Books "for Quizbowl"

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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Warlockoftheeast » Thu May 24, 2012 2:09 am

http://www.theoi.com/Text/Apollodorus1.html

Anyone have any thoughts on Bibliotheca for mythology?
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Thu May 24, 2012 6:45 pm

Warlockoftheeast wrote:http://www.theoi.com/Text/Apollodorus1.html

Anyone have any thoughts on Bibliotheca for mythology?
I mean, sure, that could help, but a combination of Graves/Hamilton/packet studying should be enough to cover high school-level Greek mythology pretty well.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Mike Bentley » Tue May 29, 2012 12:32 pm

Dan Passner alerted me to this deal on Sunday:

www.half.com has a deal where if you order more than $10 in actual products, up to $25 in shipping is taken off of your order with the code FREESHIP. This is a pretty good deal if you want to buy maybe 8 quizbowl books for $10. If you look on a place like Amazon.com, you'll likely find some pretty good source books for list prices approaching 1 cent, but the caveat is that you usually need to pay $4 shipping (and if you have a Prime membership, the lowest these books are priced is around $4, so you're paying the same amount). With this half.com deal, you can find a lot of good books from one seller (betterworldbooks is a good one) for $.75 + $2 shipping. I ended up getting around 7 $.75 encyclopedias and then one other book that put me as close to $10 as possible. This works out to a savings of around $20 compared to Amazon.

Note that it's often still cheaper to get these types of books at a friends of the library sale, but the selection will be more limited and it takes more of your time/gas money.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by cornfused » Tue May 29, 2012 1:02 pm

Mike Bentley wrote:Dan Passner alerted me to this deal on Sunday:

http://www.half.com has a deal where if you order more than $10 in actual products, up to $25 in shipping is taken off of your order with the code FREESHIP. This is a pretty good deal if you want to buy maybe 8 quizbowl books for $10. If you look on a place like Amazon.com, you'll likely find some pretty good source books for list prices approaching 1 cent, but the caveat is that you usually need to pay $4 shipping (and if you have a Prime membership, the lowest these books are priced is around $4, so you're paying the same amount). With this half.com deal, you can find a lot of good books from one seller (betterworldbooks is a good one) for $.75 + $2 shipping. I ended up getting around 7 $.75 encyclopedias and then one other book that put me as close to $10 as possible. This works out to a savings of around $20 compared to Amazon.

Note that it's often still cheaper to get these types of books at a friends of the library sale, but the selection will be more limited and it takes more of your time/gas money.
Oh my God, this is great. I just ordered $10.38 worth.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by nhscody » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:22 am

For history, I can't recommend anything more highly than this textbook: http://www.amazon.com/History-Western-S ... th+edition

It's made for a standard European history course in college, but it really covers much more than that, including some lit, lots of art, etc.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Corry » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:34 pm

I can only speak about history, but in my experience, pretty much any history textbook is a good resource for quiz bowl, as long as the subject that it covers is specific enough! You're not going to learn much from a standard world history textbook, since it'll only have room to cover subjects that everybody already knows about. This might also ring true for U.S. history textbooks, since everybody in high school has to take that class. But once you get into slightly more specialized subjects, textbooks become a lot more useful. For instance, even the vaguest, most watered-down European history textbooks still include enough details to give you a working knowledge about the subject in tournaments.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Scaled Flowerpiercer » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:53 pm

Christ, I Know wrote:
Warlockoftheeast wrote:http://www.theoi.com/Text/Apollodorus1.html

Anyone have any thoughts on Bibliotheca for mythology?
I mean, sure, that could help, but a combination of Graves/Hamilton/packet studying should be enough to cover high school-level Greek mythology pretty well.
I personally like Apollodorus a lot for greco-roman myth - he is one of few classical authors who will give you different versions of myths in one text. For his Library and Epitome, as well as other searchable classical texts (in translation) I tend to use:http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/

Ben is certainly correct in that Graves and Hamilton are great sources - though notably Graves seems to draw a lot from Apollodorus (Graves sometimes seems to copy him nearly word for word), so they will give you about the same knowledge. As for other sources for Greco-Roman myth, Eurpides/Aeschylus/Sophocles plays good for learning myths in depth, and of course anyone looking to really know Greco-Roman myth should probably read the Aeneid, Odyssey, and Iliad (or at least summaries of them).
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:34 am

Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:
Christ, I Know wrote:
Warlockoftheeast wrote:http://www.theoi.com/Text/Apollodorus1.html
...anyone looking to really know Greco-Roman myth should probably read the Aeneid, Odyssey, and Iliad (or at least summaries of them).
In my experience, people read the Aeneid much less than the Iliad or the Odyssey. There may be fewer clues used from it, but if you do read it, then you'd probably have a good chance at an early buzz. I've gotten several buzzes on "Calaeno the harpy," for example, so I definitely recommend reading a good translation (like Fagles). I have not seen a whole lot of scholarship asked in tournaments, but it may be a good idea to skim The Serpent and the Flame, by Bernard Knox, and Discolor Aura, by Robert Brooks. They aren't quick reads (and they may be a bit tedious if you don't know some Latin), but you might pick up some allusions and some points on early clues.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:53 am

Does anyone have any recommendations for books on Scottish and Eastern European History?
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:41 am

The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Does anyone have any recommendations for books on Scottish and Eastern European History?
I like this book for Russian history:
http://www.amazon.com/Romanovs-Autocrat ... 0385279086

Very clue-dense.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:31 pm

For Scottish history, try Smout's History of the Scottish People.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:58 pm

The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Does anyone have any recommendations for books on Scottish and Eastern European History?
I will now outrageously misinterpret Jacob's question to note that this volume has two chapters about Scottish immigrants in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Beevor Feevor » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:59 pm

Any books particularly good for science questions? I know the basic concepts fairly well, but I have no idea how to get the really early clues about the biology and chemistry tossups.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by shrey96 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:27 pm

I'm not sure about books (other than intro-level college textbooks), but I've found MIT OpenCourseWare to be extremely helpful for quizbowl science.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:56 am

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Does anyone have any recommendations for books on Scottish and Eastern European History?
I like this book for Russian history:
http://www.amazon.com/Romanovs-Autocrat ... 0385279086

Very clue-dense.
I actually took a Russian history course last year, but that book looks interesting. I'll definitely take a look at it. And any recommendations for Polish/Hungarian history would be good as well.
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"And here we are as on a darkling plain, Swept by confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night."
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by David Riley » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:42 am

The most recent Hungarian history that I have is Peter Sugar's History of Hungary. It's been my experience that most go out of print rather quickly but you might check Amazon, and be sure to read the reviews. The Cambridge Concise History should be a good overview, and there are any number of books on St. Stephen, Matthias Corvinus, Kossuth and the Austro-Hungarin Empire.

I don't know any Polish histories but I can probably find out....LARGE Polish population here.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:17 pm

I daresay my knowledge of Hungarian history is well above the 90th percentile of this forum, but virtually all of it comes from internet sources. Hungarians love their own history and have documented it extensively on Wikipedia and other websites. There's bias, but it's so comically transparent that you can easily screen it out.

Honestly, the only book I've read that contained any quizbowl-useful information about Hungary was Kinross's book on the Ottoman Empire, which I recommended somewhere much earlier in this thread.

Anyway, a few years back, I put together a parody of NAQT's "You Gotta Know..." list, which contains:

[*] You Gotta Know These Rulers of Hungary
[*] You Gotta Know These Hungarian Rebellions

As far as I recall, these are mostly accurate, though the rebellions one seems to be missing the Vatha Rebellion, which is probably more important than the Samuel Aba rebellion, though it never comes up in quizbowl. But they're likely far too deep for high school.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:33 pm

Bruce, you do realize I'm in college, right?

EDIT: I do appreciate the history information. Thanks a ton!
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:39 pm

The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Bruce, you do realize I'm in college, right?

EDIT: I do appreciate the history information. Thanks a ton!
Yeah but this is the high school section, there's high schoolers reading it, and if I make some kid write a tossup on Pal Maleter for his housewritten high school tournament because I don't make it clear to him that this is way too hard for high school, I'll rightfully be condemned.

