Books "for Quizbowl"

New high school teams looking for advice should post here.
User avatar
The King's Flight to the Scots
Auron
Posts: 1403
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:11 pm

Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:17 pm

Everyone knows you can't get deep knowledge on specific subjects without lots of studying. However, there are books that can give you a decent background in minor areas like, let's say, philosophy, Stuart monarchs, Japanese Myth, etc. If nothing else, they give you a knowledge base to build up with clues from packets. Also, reading packet after packet gets boring after a while, and all the clues you've learned start to blend together: it's a nice change to focus on one subject for a while. If Kierkegaard recommends it, it can't be wrong! If you know of any such books, share them here. These should be books that will get you points on a number of answer lines: not to deny the merits of The Phenomenology of Spirit, but it doesn't belong here.

Here are my examples:

From Socrates to Sartre: the Philosophic Quest by T.Z. Lavine. Covers...pretty much what it says it does. It goes over the ideas and works of the most famous philosophers (i.e., Descartes, Plato, Hegel, etc.) and briefly covers the more obscure ones (people like Feuerbach and Husserl). Contains tons of middle clues and a nontrivial number of lead-ins.

Edith Hamilton's Mythology and Ovid's Metamorphoses. Most of you have heard of these, but for those who haven't, they both contain a detailed summary of Greco-Roman mythology. If you read them carefully, you'll get almost every Greek myth question within three lines.

Myths of the Norsemen, by Helene A. Guerber. A compelling read that's as useful for experienced myth players as for people trying to learn the basics.

If anyone's trying to build a 3rd grade quizbowl team, E.L. Konigsberg's book A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver (which I read in elementary school) has gotten me hundreds of points over the years. Even though it's a short (~100 pages) children's book, it covers a lot of information on the beginning of the Plantagenet house.

I've heard good things about Garcia Marquez's The General in his Labyrinth, but I haven't read it myself. Since it's by Garcia Marquez, I'll recommend it anyway, but can someone verify if it's useful for quizbowl?

Reading is a joy in itself, obviously, and you shouldn't turn down any book just because it won't get you many points. However, if you know of any books that have repeatedly gotten you points, please post them here.

EDIT: Whoops, forgot to give the author for one book.
Double EDIT: WAY too many colons in the first four sentences. Fixed now.
Last edited by The King's Flight to the Scots on Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Matt Bollinger
UVA '14, UVA '15

jonah
Auron
Posts: 2252
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by jonah » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:21 pm

I'm somewhat embarrassed to say that The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons have been—independent of their merits, or lackthereof, as literary works—very worthwhile for quizbowl purposes. Most of the history is poor/inaccurate, but the art is mostly solid. I've gotten points on tons of different art topics: Bosch, Fragonard, Bernini, Leonardo, Pei, Michelangelo, specific works by all of them, and more that I can't think of off the top of my head.
Jonah Greenthal
National Academic Quiz Tournaments

User avatar
kayli
Auron
Posts: 1525
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:15 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by kayli » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:43 pm

I love Edith Hamilton's anything.

Shakespeare 101 is pretty useful for studying Shakespeare I guess. I'm hopeful for what this thread could churn out.
Kay, Chicago.

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6299
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Cheynem » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:47 pm

These are the books I own and consult for my own question writing (which means, I suppose, they're helpful for quizbowl):

*An Incomplete Education by Judy Jones and William Wilson. Okay, this is out of date and it's not really that good, but it has some helpful lists with flash points, and it's at least a reasonable foundation.

*Edward Knappman's "Great American Trials" and "Great World Trials." These contain short, highly readable summaries of important court cases in history.

*The Norton Anthology of American Literature (and other Norton ones, I only own American). While they certainly contain any number of excerpts and short stories, you can learn a lot from reading the quick, informative biographical sketches written about the authors.

*William Safire's Political Dictionary. A lexicon filled with important political history facts.

