lorax's LoC challenge

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lorax's LoC challenge

1lorax
Redigerat: jun 2, 2008, 8:32pm

This was a lot more attractive to me than the Dewey challenge (the Dewey system seems a bit obsessive about infinite subdivisions of Christianity and of European history taking up huge swaths of classification space).

AC (Collections. Series. Collected works) The John McPhee Reader
AM (Museums; Collectors and collecting) Treasures of the British Museum

BF (Psychology) A Natural History of the Senses

CB (History of Civilization) The Discoverers
CT (Biography) A Heartbreaking work of Staggering Genius

D (General History) The Cartoon History of the Modern World
DA (History of Great Britain - History of Ireland) The Isles
DS (History of Asia) Wild Swans
DT (History of Africa) A History of Ancient Egypt
DU (History of Oceania) In A Sunburned Country

E (History of America) 1491

F (Americas Local History) The Pine Barrens

G (Geography (General); Atlases; Maps) Sailing Alone Around The World
GN (Anthropology) The Third Chimpanzee
GT (Manners and Customs) Jeans: A Cultural History (Unread, but on the pile)
GV (Recreation; Leisure) When Women Played Hardball

HD (Industries) Nickel and Dimed (from the library, so not in my catalog)
HE (Transportation and Communication) The Victorian Internet
HG (Finance) Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People
HM (Sociology) Guns, Germs, and Steel
HQ (Family; Marriage; Women; Sexuality) Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers

JA (Political Science, General) Don't Think of an Elephant
JK (Political institutions and public administration - United States) Thieves in High Places

LD (Individual Institutions - United States) The Road from Coorain (not where I would have put this!)

ML (Literature on Music) Between Midnight and Day

NC (Drawing, Design, Illustration) The Indelible Alison Bechdel
ND (Painting) Van Gogh: The Complete Paintings

P (Linguistics) The Language Instinct
PA (Greek Language and Literature) The Iliad
PE (English Language) Made in America
PG (Slavic (etc.) Languages) The Cyberiad
PN (General Literature) Fantasia Mathematica
PQ (French, Spanish (etc.) Literature) 100 Years of Solitude
PR (English Literature) Beowulf
PS (American Literature) The Martian Chronicles
PT (German (etc.) Literature) Momo
PZ (Fiction, Juvenile belles lettres) The Science Fiction Hall of Fame

Q (General Science) The Demon-Haunted World
QA (Math) Data Reduction and Error Analysis
QB (Astronomy) Galactic Astronomy
QC (Physics) A First Course in General Relativity
QD (Chemistry) The Pill, Pygmy Chimps, and Degas's Horse (couldn't finish this, but got halfway through)
QE (Geology) Annals of the Former World
QH (Natural History - Biology) Return to Wild America
QK (Botany) A Pocket Guide to Hawaii's Trees and Shrubs
QL (Zoology) Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion
QP (Physiology) How the Mind Works

RC (Internal Medicine) The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat
RE (Opthamology) The Island of the Colorblind

SB (Plant Culture) Chiles to Chocolate: Foods the Americas Gave the World
SH (Aquaculture, Fishing, Angling) Beautiful Swimmers
SK (Hunting Sports) Aldo Leopold's Southwest (another odd placement)

T (General Technology) Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel
TD (Environmental Technology) The Control of Nature
TK (Electrical Engineering, Electronics) Where Wizards Stay Up Late
TL (Motor Vehicles, Aeronautics, Astronautics) Promised the Moon
TR (Photography) Orbit
TT (Handicrafts) The Yarn Harlot
TX (Home Economics) Hot Salty Sour Sweet

VK (Navigation, Merchant Marine) Seaworthy

Z (Books and Writing) The Code Book

Also, as reference books or textbooks but not read all the way through, I have

TS (Manufactures) Modern Optical Engineering
VM (Shipbuilding, Marine Engineering) The Ashley Book of Knots

2lorax
okt 24, 2007, 12:54pm

Two that I missed (one because I don't own it, one because I read it in a differently-categorized omnibus:

HV (Social pathology; Social and public welfare; Criminology) Seeing Voices

JC (Political Theory) The Prince

3lorax
okt 26, 2007, 7:56pm

Shamelessly stealing from nperrin for a goal:

If I have 0-1 subcategories to a letter group my goal will be 2 subcategories. (B,K,L,M,U,V,Z)

If I have 2-4, my goal will be 5. (A,C,G,J,N,R,S)

If I have 5 or more, my goal will be 10 (assuming the total is more than 10!) (D,H,T)

If I have 10 or more, my goal will be to finish off the category (P,Q)

The unsubdivided D and E are already done.