Incidentally, don't write a tossup on Pal Maleter for anything easier than Chicago Open.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Fakespeare » Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:27 pm

A bit of a thread resurrection, but I found Great military leaders and their campaigns, edited by Jeremy Black, to be an immensely helpful and enjoyable read, complete with lots of 3D campaign maps to help with those lead-ins that describe tactical maneuvers.

What is a good clue source for some of the less well-known mythologies? Specifically looking at Celtic, Oceanic, and African myth systems here. Primary resources are always good, but I'm looking for more of a compilation.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Important Bird Area » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:48 pm

Welcome to the forums!

For Celtic myth, I recommend going straight to the sources- reading the Mabinogion (Welsh) and the Tain (Irish) will result in plenty of points (granted, "plenty" is a relative term for Celtic myth).
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Fakespeare » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:43 pm

Thanks, Mr. Hoppes!

It's unfortunately very true Celtic myth doesn't come up too often (especially at the high school level). I've been to some college tournaments lately (MFT and ACF Fall) and missed a certain myth tossup to an early buzz from LASA.

So yeah, I've been seeking to widen my mythological horizons in preparation for both future tournaments and potentially college-leveled competition. Your advice is much appreciated!

EDIT: removed stuff about answer lines from uncleared tournaments
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Halved Xenon Stinging » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:36 am

David Mccullough's John Adams has helped me power almost every single question regarding colonial to early American history
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Mon May 12, 2014 4:04 pm

I'd love some recommendations for books on Religion.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by zachary_yan » Mon May 12, 2014 6:52 pm

The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:I'd love some recommendations for books on Religion.
Sparknotes has pretty good summaries of the major books of the Bible.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by at your pleasure » Tue May 13, 2014 11:15 pm

Warlockoftheeast wrote:Is there any opinions on Europe: A History by Norman Davies? Also, does The Golden Bough have any external quizbowl purposes besides tossups about it?
My dim memory of attempting to read The Golden Bough is that there's nothing in it that you couldn't find in more recent and more worthwhile works on religion and comparative mythology.
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:I'd love some recommendations for books on Religion.
Jewish Literacy by Joseph Telushkin is a perfectly cromulent survey of more or less most Judaism-related things that come up in quizbowl, although apparently the current edition has more of a wacky-right-wing slant than the one I have has. If you want to learn about Christianity for quizbowl purposes, studying art history is a surprisingly effective and memorable way to kill two birds with one stone-I suppose in this case the things to look at are survey books on Late Antique/Byzantine/Medieval/Renaissance art, so David Talbot Rice's Art of The Byzantine Era, Peter Lasko's Ars Sacra 800-1200, the catalog to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Byzantium and Islam show, Michael Baxandall's Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy or any one of the innumerable surveys of Renaissance art will all be useful value here.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by jonah » Tue May 13, 2014 11:34 pm

at your pleasure wrote:
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:I'd love some recommendations for books on Religion.
Jewish Literacy by Joseph Telushkin is a perfectly cromulent survey of more or less most Judaism-related things that come up in quizbowl, although apparently the current edition has more of a wacky-right-wing slant than the one I have has.
I came here to say that, then changed my mind on the assumption that no one wants to read 700 pages on this subject. Regardless, it is a very good book, nonwithstanding apparent changes in later editions.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by naesorman555 » Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:23 pm

Not sure if anybody's mentioned it yet, but An Incomplete Education is great. Covering art, lit, history, mythology, philosophy, Econ, just about every topic is at least highlighted. Book's also pretty witty too
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Eddie » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:41 pm

What are some good books on the history of ancient Egypt, the history of the ancient Near East, or the history of ancient and classical Japan?
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:59 am

Dmitri Shostakovich wrote:What are some good books on the history of ancient Egypt, the history of the ancient Near East, or the history of ancient and classical Japan?
For surveys on these topics, classes of mine have used:
Egypt, Greece, and Rome by Charles Freeman
The Japanese Experience by W.G. Beasley
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Mike Bentley » Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:17 pm

Came across this interesting site today: http://backlist.cc/

Its slogan is "Historians recommend the books they love." Essentially, a historian will write about some subject ("The History of Modern China") and then list out some of the best books in the field about the subject, from overviews to specialized texts.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:43 pm

