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2016 Reading Olympics

olympics

Game overview: All players will be assigned teams at random. The Olympic sports that will be part of this game are listed below. Each sport is matched to a book category. Teams will work together to select countries to represent each sports category. Individual participants must then decide which categories to read and select an appropriate book to read that: a) fits the category and b) is set in or written by an author from the country their team as selected to represent that category.  Points will be awarded for reading a book and posting a brief (1-3 sentence review) on this page. Number of points awarded will be determined based on number of medals that country wins in a given category.

Rules: Once a team has submitted their list of sponsored countries for each category, individual players may start working on which books to select for their reading. With the exception of one category, all reading will be done individually.

Individual players within each team may choose to read whichever categories they wish. There is no minimum or maximum number of books. However, teams will be awarded extra points for completing all categories.

More than one team member can read for each category but the team score will only reflect one completion of any given category. In other words, if a team picks U.S. for gymnastics and two members of that team read a book for that category, the team will only be awarded points once for that category but each individual member will have points added to their individual score.

There will be both team scores and individual scores. Prizes will be awarded on an individual basis although team placement will impact which individuals win prizes (see below).

Game ends September 30th, 2016 at midnight EST. All reviews must be posted prior to that date in order for a person or team to receive those points.

Scoring:
Gold medals = 4 points per medal
Silver medals = 3 points per medal
Bronze medals = 2 points per medal
-No medals = 1 point total
-Team bonus for completion of all categories = 20 points (awarded to team score and each individual’s score from that team)
-Extra points will be awarded for certain team challenges.

Prizes:
1. Grand prize to the person on the winning team with the highest number of points & $5 amazon gift card to each of the remaining members of the winning team.
2. Consolation prize to the person on second place team with the highest number of points
3. Third place prize for best overall individual performance across all teams.
4. Takes one for the team prize. Each team will be able to nominate one player from their team who “took one for the team.” This means a team member who volunteered to read a category no one else wanted to read (let’s face it some categories are tough) or someone who helped the team complete all categories.

NOTE: Only one prize per person so if one person wins more than 1 prize, a runner up will be selected to get the second prize.

Sports & Book Categories: Medal count will be added in parenthesis when available
1.
Archery (EVENTS COMPLETED): A detective or mystery book
Competing countries: South Korea (4 gold; 1 bronze)
Teams should have picked: South Korea
2. Boxing (I am still tallying): A political or politically-themed book
Competing countries: Cuba (3 gold, 3 bronze); Ukraine (0)
3. Beach Volleyball (events completed): Beach read
Competing countries: Brazil (1 gold, 1 silver)
4. Diving (Events completed): A microhistory (e.g. going into depth with a topic)
Competing countries: Hungary (0); China (7 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze); Canada (2 bronze)
Teams should have picked: China
5. Equestrian (EVENTS COMPLETED): a book about or featuring animals
Competing countries: Great Britain (2 gold; 1 silver); Sweden (1 silvers); Netherlands (0)
Teams should have picked: Germany (2 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze)
6. Fencing (EVENTS COMPLETED): A book set in medieval times
Competing countries: Italy (1 gold & 3 silver)
Teams should have picked: Russia (4 golds, 1 silver, 2 bronze) = 21
7. Football (soccer for the Americans): at least two team members must read the same book. Points will be multiplied by number of team members reading the book.
Competing countries: Argentina (0); Mexico (0); Germany (1 gold, 1 silver)
Teams should have picked: Germany
8. Artistic Gymnastics (EVENTS COMPLETED: a young adult book
Competing countries: Russia (1 gold; 4 silver, 3 bronze); Japan (2 gold, 1 bronze); USA (4 gold, 6 silver, 2 bronze)
Teams should have picked:  US (4 gold, 6 silver, 2 bronze)
9. Rugby sevens (EVENTS COMPLETED): a debut novel
Competing countries: South Africa (1 bronze); New Zealand (1 silver); Fiji (1 gold)
Teams should have picked: Fiji or Australia
10. Rowing (EVENTS COMPLETED): a steampunk book
Competing countries: Great Britain (3 gold; 2 silver); New Zealand (2 gold; 1 silver); Romania (1 bronze)
Teams should have picked: Great Britain
11. Sailing (EVENTS COMPLETED): an adventure book
Competing countries: Australia (1 gold, 3 silver); Great Britain (2 gold, 1 silver); Netherlands (2 gold)
12. Shooting (EVENTS COMPLETED): a book about war or set during war period
Competing countries: Croatia (1 gold); China (1 gold, 2 silver, 4 bronze); Ukraine (1 silver)
13. Swimming: a book where main character or group of characters is on a quest/venture
Competing Countries: USA (16 gold, 8 silver, 9 bronze); Australia (3 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze)
14. Synchronized swimming (EVENTS COMPLETED): a parody or satire
Competing countries: Spain (0); Canada (0); Russia (2 gold); Japan (2 bronze)
Teams should have picked: Russia
15. Tennis singles (EVENTS COMPLETED): legal or court-themed book
Competing countries: Belarus (0); Switzerland (0); Serbia (0); Czech Republic (1 bronze)
Teams should have picked: Puerto Rico or Great Britain (1 gold each).
16. Tennis doubles (EVENTS COMPLETED): a romance
Competing countries: Czech Republic (2 bronze); South Africa (0); France (0)
Teams should have picked: US (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
17. Track & Field (EVENTS COMPLETED): Classic mythology or folklore book.
Competing countries: Kenya (6 gold, 6 silvers, 1 bronze); Jamaica (6 gold; 3 silver, 2 bronze); US (13 gold; 10 silver; 9 bronze); Finland (0)
Teams should have picked: US
18. Triathlon (EVENTS COMPLETED): a book broken into parts, sections, or volumes
Competing countries: Bermuda (0); Switzerland (1 silver); Spain (0)
Teams should have picked: Great Britain (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
19. Weightlifting:(EVENTS COMPLETED): a book over 600 pages
Competing countries: North Korea (1 gold, 3 silver); Kazakstan (1 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze); Iran (2 gold); Egypt (2 bronze); Georgia (1 gold; 1 bronze)
20. Cycling (EVENTS COMPLETED) (road, BMX, mountain bike, track): a book about a road trip, journey, or pilgrimage
Competing countries: Spain (1 bronze); Germany (1, gold 1 bronze); Great Britain (6 gold; 4 silver; 2 bronze)
21. Wrestling (EVENTS COMPLETED): a philosophy or philosophical book
Competing countries: Japan (4 gold, 3 silver); Russia (4 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze); Mongolia (x); Cuba (2 gold, 1 silver); Kazakstan (1 silver, 2 bronze)
22. Modern Pentathlon (EVENTS COMPLETED): an anthology
Competing countries: France (1 silver); Hungary (0); Czech Republic (0)
23. Badminton (EVENTS COMPLETED): space travel or science fiction book
Competing countries: Indonesia (1 gold); Japan (1 gold, 1 bronze); Denmark (1 silver, 1 bronze)
24. Rhythmic gymnastics (EVENTS COMPLETED): a book of poetry
Competing countries: Ukraine (1 bronze); Belarus (0); Spain (1 silver)
Teams should have picked: Russia (2 golds, 1 silver)

Team 1: The Rio Readers
1. kings of the road trip
2. Care
3. Nicole M
4. Rachel N
5. Tanya D

Team 2: Pheidippides Pages
1. JoLene
2. Nicole
3. Valerie
4. Taryn
5. Jen

Team 3: Sporting Chance
1. Karen
2. Jennifer P
3. Susie A
4. Andrea J
5. Natalie T

Team 4: Citius, Altius, Fortius
1. Sally S
2. Tracy S
3. Kate V
4. Charisma
5. Lana

Team 5: No.5 is Alive!
1. Jan H.
2. Anna S
3. Renee W
4. Arlene
5. Cindy

275 Comments Post a comment
  1. Team 1: The Rio Readers. Country list submitted 7/13/16

    1. Archery: A detective or mystery book. South Korea 18 points
    2. Boxing: A political or politically-themed book. Cuba 18 points
    3. Beach Volleyball: Beach read. Brazil 7 points
    4. Diving: A microhistory. China 36 points
    5. Equestrian: a book about or featuring animals. Great Britain 11 points
    6. Fencing: A book set in medieval times. Italy 13 points
    7. Football (soccer for the Americans): at least two team members must read the same book. Points will be multiplied by number of team members reading the book. Argentina. Rachel & Care read 2 points
    8. Artistic Gymnastics: a young adult book. Russia (backup Romania) 22 points
    9. Rugby sevens: a debut novel. South Africa 2 points
    10. Rowing: a steampunk book. New Zealand 11 points
    11. Sailing: an adventure book. Australia 13 points
    12. Shooting: a book about war or set during war period. Croatia 4 points
    13. Swimming: a book where main character or group of characters is on a quest/venture. U.S. 106 points
    14. Synchronized swimming: a parody or satire. Japan 4 points
    15. Tennis singles: legal or court-themed book. Serbia 1 point
    16. Tennis doubles: a romance. Czech Republic 4 points
    17. Track & Field: Classic mythology or folklore book. Kenya 44 points
    18. Triathlon: a book broken into parts, sections, or volumes. Bermuda 1 point
    19. Weightlifting: a book over 600 pages. Georgia 6 points
    20. Cycling (road, BMX, mountain bike, track): a book about a road trip, journey, or pilgrimage. Spain 2 points
    21. Wrestling: a philosophy or philosophical book. Kazakhstan 7 points
    22. Modern Pentathlon: an anthology. France 3 points
    23. Badminton: space travel or science fiction book. Indonesia 4 points
    24. Rhythmic gymnastics: a book of poetry. Ukraine 2 points

    Bonus for completing all categories: 20 points
    Team score = 361

    Like

    July 11, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Jade Lady Burning by Martin Limon

      Category and Country: Archery, South Korea

      Reason why picked: It’s a mystery set in South Korea, primarily Seoul.

      3 stars

      George Sueno and his partner Ernie Bacom are CID officers working for the 8th army division in South Korea. They are assigned the case of a Korean prostitute who was brutally murdered, possibly by her GI boyfriend. Their investigation continues into the steamier side of South Korea. The investigators spend a lot of time drinking and having sex. I found the glimpse into South Korean culture to be interesting. The last 40 pages of so loses a lot of narrative connectivity, events start randomly happening, which was disappointing. There is not a ton of character development for Sueno’s partner Bascom or some of the other characters. An okay mystery but I’m in no hurry to read more in the series.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 24, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/398080.Driving_over_Lemons

      Driving Over Lemons, Spain road trip/journey 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      July 24, 2016
    • 18. Triathlon: A book broken into parts, sections, or volumes
      Country: Bermuda

      This book fits because it contains two first person narratives about the first group to settle on the island of Bermuda: a shipload of passengers bound for the English colony of Virginia but thrown off course due to a hurricane and shipwrecked on the shoals off the island. I thoroughly enjoyed these primary source documents.

      http://litinthelastfrontier.blogspot.com/2016/07/a-voyage-to-virginia-in-1609-by-william.html

      Liked by 1 person

      July 27, 2016
    • 2. Boxing: a political or politically-themed book
      Country: Cuba
      Review by Care Burpee
      Title: The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba
      Author: Julia Cooke

      I was hoping to find a book that dealt solely with the differences in the political climate in Cuba since Raul officially took over control from his brother, Fidel, in 2008. My library didn’t have anything, so I read this book as an alternate choice. The book fits the criteria because it traces the lives of Cubans during the waning years of Fidel’s rule, the temporary transfer of power to Raul in 2006, and finally, since Raul’s assumption of power in his own right in 2008. Julia Cooke focuses on specific “everyman” Cubans and how the policies of those three political eras affected everyday life.

      http://litinthelastfrontier.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-other-side-of-paradise-life-in-new.html

      Liked by 1 person

      July 30, 2016
    • Rachel #

      The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley
      Category and country: Beach Volleyball, Brazil
      Reason why picked: The book jacket description of 6 sisters getting mysterious clues to their heritage and jetting off to follow the clues from their mansion in Switzerland sounded pretty beach read worthy to me. Over half of the book is set in Brazil.
      3 stars
      Maia is the oldest of 6 sisters, all from different parents and backgrounds, adopted by Pa Salt. The sisters are all named after the Pleiades though the 7th was never adopted. When pa dies he leaves each sister a clue to her true heritage. This is a planned series of 7 books, each one following a sisters search for her parentage. Maia’s clue leads her to Brazil and she learns she is connected to Izabela Bonifacio, a young women in the 1920’s who was connected to the creator of the Christ Redeemer statue. The story alternates between Maia and Izabela. A lightweight read but enjoyable and fast paced. I am interested enough in the mystery of Pa Salt and the other sisters that I’ll probably continue on with the series.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 2, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Modern Pentathlon, Anthology, France
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1718286505?book_show_action=false

      Liked by 1 person

      August 3, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Tennis single, legal-themed book, Serbia
      Secret Sanction, Haig
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1718290298

      Liked by 1 person

      August 3, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Artistic Gymnastics, YA book, Captive by Leigh Talbert Moore
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1718296446

      Liked by 1 person

      August 3, 2016
    • Rachel #

      The Book of Murder by Guillermo Martinez

      3 stars

      Category and country: Football, Argentina

      Reason why picked: The book is set in Argentina and is written by an Argentinian author

      Luciana comes to the unnamed narrator of the book with a story of how the author Kloster has slowly been murdering everyone in her family. Her boyfriend drowned, her parents ate poisoned mushrooms and her brother was murdered. When the narrator confronts Kloster he tells a completely different story. This book was very odd and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m interested in what the other members of my Olympics challenge group end up thinking about this book.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Sailing, an adventure book, Australia.
      Book was written by an Australian writer, based in Australia. The characters in this book are off on adventure after adventure, both in a game format and also as part of their ‘real’ lives.
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1721065539

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2016
      • 6. fencing – Medieval Italy

        the book was The Birth of Venus by sarah Dunant

        I absolutely loved it! An affair between a young girl and a painter- she becomes a nun and has an interesting tattoo which becomes part of the whole story of her affair. set in pre-renaissance italy – not a time period I would have chosen, but an excellent story.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 7, 2016
      • 4. diving – china (a microhistory)

        The bonesetter’s daughter by amy tan.

        I love her work, I always have but had not read this one… this one is the most autobiographical of any of her novels… she always gives a real history of a time period in china while telling her story – this one is of her mother’s true birth name, and her childhood growing up at the daughter of the local bonesetter. excellent.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 7, 2016
    • Rachel #

      All things bright and beautiful by James Herriott 4 stars

      Category and country: equestrian, Great Britain

      Why it fits: The book is about a veterinarian in England. Lots of animals.

      James Herriot recounts his time spent as a rural vet in England from when he got married until he is drafted into the Air Force in World War II. This is the second book in the series following All Creatures Great and Small. The book mainly consists of short stories covering his practice which ranged from large farm animals to domestic pets. It interests me how much veterinary practice has changed since the 1930’s. Nearly all the stories have a happy ending and many are humorous. The one that touched me the most involved a dog rescued from an awful situation who came out still loving the world. It reminds me of my own rescue dog and the great attitude she has despite all she went through.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 12, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Dave Barry Does Japan by Dave Barry 3 stars

      Category and country: synchronized swimming, Japan

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2016
      • Rachel #

        Dave Barry Does Japan by Dave Barry 3 stars

        Category and country: synchronized swimming, Japan

        Why it fits: The book is about a trip to Japan and is tagged as satire on goodreads.