*I read Shakespeare for Dummies a lot in high school and got a few points off of it.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

User avatar
Important Bird Area
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5321
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:33 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Contact:

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:49 pm

Journey to the Planets wrote:there are books that can give you a decent background in minor areas: things like, let's say ... Stuart monarchs.
I believe that's my cue. If you want all the Stuarts in one volume, try Mark Kishlansky, A Monarchy Transformed: Britain 1603-1714. I wouldn't recommend it over most of the books dealing with smaller parts of the seventeenth century; but for quizbowl purposes it's hard to get that many points out of any particular book. (If you're looking to read a small number of books and cover a largeish section of the distribution, mythology is the way to go.)
Jeff Hoppes
President, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
former HSQB Chief Admin (2012-13)
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

"I wish to make some kind of joke about Jeff's love of birds, but I always fear he'll turn them on me Hitchcock-style." -Fred

User avatar
Nine-Tenths Ideas
Auron
Posts: 1551
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:14 pm
Location: MD

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:04 pm

An Incomplete Education is good when it covers stuff quizbowl relevant, but sometimes it doesn't.
Isaac Hirsch
University of Maryland '14
Never Gonna Play Again

User avatar
The King's Flight to the Scots
Auron
Posts: 1403
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:11 pm

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:06 pm

Champa Kalhari wrote:
Journey to the Planets wrote:there are books that can give you a decent background in minor areas: things like, let's say ... Stuart monarchs.
I believe that's my cue. If you want all the Stuarts in one volume, try Mark Kishlansky, A Monarchy Transformed: Britain 1603-1714. I wouldn't recommend it over most of the books dealing with smaller parts of the seventeenth century; but for quizbowl purposes it's hard to get that many points out of any particular book. (If you're looking to read a small number of books and cover a largeish section of the distribution, mythology is the way to go.)
Thanks. And yeah, they don't have to cover large parts of the distribution. They just need to give information on several recurring answer lines.
Matt Bollinger
UVA '14, UVA '15

Susan
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 1799
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:43 am

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Susan » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:31 pm

I think this book would be very helpful to someone looking to get an overview of all British monarchs. I wouldn't recommend it to the connoisseur as there are some (quite minor) inaccuracies and it's not in the least scholarly, but it's readable and entertaining.
Susan
UChicago alum (AB 2003, PhD 2009)
Member emerita, ACF

User avatar
at your pleasure
Auron
Posts: 1670
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:56 pm

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by at your pleasure » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:32 pm

The Story of Art is a useful primer on Western art(as is Janson's significantly longer History of Art), although it's hardly qb-exhaustive. Also, the Norton Anthology of Poetry should get you a few points here and there.
Douglas Graebner, Walt Whitman HS 10, Uchicago 14
"... imagination acts upon man as really as does gravitation, and may kill him as certainly as a dose of prussic acid."-Sir James Frazer,The Golden Bough

http://avorticistking.wordpress.com/

User avatar
dtaylor4
Auron
Posts: 3725
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 am
Location: Springfield, IL

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by dtaylor4 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:38 pm

If you want to nail Norse myth questions, read the Eddas. There are a number of translations of both. Note: you don't have to read the Hattatal, just know of it. I'd also add in "Gods and Myths of Northern Europe."

Bulfinch's contains good information on G-R, Norse, and stuff from Britain/France.

For Asian, I use "The Eternal Self and the Cycle of Samsara." It was written by a professor here, and contains lots of detail and names for the major deities. I supplement this with "Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists" by Coomaraswamy and Nivedita.

At some point, I will probably either gift them as prizes, or give them to anyone who wants them when I'm done.
Donald Taylor
Springfield, IL
(Decatur) MacArthur '05/UIUC '09 BS Accountancy/'10 Master of Accounting Science
Freelance writer, staffer, stats guru, TD

Where is Christchurch? That's in Queensland
Where is Palmerston North? That's in New South Wales

User avatar
Nuclear Densometer Test
Wakka
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:42 pm
Location: South Carolina
Contact:

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Nuclear Densometer Test » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:41 pm

Journey to the Planets wrote: Edith Hamilton's Mythology and Ovid's Metamorphoses. Most of you have heard of these, but for those who haven't, they both contain a detailed summary of Greco-Roman mythology. If you read them carefully, you'll get almost every Greek myth question within three lines.
This has helped me with more myth questions than anything else. Great book.