Does anyone have any recommendations for somewhat specific history? I'm open to pretty much anything more specific than just "US/World/Euro" history.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by SpanishSpy » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:23 pm

Back when I played for Washington-Lee I had one book in particular that got me lots of points - An Incomplete Education: 3,684 Things You Should Have Learned but Probably Didn't gives a basic but entertaining overview of various academic topics. I remember getting plenty of tossups from it, especially one on Kierkegaard.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Antonio777100 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:43 pm

Anyone know of any good books for studying music?
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by vinteuil » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:28 pm

Take a look at this thread: viewtopic.php?f=117&t=19328
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by SpanishSpy » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:34 am

Any good books for Europe from the Reformation to the Seven Years' War, the English Civil Wars, and pre-Revolutionary America?
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:05 am

The English Civil War: A People's History by Diane Purkiss is described by one of its reviewers as "extraordinarily popular" and is the book I read about the English Civil War for quizbowl purposes. Also I once had a wild bird fly into my parents house, and of the hundreds of books I own (and left at my parents when I moved out), it choose to land on that book.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:38 pm

SpanishSpy wrote:Any good books for Europe from the Reformation to the Seven Years' War
Try The Pursuit of Glory by Tim Blanning.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by jonah » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:58 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:The English Civil War: A People's History by Diane Purkiss is described by one of its reviewers as "extraordinarily popular" and is the book I read about the English Civil War for quizbowl purposes. Also I once had a wild bird fly into my parents house, and of the hundreds of books I own (and left at my parents when I moved out), it choose to land on that book.
And then Jeff has the nerve to recommend a different book?!
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:27 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:Also I once had a wild bird fly into my parents house, and of the hundreds of books I own (and left at my parents when I moved out), it choose to land on that book.
Bruce captured my spirit animal!

Edit: yes, Jonah, I have the nerve

Purkiss's book is very good, but it probably wouldn't be my first choice for quizbowl use, at least until the world is ready for that common-link tossup on _cookbook_s written during the _English Civil War_.

Michael Braddick, God's Fury, England's Fire is my favorite short overview.

More to recommend:

Derek Hirst, England in Conflict
Conrad Russell, The Causes of the English Civil War
Anthony Fletcher, The Outbreak of the English Civil War
Austin Woolrych, Britain in Revolution 1625-1660
J. P. Kenyon and Jane Ohlmeyer, The Civil Wars: A Military History of England, Scotland, and Ireland 1638-1660
R. H. Parry, The English Civil War and After
the three volumes by C. V. Wedgwood, The King's Peace, The King's War, and A Coffin for King Charles
Austin Woolrych, Battles of the English Civil War
Ronald Hutton, The Royalist War Effort
Ian Gentles, The New Model Army
Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas during the English Revolution
Jonathan Scott, England's Troubles: Seventeenth-century English Political Instability in European Context
Blair Worden, Roundhead Reputations: The English Civil War and the Passions of Posterity
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Sam » Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:59 pm

Mike Bentley wrote:Came across this interesting site today: http://backlist.cc/

Its slogan is "Historians recommend the books they love." Essentially, a historian will write about some subject ("The History of Modern China") and then list out some of the best books in the field about the subject, from overviews to specialized texts.
This unfortunately seems to have cooled down since last summer, but a similar site (albeit of more uneven quality) is http://fivebooks.com. There's a less academic focus overall than backlist and some of the choices are less than inspired, but it's an interesting place to get ideas.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by SpanishSpy » Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:35 pm

Just want to give a belated thanks to the people who gave recommendations. Once I'm done with the books I'm currently reading I'll give them a look.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by vydu » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:54 pm

Can anybody recommend me books on the history of science/mathematics?
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Mike Bentley » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:18 am

vydu wrote:Can anybody recommend me books on the history of science/mathematics?
It's not limited to just science per se, but Robert Friedel's A Culture of Improvement is an excellent survey of the history of technology since the middle ages.