        Dave Barry and his family took a three week trip to Japan in 1992 and Barry recounts the trip. Parts of the book are very dated and there is definitely a lot of stereotypes about Japanese culture. There were some parts I found humorous, especially when Barry is poking fun at himself. The best written chapter was on Hiroshima which wasn’t funny at all.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Kappa by Rynosuke Akutagawa.
      Synchronized swimming, Japan
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1735275261

      Liked by 1 person

      August 21, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      All-Butter, Short Dead, by H.Y. Hanna
      Equestrian, Great Britain- a book featuring animals
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1735284233

      Liked by 1 person

      August 21, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      The Wicked Dead, by Rick Gualtieri
      Swimming, US, characters are on a quest
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1735287034

      Liked by 1 person

      August 21, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Specimens of Bushman Folklore, Bleek
      Track and Field, Kenya, Classic mythology or folklore book
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1735290737

      Liked by 1 person

      August 22, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Sekret by Lindsay Smith 3 stars

      category and country: Artistic gymnastics, Russia

      why it fits: This is a young adult book set in Russia

      Yulia her mother and brother are hiding from the government in Moscow in 1963. Yulia is caught by the KGB and recruited into their system of psychic teenage spies. Yulia can sense past memories from anything she touches. Yulia and the other teenagers are trying to catch an American spy who is working against the Russian space program. This spy also has the ability to erase peoples minds. There is a bit of romance thrown in but mostly it is an adventure story along with Yulia trying to escape and figure out her past. There is a good conclusion to the book but it definitely leaves enough open story threads that a sequel could occur.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 22, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Rowing, a steampunk book, New Zealand (steampunk novelettes written by Pip Ballantine, New Zealand author)
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1736205025

      Liked by 1 person

      August 22, 2016
    • 23. Badminton: science fiction
      Country: Indonesia
      Review by: Care Burpee
      Title: Prophet of Bones
      Author: Ted Kosmatka

      http://litinthelastfrontier.blogspot.com/2016/08/prophet-of-bones-by-ted-kosmatka.html

      Liked by 1 person

      August 23, 2016
    • 7. Football: book read by at least two team members
      Country: Argentina
      Review by: Care Burpee (Rachel has also read it, so now we have both)
      Title: The Book of Murder by Guillermo Martinez

      http://litinthelastfrontier.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-book-of-murder-by-guillermo-martinez.html

      Liked by 1 person

      August 23, 2016
      • #13 – Swimming – Quest/Venture – US

        Hoping i count this – 50 Great American Places by Brent Glass … nonfiction, so I feel like you the reader are the one on the quest. Excellent guide to 50 essential places to travel to if you want to experience amrican history. I also attended a lecture with the author – who used to be the director of the smithsonian museum of american history – so interesting!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 24, 2016
      • I think it counts!

        Like

        August 24, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Graceling by Kristin Cashore 3 stars

      Category and country: swimming, United states

      why it fits: The author lives in the United States. The characters are on a quest to find out why Po’s grandfather was kidnapped which leads to another quest.

      Katsa is graced she believes with the art of killing. In her world people whose eyes turn two different colors when they are children develop a grace, a special talent. Katsa works for her uncle, king of one of seven realms. Po comes to town to find his grandfather who has been kidnapped and he forms a bond with Katsa. I like the fact that Katsa was a strong female character but I found her somewhat annoying. I liked Po a lot more. I found a lot of the characters to not be well developed. I’m also annoyed that there was no explanation as to why the evil person in the story was so evil. This may be resolved in the next two books but I’m not sure I want to spend the time to read them.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 1, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew 3 stars

      Category and Country: rugby sevens, South Africa

      Why it fits: The author lives in South Africa and this is her first novel

      Tannie Maria writes a cooking column for her local paper which soon becomes and advice column with lots of recipes thrown in. One person writing for advice is being abused by her husband. When the woman turns up dead Maria and her fellow newspaper workers, Hattie and Josie, decide to conduct their own investigation into the crimes. The book is set in South Africa and contains a lot of Afrikaans, the dictionary in the back of the book was a big help. There are also recipes in the back of the book based on what Maria makes during the story. A good debut cozy mystery. I look forward to more in the series.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 7, 2016
    • I have three of these reviews to get done! My goal is to get at least two post done this week!

      The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (4 stars)
      Tennis Doubles–a romance: The Czech Republic

      At the heart of this one is a marriage that certainly wasn’t ideal, but that thrived on its own terms.

      http://litinthelastfrontier.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-unbearable-lightness-of-being-by.html

      Liked by 1 person

      September 8, 2016
    • 12. Shooting: a book about war or set in a war-torn region
      Country: Croatia
      Book: Girl at War by Sara Nović

      This book absolutely qualifies, as it is a novel written by a Croatian writer about the experiences of a girl during their civil war.

      http://litinthelastfrontier.blogspot.com/2016/09/girl-at-war-by-sara-novic.html

      Liked by 1 person

      September 12, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Nelson Mandela’s favorite African folktales 3 stars

      category and country: track and field, Kenya

      why it fits: the book contains folktales from across Africa including Kenya. team five also already used this book for this same category and country

      A series of short stories each containing a different folktale from a part of Africa. Each story was translated by a different person and contains art by a different African artist. A lot of the art was very striking. Some of the stories are more memorable than others. I especially enjoyed the ones about how animals developed different traits.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 18, 2016
    • 21. Wrestling: a philosophy or philosophical book
      Country: Kazakhstan
      Title: Great Thinkers of the Kazakh Steppe by Yerkebulan Dzhelbuldin (trans. Dana Jeteyeva) ✮ ✮ ✮

      http://litinthelastfrontier.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-great-thinkers-of-kazakh-steppe-by.html

      Liked by 1 person

      September 20, 2016
    • Tanya Dietz #

      24. Rhythmic gymnastics: a book of poetry. Ukraine

      Poems of Paul Celan / translated, with an introduction and postscript, by Michael Hamburger.
      3 stars

      This book was a book spanning several decades of poetry. Celan is fond on of using descriptive words and phrasing such as colors and nature elements. Although I don’t read a lot of poetry and sometimes have trouble figuring out what a poet is saying, I was able to get a sense of the atrocities of war in some poets, some had definite religious undertones, and a few that, to me, gave a sense of loss of identity (which makes sense given his background). Overall, I was sort of in the middle on how I liked these poems. While they didn’t speak to my soul and evoke strong feelings, they did make me think, they made me try to figure out their meanings.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 21, 2016
    • Rachel #

      The Way of the Panda by Henry Nicholls 4 stars

      category and country: Diving, China

      Why it fits: a microhistory of the panda, which is only found in China. The books also ties the pandas status in with that of China and it contains quite a bit of Chinese history.

      Nicholls traces the history of the panda, from the first reported sightings in the late 1800’s to today and ties the pandas fate to that of China’s history. It’s interesting to me how much we still don’t know about pandas due to their elusive nature. I also found the sections on possible reintroduction of pandas into the wild to be interesting. The author references previous or upcoming chapters a bit too much and I’m not sure he entirely made the case that China’s history directly connects to the lives of pandas. Overall it was an interesting read.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 26, 2016
    • Tanya Dietz #

      4. Diving: a microhistory China

      Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West by Beatrice Hohenegger
      4 stars

      As the title suggests, this is a nonfiction book that is all about tea. It discusses the influences tea has had on many subjects such as religion, spirituality, opium, war, slavery, and politics. It discusses the origin, preparation and why there are different colors.I very much enjoyed learning more about one of my favorite beverages and yes, I did drink several cups while reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 29, 2016
    • 19. Weightlifting: a book over 600 pages
      Country: Georgia
      Book: Stalin
      Author: Edvard Radzinsky
      Rating: 3 stars

      This book fits for the challenge due to its length–624 pages–and the fact that its subject, Stalin, is one of the country of Georgia’s most famous sons (dubious honor, that!). Although he went on to rule the Soviet empire, his Georgian roots greatly influenced his entire life, so much so that there are two biographies out there that deal solely with his early years. Unfortunately, neither of them met the length requirement for the game, so I went with a longer book that went beyond his youth and early adulthood in Georgia.

      http://litinthelastfrontier.blogspot.com/2016/09/stalin-by-edvard-radzinsky.html

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Dawn’s Early Light by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris 3 stars

      category and country: Rowing, New Zealand

      Why it fits: This is a steampunk novel and Pip Ballantine is from New Zealand.

      Agents Eliza Braun and Wellington Brooks from the ministry of Peculiar Occurences have been shipped to America on special assignment. There they team up with their American counterparts Felicity Lovelace and Bill Wheatley. They are investigating why air ships have been disappearing off the coast of North Carolina. This is the third book in the series, my library didn’t have the first two, and I think the story would make more sense if I had read the first two books. I’m not sure I totally understand steampunk as a genre, this is the first steampunk book I can remember reading. The adventure part of the story was fun but the romance part was rather silly.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Drugging a Nation: The Story of China and the Opium Curse
      Event: Diving, a Chinese Microhistory
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1772545203

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      The Oddfits, Tiffany Tsao (story takes place in Singapore, on the border of Indonesia, but author grew up partially in Indonesia)
      Event: Badminton, Indonesian sci fi
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1772557023

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Ukraina: Songs of a Beloved Land
      Event: Rhythmic Gymnastics, Ukrainian poetry
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1772560408

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Through the Bermuda Triangle, Books 1 and 2; Sebastian Williams
      Event: Triathlon, Bermuda book in different volumes
      Book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1772563115
      Book 2: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1772564018

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Midnight Run: Escape from South Korea, Rachel Morrison
      Event: Archery, South Korean mystery
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1772567005

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Poisonous Touch, Fiona Paul
      Event: Fencing, Italian medieval times
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1772569446

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Rio Street Kid Stargazer, Craig S Wilson
      Event: Beach volleyball, Brazil beach read
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1772571355

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Exist by Jackie Ivie
      Event: Tennis doubles, Czech romance
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1772575936

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Havana Dawn, A.J. Phelps
      Event: boxing, Cuba politically-themed
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1772577938

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • Tanya Dietz #

      Equestrian: book about or featuring animals: Great Britain

      Tales from Watership Downs by Richard Adams
      3 stars

      A lovely book that is a sequel to Watership Downs. This book features several short stories of the rabbits of the Downs. I found this a very easy read that I enjoyed quite a bit.

      Like

      September 30, 2016
    • Tanya Dietz #

      This might be stretching what you meant by venture, if you don’t think it fits don’t count it.

      Swimming: quest or venture: US

      Murder in Morningside Heights by Victoria Thompson
      4 stars

      After inheriting money, having to leave the police force, gotten married, and returned from his honeymoon, Frank Malloy is ready to start a new venture: his own detective agency. His first assignment, or quest, is to find out who killed a young female professor of a girls only college. Due to the events mentioned earlier, the tone of this book was different from previous books. However, I found myself liking it, and I look forward to the next.

      Like

      September 30, 2016
    • Nicole McLaughlin #

      Archery
      18
      Boxing
      18
      Beach Volleyball
      7
      Diving
      36
      Equestrian
      11
      Fencing
      13
      Artistic Gymnastics
      22
      Rowing
      11
      Sailing
      13
      Swimming
      106
      Synchronized swimming
      4
      Tennis singles
      1
      Tennis doubles
      4
      Track and field
      44
      Triathlon
      1
      Cycling
      2
      Wrestling
      7
      Pentathlon
      3
      Badminton
      4
      Rhythmic gymnastics
      2

      Total= 327+20= 347

      Like

      October 3, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Categories read: Archery(18), Beach volleyball(7), football(2), equestrian(11), synchronized swimming(4), artistic gymnastics(22), swimming(106), rugby sevens(2), track and field(44), diving(36), rowing(11)

      Total 263 points or 283 if we add 20 for completing all categories.

      Like

      October 5, 2016
    • I wasn’t trying to compete individually, so I didn’t post reviews for a few other books I read, such as Eowyn Ivey’s newest which could have counted for the US. I only posted reviews for those books that I agreed to read for the team in order to help the team earn maximum points. If you want the tally just to have complete stats, I did tally mine up to make your life a bit easier:

      Boxing: Cuba (3 gold, 3 bronze) 18 points
      Football: Argentina (no medals) 1 point
      Shooting: Croatia (1 gold) 4 points
      Tennis Doubles: Czech Republic (2 bronze) 4 points
      Triathlon: Bermuda (no medals) 1 point
      Weightlifting: Georgia (1 gold, 1 bronze) 6 points
      Wrestling: Kazakhstan (1 silver, 2 bronze) 7 points

      Total: 41 points

      This was such a fun and creative challenge! I read several books that I might never have touched otherwise and a couple that have been on my TBR forever. Thanks for all your hard work!

      Like

      October 5, 2016
      • Tanya Dietz #

        Categories read: rhythmic gymnastics (2), diving (36), swimming (106), equestrian (11)
        Points 155

        Liked by 1 person

        October 11, 2016
  2. Team 2: Pheidippides Pages
    1. Archery: A detective or mystery book. South Korea 18 points
    2. Boxing: A political or politically-themed book. Ukraine 1 points
    3. Beach Volleyball: Beach read. Brazil 7 points
    4. Diving: A microhistory. Canada o points
    5. Equestrian: a book about or featuring animals. Sweden 3 points
    6. Fencing: A book set in medieval times. Italy 16 points
    7. Football (soccer for the Americans): at least two team members must read the same book. Points will be multiplied by number of team members reading the book. Argentina Val & Jen 2 points
    8. Artistic Gymnastics: a young adult book. U.S. 38 points
    9. Rugby sevens: a debut novel. New Zealand 3 points
    10. Rowing: a steampunk book. Romania 2 points
    11. Sailing: an adventure book. Great Britain 11 points
    12. Shooting: a book about war or set during war period. China 18 points
    13. Swimming: a book where main character or group of characters is on a quest/venture. Australia 30 points
    14. Synchronized swimming: a parody or satire. Russia (backup Israel) 8 points
    15. Tennis singles: legal or court-themed book. Czech Republic 2 points
    16. Tennis doubles: a romance. South Africa 1 point
    17. Track & Field: Classic mythology or folklore book. Finland 0 points
    18. Triathlon: a book broken into parts, sections, or volumes. Switzerland 3 points
    19. Weightlifting: a book over 600 pages. Egypt 4 points
    20. Cycling (road, BMX, mountain bike, track): a book about a road trip, journey, or pilgrimage. Germany 6 points
    21. Wrestling: a philosophy or philosophical book. Cuba 11 points
    22. Modern Pentathlon: an anthology. France 3 points
    23. Badminton: space travel or science fiction book. Japan 6 points
    24. Rhythmic gymnastics: a book of poetry. Spain 3 points

    Team score: 295

    Like

    July 11, 2016
    • King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard
      Read for Sailing (adventure book)/Country: Great Britain
      This perhaps one of THE classic adventure books written and is written by British novelist Sir Haggard. It was a very quick and entertaining read but certainly very dated with outdated views of women and African people. Full review here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/18188587-king-solomon-s-mind-by-h-rider-haggard#comment_154677658

      Liked by 1 person

      July 24, 2016
    • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
      Wrestling (philosophical book): Cuba

      This was my first Hemingway; somehow, I made it through a college-level American lit class without reading him! While it was well-written (obviously), I found the story boring. There were just too many fishing details! I read that Hemingway had originally written an article about a similar (true) story, and I think the story fits that format much better.

      I did love the old man as a character, though. Every time he talked to himself, I woke up. He was very compelling.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 27, 2016
    • #8-Young Adult Book Set in US.