I also like reading a few articles from Masterplots. I emailed my library and was able to get free access through them.

I have read parts of AMSCO's AP US history study guide both for the class and for quizbowl. It has given me many points so far. However, I don't recommend buying it unless you actually take APUSH

Gunter Grass and Murakami seems to be very popular among the house-written packets. Reading some of their medium-obscurity works has been pretty helpful for me. Crabwalk, The Rat and Kafka on the Shore are not only good books but are great for quizbowl

I am pretty sure Carl Sagan's Cosmos gave a team mate a few good powers at PACE this year.
Last edited by Nuclear Densometer Test on Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Amit Bilgi
Southside '11

Fun fact: The "l" comes before the "g" in my last name.

User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5607
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Columbia, MO

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:42 pm

They aren't quite books, but I would wholeheartedly recommend listening to lectures from The Teaching Company. They are usually pretty specialized (History of the Greek and Persian wars, Psychology of Human Behavior being two examples) but they go in tremendous depth and are really good to listen to if you have some sort of daily exercise.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

User avatar
Deviant Insider
Auron
Posts: 4397
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:08 am
Location: Chicagoland

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:46 pm

Students who have read The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone claim that it gets them Arts points.
David Reinstein
Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)

User avatar
Kouign Amann
Forums Staff: Moderator
Posts: 1125
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:44 am
Location: Charlottesville

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:01 pm

Harper v. Canada (Attorney General) wrote:They aren't quite books, but I would wholeheartedly recommend listening to lectures from The Teaching Company. They are usually pretty specialized (History of the Greek and Persian wars, Psychology of Human Behavior being two examples) but they go in tremendous depth and are really good to listen to if you have some sort of daily exercise.
I will vouch for these. On long car rides (a not-too-rare occurrence in my household), my dad will almost invariably put one of these on, and I walk out of that car knowing a few more good clues every time. He has tons and tons in the basement, which I will sometimes pull out for a nice, in-depth look at something. They aren't great for getting you a quick general overview, but they are certainly educational.
Aidan Mehigan
St. Anselm's Abbey School '12
Columbia University '16 | University of Oxford '17 | UPenn GSE '19

User avatar
Auks Ran Ova
Forums Staff: Chief Administrator
Posts: 3937
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:09 pm

For Shakespeare, you want Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare by (shockingly) Isaac Asimov. It'll get you all kinds of points on Shakespeare and on British (and occasionally other) history.
Rob Carson
University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??
Member, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer and Editor, NAQT

User avatar
dtaylor4
Auron
Posts: 3725
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 am
Location: Springfield, IL

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by dtaylor4 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:12 pm

If we're including audiobooks, I suggest librevox.org. I first heard of them on the trip to ACF Winter, when Sorice had "City of God" playing. The selection is a bit limited, but I like both the flexibility and the price.
Donald Taylor
Springfield, IL
(Decatur) MacArthur '05/UIUC '09 BS Accountancy/'10 Master of Accounting Science
Freelance writer, staffer, stats guru, TD

Where is Christchurch? That's in Queensland
Where is Palmerston North? That's in New South Wales

User avatar
The King's Flight to the Scots
Auron
Posts: 1403
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:11 pm

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:23 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:For Shakespeare, you want Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare by (shockingly) Isaac Asimov. It'll get you all kinds of points on Shakespeare and on British (and occasionally other) history.
Yay, someone other than me has that book!
Matt Bollinger
UVA '14, UVA '15

User avatar
Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant
Yuna
Posts: 847
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:05 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:37 pm

jonah wrote:I'm somewhat embarrassed to say that The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons have been—independent of their merits, or lackthereof, as literary works—very worthwhile for quizbowl purposes. Most of the history is poor/inaccurate, but the art is mostly solid. I've gotten points on tons of different art topics: Bosch, Fragonard, Bernini, Leonardo, Pei, Michelangelo, specific works by all of them, and more that I can't think of off the top of my head.
Gotta agree on this: just look up all the topics they mention for veracity. The illustrated editions have nice pictures, too.
Farrah Bilimoria
Formerly of Georgia Tech and Central High School (Macon)

wd4gdz
Tidus
Posts: 733
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2004 5:40 pm
Location: Tallahassee

