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Topic: 2011 HF Challenge #2 It's A Small World - Discussion

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Subject: 2011 HF Challenge #2 It's A Small World - Discussion
Date Posted: 11/2/2010 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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Bruce -
Date Posted: 11/2/2010 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2008
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I realize Antarctica is exempt but if anyone is interested in reading a great HF/sci fi book set in Antarctica, I recommend "The Terror" by Dan Simmons. It's the story of Sir John Franklin's 1840 expedition and doomed search for the Northwest Passage. Throw in a little supernatural horror and you have a great read.

Date Posted: 11/2/2010 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Bruce - I read The Terror last year, and I agree, it is a good read.  (Dang!  Why didn't I save it for next year and use it to get an achievement award for the challenges.  Curses!!!!)

I think this is going to be my most favorite challenge. I'm looking forward to taking a world tour in 2011!  I'm so excited about it, I may even try for the "Around the World in 80 Days" achievement award. 



Last Edited on: 11/2/10 11:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/2/2010 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
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Go for it, Shelley! (I think Linda is going to try for that Achievement award also). 

I am looking for recommendations for South America & Africa ... I really enjoyed the Robert Ruark books that I have read ... particularly Uhuru (which, if anyone is duplicating, has zero PBS reviews).

Kelly

Date Posted: 11/2/2010 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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Oh, I loved "The Terror", but now I'm so mad that I've already read it and can't use it for this award. Drat, drat, drat. Someone should write a novel about my hero; Ernest Shackleton.

 

Kelly, check out "Segu" by Maryse Conde' for an Africa book. It's amazing. It follows the lives of a group of Africans dealing with the issues of the times; slavery, the spread of Islam and Christianity, etc. I think this is actually a book frequently assigned in school, but it isn't geared for just a YA audience.



Last Edited on: 11/2/10 3:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/2/2010 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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Kelly, you might want to skip "Segu" - I just found this review at Amazon:

Dear Fellow Readers,

If you have heard that Segu was a good novel, boy were you wrong. I am a 10th grader at a Boston Public school and I have been forced to read this book. I love the idea of getting to learn more about the ancient African culture, but this book does not help me out at all. The book has to many characters, and often makes the reader distinguish what's the role of each charter. I think that the book is a strong resource for adults, who want to learn more about Ancient Africa, but it shouldn't be forced on high school students. I was an honor roll student last year, but I am afraid that I will get a "C" or a "D" this year. Thank you Maryse Conde for ruining my almost perfect grades.

Isn't that hilarious??? LOL!

Date Posted: 11/2/2010 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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Don't forget that Egypt is part of the African continent. That opens up a lot of ancient and Biblical fiction. It may be a bit of a cop-out but it will certainly count!

Date Posted: 11/4/2010 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
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For this challenge, do books that jump continents still count?  For example, it starts in North America and ends up in Australia.  Can we count that book for either (but certainly not both) continent?

I also have that question for the time periods.  It starts in present day and ends up in the past.....   indecision

CR

Date Posted: 11/4/2010 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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You can count it in either place or time period, as long as it is a significant portion of the book. A 5 page flashback in a 300 page book doesn't count.  Likewise, a 10 page crusade to Jerusalem doesn't count either.

Date Posted: 11/29/2010 9:15 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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I'm actually starting to plan this challenge out a bit, because I plan to start the new year with a trip around the world!  I'll tackle this challenge first, and I'm going to try for the "Around the World in 80 Days" achievement award.  Accordingly, I can't be waiting on books to arrive. I need to have them all lined up and ready to go! I've definitely got many, may books I can use for Europe, Africa (thank you, Egypt, for being in Africa - although I also have the M.M. Kaye book, Trade Wind, which takes place in Zanzibar), Asia, and North America, but two continents are sadly not represented on my current Mt. TBR.  Any recommendations for South America and Oceania?

BTW, I just realized that The Terror, mentioned above, can't really be used if one wanted to be really thorough and cover Antarctica too.  The Terror takes place in the Arctic, not Antarctica.  The Arctic looks to be part of both North America and Asia.



Last Edited on: 11/29/10 9:19 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/29/2010 9:36 AM ET
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I've acquired The Touch by Colleen McCullough to use for Oceania.  Reading the description, it's a multi-generational family saga along the lines of The Thornbirds, which I loved.  I know it starts out in 1872, but don't know how far it comes toward the present, so I hope enough of it falls before 1960 so that I can count it.