      The Start of Me and You
      I loved this book! This was really cute. When the main characters boyfriend dies in a drowing accident, it takes awhile for her to recover. This book is the story of her life following the accident and how she learns to live again. The book is set in Indiana. I really enjoyed the story and the romance that develops between the characters. The author does a good job of adding modern day references as well and I really appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 28, 2016
    • Selected Poems by Federico Lorca
      Rhythmic Gymnastics/book of poetry (Spain)
      4 stars
      I don’t normally love to read poetry but I couldn’t help but fall in love with this book. I read the bilingual version which included selected poems from a variety of his most well known collections. On the left, you could read the poems in Spanish and on the right they included the English translations. His writing is so beautiful that some of the poems brought tears to my eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 28, 2016
    • The Interpreter by Suki Kim
      Read for Archery (mystery): South Korea
      The book is written by a South Korean author and is a mix of literary fiction and mystery. I really enjoyed the book. It was beautifully written, engaging, and had an interesting reflection on how life might be for bicultural woman. Full review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1709478921?book_show_action=false

      Liked by 1 person

      July 30, 2016
    • “Ways to Disappear” by Idra Novey
      Read for Beach Volleyball (beach read): Brazil

      Definitely a beach read – There were times I could practically feel the heat coming out of the book from her descriptions of the weather in Brazil!

      This book is filled with lovely writing, an interesting structure that includes a tiny bit of poetry and made-up dictionary definitions related to the story, and insights into translation. But I wasn’t engaged enough with the characters to really get into it, so I was disappointed overall. If you like literary fiction and don’t need super likable characters, though, it might be a good read!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 31, 2016
    • Agatha H. and the Airship City by Phil & Kaja Foglio
      Read for Rowing (a steampunk book): Romania

      This book was very disjointed and hard to follow. The pacing was bizarre, and I still don’t understand a lot of it. It’s not even faulty translation, because the authors are American (it’s set in Romania) and native English speakers who wrote it in English. There were a few moments of cool steampunkishness, but not enough for me to recommend the book as a whole. I definitely won’t be picking up the next book in the series; it was very disappointing.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 2, 2016
    • Emil’s Clever Pig by Astrid Lindgren
      Book about An Animal set in Sweden
      In this book we met Emil who is very adventurous and often getting himself in trouble. When he adopts a pig, things only get more exciting. I laughed out loud at the part about a dancing pig. This book was written by the same author Pippi Longstocking, so if you enjoy those books you will probably enjoy this one as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 4, 2016
    • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
      Read for Triathlon: a book broken into parts, sections, or volumes (Switzerland)

      (Heidi was originally written in two volumes.)

      What a lovely, lovely book! I remember watching the Shirley Temple adaptation when I was very young, but I never actually read the book (despite being half Swiss!). I’m so glad I read it now – It was the perfect time in my life to read it. The story is very simple (it’s originally a children’s book), but beautifully told in its simplicity, and all I want to do now is live on the Swiss Alps with goats and eat their cheese with my grandfather.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 4, 2016
    • The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner read for Artistic Gymnastics: a young adult book. U.S.

      This was a fantastic book. Set in a small town in Tennessee, it tells the stories of three high school seniors. Dill, whose father is a snake handling preacher who just got sent to prison; Lydia, a fashion blogger who is internet famous which holds no worth in their town; and Travis, the son of an alcoholic lumberyard owner who escapes into fantasy novels. The Serpent King was intense and emotional. Watching these three friends navigate their small town as the misfits and figure out their place, and whether leaving is the best option.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      20. Cycling: a book about a road trip, journey, or pilgrimage. Germany
      Book: The Book of Harlan by Bernice L. McFadden
      Completed: 8/3 4 stars Full Review on GR
      The story of Harlan Elliot, a black musician who gets invited to play in Paris on the Eve of WWII (so he went on a journey). With the fall of Paris, he and his band-mate are captured and taken to a concentration camp in Germany (Buchenwald). The book actually details Harlan’s life in Harlem leading up to these events as well as how the experience changed him. Overall, it was an interesting lens to view the events of the early 20th century through the lens of a black man.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2016
    • Fardwor, Russia!: A Fantastical Tale of Life Under Putin by Oleg Kashin
      Synchronized swimming: a parody or satire. Russia

      This was a bizarre book – but in a good way! It made me laugh out loud a few times, and it definitely gave me some insight into contemporary Russia (which I know next to nothing about), especially when paired with the introduction that described Kashin’s story. (He’s a journalist who was badly beaten, most likely at the command of a government official, due to a comment he posted on a blog. Now he lives in Switzerland, but he still speaks out!) It made me grateful to live in the US, that’s for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 7, 2016
    • I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere
      by Anna Gavalda
      Read for Modern Pentathlon: an anthology (France)

      I read this book in one sitting, which I’ve never done before with a short story collection. I loved them. This book includes the funny, the sweet, the heartbreaking, and the bizarre, which pretty much covers everything. I will definitely be looking for more English translations of her work.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 9, 2016
    • Borges and the Eternal Orangutans
      Football (soccer for the Americans): at least two team members must read the same book. Argentina

      Do you like a quick read? A mystery? Then this may be the book for you. In this book we are introduced to Vogelstein, a pretty introverted guy who unexpectedly finds himself in the middle of a murder case. This case is like no other. I suspect that others who have read Borges or more of Poe’s books than I have, would enjoy this book more than I did. I liked it just fine, but I am sure that there are things that they would pick up on that I am just not familiar with. I appreciated the setting as it always takes me to new place and I appreciate that. An interesting book.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 11, 2016
      • Borges & the Eternal Orangutans
        Football Argentina
        3.5 stars
        A short book that is part detective novel and part philosophy with nods to Edgar Alllen Poe and Borges. I liked it, I didn’t love it but I thought the author did a really nice job of imitating Borges’ still. An unusual and interesting read but definitely helps to be familiar with Borges.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 15, 2016
    • 13. Swimming: a book where main character or group of characters is on a quest/venture. Australia

      Just finished On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (Title is only Jellicoe Road in the US edition.)

      I wanted to like this book SO much more than I did. The story of Taylor on a journey to find out who her mother is and how she ended up at Jellicoe School was great. However, I was really not into the way Marchetta told the story. The first half of the book was extremely confusing and left me wondering if I had picked up a sequel and I was supposed to understand what was going on. She included way too many tertiary characters who were called by more than one name. I like how it was told through a story her mentor at school, Hannah was in the middle of writing, but it just wasn’t completely clear. There were also a couple of bombshells dropped and never dealt with. Not to mention… where are all the adults!? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2016
      • JoLene R #

        I agree — I read this a couple years ago because several friends had raved about it. I thought it was just OK.

        Like

        August 24, 2016
    • 21. Wrestling: a philosophy or philosophical book. Cuba

      I read The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway for this pick. Where I really like how Hemingway puts together such short thoughts and weaves them into a longer tale, this book seemed to drone on. I think perhaps the problem for me was too much about fishing. I would have liked to heard a little more of the internal struggle of the old man making his choice on whether to pursue this fish or turn back, but there was just a little too much literal fishing.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      6. Fencing: A book set in medieval times. Italy
      Book: Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
      Date completed 23Aug16 5 stars
      Great story about a woman in the 9th century who disguised herself as a man in order to get an education. She was hiding in a monastery, but when she almost got discovered she fled to Rome where she developed a reputation as a healer. She got close to several popes and was finally elected herself. This is based on a widely held myth, but supposedly the Catholic church as obliterated any evidence of Pope John as she was known.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 24, 2016
    • 16. Tennis doubles: a romance. South Africa-Paris Nights: My Year at the Moulin Rouge
      This book is written by Cliff Simon who was born in South Africa. More information can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliff_Simon

      Not only do we get some insight about Cliff’s early life in South Africa in this book, we also get to hear about his experiences and his love for dancing at the Moulin Rouge in France. While doing so, we hear about his love for the city and love for the work he is doing. Ultimately though it is the love of a woman who settles Cliff down and their story. I enjoyed this book and developed a deeper understanding of the infamous location, what conflicts are in South Africa and Cliff’s life. An interesting read.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 8, 2016
    • Boxing: A political or politically-themed book. Ukraine-Ukraine’s Identity Crisis: Understanding the Protests and the Politics

      I have to be honest reading this book was a bit out of my comfort zone. I have heard about what is going on Ukraine but I have not paid close attention. This book was interesting in that it shared insight about what has lead up to some of the turmoil in the country. It was a relatively quick read and I was able to get it through Kindle Unlimited, so that was nice as well. Not having read much on the topic, I am not really able to say if I felt it was a fair assessment or not of what is happening in the country. None the less it was interesting and I appreciated the deeper insight.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 12, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      19. Weightlifting: a book over 600 pages
      Book: The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George
      Country: Egypt –> Cleopatra was the last Ptolemy ruler of Egypt.
      4 stars
      This book clocks in at 1139 pages (almost twice the requirements, can I get some bonus points 😉 This is a first person accounting of famous Cleopatra, covering from her childhood to her famous loves to her death by asp. I listened to the audio and was a bit distracted by how modern she was portrayed. Otherwise it was quite engaging and seemingly well researched.
      Detailed review on GR

      Liked by 1 person

      September 13, 2016
    • Tennis singles: legal or court-themed book. Czech Republic

      For this one, I read The Thin Wall. This book is about the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. When a couple of the prisoners of war from the USA are secretly transferred to the Soviet Union, it starts a series of events. The book is said to be fiction but also based on some of the real life events that happened. I appreciated this book from both the historical, conflict, and romance factors. I think that the romance was sort of ancillary to the rest of the book, but it made it an interesting read.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 15, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      12. Shooting: a book about war or set during war period. China
      Book:Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
      Rating: 4 stars
      This is the second book in the Temeraire series, which is set in a world where dragons are real and have been recruited into the military. The series focuses on a dragon called Temperaire and his British handler Will Laurence, during the Napoleonic wars. Because the dragons are highly intelligent and verbal, this is really a story about the relationship between the two. Temeraire is a celestial dragon originally from China and in this installment, they travel to China and learn how dragons are treated there which is quite different than in Europe. (Even if you don’t typically like fantasy, this is an excellent series for historical fiction fans).

      Liked by 1 person

      September 26, 2016
    • JoLene #

      9. Rugby sevens: a debut novel. New Zealand
      The Cleaner by Paul Cleaves, is a gritty mystery set in Christchurch, New Zealand. There is a serial killer, operating right under the police’s nose. I’m not sure how I feel about this work…..lots of dark comedy, but some pretty graphic violence. I usually tend more towards the cozy side of mysteries, but it made for a compelling read……which is good because I needed to get it done just in time!!

      I also read
      3. Beach Volleyball: a beach read. Brazil
      The seven sisters by Lucinda Riley. This was the start of a series about 6 sisters. When their adopted father dies, he leaves each sister a letter giving a small clue and the coordinates of a place important to their origins. The first book focuses on the oldest sister maya and takes her from Switzerland to Rio. I really enjoyed the dual story line and the unique setting of Rio. There were some loose ends, but since it is a series, I’m hoping some will be tied up later in the series.

      8. Artistic Gymnastics: a YA novel. United States
      Simon vs the Homo Sapien agenda by Becky Albertalli. This is the story of Simon, a teen who is struggling with how to come out to his family and friends. The issue is forced when another student discovers his secret pen pal, another student at their high school, but Simon doesn’t know who. There were a lot of great aspects to this story, but some of the reactions of people around Simon when he does come out didn’t seem realistic.

      11. Sailing. An adventure book. Great Britain.
      OK, I’m not sure if you wanted a genre tag of adventure.
      I did read Americanah. This is the story of Nigerian teenagers, Ifemelu and Obinze, who met in secondary school and feel in love. They sustained their relationship for several years, but eventually Ifemelu immigrated to the US with the plan that Obinze would shortly follow. Obinze’s request for immigration was turned down to stricter controls of 9/11, but he does end up immigrating to England, but unfortunately he gets caught using someone else’s work permit and returns to Nigeria. The adventure is I margarine to another country (which from my own experience is really an adventure ).

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      OK Here are my points if I did it correctly:
      3. 7 points
      6. 16
      8. 38
      9. 3
      11. 11
      12. 18
      19. 4
      20. 6

      103 points……not so great. I kept starting and stopping books and only read 4 in Aug (my normal is 8, but one was over 1000 pages so that is like 3 books).

      Liked by 1 person

      October 4, 2016
      • That is still impressive!

        Like

        October 4, 2016
  3. Team 3: Sporting Chance List submitted 7/17/16
    1. Archery: A detective or mystery book (hitting the bullseye = solving the crime). South Korea 18 points
    2. Boxing: A political or politically-themed book. Cuba 18 points
    3. Beach Volleyball: Beach read. Brazil 7 points
    4. Diving: A microhistory (e.g. going into depth with a topic). China 36 points
    5. Equestrian: a book about or featuring animals. Great Britain 11 points
    6. Fencing: A book set in medieval times. Italy 13 points
    7. Football (soccer for the Americans): at least two team members must read the same book. Points will be multiplied by number of team members reading the book. Argentina 1 point x 5 (# of players)= 5 points
    8. Artistic Gymnastics: a young adult book. Japan 10 points
    9. Rugby sevens: a debut novel (rugby sevens is making its Olympic debut). Fiji 4 points
    10. Rowing: a steampunk book. New Zealand 11 points
    11. Sailing: an adventure book. Netherlands 4 points
    12. Shooting: a book about war or set during war period. Ukraine 3 points
    13. Swimming: a book where main character or group of characters is on a quest/venture. Australia 30 points
    14. Synchronized swimming: a parody or satire. Canada 1 point
    15. Tennis singles: legal or court-themed book. Serbia 1 point
    16. Tennis doubles: a romance. France 1 point
    17. Track & Field: Classic mythology or folklore book. U.S. 100 points
    18. Triathlon: a book broken into parts, sections, or volumes. Spain 1 point
    19. Weightlifting: a book over 600 pages. Iran 8 points
    20. Cycling (road, BMX, mountain bike, track): a book about a road trip, journey, or pilgrimage. Germany 6 points
    21. Wrestling: a philosophy or philosophical book. Mongolia 1 point
    22. Modern Pentathlon: an anthology. Hungary 1 point
    23. Badminton: space travel or science fiction book. Denmark 5 points
    24. Rhythmic gymnastics: a book of poetry. Belarus 1 point

    Bonus for completing all categories = 20

    Team Score = 316

    Like

    July 11, 2016
    • nctyler #

      9. Rugby sevens: a debut novel (rugby sevens is making its Olympic debut) FIJI
      HERMAN MELVILLE: TYPEE: 3.5 stars

      “Typee”, based on Melville’s real 1843 adventures in Fiji (then known as the Cannibal Isles) and other South Pacific islands is actually an easy and rather quick read. It’s about the religion, cannabilism, and customs of the native peoples of “Fee-Jee” or “Viti” as it was sometimes called. Melville set out to explore the area with its reputation for ferocious cannabilism. In his debut novel, he created a sensation in large part because of his excellent writing but also his criticisms of missionaries. Europeans are ruining the indigenous culture. The narrator, a guy named Tommo, is a stand-in for Melville himself. He presents a society that is close to Utopia (aside from a bit of cannibalism: no debt, no money, no hunger). In his desire to depict the Polynesians as superior to Europeans he calls cannibalism an “uncontrollable desire” and reduces it to something like sexual arousal. Hence, he, a foreign man, is in no danger. You may not agree with the logic! But because he is not threatening or war-like, he may indeed be safe (as he was). The novel contains many digressions and anthropological observations. It’s an adventure story, first and foremost, but the issue of cannibalism is clear: you cannibalize your defeated enemies, so a nice young guy like Tommo is never in danger It would be a taboo to eat him. Overall, I would recommend Moby Dick if you want a similar story with much more substance to it and more developed writing. Some aspects of the book may be unreliable: Melville stayed for 4 weeks but Tommo is there for 4 months.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 23, 2016
      • nctyler #