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by wd4gdz » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:05 pm

Billy Beyer, formerly of FSU

User avatar
Sir Thopas
Auron
Posts: 1330
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:10 pm
Location: Hunter, NYC
Contact:

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Sir Thopas » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:20 pm

wd4gdz wrote:Get ready for VETO 2010:
http://www.amazon.com/Louis-Riel-Comic- ... 336&sr=8-1
Man, they had this at Hunter's library! I showed it excitedly to people but nobody else knew who he was, and I didn't get to read it.
Guy Tabachnick
Hunter '09
Brown '13

http://memoryofthisimpertinence.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Golran
Auron
Posts: 1001
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:23 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Golran » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:15 pm

My mom picked up Benet's Reader Encyclopedia off the used book shelf at my local library for 50 cents. Hopefully it will help me gain more than 50 points for the year off giveaways and bonus parts. Original price in the cover says $50.00, so I think that's a great deal 99% off!
Drayer the Slayer
currently unaffiliated

User avatar
Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant
Yuna
Posts: 847
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:05 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:23 pm

wd4gdz wrote:Get ready for VETO 2010:
http://www.amazon.com/Louis-Riel-Comic- ... 336&sr=8-1
I guess that's the cue for someone to mention Kate Beaton, even though she's a webcomic artist, not a writer. Lots of history stuff.
Farrah Bilimoria
Formerly of Georgia Tech and Central High School (Macon)

User avatar
Nuclear Densometer Test
Wakka
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:42 pm
Location: South Carolina
Contact:

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Nuclear Densometer Test » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:47 pm

dinoian wrote:My mom picked up Benet's Reader Encyclopedia off the used book shelf at my local library for 50 cents.
O.O
Wow. I shall be on the prowl then for used Benet's.
Amit Bilgi
Southside '11

Fun fact: The "l" comes before the "g" in my last name.

User avatar
Auroni
Auron
Posts: 2955
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: ann arbor

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Auroni » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:05 am

For historical clues and tidbits, I particularly like the indexed History Articles in the Civfanatics world history forum, but the posts there range from inane to scholarly (with a few contributions by noted neo-Diadochi Phil Graves of TJ fame.

http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=58645

Particularly check out the "Historical Filth" series, those are just amazingly well written.
Auroni Gupta
Michigan '17
"I love Milf Money" - Will Nediger

User avatar
Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat
Rikku
Posts: 435
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:16 pm
Location: Midland, MI

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:32 am

I've scored numerous points over the years on stuff I learned in Jared Diamond's Collapse and Guns, Germs, and Steel.
Michael Hausinger
Coach, Bay City Western High School
formerly of University of Michigan and East Lansing High School

jonah
Auron
Posts: 2252
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by jonah » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:33 am

squareroot165 wrote:I've scored numerous points over the years on stuff I learned in Jared Diamond's Collapse and Guns, Germs, and Steel.
What (categories of) stuff in particular? Guns, Germs, and Steel might get bumped up in my reading list.
Jonah Greenthal
National Academic Quiz Tournaments

User avatar
JackGlerum
Tidus
Posts: 660
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:20 pm

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by JackGlerum » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:45 am

I'll second the Benet's recommendation. It seems to have a bad reputation in quizbowl because you can't get any depth from it (justifiably so), but breadth isn't a bad thing either, especially at high school levels.

If we're talking about art textbooks, I had the mother of all books when I took AP Art History (no class has ever gotten me more tossups, by the way). I don't recall the name, but it was humongous, hardback, and had Bacchus and Ariadne on the front. It's probably super expensive, but it's great.

edit: found it
Last edited by JackGlerum on Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

David Riley
Auron
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:27 am
Location: Morton Grove, IL

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by David Riley » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:34 am

It IS super-expensive, but I'll find a citation and post it.
David Riley
Coach Emeritus, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois, 1993-2010
Steering Committee, IHSSBCA, 1996 -
Member, PACE, 2012 -

"This is 1183, of course we're barbarians" -- Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter"

David Riley
Auron
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:27 am
Location: Morton Grove, IL

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by David Riley » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:54 am

