by George Orwell - 1984 - George Orwell

024. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

025. Ebully by Dave Conifer - eBully - David Conifer

026. The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1) by Joe Abercrombie - The Blade Itself - Joe Abercrombie

027. A Time Before Me by Michael Holloway Perronne - A Time Before Me - Michael Holloway Perronne

028. The Blue Man Dreams the End of Time by Michael McIrvin - The Blue Man Dreams the End of Time - Michael McIrvin

029. Snapdragon Alley by Tom Lichtenberg - Dragon City Trilogy - Tom Lichtenberg

030. Broken A Paranormal Romance by David H. Burton - Broken - David H Burton

031. Dweller by Jeff Strand - Dweller - Jeff Strand

032. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James - Turn of the Screw - Henry James

033. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov - The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov

034. Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand - Generation Loss - Elizabeth Hand

035. if tribe = (The Bridge Chronicles) by Gary Ballard - if [tribe] = - Gary Ballard

036. The 19 Dragons by S.M. Reine - The 19 Dragons - S. M. Reine

037. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut

038. The Ark of Adams by Jack Kane - The Ark of Adams - Jack Kane

039. The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle #3) by Ursula K. Le Guin - The Farthest Shore - Ursula Le Guin

040. The Darkangel (Darkangel Trilogy, #1) by Meredith Ann Pierce - The Darkangel - Meredith Ann Pierce

041. The Second Coming (Words of the Prophecy, #1) by David H. Burton - The Second Coming - David H. Burton

042. The Scavenger's Daughter A Tyler West Mystery by Mike McIntyre - The Scavenger's Daughter - Mike McIntyre

043. The Kinshield Legacy (Kinshield Saga, #1) by K.C. May - The Kinshield Legacy - K.C. May

044. The Black God's War (Splendor and Ruin, #1) by Moses Siregar III - The Black God's War - Moses Siregar III

045. The Survival of Marvin Baines by Mike Meyer - The Survival of Marvin Baines - Michael Meyer

046. The Island of Doctor Moreau - ORIGINAL 1896 VERSION PUBLISHED FOR KINDLE - H.G. WELLS by H.G. Wells - The Island of Doctor Moreau - H.G. Wells

047. Age of Giants - awakening by Rob Reaser - Age of Giants - awakening - by Rob Reaser

048. Scavengers by Cynthia Echterling - Scavengers - by Cynthia Echterling

049. Fate's Mirror by M.H. Mead - Fate's Mirror - by M.H. Mead

050. Solis by A.A. Attanasio - Solis - by A. A. Attanasio

051. Toonopolis Gemini (Toonopolis Files, #1) by Jeremy Rodden - Toonopolis: Gemini - by Jeremy Rodden

052. The Emperor's Edge (Emperor's Edge #1) by Lindsay Buroker - The Emperor's Edge - by Lindsay Buroker

053. A Dark Matter by Peter Straub - A Dark Matter - by Peter Straub

054. King of Paine by Larry Kahn - King of Paine - by Larry Kahn

055. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol - by Charles Dickens

056. The Little World of Don Camillo by Giovanni Guareschi - The Little World of Don Camillo - by Giovanni Guareschi

057. Beasts and Super-Beasts by Saki - Beasts and Super-Beasts - by Saki

058. Living with the Truth by Jim Murdoch - Living with the Truth - by Jim Murdoch

059. Stranger Than Fiction by Jim Murdoch - Stranger than Fiction - by Jim Murdoch


message 2: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Finally started listing. :)


message 3: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments This seems to be indie author year for me.


message 4: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments I've picked up quite a few indie authors this year...haven't quite read them all.


message 5: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Hmmm - the way I'm going I might make 70 books this year. Not exactly the 100 I set myself, but I never really thought I'd get there really.

Still reading lots of cool books this year though.


message 6: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments 70 is still a great number! I read an article that said most people barely read 1 book a year.


message 7: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Oooh - not even on my worse year. Reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at the moment.

Really cool book.


message 8: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Now reading TAG by Simon Royle.


message 9: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Finished Flash Gold by Lindsay Buroker which was a steam punk novella. Cool stuff.