        Rhythmic gymnastics: a book of poetry: BELARUS: two books; Collected Body & Factory of Tears by Valzhyna Mort.
        5 stars

        “Do not eat the fruit from your family tree” Mort, a 30-something poet from Minsk, Belarus, warns her readers. I liked her work so much that I read both her two books of poetry. She writes in different styles (lyric poetry, prose poetry) and the personal often interacts with the historical and the geographical. I take the “Factory of Tears” to be Belarus itself, or else the fragments of the former Soviet Union, where “we gorged on dirt thinking it was bread.” It’s difficult to find authenticity in life: how can you tell the good from the bad when you’ve been fed refined food and reality tv? Some of the poetry is delightfully domestic: the poet “dethrones an omelette from a frying pan”, for example. All of the poetry seems fearless and very smart. Probably the most impressive is the 19 page prose poem, “Aunt Anna,” about the poet’s aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, and the Soviet fiasco of the 20th century on a woman’s family. Mort takes inspiration form visits to their cemetery. Mort has emigrated to the USA and currently teaches at Cornell University.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 23, 2016
      • 22. Modern Pentathlon: an anthology Hungary
        One-Time Dog Market at Buda by Translated and retold by Irma Molnar 3 stars
        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1722463862

        Liked by 1 person

        August 8, 2016
      • 11. Sailing: an adventure book Netherlands
        Tim Krabbe The Rider or The Cave
        The Cave by Tim Krabbé 3 stars Translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett
        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1723784125

        Liked by 1 person

        August 9, 2016
      • 10. Rowing: a steampunk book New Zealand
        Harbinger: A Book of the Order by Philippa Ballantine 2 stars
        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1724941648

        Liked by 1 person

        August 10, 2016
      • Natalie C Tyler #

        Weightlifting: a book over 600 pages: IRAN

        b> Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam by Mark Bowden 5 stars https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1728081154

        680 pages!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 14, 2016
      • 5. Equestrian: a book about or featuring animals ENGLAND
        All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot 5 stars
        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1730280992

        Liked by 1 person

        August 16, 2016
      • 3. Beach Volleyball: Beach read Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin 4 stars
        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1731989884

        Liked by 1 person

        August 18, 2016
      • 18. Triathlon: a book broken into parts, sections, or volumes: Spain
        Guadalajara by Quim Monzo 3 stars

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1733771276

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2016
      • Cycling (road, BMX, mountain bike, track): a book about a road trip, journey, or pilgrimage GERMANY “Journey to Munich” by Jacqueline Winspear. This 12th Maisie Dobbs mystery send Maisie into the heart of Hitler’s Germany. Tense and rewarding, this is a riveting novel. 5 stars

        Liked by 1 person

        September 10, 2016
    • nctyler #

      21: WRSTLING:
      Wrestling: a philosophy or philosophical book: MONGOLIA
      “Life in Genghis Khan’s Mongolia” by Robert Taylor 4 stars

      Of 32 Mongolian philosophy books, the only one available in English translation costs $69.99 on amazon.com and is not available in a local library or in interlibrary loan. I therefore read a more general book but there’s a lot about Mongolian philosophy in it. With over 31 ethnic groups, 329 distinct districts, and several language dialects (Turkic, Mongolic, etc.) the Mongolians have had limited opportunities to produce an innovative philosopher. Historically the Khannates were affiliated with Buddhism—more of a philosophy than a religion. They also had a strong impulse towards Stoicism. Their stoicism made their impulses to kill and invade less contradictory to their Buddhism. In contrast, however, they also love luxury and art. They were Stoic Dancers!

      Invaded by Russian troops in 1921, Soviet influences would claim Marxism as a foremost philosophy in Mongolia.

      In the 26 years since becoming independent in 1990, Buddhism and Mongolian Shamanism have been popular but 40% of Mongolians are not religious at all. There are many non-religious, non-philosophical festivals each year most relating to sports, animals, agriculture, food, art, music, and the change of seasons.

      The predominant “philosophy”, then, must be a Buddhist closeness with nature, with small communities, and simplicity. Mongolia is emerging as a growing first-world nation with a strong economy, 98% literacy rate, increased higher education, and an environment that will undoubtedly be conducive to the growth of independent philosophers in the near future. One 2002 book calls the Mongolian philosophy “the philosophy of survival”

      Liked by 1 person

      July 23, 2016
      • nctyler #

        4. Diving: A Microhistory: China

        River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler 5 stars

        Hessler was a Peace Corps volunteer in the late 1990’s in a fairly isolated town called Fuling in the Sichuan province of China. This is a good example of a “microhistory” because we see a remote place changing along with the historical sweep of the larger parts of the country. There isn’t even train service: if you want to get anywhere, you go by boat. (Note: There is now a highway). No Americans have been to Fuling in over 50 years; Fuling is one of the poorer areas in China. Hessler has a lot to teach and a lot to learn.

        He tells us about daily life in this small town and the thoughts and preoccupations of the people. He looks at the truly micro: daily life complete with an analysis of wallet pictures, for example, and also at the reactions of the people to the death of Deng Xiaoping, leader of China for the previous twenty years. We get to know some individuals. I liked the little details: what is it like to go out to a restaurant? What does it mean to have a landlord? What about medical services? What about going shopping? Is there TV? What appears on TV? What happens when somebody dies? What is the most effective way to pan-handle?

        With interesting characters and Hessler’s sharp focus on everyday life in a remote town, this 400 page book was actually a fast-paced read with the allure of a thriller. I plan to read more of his books.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 24, 2016
    • nctyler #

      2. Boxing: A political or politically-themed book C The Boys from Dolores: Fidel Castro’s Schoolmates from Revolution to Exile by Patrick Symmes 3 stars

      Good Reads review
      http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/445714.The_Boys_from_Dolores

      Liked by 1 person

      July 26, 2016
    • The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
      Fencing: Italy
      Picked because Boccaccio is a medieval author and the book is set in 1348
      👍👍👍👍

      Set in 1348 with the plague raging through Florence, a party of seven women and three men set out for the Florentine countryside. They spend ten days in a mansion, with each taking a turn as the King/Queen for a day. To entertain themselves each day everyone shares a story fitting the theme for the day. Some of the tales are quite bawdy, while others poke fun at the hypocrisy of the times.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 28, 2016
    • The Ingredients of Love by Nicholas Barreau
      Tennis doubles: France
      Picked because it is a romance in Paris, written by a french author.
      3.5 stars

      The owner of a restaurant, Aurelie, suffers from heart break and while getting away from the police she founds a book in a little bookstore that changed her life. After reading the novel she comes to the conclusion that the author based the main character in her and her restaurant, so she starts to do everything she can so she can meet the author.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 3, 2016
    • Susie #

      12. Shooting – a book about war or set during war period UKRAINE.
      Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer.
      Picked as it is set in the Ukraine and focuses on the war as well as the lasting effects on the families of those involved.
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1703297614?book_show_action=false

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2016
    • Susie #

      15. Tennis singles: legal or court-themed book
      Secret Sanction by Brian Haig
      Chosen as it set in Bosnia and Serbia.
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1715166049

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2016
    • Parzival by Wolfram Von Eschenbach
      Cycling/Germany
      Picked because written by a German author and tells the story of a knight’s journey to aquire fame and fortune.
      👍👍👍
      The story tells the tale of Parzival, who journeyed from joust to joust winning honor and fortune. We are also told of Gawan’s journey to win the love of the Duchess Oregluse. King Arthur also makes an appearance in the story. The story ends happily for all.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 8, 2016
    • Perla by Carolina De Robertis
      Football:Argentina
      Picked because it is set in Buenos Aires Argentina
      👍👍
      This book could have been so much more than it actually was. The story of the disappeared and the stolen babies had the potential to be an amazing story but the author let it fall flat. I didn’t like the character of Perla or the writing style. This book was a slog to get through.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 9, 2016
    • Jen #

      13. Swimming: a book where main character or group of characters is on a quest/venture. Australia
      This is story of Australian “war brides” who travel from Australia to Great Britain on an aircraft carrier at the end of World War II.

      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1463738771

      Liked by 1 person

      August 13, 2016
    • Ink by Amanda Sun
      Artistic Gymnastics: Japan
      Picked because it is a young adult novel set in Japan.
      3.5 stars

      As in a typical YA, the girl falls for the wrong boy. After her mother dies, Katie goes to live with her aunt in Japan, where she meets Tomo, a boy with a tough attitude. Strange things start to happen, like drawings coming to life, things that have to do with the Kami (ancient beings that used to ruled Japan).

      http://www.amandasunbooks.com/

      Liked by 1 person

      August 13, 2016
    • Susie #

      Perla by Carolina De Robertis
      Football:Argentina
      Picked because it is set in Buenos Aires Argentina

      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1726956000

      Liked by 1 person

      August 15, 2016
    • Equus by Peter Shaffer
      Equestrian: England
      Picked because it has to do with horses by an English author.
      5 stars

      Is a play about a seventeen year old that loves horses and used to worked with them, and suddenly attacks and blinds six of these animals. A psychiatrist tries to find out what happened, what made a person who loves horses acted the way he did.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 16, 2016
    • Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle In America’s War With Militant Islam by Mark Bowden
      Weightlifting/Iran
      Picked because it is over 600 pages and is about the hostage crisis
      👍👍👍👍
      I really learned a lot from this book. At the time the hostages were taken I was a kid and had no real idea of what was happening. I did not know that there was an aborted rescue attempt. I never learned about any of this in school. This book was a real eye-opener.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 17, 2016
    • 14. Synchronized swimming: a parody or satire CANADA Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner
      3 stars

      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1735708398

      Liked by 1 person

      August 22, 2016
    • 7. Football (soccer for the Americans): at least two team members must read the same book. Points will be multiplied by number of team members reading the book.

      Here’s my group read for Perla, Argentinian author and takes place in Argentina. I never even knew about “the disappeared” and I thought this book was interesting and horrifying. And I think I’m the only member of our team so far that has liked it!

      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1727130412

      Liked by 1 person

      August 22, 2016
    • 23. Badminton: space travel or science fiction book Denmark Peter Adolphsen The Brummstein
      2 stars Translated from the Danish by Charlotte Barslend.

      It’s 1907. Josef Siedler believes that if he explores caves, he can find his way down to Hell. Once there, he brings back a souvenir: a little humming rock. It is science fiction, all right! Mixed with a lot of geology. I think that true lovers of science fiction might be intrigued.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 24, 2016
    • Animal Farm by George Orwell
      Equestrian/Great Britain
      Picked because it was written by a British author and the main characters are animals.
      👍👍👍
      The animals of Manor Farm stage a rebellion and kick Jones off the farm. At first the animals are better off but after Napoleon exiles Snowball, things get worse. With the help of Squealer, the propaganda King, Napoleon becomes the tyrannical leader of the farm. The pigs and the dogs live high off the hog while the other animals are much worse off than they were before the rebellion.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 25, 2016
    • State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
      Beach Volleyball/Brazil
      Picked because the major part of the book is set in the Amazon jungle in Brazil.
      👍👍👍
      I have mixed feelings about this book. I found the story very interesting but I disliked Dr. Swenson. I understand her reasoning for some of her actions but I still disliked her immensely. I thought that Marina could have used a backbone. I was also left with unanswered questions.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 30, 2016
    • 1. Archery: “Ping Pong Heart” by Martin Limon. This swiftly moving entry in the popular Sueno and Bascom mystery series set in South Korea was addictive reading. The characters are lovable in the way Peter Falk as Columbo are. Closer to a police procederal than a cosy, this series will appeal to mystery lovers.

      5 stars.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 3, 2016
    • Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong
      Translated by Howard Goldblatt
      Wrestling/Mongolia
      Picked because set in Inner Mongolia and deals with the philosophy of the Wolf Totem
      👍👍👍👍
      Chinese student Chen Zhen goes to live among the Mongolian grasslanders. He learns the philosophy of the Wolf Totem. The Mongols believe that man, wolf and earth are all linked. They revere and learn from the wolf. To eradicate the wolf will end their way of life and kill off the grasslands.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 7, 2016
    • The Terra Cotta Army: China’s First Emperor And The Birth Of A Nation
      By John Man
      Diving/China
      Picked because it tells the story of Qin Shi Huang uniting the seven kingdoms into one empire and building his tomb and army.
      👍👍.5
      The book starts with Qin Shi Huang taking the throne in Qin and then proceeding to conquer the other six kingdoms. He creates an united empire and begins many ambitious building projects. He builds his tomb to be a place to rule from in the after life. Everything he has in life must be provided for the afterlife, including an army to continue to rule. As of 2008 the Emperor’s tomb has not been excavated at all and most of the army is still in the pit.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 7, 2016
      • Too bad. Sounds interesting

        Like

        September 7, 2016
    • Perla by Carolina de Robertis
      Football: Argentina
      4 stars

      I liked the book, very much, even though I would prefer to read this one in Spanish (the written style or something made me think that it was a translation, I know it is not). I would recommend this one to people intrested in Latin American History and that have a like to Magical Realism.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 8, 2016
    • Hiding in the Spotlight {A Musical Prodigy’s Story Of Survival. 1941-1946}by Greg Dawson
      Shooting/Ukraine
      Picked because set in the Ukraine during WWII
      👍👍👍.5
      Zhanna and Frina Arshansky are piano prodigies living in Kharkov, when on June 22, 1941 the German army invaded the Ukraine. Zhanna and Frina escaped from the march to Drobitsky Yar where thousands of Jews were executed. With false papers, the sisters survived by playing piano for the German soldiers. The writing was so-so but the story was very compelling.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 12, 2016
    • Folklore, Memoirs, & Other Writings by Zora Neale Hurston
      Track & Field/USA
      Picked because Hurston collects and retells African-American folklore
      👍👍👍👍
      In “Mules and Men” Hurston returns to her hometown in Florida to collect and record the folklore of her youth. The locals don’t call them folklore but lies. They sit around and tell “lies”. The tales include “Old Massa and John” stories, as well as work songs. If you are sensitive to certain words or situations, do not read this. This book also contains Hurston’s writing on Jamaican obeah and Haitian voodoo. I had to read all of the included books because it was so interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 13, 2016
    • The Janus Affair: A Ministry Of Peculiar Occurrences Novel by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
      Rowing/New Zealand
      Picked because Pip Ballantine is from New Zealand and so is the main character of Eliza
      👍👍👍👍
      This is the first steampunk novel that I have read. I really enjoyed it. It is by no means a literary masterpiece but it’s a light, fun read. The exploits of Eliza and Wellington are a hoot. I will definitely read more of the books in this series.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 16, 2016
    • Dreamkeepers: A Spirit-Journey into Aboriginal Australia by Harvey Arden
      Swimming/Australia
      Picked because Harvey Arden travels through the Kimberley on a quest for Dreamtime.
      👍👍👍👍
      Harvey Arden is traveling around the Kimberley talking to the Aboriginal people, to find out about Dreamtime. He learns each group of Aboriginal have their own Dreamtime and won’t shate the stories with avGadia(white fella). They also can’t tell stories of a Dreamtime that does not belong to them. The Aboriginals share a kinship with the Native Americans as the Gadia also stolen their land.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 17, 2016
    • Factory of Tears by Valzhyna Mort
      Rythmic gymnastics/Belarus
      Picked because the author is from Belarus
      I am not comfortable rating this book because poetry is not my thing. I just don’t get it. I feel like the author is trying to tell me something but I am completely missing the point. I just feel confused. I feel like I should be sitting in the corner with a dunce cap on.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 17, 2016
    • G. I. Bones by Martin Limon
      Archery/South Korea
      Picked because it is set in Seoul South Korea
      👍👍👍
      American military police officers Sueno and Bascom find the bones of a G.I. Murdered twenty years ago, setting of a chain of events that lead to more murders. The revenge killings of the two gangsters are tied to the twenty year old murder. This was an okay read for me and I will probably give the other books in the series a try.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 18, 2016
    • The Holocaust in Hungary: An Anthology of Jewish Response
      Edited and translated by Andrew Handler
      Modern Pentathlon/Hungary
      Picked because it is an anthology of the writings of Hungarian Jews
      👍👍👍.5
      The introduction to this book is very dry and boring. The writings themslves are very interesting and make up for the introduction. I found “Expelled from Our Town” by Laszlo Gerend to be especially moving. This is not a feel good book but it was definitely worth reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 18, 2016
      • France: Romance:
        Flaubert, “MADAME BOVARY” 5 stars.
        Note that this is one of the best books I have ever read in its unsparing look at the negative effects of love gone awry and neglected children and neglected household finances. We see every little detail and our heart breaks as we know that characters are being propelled to their runination.