The book is Gardner's Art Through the Ages, which just became available this year in a 13th edition. And it is mega-expensive, buy it with a gift card!
David Riley
Coach Emeritus, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois, 1993-2010
Steering Committee, IHSSBCA, 1996 -
Member, PACE, 2012 -

"This is 1183, of course we're barbarians" -- Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter"

jonah
Auron
Posts: 2252
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by jonah » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:59 am

David Riley wrote:The book is Gardner's Art Through the Ages, which just became available this year in a 13th edition. And it is mega-expensive, buy it with a gift card!
Older editions appear to be available on Half and Amazon for under $40. I will be so bold as to guess that they're adequate or better.
Jonah Greenthal
National Academic Quiz Tournaments

David Riley
Auron
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:27 am
Location: Morton Grove, IL

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by David Riley » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:13 pm

Yeah, without readin a review I would venture a guess that the updates are not that signficant, but I could be wrong about that.
David Riley
Coach Emeritus, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois, 1993-2010
Steering Committee, IHSSBCA, 1996 -
Member, PACE, 2012 -

"This is 1183, of course we're barbarians" -- Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter"

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6360
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact:

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:34 pm

I'm confused by the mad love for Hamilton's myth books. They're written at a 5th grade level and are, in my view, unbearably boring. You are far, far better off with Robert Graves' The Greek Myths if you want an actual scholarly work dealing with Greek mythology.

If you are able to get your hands on them cheaply, the Oxford Companion series are usually very solid; likewise the Cambridge Companion series. There's one for almost every topic you can think of.

edit: Benet's stinks. If you are interested in plot summaries, many libraries carry Masterplots. Otherwise, you're more likely to glean useful information from a book's Wikipedia article than you are from Benet's.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6299
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Cheynem » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:54 pm

The cynic in me suggests that Wikipedia is one of the greatest resources for studying for quizbowl because the odds are if you find an interesting clue there, it will get used by a question writer somewhere if it is verifiable.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

User avatar
Nuclear Densometer Test
Wakka
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:42 pm
Location: South Carolina
Contact:

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Nuclear Densometer Test » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:40 pm

David Riley wrote:The book is Gardner's Art Through the Ages, which just became available this year in a 13th edition. And it is mega-expensive, buy it with a gift card!
A "Used- Very Good" edition is on Amazon for 10 bucks free shipping.
Amit Bilgi
Southside '11

Fun fact: The "l" comes before the "g" in my last name.

User avatar
Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat
Rikku
Posts: 435
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:16 pm
Location: Midland, MI

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:53 pm

jonah wrote:
squareroot165 wrote:I've scored numerous points over the years on stuff I learned in Jared Diamond's Collapse and Guns, Germs, and Steel.
What (categories of) stuff in particular? Guns, Germs, and Steel might get bumped up in my reading list.
Generally history or geography stuff. One of them (don't remember which) gave me my first exposure to the Maori, for instance. I'm sure you would know something about the major topics already, but both are certainly worth the read. Collapse probably has more QB relevant stuff, but Guns, Germs, and Steel is a better book.
Michael Hausinger
Coach, Bay City Western High School
formerly of University of Michigan and East Lansing High School

Ethnic history of the Vilnius region
Yuna
Posts: 960
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 12:50 am
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:33 am

A great way to learn some history in a hurry is the Dorling-Kindersley History of the World. I own the 1994 edition , but a more recent edition exists as well.

It's written for young adults, but it contains a ton of great information, especially in non-Western history. It's loaded with pictures, time lines, biographical profiles, etc. It's perfect for anyone who is trying to get good at quizbowl history and wants to do so quickly. Even more advanced history players can get good info from it.
Eric D.
University of South Carolina Alum

assistant pig-keeper
Kimahri
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:52 pm

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by assistant pig-keeper » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:35 pm

It seems the pattern here is that "semi-specialized" books would be most helpful.

