Monday, November 22, 2010

Special Topics in Calamity Physics Challenge

It has been a little quiet over here lately, but that is only because we have been making plans and cooking up something fun for y'all. Since we had so much fun with the T4MC, we decided that it was time for us to host a challenge of our own! We both adored Special Topics in Calamity Physics that we read and reviewed in September so our challenge is very much inspired by this very book. The chapters of the book or the "required reading" are in the form of other books, and this is the list we'll be reading from and invite y'all to read with us too. The list with the points you'll gain from each title is as follows:

50 points:

Othello - William Shakespeare
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
The House of the Seven Gables - Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

40 points:
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
Les Liaisons Dangereuses - Pierre Chordelos de Laclos
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
Pygmalion - George Bernard Shaw
The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie

30 points:
Moby-Dick - Herman Melville
A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway
Women in Love - D. H. Lawrence
"The Housebreaker of Shady Hill" - John Cheever
Sweet Bird of Youth - Tennessee Williams

20 points:
Laughter in the Dark - Vladimir Nabokov
The Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales - Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch
A Room With a View - E. M. Forster
Howl and Other Poems - Allen Ginsberg
The Taming of The Shrew - William Shakespeare

15 points:
Deliverance - James Dickey
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
One Flew Over the Cockoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
Bleak House - Charles Dickens

10 points:
The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler
Justine - Marquis de Sade
Quer Pasticciaccio Brutto de Via Merulana - Carlo Emilio Gadda
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
The Nocturnal Conspiracy - Smoke Wyannoch Harvey

5 points:
Che Guevara Talks To Young People - Ernesto Guevara de la Serna
"Good Country People" - Flannery O'Connor
The Trial - Franz Kafka
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Metamorphoses - Ovid

100 points:
Paradise Lost - John Milton

And since getting somewhere is always a great way to motivate, we came up with these different levels you can aim for, keeping with the school-ish theme of the original book, of course.

Freshman 0-200 points
Sophomore 201-400 points
Senior 401-600 points
Undergraduate 601-800 points
Graduate 801-900 points
PhD 901-950 points

The challenge begins right after New Year's celebrations when everyone will be good and ready to reform their ways and give up the party life in favor of reading. So from 1.1.2010 until 31.3.2010 we'll be reading from Blue's list and hopefully earn some kind of degree in the process ;)

You're welcome to sign up by commenting to this post, but no sweat, this is just the first warning, frequent reminders of the challenge (read: constant nagging) shall follow and you can sign up also after the challenge has been kicked off!

ii's parting note: While I'm all for acronyms, I have to say, the one we gave this challenge (STCPC) is rather impossible to say. At least in any lady-like manner that doesn't involve cookie crumbs flying all over... Just saying...


  1. Awesome idea for a challenge. I read Special Topics last year, and made my own list of the books to check off as I read. And nice use of T4MC idea to get the levels.

    Sadly, I don't think there are enough books I *really* want to read to devote to the challenge. I'll keep you in mind though and if I happen to read one or two of these books, I'll be back.

  2. Raidergirl, we're not planning to read them all, either. And we're all for ripping off of other people's ideas. Haha. No no, we adored T4MC, so this is our tribute to it. (Did that work? Did I save it?)

  3. This sounds wonderful! I haven't signed up for any challenges yet, but this one seems right up my alley. I think I might have to give it a go!

  4. Great list, how do you choose the point allocation for books? I ask because Metamorphoses is quite a thick book for just 5 points. ( I really don't mean to sound whiny asking this)

  5. Terri-maree, the points, as most everything around our blog, is completely random and arbitrary. Whatever suited our mood at the time. ;)

    Also, we wanted to have equal number of books in each points group, so compromises had to be made.

  6. Thanks so much for hosting this challenge!! I wandered over here from another blog. I am very intrigued now to go read the actual book, Special Topics in Calamity Physics! I'm not sure how far I'll get but I'll give it my best :)

    P.S. A banner would be great to post on my blog if you have one?

  7. Oh, you should read Special Topics (I've now typed that name like twenty times, I can't be bothered), Lesley! It's a brilliant book!

    Mads has been informed of you desire for a banner. I plead computer-related ignorance. Haha

  8. Okay, I'm in on the Freshman level. If I go further, it will be awesome, but I'm shooting for that one. It's an interesting mix of books. I'm hoping to read Special Topics itself at some point too.

  9. Great to see so many are interested in our first challenge! You can "officially" sign up here. But no pressure, if you haven't noticed by now we're not that strict with rules or any other form of officialness. :)

  10. I'm signed up for Freshman level, but hopefully I can exceed my own expectations! :)