        Please note that I submitted a review for CANADA: satire on August 22. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 18, 2016
    • The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
      Artistic Gymnastics/Japan
      Picked because the author is from Japan and it is shelved as YA at the library
      👍👍👍👍
      A boy goes to his local library to return books and find some more. He is sent to room 107 in the basement and meets a strange old man. Then things get weird. I love Murakami and even though this seems like a kids book, I really liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 18, 2016
    • FRANCE: ROMANCE: Gustave Flaubert; Madame Bovary 5 stars
      This timeless examination of the delusion or romance providing the ruination of a family is quite brilliant. Flaubert shows how difficult it is to make provincial dreams of big=city success and money and romance come true. People take advantage of others for push forward their own dreams. The message is as true today: Not every girl in rural Kansas can become a Kardashian and it’s rather a dubious desire. If you need to kill yourself because you cannot became a Kardashian, please think of your family.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 22, 2016
    • Fidel A Critical Portrait by Tad Szulc
      Boxing/Cuba
      Picked because Castro was a political figure during his university days and after the Revolution he controlled Cuban politics from 1959-2008.
      👍👍👍.5
      This book is a bit dry but very interesting. I learned a lot. Castro got involved in politics during his university days. He was and is a master of propaganda. I didn’t know that Che Guevara was with Castro during the Revolution and in his government until his unexplained departure in 1965. Castro’s word was law and he was not to be contradicted. He also kept his Marxist-Leninist philosophy to himself until he was in control of the government.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 22, 2016
    • Secret Sanction by Brian Haig
      Tennis Singles/Serbia
      Picked because it is a legal investigation set in Serbia and Bosnia.
      👍👍👍
      Major Sean Drummond of JAG and his team investigate the massacre of 35 Serbians by a Special Forces A-team. The narrator is annoying and off putting. The story is so-so but if
      you like legal thrillers you might like it.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 23, 2016
      • ITALY: Fencing, a book set in Medieval Times Jon M. Sweeney, “The Enthusiast: The Untold Story of Elias of Cortona”.
        Elias of Cortona was chosen by St. Francis of Assisi to lead the chapter of The Order of Friars Minor, founded by Francis. Elias LOVED Francis and brought his body back to the home church in Assisi after his death because that’s what Francis would have wanted. The Church, however, wanted to build a new place for Francis to be interred. They kick out Elias. Ultimately he is received back into the Chuch. I give this 4.5 stars for suspense and lucidity and historical accuracy. Many insights into Franciscan history.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 23, 2016
    • The Guard by Peter Terrin
      Badminton/Denmark
      Picked because it was listed as Danish science fiction in the library catalog
      👍👍
      Two guards live in the basement of a luxury apartment building to provide security to the tenants. After all but one tenant leaves and a third guard arrives, things go down hill fast. The two original guards are losing it fast. I did not enjoy reading this book at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 25, 2016
    • The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
      Synchronized Swimming/Canada
      Picked because it is a social satire written by a Canadian author.
      👍👍👍👍👍
      I loved this book! Stan and Charmaine are unemployed, homeless and living in a car when they learn of the Positron Project. Full employment, everyone has a house, a dream come true. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Once in you can never leave. Big Brother is watching.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 26, 2016
    • The Butterfly Hunter by Janwillem van de Wetering
      Sailing/Netherlands
      Picked because it is an adventure book by an author from the Netherlands
      👍👍
      For Eddy Sachs life is one adventure after another. From spying for the allies during WWII, hunting down Nazi war criminals after the war, Eddy keeps moving looking for the next big thing. He has many adventures but never really accomplishes anything.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 26, 2016
    • Black Venus by James MacManus
      Tennis Singles/France
      Picked because it is a romance set in Paris
      👍👍
      Black Venus is the story of the tempestuous relationship between French poet Charles Baudelaire and his muse Jeanne Duval. Twenty-one year old Baudelaire meets thirty-two year old Jeanne Duval at La Reve cabaret and starts a twenty year relationship. Whether it is love or lust, the two seem to need each other.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 27, 2016
      • Artistic Gymnastics: Japan, Young Adult book 3 stars
        “Orchards” by Holly Thompson. The narrator of this YA novel in verse is Kana Goldbert, half-Japanese; half-Jewish. She is reeling because of the loss by suicide of a classmate to whom she has been unkind. Her parents pack her off to Japan to get to know her ancestors and part of her ancestral heritage. The verse style is not really poetic but reminded me a bit of Japanese short-forms such as the Haiku. I find it hard to get into Kana’s grief because she was a part of the group of bullies who write a note to the girl who hangs herself saying “I hope you die”.
        The book is part travelogue, part cultural anthropology, and part a moral warning.
        I won’t reveal the ending, but the book does demonstrate the rather tiny half-life attention span of a 14 year old.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 28, 2016
    • Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra
      Triathlon/Spain
      Picked because book is broken into two parts, is set in Spain and written by a Spanish author.
      👍👍👍👍👍
      This is one of my favorite books! I love the crazy old coot. After reading many books about chivalry and knights-errant, he decides to become a knight and adventure forth. With his “magnificent” steed Rozinante and his courageous squire Sancho Panza, he sets out for adventure in the name of the “beautiful” Lady Dulcinea, who is neither beautiful nor a lady. The storytelling in this book is great. It’s a chunkster but it reads really fast.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • The Sailmaker’s Daughter by Stephanie Johnson
      Rugby Sevens/Fiji
      Picked because it is set in Fiji. It is not the authors debut but her second book published in the United States. I found the titles of a couple of debut books by Fijian authors but they were not available at any library in the state.
      👍👍
      I did not enjoy this book. The story was jumbled and seemed to have no point. Olive is twelve years old and her mother is dying from the Spanish flu. She and two of her brothers are sent to stay with their aunt and uncle. The story jumps from one characters perspective to another and doesn’t hold together. It doesn’t make sense.

      Like

      September 30, 2016
    • Karen : I read all 24 categories do I still have to list them individually? My score would be 311. I nominate Natalie for take one for the team because she was really on the ball finding books and volunteering for any category that no one wanted to read.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 2, 2016
      • No. you don’t have to list individually if you read all of them. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

        October 2, 2016
      • I read all of the categories and my score would therefore be like Karen’s, 311. I would nominate Karen because she maintained so much momentum in September that she kept me in the game.

        Liked by 1 person

        October 2, 2016
      • So rather than each person nominate, I need teams to come up with one name each. Maybe you can discuss behind the scenes and if your team has more than one person nominated then you can pick someone at random. When there is a consensus, you can email that name directly to me. Thanks!

        Like

        October 2, 2016
    • Artistic gymnastics 10
      Equestrian 11
      Tennis doubles 1
      Football 1

      Total 23

      Like

      October 4, 2016
      • I think our team score should be 4 points higher (not that I think it matters…) For sailing, the Netherlands has 2 golds for 8 points total (not 4 points). SO our total score is 320.

        For individual scores, on our team:
        Susie has 5 points (shooting/3, football/1, tennis singles/1).

        Jennifer P has 31 points (swimming/30, football/1)

        Liked by 1 person

        October 8, 2016
      • Thanks!

        Like

        October 8, 2016
  4. Team 4: Citius, Altius, Fortius: Country list submitted 7/16/16

    1. Archery: A detective or mystery book. South Korea 18 points
    2. Boxing: A political or politically-themed book. Cuba 18 points
    3. Beach Volleyball: Beach read. Brazil 7 points
    4. Diving: A microhistory (e.g. going into depth with a topic). China 36 points
    5. Equestrian: a book about or featuring animals. Netherlands 1 point
    6. Fencing: A book set in medieval times. Italy 13 points
    7. Football (soccer for the Americans): at least two team members must read the same book. Points will be multiplied by number of team members reading the book. Germany Tracy, Kate, Charisma, “wordsandamug”: 28 points
    8. Artistic Gymnastics: a young adult book. Japan 10 points
    9. Rugby sevens: a debut novel (rugby sevens is making its Olympic debut). South Africa 2 points
    10. Rowing: a steampunk book. New Zealand 11 points
    11. Sailing: an adventure book. Australia 13 points
    12. Shooting: a book about war or set during war period. Ukraine 3 points
    13. Swimming: a book where main character or group of characters is on a quest/venture. USA 106 points
    14. Synchronized swimming: a parody or satire. Canada 1 point
    15. Tennis singles: legal or court-themed book. Switzerland 1 point
    16. Tennis doubles: a romance. France 1 point
    17. Track & Field: Classic mythology or folklore book. Jamaica 37 points
    18. Triathlon: a book broken into parts, sections, or volumes. Spain 1 point
    19. Weightlifting: a book over 600 pages. Kazakstan 13 points
    20. Cycling (road, BMX, mountain bike, track): a book about a road trip, journey, or pilgrimage. Great Britain 40 points
    21. Wrestling: a philosophy or philosophical book. Russia 29 points
    22. Modern Pentathlon: an anthology. Czech Republic 1 point
    23. Badminton: space travel or science fiction book. Indonesia 4 points
    24. Rhythmic gymnastics: a book of poetry. Belarus 1 points
    Extra points for completing all categories: 20

    Team Score: 415 points!!

    Liked by 2 people

    July 11, 2016
    • Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis
      #Synchronized Swimming – a satire or parody. Canada
      The Greek gods endow fifteen Canadian dogs with human intelligence in this satire in the tradition of Animal Farm.
      Fifteen Dogs

      Liked by 1 person

      July 24, 2016
    • Paper: Paging Through History – by Mark Kurlansky
      #4 Diving – a microhistory, China
      The Chinese count paper and the printing press among their “big four” inventions. Kurlansky’s history spans the globe but keeps cycling back to China.
      Paper: Paging Through History

      Liked by 1 person

      July 24, 2016
    • Jade Lady Burning by Martin Limon
      #1 Archery: A detective or mystery book. South Korea
      Murder mystery set in Seoul.
      Jade Lady Burning

      Liked by 1 person

      July 24, 2016
    • Tracy S. #

      Larva: A Midsummer Night’s Babel by Julian Rios 3.5 stars
      #18 Triathlon: a book in parts- Spain
      Author is Spanish, book is in parts of text, “Pillow notes”, which are explanations to the footnotes, and a group of pictures and diagrams.
      The writing was brilliant- this was a story with very little plot, but a huge amount of language play. It was easy to get lost in the puns, palindromes and double entendres, but not easy to follow the story.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 25, 2016
    • Tracy S. #

      Four Souls by Louise Erdrich 4 stars
      #13- quest- USA
      Native American woman on a quest for revenge against the man who stole her land, as well as a quest for each narrator to find their own purpose or happiness
      Louise Erdrich can do no wrong. This was a multilayered, yet simply told story. It was a fast read that will stick with me for a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 25, 2016
    • Tracy S. #

      Paradiso by Dante Aligheri 3 stars
      #6 Medieval- Italy
      Italian poet from Medieval times
      I read this to finally finish the Divine Comedy. It was good, but I liked the Inferno better (not sure what that says about me!) Dante is led through Heaven by his childhood love and ideal woman, Beatrice.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 25, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Moxyland by Lauren Beukes 2.5 stars
      Challenge #9 Debut novel- South Africa
      Her first novel, a scifi dystopian set in South Africa.
      Corporations are the government, and control everything through technology. A life sentence is having the cell phone taken away. Since there was no backstory, and very little plot, I didn’t enjoy this as much as I’d hoped to. Her later works are better.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 26, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Strange Light Afar by Rui Umezawa. 4 stars
      Challenge #8: YA- Japan
      Retellings of Japanese ghost stories, filed in Amazon as YA
      These were fun to read, and had beautiful illustrations at the start of each story. Each was a life lesson, but some were pretty scary old fashioned ghost tales, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 26, 2016
    • Ruler of the Sky: A Novel of Genghis Khan by Pamela Sargent
      #19 Weightlifting – Kazakhstan – a book of over 600 pages

      Genghis Khan and his horde rampage back and forth across Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China etc.. raping and pillaging for 700 pages. I sincerely wish it had been more like 400 but then it wouldn’t have satisfied the criteria.

      Ruler of the Sky

      Liked by 1 person

      July 26, 2016
    • Watership Down by Richard Adams
      #20 Cycling – Great Britain – a road trip, journey or pilgrimage

      A plucky group of rabbits set out across the terrors of the English countryside in an effort to establish a better community of their own. Though all of the action in the book takes place within several square miles, we are talking about rabbits here! Scale matters.

      Watership Down

      Liked by 1 person

      July 26, 2016
    • Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey
      #3 Beach Volleyball – Brazil – beach read
      Sex, crime and literary weirdness on the scalding beaches of Rio.

      Ways to Disappear

      Liked by 1 person

      July 27, 2016
    • The Drafter By Kim Harrison
      #13 – Quest. USA

      https://wordsandamug.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/book-review-the-drafter-kim-harrison/

      Liked by 1 person

      July 30, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy. 5 stars
      #21 Philosophy: Russia
      A wealthy man and his peasant go to look at a wood that is for sale, and are caught in a snowstorm. Each learns lessons on this freezing cold night. Tolstoy is considered a Christian philosopher and an anarchist, and this beautifully written allegory is a perfect example of this philosophy.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 2, 2016
    • Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica by Zora Neale Hurston
      #17 Track and Field – Jamaica – Folklore
      Hurston traveled extensively in the Caribbean as a professional anthropologist with a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation in the late 1930s. The result was this look at the traditional folklore of Jamaica and Haiti.