Now I'm reading Hal Spacejock by Simon Hayes.


message 10: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Definitely lagging behind on my challenge. Not depressed about the challenge, just disappointed that I'm not getting as much reading in as I'd like.

By the way - Hal Spacejock is a hoot!


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

You're only a few behind me, and I'm not too worried. I was thinking I wouldn't make it, but as soon as I stopped thinking about it, I started reading more without even trying. I'm not even gonna re-assess until later in the year, which is why I haven't changed my goal back to 100 yet. I'm just happy I'm reading as much as I am!

You have some interesting-looking stuff on your list so far. Might have to check them out. :)


message 12: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Oooh there's great stuff on my list Christa. :)

I just finished Hal Spacejock. Now I'm starting Flaming Dove by Daniel Arenson.


message 13: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments Caleb wrote: "Oooh there's great stuff on my list Christa. :)

I just finished Hal Spacejock. Now I'm starting Flaming Dove by Daniel Arenson."


Please tell me how you like Flaming Dove. I picked up a copy of The Gods of Dream but I haven't read it yet.


message 14: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments The premise so far is pretty cool - but there seems to be some up-front reveals that might have been better for later in the book.

That said - I've only just started it.


message 15: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments Thanks!


message 16: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments About 30% through Flaming Dove and I have some reservations about the writing.

The story is great, but there's some language use that sometimes makes me wonder who the intended audience is for this book.

Why must a wolf 'run'? What's wrong with bounding, loping or any other verb more appropriate for a wolf.

And why would the queen of hell use the word 'dad' instead of 'father'?

And why would the king of hell refer to his minions as 'guys'?

I'm having a bit of a love/hate relationship with the writing at the moment. Consider the following:

"Volkfair (the wolf) ran up to her, and she placed her hand in his fur."

Now, the following:

"Down more tunnels she climbed, into the heat and blackness, the darkness a living thickness around her, caressing her skin."

I love the second sentence and there's plenty more like it in the book, but that first one is a dud. Sometimes sentences should be brief and that's not the issue; it's the wolf running and the hand being placed that disappoints.

I may be overreacting a bit - but this is what's on my mind at the moment.


message 17: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments Caleb wrote: "About 30% through Flaming Dove and I have some reservations about the writing.

The story is great, but there's some language use that sometimes makes me wonder who the intended audience is for t..."


I understand what you mean! That seems to be a consistent issue with self-pubbed books. I'm reading a short story to review and the author has sentences like this:

He licked his lips, slow.

and

Fredrick was tired of stuck-up girls pretending to be women mistaking his sensitivities for
weaknesses and his good looks for confused sexuality.


If this wasn't required for a review - this would be a solid DNF.


message 18: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments As I move on (75%), the poor language has continued. This book is a great story that desperately needed a clever editor.

I looked around at reviews and I did find one that complained about similar issues so at least I'm not the only pair of eyes that is picking these issues up.

How often should the king of hell use 'God' as an oath? Likewise would he use the word 'Hell' as an oath?

A few characters are really well painted, but some fall flat because of incongruous dialog.

As one reviewer pointed out, after Laila is almost destroyed by the queen of hell, should her first word be 'Owie'? Suddenly, I'm reading Armageddon, the sitcom.

I don't mind some sass from the main character, but it needs to be measured.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

LOL Wouldn't that kind of be like me using "Nashville" as an oath? After your comments, I want to read this because it sounds unintentionally hilarious. :)


message 20: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments The problem is that this is a really serious book and the story has a definite appeal to me. So I can't find the writing unintentionally hilarious; I can only find it profoundly disappointing.

I don't know if I'll give Daniel another chance with The Gods of Dream. I've read comparisons with Stardust which is my favourite Gaiman novel, but I had also seen an indie reviewer rank Flaming Dove best novel for 2010.


message 21: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments This makes me sad. I'm hoping that The Gods of Dream is good - but you are casting some doubts.


message 22: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments OK - now that's over.

I still thought the story was very good and I've given it 3 stars on that basis alone, but I couldn't possibly give it more.