This was assigned in one of my classes and happened to help me in quiz-related matters:

http://www.amazon.com/Modern-European-A ... 0500202052

Philip H.
Philip

User avatar
The King's Flight to the Scots
Auron
Posts: 1403
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:11 pm

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:15 pm

So here's where I reveal my real motive for making this thread. What would be some good books for Roman and Asian history?
Matt Bollinger
UVA '14, UVA '15

User avatar
at your pleasure
Auron
Posts: 1670
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:56 pm

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by at your pleasure » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:51 pm

I guess Suetonious and Plutarch would be good if you want to go in-depth.
Douglas Graebner, Walt Whitman HS 10, Uchicago 14
"... imagination acts upon man as really as does gravitation, and may kill him as certainly as a dose of prussic acid."-Sir James Frazer,The Golden Bough

http://avorticistking.wordpress.com/

David Riley
Auron
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:27 am
Location: Morton Grove, IL

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by David Riley » Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:47 am

For Chinese history, I can recommend "Facts About China", has both general and in-depth sections, including a detailed chronology of Chinese history.
David Riley
Coach Emeritus, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois, 1993-2010
Steering Committee, IHSSBCA, 1996 -
Member, PACE, 2012 -

"This is 1183, of course we're barbarians" -- Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter"

Diocletian
Lulu
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:22 pm

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Diocletian » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:30 pm

By far the most in-depth and informative book I've read on Roman history is A History of Rome: Down to the Reign of Constantine (http://www.amazon.com/History-Rome-Down ... 0312383959). Though, as the title indicates, this book doesn't cover the very last years of the empire, my experience is that events from that time period make up a comparatively small part of the Roman history canon at the high school level and easier-college level and aren't numerous enough so that they couldn't be covered with a hour spent reading Britannica.
Thomas Littrell
LASA '11
Haverford '15

User avatar
Boeing X-20, Please!
Rikku
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:40 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Boeing X-20, Please! » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:55 pm

Totally agree with the Edith Hamilton love, her books are great for gaining a lot of knowledge in a short amount of time. Otherwise on G/R Myth I would suggest Greek Mythology by John Pinsent.

For Norse, the Eddas are probably the best things to study but as for books I found they were not as informative as just going through some college-level mythology-only or RMP packets, where I learned most of my knowledge of myth.
Nolan Winkler
Loyola Academy '12
UChicago '16

User avatar
dtaylor4
Auron
Posts: 3725
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 am
Location: Springfield, IL

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by dtaylor4 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:42 pm

MoCity02 wrote:For Norse, the Eddas are probably the best things to study but as for books I found they were not as informative as just going through some college-level mythology-only or RMP packets, where I learned most of my knowledge of myth.
This doesn't make sense, to me. Most of those clues come from stories within the Eddas. Yes, packets are easier to parse, but the Eddas are as close to a primary source as one can get in most cases.
Donald Taylor
Springfield, IL
(Decatur) MacArthur '05/UIUC '09 BS Accountancy/'10 Master of Accounting Science
Freelance writer, staffer, stats guru, TD

Where is Christchurch? That's in Queensland
Where is Palmerston North? That's in New South Wales

User avatar
Boeing X-20, Please!
Rikku
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:40 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Boeing X-20, Please! » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:53 pm

I didn't mean the Eddas weren't the best things in fact I mean they were. I meant to say but as for OTHER books, packets are more helpful than them for Norse
Nolan Winkler
Loyola Academy '12
UChicago '16

User avatar
dtaylor4
Auron
Posts: 3725
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 am
Location: Springfield, IL

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by dtaylor4 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:16 pm

MoCity02 wrote:I didn't mean the Eddas weren't the best things in fact I mean they were. I meant to say but as for OTHER books, packets are more helpful than them for Norse
In this case, I will still disagree. Bulfinch's has a fair amount, and I think I already recommended "Gods and Myths of Northern Europe."
Donald Taylor
Springfield, IL
(Decatur) MacArthur '05/UIUC '09 BS Accountancy/'10 Master of Accounting Science
Freelance writer, staffer, stats guru, TD

Where is Christchurch? That's in Queensland
Where is Palmerston North? That's in New South Wales

User avatar
cvdwightw
Auron
Posts: 3447
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Southern CA
Contact:

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by cvdwightw » Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:46 pm

One of the nice things with mythology is that oftentimes, you can go straight to a primary source and be confident that is actually used to write questions. If you're a halfway competent Greco-Roman myth player, you probably don't need Hamilton; there's no reason you can't read Homer, Hesiod, etc. since oftentimes that's where the good myth writers are going for their lead-in and early middle clues, and most of the Greek myth books are just stories from primary sources translated, compiled, and possibly rewritten for the appropriate reading level anyway. Similarly with Norse; any non-Edda book of Norse myth probably just has a bunch of stuff from the Eddas moved around in ways that make sense to whoever's doing the translating/compiling/rewriting.