      Tell My Horse

      Liked by 1 person

      August 4, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Ten White Geese by Gerbrand Bakker. 3 stars
      #5 Equestrian: a book featuring animals- Netherlands
      Dutch author, story has geese and a biting badger.
      A woman admits to an affair, then leaves her home and husband in the Netherlands, and rents a home in Wales, with a decreasing goose population. This was a bit too starkly written for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 5, 2016
      • Sally Schwartz #

        The Strange Library by Haruka Murakami- Japan YA
        This strage little book is about a boy who is held hotage in the basement of a library

        Liked by 1 person

        August 5, 2016
    • Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
      #7 Rugby Sevens – Debut Novel – South Africa
      Stunning debut international bestseller that threw a spotlight on the deep divisions and injustices of mid-twentieth century South African society. Paton takes us through the despair of a tragic murder at the heart of the tale but then rebuilds our hope and spirits as two bereaved fathers work together to improve their own community.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 5, 2016
      • so as an FYI to both Kate and Sally — I already have Rugby and Gymnastics crossed off for your team. So these last two reviews will count toward your individual points but not your team score.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 5, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Geist by Phillipa Ballantine. 2 stars
      #10 Rowing-Steampunk. New Zealand
      Dirigibles and a new fantasy world with terminology that was not well explained. There was good vs. evil, and good and evil that switched places.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      The Lover by Marguerite Duras. 3.5 stars
      #15 Tennis Doubles Romance- France
      A sixteen year old girl starts an affair with a young Chinese man in 30s “French IndoChina”, aka Vietnam. Short, but thought-provoking. The tendency to jump from first to third person narrative, sometimes in the same paragraph, was disconcerting enough to drop this from 4 to 3.5 stars.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2016
    • Tales from Two Pockets by Karel Capek
      #22 Modern Pentathlon – an anthology Czech Republic

      An anthology of 48 short stories from Czech master, mainly taking place in 1920s Prague.

      Tales from Two Pockets

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2016
    • The Man who Loved Dogs by Leonardo Padura
      #2 Boxing – Cuba
      You can’t get much more political than the epic and bloody struggle between Stalin and Trotsky for the soul of the international communist revolution as told by a dying old man on a Cuban beach.
      The Man who Loved Dogs

      Liked by 1 person

      August 8, 2016
    • Taras Bulba by Nikolai Gogol
      #12. Shooting: a book about war or set during war period. Ukraine

      An epic tale about the Cossacks. To best understand it, IMHO, one has to either have relation to the country/nation, or at the very least have some knowledge about the country and time period of the deeds that were happening in the book. I absolutely loved the language: the description of the steppes is quite poetic. Even though there is gore and slaughter, for the most part just a mention of one, IMHO, (apart for a few specific scenes), it is mandatory, as it gives the reader a taste of real historical events happening at the time.

      P.S. I cringed a few times during the most violent parts of the book, and would have to have lived in such times and be one of the ‘enemies’, like the polish girl Andrii fell in love with.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 12, 2016
    • The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
      #8. Artistic Gymnastics: a young adult book. Japan

      With every new story I read, I fall deeper and deeper in love with Murakami. Even though this tale is quite short and is meant for a younger audience it still has that “creepy” factor for me that I enjoy in Murakami’s works. Boy, am I ever glad I don’t leave in Japan! I never knew I could have been scared of libraries and librarians.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 12, 2016
    • A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle
      #13. Swimming: a book where main character or group of characters is on a quest/venture. USA

      This is the second book in A Wrinkle in Time Quintet series by Madeleine L’Engle. What a lovely story she tells: a story about friendship, love, and searching, always searching for good in people, creatures, you name it. Very well written, IMHO, and very relevant today. I am unsure if there is a list of mandatory works for schoolchildren. If there is one, this series should be there.

      P.S. I absolutely loved the names of the creatures L’Engle came up with, and couldn’t help but repeat them in my head for days long after I finished reading the book.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 12, 2016
    • The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon
      #12 Shooting – Ukraine

      Historical fiction/romance set in the useless bloody waste of the Crimean war.

      The Rose of Sebastopol

      Liked by 1 person

      August 13, 2016
    • The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
      #22 Wrestling – Philosophy

      ★★★

      A self-absorbed magistrate confronts his own mortality while contemplating the emptiness of his social aspirations and his family life. As his terminal illness is drawn out over a few months, the protagonist has plenty of time to reflect on what he has missed while pursuing promotions and the meaningless trappings of the bourgeoisie.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 13, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      The Atlantis Gene by AG Riddle. 2 stars
      #23 Space/Scifi -Badminton- Indonesia
      Alien genetics meets Nazis meets end of the world. Set in Jakarta for a lot of the book. Meh- not my thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 14, 2016
    • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K LeGuin
      #13 Swimming – U.S.A.

      A young wizard makes a disastrous mistake, accidently releasing an evil presence into Earthsea, then spends the rest of the tale trying to rectify his error and contain the evil.

      A Wizard of Earthsea

      Liked by 1 person

      August 17, 2016
    • Factory of Tears by Valzhyna Mort
      #24 Rhythmic gymnastics: a book of poetry. Belarus
      An absolutely hauntingly beautiful collection of poems much of it revolving around issues of identity. I only wish I could read the poems in the original Belarusian to see what if anything is lost in the translation.
      5 starts.

      Liked by 2 people

      August 18, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey. 4 stars
      Challenge #11 Sailing- Adventure: Australia
      Australian author and story of Australian legend/outlaw. Definitely adventurous!
      I really enjoyed this Booker Prize winning novel- it was told in Ned Kelly’s “own” words until the last chapters, and of course was skewed to his innocence. He is apparently a hero on par with Robin Hood down under.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 19, 2016
    • Swimming with Crocodiles by Will Chaffey
      #11 Sailing – an adventure book – Australia

      There are many ways to die in the outback, some of them sudden as the title implies, others gruesomely drawn out as the hapless stranded traveler succumbs to heat and starvation. Or you could simply disappear, as happened to the author’s friend Dave. Author Will Chaffey flirts with many forms of disaster as he attempts to find himself by kicking around some of the most rugged and perilous landscapes on the planet.

      Swimming with Crocodiles

      Liked by 1 person

      August 19, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Night by Elie Wiesel. 5 stars
      #7 Soccer- group read: Germany
      Set in Nazi concentration camp
      This book is a perfect reminder of what the dark side of human nature is capable of doing, and the strength and resilience of the human spirit to survive that evil. May you finally be at peace, Mr. Wiesel.

      Liked by 2 people

      August 19, 2016
      • Night by Elie Wiesel
        #7 Soccer – group read: Germany

        This novella was every bit as devastating the second time around for me, which shouldn’t be surprising as the world isn’t getting any rosier. I imagine that if I read it again in twenty years it will still wrest a sob or two out of me. I can only echo Tracy, rest in peace indeed Mr. Wiesel.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 28, 2016
      • Charisma #

        Night by Elie Wiesel
        #7 Football – group read: Germany

        It’s not surprising that this WWII book is as gut-wrenching as it is. Don’t they all get us in a similar manner? I don’t like reading about people dying, especially when this was happening in reality, and happening on a much greater scale than an air-plain crash. Especially so, that it was no accident at all.

        I’ve been waiting to read this book for a while now. My son was literally crying his heart out while listening to it, and now I know why. So sad…

        I’ll join Tracy and Kate, rest in peace Mr. Wiesel.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 1, 2016
    • The Execution of Justice by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
      #15 Tennis Singles – A legal or court-themed book Switzerland

      The title probably doesn’t mean what I thought it meant at first. A spectacular celebrity murder in the heart of Zurich is the framework for this examination of the difference between law and justice.

      The Execution of Justice

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2016
    • The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell
      #8 Artistic Gymnastics – Japan YA

      I found this tale of a Japanese teenager facing his own mortality with the aid of two dear friends that he met through the internet far more affecting than some bestsellers on the same topic that I could name.

      The Last Leaves Falling

      Liked by 1 person

      August 26, 2016
    • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
      #6 Fencing: a book set in medieval Italy

      The pope v the Holy Roman Empire, Benedictines v Minorite Franciscans, did Jesus laugh?, are women just yucky or servants of the devil? These were all evidently important issues in early 14th century Italy.

      The Name of the Rose

      Liked by 1 person

      September 2, 2016
    • The Ravishing of Lol Stein by Marguerite Duras
      #16 Tennis Doubles – a romance – France

      French language classic about a young woman who after being summarily dumped by her fiance at a town dance attempts ten years later to somehow recreate the dumping with herself in the role of the other woman. Supposedly “haunting and erotic” I mostly found it repetitious and dull. If it were possible to have a boring erotic dream it would be like this novel.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 6, 2016
    • Phoenix Rising: The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1 by Pip Ballantine
      #10 Rowing – Steampunk – New Zealand

      Kiwi author and heroine in a steampunk spy adventure.

      Phoenix Rising

      Liked by 1 person

      September 9, 2016
    • Night by Elie Wiesel
      #7 Soccer – group read: Germany

      This book was absolutely gut wrenching to read – I cried and not just once. I don’t think I can ever understand the levels of depravity humans are capable of inflicting on each other. The hardest part of this book, at least for me, was trying to reconcile the horrific content with the absolutely beautiful writing.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 22, 2016
    • #16 Tennis doubles: a romance. France
      Dragonfly in Amber – Diana Gabaldon
      This is the second book in the Outlander Series. Jamie and Claire continue their epic love story and travel to Paris with a plan and hope to stop the Jacobite rising and the battle at Culloden. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. 5 stars from me.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • This is Not a Game by Walter John Williams
      #23 Badminton – Science Fiction – Indonesia

      Science fiction that begins with our protagonist stranded in Jakarta in the middle of a government collapse/military coup. When neither the U.S. Government nor her employer seem capable of extracting her she turns to her online gaming community for rescue. But the ultimate question is what prompted that coup?

      This is Not a Game

      Like

      September 30, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
      #20. Cycling: road trip or voyage. Great Britain

      Why it fits: The main character, Jacob, travels to a remote island off the coast of Wales.

      This is my second time reading this book. I read it a few years ago and was quite fond of it. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember much, and this Sunday we’re going to see a movie and I just had to re-read it, because I love comparing books to their movie versions.

      I loved the book as much this time around, I liked the story, and how it was coming together. I think it has fresh view on things and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

      Like

      September 30, 2016
    • Charisma #

      The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy
      #21. Wrestling: philosophy, Russia

      I like Tolstoy and I am yet to find the book of his I disliked. Because this one was short, I think it was more powerful for me than his longer works. The subject of the story is quite upsetting, for me at least, and I am wondering if Ivan Ilyich was suffering some type of cancer. I wish there was a happy ending (or beginning, as a matter of fact) there.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
      • Charisma #

        I just realized that The Death of Ivan Ilyich could have been too short for the challenge. Not sure if it will be considered fair to read two short works for the same sport, but if it is, I also quickly re-read “The Nose” by Nikolai Gogol. The action is happening in St. Petersburg (Russia) and I believe the things described in the story can be considered philosophical. What I found interesting is that both stories (The Death of Ivan Ilyich and The Nose) describe people’s obsession with social rank. I’m not completely sure as of today, but about 10-15 years ago it was still relevant in Russia, Ukraine, and other post-USSR countries.

        Like

        October 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
      #17. Track & Field: folklore, Jamaica

      Why I think it fits:
      From Wikipedia: “Anansi (/əˈnɑːnsi/ ə-nahn-see) is an African folktale character. He often takes the shape of a spider and is considered to be the spirit of all knowledge of stories. He is also one of the most important characters of West African and Caribbean folklore.
      He is also known as Ananse, Kwaku Ananse, and Anancy; and in the southern United States he has evolved into Aunt Nancy. He is a spider, but often acts and appears as a man.
      The Anansi tales originated from the Ashanti people of present-day Ghana. The word Ananse is Akan and means “spider”. They later spread to other Akan groups and then to the West Indies, Suriname, Sierra Leone (where they were introduced by Jamaican Maroons) and the Netherlands Antilles. On Curaçao, Aruba, and Bonaire, he is known as Nanzi, and his wife as Shi Maria.”
      While searching for a book to read, I found a lot of notions about Anansi being part of Jamaican folklore stories.

      Neil Gaiman knows how to tell a story. I loved the ‘stories within the story’ about Anansi the trickster – The Spider God. I also loved how Neil Gaiman incorporated the folk stories into his novel. For me, every chapter of the story was bringing something new, and I could not even guess where it would lead me next.

      Like

      October 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
      #4. Diving: microhistory, China

      Why I think it fits:
      The author tells us about 19th century China with it’s arranged marriages, footbinding, and male kids praised upon, and female children thought of as unnecessary baggage. The way the story was presented, I perceived it to be as close to truth as it was possible for the novel like this. IMHO, it has a number of ‘microhistories’ on different subjects, e.g. footbinding.

      ‘Whether you are rich or poor, emperor or slave, the domestic sphere is for women and the outside sphere is for men. Women should not pass beyond the inner chambers in their thoughts on in their actions. I also understood that two Confucian ideals ruled our lives. The first was the Three Obediences: “When a girl, obey your father; when a wife, obey your husband; when a widow, obey your son.” The second was the Four Virtues, which delineate women’s behaviour, speech, carriage, and occupation: “Be chaste and yielding, calm and upright in attitude; be quiet and agreeable in words, be restrained and exquisite in movement; be perfect in handiwork and embroidery.” If girls do not stray from these principles, they will grow into virtuous women.’

      This is my first ever Lisa See book, and I think I found another favourite author. I will definitely read her other books. What a powerful piece of work. In a narrative way it tells us about the customs of 19th century China, when the girls weren’t worth much, were considered a liability, and were mutilated. In addition to that, when they were married, it was usually someone from far, far away, and they really didn’t get to see their family and childhood friends again. What a tough life it must have been. I wonder if it’s still happening today.

      Like

      October 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Charisma’s Count:

      (028) #7 Football – group read: Germany – Night by Elie Wiesel
      (010) #8. Artistic Gymnastics: a young adult book. Japan – The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
      (003) #12. Shooting: a book about war or set during war period. Ukraine – Taras Bulba by Nikolai Gogol
      (106) #13. Swimming: a book where main character or group of characters is on a quest/venture. USA – A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle
      (040) #20. Cycling: road trip or voyage. Great Britain – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
      (029) #21. Wrestling: philosophy, Russia – The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy + “The Nose” by Nikolai Gogol

      Total: 216 + 20 bonus points?

      Date stamp: October 1, 2016
      (036) #4. Diving: microhistory, China – Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
      (037) #17. Track & Field: folklore, Jamaica – Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

      Liked by 1 person

      October 2, 2016
    • Kate’s Tally:

      (18) Archery- South Korea – Jade Lady Burning
      (18) Boxing – Cuba – Man Who Loved Dogs
      (7) Beach Volleyball – Brazil – Ways to Disappear
      (36) Diving – China – Paper: Paging through History
      (13) Fencing – Italy – The Name of the Rose
      (28) Soccer – Germany Night
      (10) Gymnastics – Japan The Last Leaves Falling
      (2) Rugby Sevens – South Africa – Cry the Beloved Country
      (11) Rowing – New Zealand – Phoenix Rising
      (13) Sailing – Australila – Swimming with Crocodiles
      (3) Shooting – Ukraine – The Rose of Sebastopol
      (106) Swimming – USA – A Wizard of Earthsea
      (1) Synchronized Swimming – Canada – Fifteen Dogs
      (1) Tennis Singles – Switzerland – The Execution of Justice
      (1) Tennis Doubles – France – The Ravishing of Lol Stein
      (37) Track and Field – Jamaica – Tell My Horse
      (13) Weightlifting – Kazahkstan – Ruler of the Sky
      (40) Cycling – Great Britain – Watership Down
      (29) Wrestling – Russia – The Death of Ivan Ilyich
      (1) Modern Pentathlon – Czech Republic – Tales from Two Pockets
      (4) Badminton – Indonesia – This is Not a Game
      (20) point bonus for being a member of the first team to complete every category

      Total = 412 points

      Liked by 1 person

      October 3, 2016
    • Taking one for the team – I’d like to nominate Lana a.k.a. “wordsandamug” for ticking off that very intimidating Belorussian poetry category.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 3, 2016
      • Charisma #

        I second that. I was planning to get to the category, but was glad, that Lana finished her book so quickly 🙂 and scratched if off our list 🙂

        Like

        October 4, 2016
      • Tracy S #

        Me, three!