Now I'm reading Dust by Arthur Slade. He's a previously published author who has started re-releasing his books in electronic form.


message 23: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments In case anyone is interested, I have posted my review on GoodReads for Flaming Dove. Have a read and let me know if you think I should post it more widely.

Do you think I'm too harsh? Too unreasonable? Not harsh enough?


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Caleb wrote: "In case anyone is interested, I have posted my review on GoodReads for Flaming Dove."

It's a good review. I'd say it was just reasonable/harsh enough. You pointed out the issues that irked you, and you explained the reason for your rating. It serves as a forewarning about the issues for those who are looking to read the book without ruining it for them should they chose to do so, and it gives enough information so that those who are bugged by the same issues will know what to expect.


message 25: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments I agree with Christa. The review is fair but honest.


message 26: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments I haven't got to the ending yet - but I'm quite enjoying the book. I'll definitely have it finished today.

I'll be damned if the author isn't making a positive statement about people who read.

I am noticing in my copy what appears to be glitches in conversion of some kind. This one was purchased at Amazon so it's not a Smashwords Meatgrinder issue. I've highlighted them all so I can send them to the author when I've finished - maybe he can release an update.

Thanks for the feedback on the review. Particularly, with independent authors I feel some sense of responsibility as I write reviews as I know how much they rely on them.


message 27: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments OK - Dust to dust! :)

Actually, this was quite a good book. I've given it 4 stars. The ending comes on quite quickly, but I enjoyed this.

YA lovers should give this one a go I think.

I've now started The Door to the Sky by David Michael. He's an indie author who really impressed me with his book The Summoning Fire - so much so that I've pretty much scooped up everything he's released since. I'm hoping this book is as good as I hope it will be.


message 28: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Hope you like it. I haven't put together my review yet as I've already got stuck into another book. :)


message 29: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Finished The Door to the Sky. Bloody marvellous.

Now I'm starting - deep breath - 1984 by George Orwell. Wish me luck.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Caleb wrote: "Now I'm starting - deep breath - 1984 by George Orwell. Wish me luck."

Good luck! :) That one's been on my "I need to read this" list for ages, but I haven't. Perhaps it's time to do so.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Loosheesh wrote: "Can you believe we had a 4-day weekend and I have no completed books to show for it? It's a strange feeling :-) "

Wow! That's not like you at all. I would say "let me know when you start reading 1984" but you'd be done before I finished reading the message. :)


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Loosheesh wrote: "I'd love to read it together with you; we can set a pace (like a certain # of chapters a week etc) so I won't gallop ahead. Let me know; I'm flexible with whenever you want to start :)"

Okay, I'll message you when I'm ready for it. :)


message 33: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments I need to read 1984, too. I have no idea why I haven't read it yet... intentional avoidance? I should pick a copy of that up....


message 34: by Caleb (last edited Apr 25, 2011 06:42PM) (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Good to see that I'm not the only one who has been naughty.

I've also decided to throw in a print book to read at the same time just in case I'm finding 1984 a bit of a slog. Killing with the Edge of the Moon by A A Attanasio.

I'm an Attanasio fan. Wyvern is one of my favourite novels of all time. Last Christmas my partner bought every book Attanasio wrote as a present for me. I really should start reading those that I haven't already read and the book I've chosen is a small 150pp book that's described as a graphical novel - without pictures. So it should be a nice balancer with something as heavy as 1984.

The other thing to note is that this is the first papaerback I would have read since the start of the year. Ebooks are completely dominating my reading at the moment.


message 35: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments Caleb wrote: "Good to see that I'm not the only one who has been naughty.

I've also decided to throw in a print book to read at the same time just in case I'm finding 1984 a bit of a slog. Killing with the Ed..."


Really? I've noticed that I have been reading a LOT of DTBs lately...I seem to juggle a couple of DTBs and ebooks at the same time.

I think that the mass influx of new DTBs have two major causes: Agency6 and Borders. There was a Borders down the street from my job...I think I dropped somewhere in the area of $150-$200 in there in the last few weeks of it being open. (I can't resist a good sale)

With Agency6 - well, I'm pissed about their pricing but as a genre reader they cover a TON of my authors. I've decided not to buy ebooks from them - only DTBs so I still have the right to loan and resale them. They want to charge me the same price for both...might as well make sure they get less profit from me. Plus I can force my husband to read them :-) or resale/gift them if they turn out not to be my cup of tea.


message 36: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments I actually suffered quite a block with DTBs. I suddenly resented holding them and looking at the pages. Kindle has done this to me.