Date Posted: 11/29/2010 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2010
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My recommendations for South America are Daughter of Fortune or Ines of My Soul, both by Isabel Allende.

For Oceania, I loved Morgan's Run by Colleen McCullough. This is the story of the colonization of Australia by England's convicts. Of course, The Thorn Birds would also be an excellent choice.



Last Edited on: 11/29/10 9:42 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/29/2010 10:51 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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For Oceania, you should all read my favorite book - The Bone People by Keri Hulme. It's one of those books that stay with you forever. It's written in a "stream-of-consciousness" style which is something I don't normally love, but in this book, it works so well. The 3 main characters are some of the most tortured and unhappy you will ever come across and they have all been through something horrific that has made them close off to the world, but after coming together, they each begin to open up. This is one of those books that is hard for me to explain; it's just a wonderful read. It's not an easy read though. Due to the graphic abuse and the writing style, it requires a little more effort, but, oh!!, is it worth it! Gosh, now I wish I hadn't given my copy away so I could read it again!!

http://www.amazon.com/Bone-People-Keri-Hulme/dp/0807130729/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291045189&sr=1-1

Date Posted: 11/29/2010 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Umm, Valli, I will consider it.  I don't usually like really dark books, especially ones involving child abuse.  I will think on it.  If I give it a try, I'll probably go through the library.  I see from the Amazon reviews I read that this is one of those "love it or hate it" books.  I didn't read all the reviews, but there didn't appear to be a lot of, "Well, it's okay" type of opinions.

Date Posted: 11/29/2010 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Well, I ordered Ines of My Soul for South America, and Morgan's Run for Oceania.  Of course, one of these days I should really read The Thorn Birds too!  Thanks, ladies!



Last Edited on: 11/29/10 11:18 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/29/2010 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
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Oooh, I remember The Bone People -- read it 20+ years ago and thought it an absolutely gripping book. I highly recommend it, but as Valli stated, this is not for the faint of heart. It is graphic and powerful and disturbing and haunting, A note to those who read it -- there is a glossary of Maori words and phrases in the back of the book...which I did not discover until I finished reading the book.

Date Posted: 11/29/2010 12:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
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Oooh, Morgan's Run is a good book!

CR

Date Posted: 11/30/2010 7:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2008
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I love hearing all of the book advice.  I ordered The Bone People for Oceania and will try for the Around the World in 80 Days achievement.

Date Posted: 11/30/2010 7:54 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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Christa...I enjoyed "The Touch" very much; as I recall, it doesn't 'sprawl' too much and most of it remains in the late 1800's-early 1900's.  

Date Posted: 11/30/2010 10:11 AM ET
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That is good news! Thanks, Vicky!
Date Posted: 11/30/2010 1:33 PM ET
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I thought the primary setting for Daughter of Fortune, Isabel Allende is actually in the states - San Francisco, maybe? Am I thinking of another book? We also have Ines of my Soul & either Linda or I or both will read this book ... good to hear the positive comments on it!

Kelly

Date Posted: 11/30/2010 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Kelly - From what I read, yes, the book seems to be set mostly in the states as it has to do with the Gold Rush.  That's why I decided to go with Ines of My Soul. It sounds like that one takes place pretty much mostly in South America.

Date Posted: 11/30/2010 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
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I read "Ines of my Soul" for the South America category this year and really enjoyed it. Plus the  name is just gorgeous. 

Date Posted: 11/30/2010 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2010
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Well, my memory is not the best, but the portion of the book The Daughter of Fortune that had more of an impact on me was the part in South America; however I have no idea how much of the book focuses on her life in Chile.

In the interest of full disclosure, Morgan's Run starts in England, not Australia and I cannot guarantee how much of the book focuses on what continent. I just remember it being an interesting and well written look at the populating of Australia with Europeans. Also, I believe Ines of My Soul begins with Ines' life in Spain, but what was compelling reading was her life in Peru.

I guess I better take a more careful look at the books I chose for each continent.

Date Posted: 11/30/2010 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Karen - From the description I read, it appears that Morgan's Run  is about the colonization of Australia by some English convicts, so my guess is that most of it takes place in Australia. 

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