        Like

        October 4, 2016
      • Charisma #

        Jen, It’s 3/5 people for Lana, “wordsandamug”. Please add her to the draw. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

        October 4, 2016
      • Ok.

        Like

        October 4, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Sally S aka Sally Schwartz, I have one book read:
      The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami (10)
      +20 points for the team finishing all categories

      Total: 30 points

      Liked by 1 person

      October 4, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Lana aka WordsAndAMug, I have 4 books read:
      The Drafter By Kim Harrison (106)
      Factory of Tears by Valzhyna Mort (1)
      Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (1)
      Night by Elie Wiesel (28)
      +20 points for the team finishing all categories

      Total: 156 points

      Liked by 1 person

      October 4, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Tracy S, I have 12 books read:
      Larva: A Midsummer Night’s Babel by Julian Rios (1)
      Four Souls by Louise Erdrich (106)
      Paradiso by Dante Aligheri (13)
      Moxyland by Lauren Beukes (2)
      Strange Light Afar by Rui Umezawa (10)
      Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy (29)
      Ten White Geese by Gerbrand Bakker (1)
      Geist by Phillipa Ballantine (11)
      The Lover by Marguerite Duras (1)
      The Atlantis Gene by AG Riddle (4)
      True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey (13)
      Night by Elie Wiesel (28)
      +20 points for the team finishing all categories

      Total: 239 points

      Liked by 1 person

      October 4, 2016
  5. Team 5: No.5 is Alive! Countries submitted 7/16/16

    1. Archery: A detective or mystery book. South Korea 18 points
    2. Boxing: A political or politically-themed book. Cuba 18 points
    3. Beach Volleyball: Beach read. Brazil 7 points
    4. Diving: A microhistory (e.g. going into depth with a topic). Hungary 1 point
    5. Equestrian: a book about or featuring animals. The Netherlands 1 point
    6. Fencing: A book set in medieval times. Italy 13 points
    7. Football (soccer for the Americans): at least two team members must read the same book. Points will be multiplied by number of team members reading the book. Mexico Jan & Cindy, & Arlene 3 points
    8. Artistic Gymnastics: a young adult book. Russia 22 points
    9. Rugby sevens: a debut novel New Zealand 3 points
    10. Rowing: a steampunk book. Great Britain 18 points
    11. Sailing: an adventure book. Australia 13 points
    12. Shooting: a book about war or set during war period. China 18 points
    13. Swimming: a book where main character or group of characters is on a quest/venture. USA 106
    14. Synchronized swimming: a parody or satire. Spain 1 point
    15. Tennis singles: legal or court-themed book. Belarus 1 point
    16. Tennis doubles: a romance. France 1 point
    17. Track & Field: Classic mythology or folklore book. Kenya 44 points
    18. Triathlon: a book broken into parts, sections, or volumes. Switzerland 3 points
    19. Weightlifting: a book over 600 pages. North Korea 13 points
    20. Cycling (road, BMX, mountain bike, track): a book about a road trip, journey, or pilgrimage. Germany 6 points
    21. Wrestling: a philosophy or philosophical book. Japan 25 points
    22. Modern Pentathlon: an anthology. Czech 1 point
    23. Badminton: space travel or science fiction book. Indonesia 4 points
    24. Rhythmic gymnastics: a book of poetry. Ukraine 2 points

    Bonus for completing all categories:20 points

    TEAM SCORE: 362

    Liked by 1 person

    July 11, 2016
    • Fatal Storm: The 54th Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race by Rob Mundle – 5 stars

      Category/Country: Sailing – adventure – Australia
      Reason: A sailing adventure set in Australia!

      Review:
      Excellent piece of reporting/documentary, well researched and brought to the reader in a way that conveys all the suspense and excitement of a thriller, but with the respect due to the solemnity of the tragedy. I know I must have heard about this in 1998 when it happened, especially as my husband was so sailing-obsessed then that he must have followed the race, but I can’t remember it at all.

      The Sydney to Hobart yacht race, begun in 1945, is run annually on Boxing Day. It is said by some to be the most grueling course in the world, and in 1998 a killer storm of unexpected proportions devastated the fleet. Of the 115 boats that started, only 44 made it to Hobart, and 6 sailors lost their lives. This book tells not just the tale of the tragedy and the heroic rescue efforts, but also gives the history of the race. Highly recommended.

      This is Not a Game by Walter Jon William – 4.5 stars (round down to 4)

      Category/Country: Badminton – sci-fi – Indonesia
      Reason: Set in Indonesia for about 1/3 of the book, involves advanced computer programming and gaming that are not (yet) a reality, but we’re getting there!

      Wow. I was not expecting much from this, and by the end was just blown away.

      Review:
      Dagmar Shaw is a “puppet master”, a writer of MMOPRG (massively multiplayer online role playing games) computer games that send players into real places in the world to pick up clues to solve her mysteries.

      The novel opens with Dagmar landing in Jakarta, a stopover on the way to Bali. However, riots break out in the city when the Indonesian currency collapses unexpectedly, trapping Dagmar and many others when the military to attempt a takeover. Her boss and friend, Charlie Shaw, owner of the company that owns her gaming company, goes to great lengths to get her out of the city when the American government does nothing to help, being busy quelling trouble in other parts of the world.

      Dagmar parlays her harrowing experience into the plot of a new game. When an old friend is murdered and the police stumped, she enlists the gaming community’s assistance in the investigation by making it part of her game. What she doesn’t know is that she is about to get caught up in a much bigger crisis, and the lines between fantasy and reality are about to become more blurred than anyone is prepared for.

      What a roller coaster ride! Especially in the last half of the book, where the pace suddenly takes off like a rocket and I couldn’t put the book down. I did figure out whodunnit quite early, but that did not detract from my enjoyment of the suspense and the climax. I thoroughly enjoyed all the geekiness, and the idea of using computer gaming in a murder plot in this manner was fascinating and new to me. I will definitely look for the next books in the series.

      Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carriger- 4 stars

      Country/Category: Rowing – steampunk – Great Britain
      Reason: Set in 19th century England, involving steam technology

      Review:
      Sophronia Temminick continues her espionage lessons in Madamoiselle Geraldine’s floating dirigible. However, her teachers refuse to believe her concerns about the Picklemen’s sinister plot involving the mechanicals of London, leaving her no choice but to wait until they make a move.

      In this fourth and final book of the Finishing School series, Carriger brings all the threads of her plots and schemes to a brilliant close. I had been getting a little bored and impatient with the slow pace of this series, but this concluding volume was quite satisfying. The action begins early, and continues at a smart pace until its explosive end. Humor and wit are liberally sprinkled throughout, and even a touch of romance. Vampires, werewolves, and a spot of tea – this was a fun romp!

      Liked by 2 people

      July 23, 2016
    • God of Missed Connections by Elizabeth Bachinsky
      Rhythmic Gymnastics: Ukraine
      I chose this selection because it was poetry by a Ukrainian-Canadian. Although not all the poetry in the book was about Ukraine there was mention of the country as well.
      As I get older, the more and more I appreciate poetry. This was a lovely read and reminded me that I enjoy poetry. Most of it was to my taste. Ironically, the poet lives in my city and I knew many of the references she made and could relate to the sentiment.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 24, 2016
      • Moonlight Over Paris by Jennifer Robson
        Tennis Doubles: France
        The story lacked a little in drama – some of it just listing off events of the day. A traditional romance structure and agreeable ending. A light and lovely read. It was good – definitely not exceptional.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 24, 2016
    • Faces in the Crowd/Valeria Luiselli
      Football: Group read: Mexico
      The author is Mexican, the book is partly set in Mexico City, and the main characters are Mexican
      I enjoyed the experience of reading this book. I liked the layering and the sense that time is fluid and existence overlaps. I have no idea what Valeria Luiselli intended it to be about, but what I take from it is isolation, incompleteness and invisibility.
      Full review on my blog: https://thinkaboutreading.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/faces-in-the-crowd/
      Personal tally: 1/24

      Liked by 1 person

      July 30, 2016
    • Shadrach / Meindert DeJong
      Equestrian (Animals): The Netherlands

      The book is set in The Netherlands and the author is from there. The book has 182 pages.

      3 stars

      Davie is just a little boy and he has been promised a pet rabbit by his Grandpa. But, he has to wait a whole week before the little black rabbit who will be named Shadrach will come home. The first half of the book was Davie’s obsession and anticipation during the week before Shadrach came home. The rest of the book included trials and tribulations as poor Shadrach seemed to be getting skinnier and he managed to escape a couple of times.

      This was cute. It being a children’s chapter book, there were some nice little illustrations by Maurice Sendak.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 31, 2016
    • Apocryphal Tales by Karel Capek

      Country/Category: Modern Pentathlon – anthology – Czech Republik
      Reason: An anthology by a Czech writer

      Review: 3 stars
      What a strange little book. It’s a collection of fable-like tales, each only about 3-4 pages long, on a wide range of topics that stretch from Achilles to Pilate to Romeo and Juliet to the present. Some are thought-provoking (I imagine all are meant to be), some amusing, but some just seem kind of silly. At least it was an easy read.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 31, 2016
      • I will edit for you and then will delete this two comments

        Like

        July 31, 2016
    • The Investigation/Jung-Myung Lee
      Archery: Detective or Mystery: South Korea
      The author is South Korean and the book deals with Korean prisoners in a Japanese prison
      On the face of it, The Investigation is a murder mystery set in a Japanese prison during the Second World War. It’s more than that, though. It’s a reflection on literature’s power to imprison, to set free, and to sustain. It’s an examination of identity, how individuals define themselves in relation to others and to notions of nationality and culture. It’s a history lesson of sorts about Japanese treatment of Koreans. It’s a beautifully crafted work, full of poetry and grace. The use of literature to underpin the story is compelling.
      Full review on my blog: https://thinkaboutreading.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/the-investigation/
      Personal tally: 2/24

      Liked by 1 person

      August 5, 2016
    • Football (Group Read): Mexico

      The author is Mexican and it (apparently) partly takes place in Mexico.

      Faces in the Crowd / Valeria Luiselli
      2 stars

      This book mostly follows a woman with two kids (“the baby” and “the boy”) and a husband (I don’t think we learn any of their names). She used to be a translator (of written works) in New York City and much of the anecdotes are her remembrances of her life then. There are other anecdotes by at least one other person… maybe two? Someone had an ex-wife and kids and someone (else? not sure) had three cats. I’m not sure any of the main characters had names.

      It was kind of hard to follow/figure out which anecdotes belonged to whom in some cases. Nothing really happened throughout the entire book. Just these little anecdotes. The anecdotes of at least two of the people (both?) come together in a weird meld at the end. I also didn’t like the characters, especially the woman. She was a liar and a thief. I mostly did pay attention to this one, but I didn’t like the style at all, in addition to there not really being any kind of story to it. Luckily, it was short.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2016
    • Comrades in Miami/José Latour
      Boxing: political or politically themed: Cuba
      The author is Cuban, the book flits between Cuba and Miami and is about cold war espionage against the background of US-Cuban politics.
      This was just awful. I can’t even begin to explain how dire. Here’s my review https://thinkaboutreading.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/comrades-in-miami/
      Personal tally: 3/24

      Liked by 1 person

      August 11, 2016
      • The premise was good, but it was incredibly badly written.

        Like

        August 11, 2016
    • The Art of War/Sun Tzu
      Shooting: a book about war or set during war: China
      The book was written at a time when various kingdoms in what would eventually become China were at war, and is a treatise on how best to conduct a war.
      Reading the book while watching the Olympics was interesting. I thought more about what Sun Tzu was saying in the context of sporting competition. A lot of the same principles apply, replacing an enemy in battle with an opponent in sport. I don’t ever plan to go to war, but at least I know I can refer to this book for guidance should I ever feel like it. Full review here https://thinkaboutreading.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/the-art-of-war/
      Personal tally: 4/24

      Liked by 1 person

      August 14, 2016
    • Artistic Gymnastics (Young Adult): Russia

      Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess / Carolyn Meyer
      4 stars

      This tells the story of Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II and Alexandra of Russia. It is told in diary format and starts in January 1914. At the beginning of the book, Anastasia is a carefree rich 12-year old, with not too much to worry about. As time goes on, her diary covers Rasputin, World War I, and her family’s imprisonment. There is then an epilogue to cover the end of her story and a historical note that, in a short version, covers much of Russia’s history

      I really enjoyed this YA telling of the Romanovs’ story from Anastasia’s point of view. It’s definitely an interesting way, especially for someone young, to learn about that history.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 14, 2016
    • Track and Field (Mythology): Kenya

      The description of this one on GR says, in part “In these beloved stories we meet a Kenyan lion named Simba, a snake with seven heads, and tricksters from Zulu folklore”, but no one on GR has tagged it “Kenya” (it does have the tag on LT).

      Favorite African Folktales / Nelson Mandela (editor)
      3 stars

      This is pretty much what the title says: a collection of African folktales. I listened to the audio.

      I don’t always do well with short stories, as I often find them too short to get really interested. Combine that with an audio, where it’s easy to get distracted, and I really missed a lot. I did enjoy the stories that I managed to pay attention to the majority of. Two that stood out for me were about animals and the environment (which shouldn’t be a surprise!).

      What I particularly enjoyed about the audio was the music and songs that were added in. The songs were mostly part of the stories, but all the songs were replayed at the end, as well. The stories were all written (or rewritten) by different people and they were all read by someone different. I recognized the voices of Whoopi Goldberg and Alan Rickman, but the rest of the narrations were done by other actors, such as Matt Damon, Forest Whittaker, Gillian Anderson, Scarlet Johansson…).

      Liked by 1 person

      August 17, 2016
    • Vertigo/W G Sebald
      Cycling: a book about a road trip: Germany
      Sebald was born in Germany, and this book is a travelogue about his trip from England to Italy and then on to his home town
      I loved this book so much. It was a total tonic after the coup!e I read and didn’t enjoy recently. Full review here https://thinkaboutreading.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/vertigo-w-g-sebald/
      Personal tally: 5/24

      Liked by 1 person

      August 19, 2016
    • Swimming/Quest/USA

      Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail / Cheryl Strayed
      4 stars

      Cheryl had an abusive father until her mom took her and her two siblings away when she was 6. She lost her mom to cancer when Cheryl was in her early 20s and, just before the events of this book (four years after the loss of her mom), she had just gotten a divorce after she’d been cheating on her husband for a while. She slept with men, did heroin – her life was a bit of a mess when she decided to spend a few months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The PCT starts at the Mexican border and goes just into Canada. Cheryl hiked from southern California to the Oregon/Washington border (skipping a section that had too much snow).