However, I'm trying to get the feeling back because I have a heap of paperbacks to get through as well as ebooks.

I had a bit of an influx myself of DTBs with the closure of many Angus & Robertson stores in my area.


message 37: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Loosheesh wrote: I get seriously anxious when there's nothing (not even a cereal box!) around to read"

And looking at your individual challenge thread I can imagine this.

I picture you blanching until you're as white as the pages you wished you were reading and shaking as if your body were a superstructure beset with the tremors of a proximate earthquake.


message 38: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments A friend of mine said that he caught himself pushing the corner of a DTB one day, expecting the page to flip. :-)


message 39: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments All this reading and connecting with authors makes me want to write. :)


message 40: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments Caleb wrote: "All this reading and connecting with authors makes me want to write. :)"

Me, too :-)

I've got a couple of books still on bubbling on the back burner...or maybe short stories?


message 41: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Finished Killing with the Edge of the Moon. Still reading 1984.

Now starting The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.


message 42: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (pg4003) MrsJoseph wrote: "A friend of mine said that he caught himself pushing the corner of a DTB one day, expecting the page to flip. :-)"

I've done that before. Also I find myself sometimes reading a magazine or newspaper and find an unfamiliar word, looking for the cursor so I can look up the word.


message 43: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Patricia wrote: I've done that before. Also I find myself sometimes reading a magazine or newspaper and find an unfamiliar word, looking for the cursor so I can look up the word."

Oh Patricia. I've just picked up some paperbacks I've been meaning to read and this is driving me crazy.

In the past, I intuited the meaning of words from context and could quite possibly have had the exact meaning wrong for a number of years because of it.

One Kindle purchase and my reading habits have changed. I'm not satisfied to intuit meaning. I look up every word I'm not sure of.

Back to my paperbacks and I'm finding it very frustrating. Where's my dictionary? Grrrrr.


message 44: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Contrary to the expectation thrust on me by others, I'm quite enjoying 1984. It's only as dark as The Handmaid's Tale and true - that's pretty dark. But from some of the comments I've seen I got the impression that it was going to be drudge to read.

So far the only criticism I have is that George Orwell is about a subtle as a brick through a window when it comes to message. I found that like Animal Farm, this novel is saying something - but it certainly doesn't say it in whispers.

However, unlike Animal Farm there's a more interesting story that comes with the message.


message 45: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments Oh I hated the Handmaid's Tale - it was so sad. But I read it at a young age.


message 46: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Finished The Graveyard Book. Lovely story - I've always been a big fan of Nail Gaiman.

It wasn't until Gaiman said he was indebted to Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book that I realised this novel was very much like Rudyard Kipling's novel. Even the title of Gaiman's book is somewhat of a tribute.

Anyway, I'm now reading The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie on my Kindle and The Conjure Book by A A Attanasio in paperback.


message 47: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments I have never finished The Blade Itself but my other group did it as a read. Everyone tells me they love it so I think you'll enjoy.


message 48: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments Yeah - it's not too bad at the moment. Sometimes I'm a bit funny about the language though. I was reading a chapter where I was enjoying the descriptions, thoughts of the character. Some of the language reminded me of my poetry. However, then I came across the line "it hurt like anything" and I was a bit put off.

That line could be quite an interesting one if your idea was to play on what 'anything' might be, but in this case it was not so I was a bit disappointed.

Of course, I'm not condemning a book over a couple of words. It just stuck in my mind.


message 49: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments Caleb wrote: "Yeah - it's not too bad at the moment. Sometimes I'm a bit funny about the language though. I was reading a chapter where I was enjoying the descriptions, thoughts of the character. Some of the lan..."

A few people have mentioned that to me - as well as the characters' use of curse words (or was that The Lies of Locke Lamora?).


message 50: by Caleb (new)

Caleb Blake (caleb72) | 437 comments There's lots of curse words - but I've never had a problem with that.


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