MIT University Press has a ton of great books on more specific science history, especially in the field of computing.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Vivek Bhave » Sat May 20, 2017 1:20 pm

The Library of Congress Country Studies are an excellent (albeit outdated) source of history and geography material that you can (legally) read for free on the Internet. There is also an iPhode /iPad app providing free access to the Encyclopedia Britannica that may be helpful.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by qiu621 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:34 am

Can somebody recommend to me books on Aztec and Egyptian mythology?
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by jasongg17 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:07 am

qiu621 wrote:Can somebody recommend to me books on Aztec and Egyptian mythology?
I've got nothing for Aztec, but Gods, Heroes and Monsters by Carolina Lopez-Ruiz is fantastic for deeper cuts of Egyptian myth, and I can guarantee that it will also comically over-prepare you for any ancient near eastern myth if you read it. For introductions, you'd be surprised how good even basic children's books can be for the high school level stuff, but more rigorously there's also the stuff by Geraldine Pinch and the Seinfeldianly-named Jan Assmann.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:52 am

https://www.amazon.com/Flayed-God-Mesoa ... 0062507494

The Flayed God was recommended to me in 2004 by one of the greatest myth players in quizbowl history when I asked him how to get better at Mesoamerican mythology. The book was a decade old then and is now over two decades old now, but I pass this advice on nonetheless.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by tksaleija » Tue Jul 04, 2017 7:53 pm

I've seen a lot of people note Benet's as a poor source. I just grabbed it from the library but I haven't had a chance to really read through it. What's the big issue with it?

I've also been reading An Incomplete Education some and I've found that's useful as a general knowledge "handbook." It covers art, music, lit, history, etc (pretty much the Big Stuff™) but lacks some information that would be important for quiz bowl. Definitely use it reference and study, but complimentary to the other books suggested in this forum.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Post by physicsnerd » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:03 pm

This is a really old thread, but I thought I'd add some stuff for people who are browsing now.

For mythology, all of Rick Riordan's books. It may seem nuts, but if you like reading fiction, it's got all the greek, egyptian, and norse myth you'll need to start out with (for the most part, anyway). Pretty much all the points from mythology I've gotten are from those. The Book of Great Books, while it only covers 100 classics, does so in rather impressive depth (very comparable to Wikipedia) and also includes themes, author bios, etc. The New York Times Guide To Essential Knowledge is another reference book that is nice to get an idea of topics to study, though it does have a lot of stuff that you definitely don't need in quiz bowl (a guide to wine connoisseur, anyone?) and I don't really like its organizational style.

For science, The Scientists by John Gribbin and A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson really help to give context to a lot of scientists/their work, and both cover astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and earth science. (For a more middle school level/low highschool level, I'd recommend Joy Hakim's 3 book "The Story of Science".) Chemistry: The Central Science is what I'm currently reading to study for chemistry. It covers nuclear, bio, organic, and inorganic chemistry, but we'll see how much it actually helps with quiz bowl. Reading pop-sci books is also nice - think Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell, one or two of Brian Greene's books on string theory, John Gribbin has one called In Search of Schrodinger's Cat, Sean (?) Carroll has a book called the arrow of time or something like that that talks a lot about cosmology and entropy, etc.

I saw there was a comment up above on studying for biblical questions - I would read the gospels, Acts, and Revelation (though if you're short on time, pick one gospel, they do overlap quite a bit) from the New Testament and Genesis, Exodus, and 1st Samuel through 2nd Chronicles. If you do this and also read through summaries of some other biblical stories (Daniel, Ruth, Esther, a short summary of which churches Paul sent letters to, Joshua, Sampson) you'll be, I think, more than good for most of the questions I've heard come up.

History-wise, when I was younger I really enjoyed Joy Hakim's History of US which *is* 9 books, but they're all pretty short and easy reading. They also have some quotes from primary sources. Very good crash course in U.S. History. (Speaking of Crash Course, their videos are pretty good and cover most topics - I especially like their literature ones and have buzzed based on those quite a bit.) Finally, in terms of art/art history, when I was younger, I played Go Fish for Art (they have ones for a lot of different "schools") which is just kind of fun and allows you to know the artist, title of the work, and view the painting itself. It can be kind of nice to look at a museum guide, which generally contains a picture of the work, a short history of the work and the artist, and the date it was produced.

Hope this helps.
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