Bulfinch is quite good, but just be aware that he uses exclusively Roman names in the Greco-Roman section.

As far as "bargain shopping for books" goes: I think the standard tried-and-true methods of used bookstores are typically the best. Especially "Friends of the Library" bookstores - I've found several $1 textbooks at these places; even if they are 15-30 years out of date, it doesn't really matter for most subjects.

If you're not into the whole used books thing, check out the super-discount areas of your local bookstore. A lot of times you will be surprised at what gets thrown in those bins. Last week I picked up a new copy of the Mabinogion for under $2.

My last piece of advice: typically, colleges make you buy the textbook for every course you take. At the end of the quarter/semester, you can sell it back for like a quarter of what you paid for it, or you can use it to write questions. If you work for a question writing company, and the course is on something relatively mainstream, you can oftentimes earn more out of that book than what the college wants to pay you to get the book back.
Dwight Wynne
socalquizbowl.org
UC Irvine 2008-2013; UCLA 2004-2007; Capistrano Valley High School 2000-2003

"It's a competition, but it's not a sport. On a scale, if football is a 10, then rowing would be a two. One would be Quiz Bowl." --Matt Birk on rowing, SI On Campus, 10/21/03

"If you were my teammate, I would have tossed your ass out the door so fast you'd be emitting Cerenkov radiation, but I'm not classy like Dwight." --Jerry

The Atom Strikes!
Tidus
Posts: 612
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by The Atom Strikes! » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:28 pm

I recommend using the Eddas for Norse myth. They're the primary source for pretty much everything, and few things are more epic than pulling a copy of the Poetic Edda from your backpack to protest a question.
Henry Gorman, Wilmington Charter '09, Rice '13, PhD History Vanderbilt '1X

User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6360
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact:

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by grapesmoker » Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:04 pm

Volvo Effect wrote:I recommend using the Eddas for Norse myth. They're the primary source for pretty much everything, and few things are more epic than pulling a copy of the Poetic Edda from your backpack to protest a question.
I actually used a quotation from the Poetic Edda to open my prelim presentation last week. It's an amazingly versatile book.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance

User avatar
kayli
Auron
Posts: 1525
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:15 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by kayli » Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:13 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
Volvo Effect wrote:I recommend using the Eddas for Norse myth. They're the primary source for pretty much everything, and few things are more epic than pulling a copy of the Poetic Edda from your backpack to protest a question.
I actually used a quotation from the Poetic Edda to open my prelim presentation last week. It's an amazingly versatile book.
How dense is the reading though?
Kay, Chicago.

User avatar
dtaylor4
Auron
Posts: 3725
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 am
Location: Springfield, IL

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by dtaylor4 » Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:30 pm

Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:
Volvo Effect wrote:I recommend using the Eddas for Norse myth. They're the primary source for pretty much everything, and few things are more epic than pulling a copy of the Poetic Edda from your backpack to protest a question.
I actually used a quotation from the Poetic Edda to open my prelim presentation last week. It's an amazingly versatile book.
How dense is the reading though?
You do have to get used to the spelling and terminology, and should probably have a little bit of background in mythology. Oftentimes numerous alternate names are used (i.e. "hair of Sif" for gold), and without the prior knowledge, you won't understand it.

Nonetheless, any player who wants to get good at myth should get both Eddas, as I've stressed several times.
Donald Taylor
Springfield, IL
(Decatur) MacArthur '05/UIUC '09 BS Accountancy/'10 Master of Accounting Science
Freelance writer, staffer, stats guru, TD

Where is Christchurch? That's in Queensland
Where is Palmerston North? That's in New South Wales

Post Reply