      I really liked this. No, I often didn’t like Cheryl, and like many others have said (and so did she!), she really wasn’t prepared like she should have been. But, I still really enjoyed the journey. I was amazed at how nice people were (for the most part) – other hikers, as well as others along the way in villages and such. Especially with the other hikers, it seemed, there was a great camaraderie.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 27, 2016
    • Silence/Shusaku Endo
      Wrestling: a philosophical book: Japan
      The book is about the Jesuit mission to Japan in the 17th century and focuses on the philosophical discussion of faith between a priest and a Japanese magistrate.
      I think I placed too much expectation on this book, having read so many glowing words about it. It’s good, but not the perfect novel I was hoping for. Chapter eight is its pinnacle. Everything before is worth reading to reach that point. Everything after is superfluous. Full review here https://thinkaboutreading.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/silence/
      Personal tally: 6/24

      Liked by 1 person

      August 28, 2016
    • Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli

      Country/Category: Football (Soccer) – multiple readers – Mexico
      Reason: A book by a Mexican author

      Review: 1 star

      BORING. The longest 146 pages I’ve ever read. Did not like the characters, no plot, pretentious, trying hard to be “literary”. I gave up trying to figure out what was going on or who was narrating, as the POV kept shifting every other paragraph, and very early on I stopped caring.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 30, 2016
    • Bonjour Tristesse/Françoise Sagan
      Tennis Doubles: Romance: France
      Sagan was French, the book is set in the French Riviera and is about a less fluffy approach to romance
      I loved this book, which was as much coming of age as it was love story. Full review here https://thinkaboutreading.wordpress.com/2016/08/31/bonjour-tristesse/
      Personal tally: 7/24

      Renée has already covered France for our team, so this is just for my personal tally.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 31, 2016
    • Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli
      Football/Group Read: Mexico

      I gave the book four stars. By mid-book I began to understand what she was trying to do and began appreciating the creative risks that the author took – these alone would have had me rating it at three stars, but the poetic and literary nuances are rare to see in books nowadays so bumped the rating up to four stars. I would have given it a five star rating if I had caught onto what she was doing sooner. I think she leaves her readers hanging for the first half wondering what is going on.
      I enjoy literary fiction though – this doesn’t fit into any other category but literary fiction, so if you don’t enjoy that I wouldn’t recommend it.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 2, 2016
    • Other Carnivals: New Stories from Brazil/Various Authors
      Beach Volleyball: Beach Read: Brazil
      My choice for beach reading is short stories, because I can dip in and out of them. All 12 authors in this collection are Brazilian.
      Other Carnivals is a collection of a dozen short stories put together to coincide with a South American literary festival in 2013. Some of the stories are better than others, but as an introduction to Brazilian writers, it works well. Full review here https://thinkaboutreading.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/other-carnivals-new-stories-from-brazil/
      Personal tally: 8/24

      Liked by 1 person

      September 2, 2016
    • Wild: A Journey From Lost To Found/Cheryl Strayed
      Swimming: main character on a quest: USA
      This has been on my TBR for a while & it’s coincidental that Cindy also read it! Cheryl Strayed is from the USA and she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in a quest to rediscover who she was.
      Wild is an honest account of one woman’s collapse into grief and her way of trying to get back to herself. She makes disastrous choices at times, but those choices become part of her and, to my mind, make her a much more interesting person than someone who plays it by the book.
      Personal tally: 9/24

      This is just for my personal tally, not the team tally.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 10, 2016
    • Triathlon: A book broken into parts or sections – Switzerland

      Completed: Flora and Grace by Maureen Lee
      Two Stars, if it weren’t for the challenge I would have ditched it within the first 50 pages.

      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1755183852?book_show_action=false

      Liked by 1 person

      September 11, 2016
    • The Glass Kingdom/Chris Flynn
      Sailing: an adventure: Australis
      Set in a travelling carnival rolling through rural Australia. LibraryThing gives it an Adventure tag, and one of the characters certainly goes on an adventure, but maybe not in the traditional sense.
      This was a cracking read. Maybe I’ve read too many violent novels set in some kind of underworld, but I didn’t find it so sick or look-away-violent. It was a peek into a world with which I’m gladly not familiar, and had enough humour and smarts to leaven the violence.
      Full review here https://thinkaboutreading.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/the-glass-kingdom/
      Personal tally: 10/24

      Australia has been covered by therungirl, so this is just for my personal tally.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 12, 2016
      • Oh look, autocorrect has made Australia all fancy and Latin!

        Liked by 1 person

        September 12, 2016
      • Oh look, autocorrect has made Australia all fancy and Latin!

        LOL, Jan!

        Liked by 1 person

        September 13, 2016
    • Arlene Mullen #

      Faces In the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli
      Mexico: Group Read
      3/5 stars
      I thought that this book had a great premise, A mother writing about her past and present. But halfway through the book it felt like there were just to many different stories. It wasn’t a book you could read and put down and then pick up later without being lost again. I felt it was to long and disjointed and to many different stories going on at once. I do think that her writing was really good and she is a great story teller.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 13, 2016
    • Arlene Mullen #

      Poison by Sara Poole
      Fencing: A book set in medieval times: Italy
      2/5
      Francesca is the daughter if the poisoner for rodrigo Borgia. When he dies (she killed him) she gets the job. Sounds like it should be a great story. But it just doesn’t fulfill your expectation, The story is to slow and there is no flow. The story jumps around and leaves you wondering what is going on, First she is supposed to kill the pope. When he dies they just change paths. Nothing gradule just a 180 turn. I wanted to like it but it was just frustrating,

      Liked by 1 person

      September 13, 2016
    • Arlene Mullen #

      Tennis SIngles: A court or legal thriller; Belarus
      In for a Ruble by David Duffy
      This book is the second book I guess. I didnt really know that until after I was done. I Liked that I could read it alone but I bet I would liked it better after reading the first.
      So Turbo is an ex KGB agent who works in New York. He is hired by sebastian and then things get weird. This was a fast paced book. I normal do not read books like this but I enjoyed it. I wasn’t able to predict what was going to happen, which seems to be the case with alot of books. The main character, Turbo, Is well written. He is facing his own demons and the ones that are after Sebastian’s company and family. My only complaint is that the story seems choppy. The way it is written is not the best.
      4/5

      Liked by 1 person

      September 13, 2016
    • Arlene Mullen #

      Weightlifting: A book over 600 pages: North Korea
      Full Force and Effect by Mark Greaney

      I honestly didn’t know this wasn’t a tom clancy book when I Started. I have only read 1 other book by clancey and it was so good. Anyway I loved this book. It was #18 in the Jack Ryan Universe. So Basically North Korea comes across a rare earth metal mine that will get them the money to make nuclear weapons and become a world power. President Jack Ryan has to step in and go against the opinions of others to stop a nuclear war.
      Honestly I dint feel like I was reading an epically long book the whole time. There were few times that I wanted to be done but the book pulled me back. The characters were great and now I need to go and start this series from the beginning
      4.5/5

      Liked by 1 person

      September 13, 2016
    • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen/Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill
      Rowing: Steam Punk: Great Britain
      Set largely in fin de siècle London with a steam punk theme
      I really wanted to love this, but I didn’t. It was okay, but I was pretty bored. Full review here https://thinkaboutreading.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/the-league-of-extraordinary-gentlemen-volume-1/
      Personal tally: 11/24

      Only counting to my personal tally.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 25, 2016
    • Arlene Mullen #

      #4 Diving: Hungary
      The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance that Changed the World
      4/5
      I was actually very excited to read this book. I have recently become very obsessed with WWI. I did not realize at first that it was the assassination that started the war was part of this story.
      It was a great job of explaining how life was in 1914 and in those countries. The relationship between Russia, Austria-Hungary and Germany is well explained. Sarajevo’s Assassination and the tensions and conflicts before and after are explained so well. At one point it felt more like a romance than a biography. While the book was well written my only complaint was that you didn’t feel like you really knew what the characters were feeling and it painted Ferdinand to being a think more perfect than he was

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
    • Arlene Mullen #

      #14 Diving: Spain
      Don Quixote
      2/5
      Oh man I have been looking forward to reading this book for so long. It is always toted as this awesome book. But man did I not like it. Started with this prologue or forward thing and I didn’t know if it was part of the story or not. The character seemed funny I guess but It was just to much. I kept going back in the book to see if i missed something because I felt lost, but no. Every Time I would put down the book I would be lost when I picked it up again. It took forever and I just could not get into it. It felt like alot of the adventures were repeated throughout the book and just very long. I did have a few laughs through out but not enough that I will read it again.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2016
      • Yay Arlene!! Down to the wire, but you finished!! And with that we have completed all our events, including all 5 of us reading the book for the group read! Number 5 is most definitely ALIVE!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        October 1, 2016
      • Anna’s individual score:
        7. Football – multiple readers – Mexico – Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli DONE (1 pt)
        10. Rowing – steampunk – Great Britain – Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carriger DONE (18 pts)
        11. Sailing – adventure – Australia – Fatal Storm by Rob Mundle DONE (13 pts)
        22. Modern Pentathlon – anthology – Czech Republic – Apocryphal Tales by Karel Capek DONE (1 pt)
        23. Badminton – sci-fi – Indonesia – This is Not a Game by Walter Jon Williams DONE (4 pts)

        Total individual points: 1+18+13+1+4 = 37

        My vote for take one for the team = Arlene

        Liked by 1 person

        October 2, 2016
    • Jen, you’ve missed that all 5 of us completed the team read for Mexico (soccer), so we should be on 364 points.

      My vote for take one for the team is also Arlene.

      My personal tally is 231:

      1. Archery: A detective or mystery book (hitting the bullseye = solving the crime) South Korea 4G 1B =18
      2. Boxing: A political or politically-themed book Cuba 3G 3 B = 18
      3. Beach Volleyball: Beach read Brazil 1G 1S = 7
      7. Football (soccer for the Americans): at least two team members must read the same book. Points will be multiplied by number of team members reading the book. Mexico No medals = 1
      10. Rowing: a steampunk book Great Britain 3G 2S = 18
      11. Sailing: an adventure book Australia 1G 3S = 13
      12. Shooting: a book about war or set during war period China 1G 2S 4B = 18
      13. Swimming: a book where main character or group of characters is on a quest/venture USA 16G 8S 9B = 106
      16. Tennis doubles: a romance France No medals = 1
      20. Cycling (road, BMX, mountain bike, track): a book about a road trip, journey, or pilgrimage Germany 1G 1B = 6
      21. Wrestling: a philosophy or philosophical book Japan 4G 3S = 25

      Liked by 1 person

      October 3, 2016
      • I did miss that. Thanks I will adjust later tonight.

        Like

        October 3, 2016
    • Jen, I hope to get time to tally my individual score tomorrow (Tuesday) night. (I wasn’t really competing for myself, so didn’t keep track of the individual scoring fo rme.)

      In the meantime, I am also nominating Arlene for our “take one for the team”. That’s at least 3/5 of us, so I’d say you can ad her to that “pool”.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 3, 2016
    • Ok, I think this is my individual tally:

      Netherlands (Equestrian) = 0 medals (1 point)
      Mexico (Football/Soccer) = 0 medals (1 point)
      Russia (Artistic Gymnastics): 1G, 4S, 3B (4+12+6 = 22)
      Kenya (Athletics): 6G, 6S, 1B (24+18+2 = 44)
      USA (Swimming): 16G, 8S, 9B (64+24+18 = 106)

      My total = 174

      Like

      October 4, 2016
      • Need to adjust my individual score. +20 points for our entire team finishing:
        = 194 points

        Like

        October 4, 2016
  6. You answered my question – I was thinking the athletes, since in the Olympics each member of the team gets a medal. So we for the game are counting events, not actual number of medals awarded, is my understanding.

    Another question – is there a page minimum for the books we choose?

    Like

    July 14, 2016
    • I believe when they do the official medal count, team medals are only counted once even though technically all the team members get medals. I will have to double check if that rule is true of all team competitions (like gymnastics).

      Books should be over 75 pages. I will add that to the rules. Any genre count as do all age range (kids, ya, adult, etc).

      Like

      July 14, 2016
    • So I looked it up. In the Olympic medal count, team wins count as one medal and we are using that medal count as our way to score for this game. Also as an FYI: I will be deleting all the comments her on July 15 so people can use this thread for their book review. Feel free to keep asking questions here but after I see that you have see. My response, I go in and delete so the thread doesn’t get insanely long.

      Like

      July 14, 2016
  7. Yes. There are two ways. you can pretty much click any book link from any post and it will take you to Amazon through that link and then you can search for a different book. Through the store link in the email or on the side of the blog it takes you to a screen where you only see items that we have put in the store. Click on the “powered by Amazon” logo in the top right hand corner and it will take you to the full Amazon site where you search as you normally would for books. Can you try that out and let me know if that works for you (just clicking through, not buying anything)?

    Like

    July 15, 2016
    • Yes that took me through smoothly to the site under my own login, I guess that we’ll have to take it on faith that you’ll get credit for any purchases. Does it just work on books or should I shop for my next DVD player through here too?

      Liked by 1 person

      July 15, 2016
      • Should work on anything. So feel free to buy anything. We get like 10c for books so probably a dollar for a DVD player 🙂 if only I could find a way to raise prize money not through amazon

        Like

        July 15, 2016
  8. I’ve already started reading. Do you want us to email you our reviews, or wait till you give us the go-ahead to post our reviews here?

    Like

    July 20, 2016
    • Why don’t you wait and I will tell you when

      Like

      July 20, 2016
  9. Yes, any of those would work

    Like

    July 23, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Awesome — I think this will be fun. It was interesting to see how the country picks by the teams.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 24, 2016
  10. I would say no unless the book you are reading about is one based in the country you are reading for. So you can’t read the England book and count it for Vietnam simply because she happened to write about Vietnam for another book

    Like

    July 23, 2016
  11. Send me a private email with specific book/country/category match and I will seeing it counts

    Like

    July 23, 2016
  12. Then that is fine. It can be by an author from that country or set in/about that country. Either works

    Like

    July 23, 2016
  13. Yes.

    Like

    July 24, 2016
  14. The Widow’s Daughter by Nicholas Edlin
    Rugby Sevens: A Debut Novel: New Zealand
    I liked the idea of this story and appreciate the positive ending. I am only giving this three stars because I found it challenging to get into the story in the first 100 pages. Even though things got a bit more interesting it barely held my attention to the end. The writing was excellent for a debut novel; it was something in the story that was lacking for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 27, 2016
  15. I’d like to buy the British cycling team a round of drinks.

    Liked by 2 people

    August 21, 2016
  16. >>11. Sailing (EVENTS COMPLETED): an adventure book
    Competing countries: Australia (1 gold, 2 silver); Great Britain (2 gold, 1 silver); Netherlands (2 gold)
    Jen, I have my data here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/rio-2016/medals/sports/sailing#sailing as 1 gold 3 silver for Australia. Can you please confirm?

    >>>21. Wrestling (EVENTS COMPLETED): a philosophy or philosophical book
    Competing countries: Japan (4 gold, 3 silver); Russia (3 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze); Mongolia (x); Cuba (2 gold, 1 silver); Kazakstan (1 silver, 1 bronze)
    I have my data here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/rio-2016/medals/sports/wrestling#wrestling as 4 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze. Can you please double-check?

    Liked by 1 person

    September 1, 2016
    • Yes. I will confirm. There have been several mistakes on my part and I will be reviewing all categories before I finalize the scores. I will get back to you tonight

      Like

      September 1, 2016
      • Charisma #

        Thanks a bunch and sorry if I added more work.

        Like

        September 2, 2016
  17. Have I missed any winner announcements for the game? Thanks so much!

    Like

    October 29, 2016

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