4lorax
jan 17, 2008, 2:17pm

Adding a new post so I don't break the touchstones:

GC (Oceanography) Waves and Beaches

5lorax
Redigerat: apr 11, 2008, 2:58pm

GT: The Omnivore's Dilemma (highly recommended, and I've met my goal for G!) Next to go will be Q, since I know what I want to read for both remaining categories (and have one on my TBR shelf).

6lorax
apr 29, 2008, 6:07pm

QR: The Outer Reaches of Life

Disappointing and somewhat repetitive -- it probably worked better in the original context as a series of articles.

Still dreading B. That's an awful lot of Christianity.

7kaelirenee
maj 5, 2008, 9:26am

:) At least it's not Dewey...THAT's an awful lot of Christianity. There's actually some pretty good stuff in the later Bs that aren't "churchy"-The Jesus Machine, Misquoting Jesus-stuff like that.

8lorax
maj 16, 2008, 7:26pm

kaelirenee, that's a lot of why I chose LC over Dewey, actually. :)

9lorax
maj 27, 2008, 1:49pm

RJ: Devil in the Details

The recent revamp of the works system has broken all my old touchstones; I'll see if I can fix them.

10kaelirenee
jun 1, 2008, 4:42pm

What'd you think of Devil in the Details? It looks interesting.

11lorax
jun 10, 2008, 12:34pm

12lorax
jul 14, 2008, 4:39pm

BL: Ramayana (and now I've met my admittedly modest goal for B!)

I've also downgraded my goal for P to 15 (meaning I need 5 more).

Needed for my goal:

3 for A
3 for C
5 for D -- I have one on my TBR shelf
3 for H
2 for J
1 for K
1 for L
1 for M
1 for N
5 for P
1 for Q -- I have it picked out and am waiting for the paperback
2 for R
1 for S -- I have two possibilities picked out
2 for T -- I have one on my TBR shelf
2 for U
2 for V
1 for Z

Looks like I need to do some serious looking for D and P.

13lorax
aug 12, 2008, 4:02pm

Oops, I forgot to update when I finished DP: Driving over Lemons. Picked it up due to a mention here, but found it disconnected and disappointing.

14lorax
sep 9, 2008, 3:15pm

TN: Salt

15lorax
okt 21, 2008, 2:56pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

16lorax
okt 21, 2008, 2:57pm

17lorax
jan 8, 2009, 5:08pm

DC: A Year in Provence
RG: The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians (not all in one go, but I've read it all by this point, I think, and if I haven't I will soon)

18DaynaRT
jan 8, 2009, 5:13pm

Are congratulations in order?

19lorax
jan 8, 2009, 5:42pm

Not yet, it's still very early. But thank you!

20lorax
jan 18, 2009, 9:42pm

GR: The Book of Imaginary Beings
LC: Three Cups of Tea
PJ: The Arabian Nights

Met my goal for L. I've got books for unread categories in Q and S on their way to me now -- but unfortunately after that I'm getting low on possibilities.

21lorax
mar 18, 2009, 12:09pm

QM: Your Inner Fish - highly recommended for this category!

22lorax
mar 18, 2009, 12:29pm

Catching up on what's left to meet my goal, and where they can come from:

A: One TBR. To meet my goal I need one more, from AG,AI,AP,AS,AY.

C: Three, from C,CC,CD,CE,CJ,CN,CR,CS. Is it just me or is this a really tough category, once you get past CB and CT?

D: Three, from DB,DD,DE,DF,DG,DH,DJ,DJK,DL,DQ,DR,DX. I have a possible for DF but I don't count something as TBR until I actually have a copy in hand.

H: Three, from H,HA,HB,HC,HF,HJ,HN,HS,HT. (Why are social science statistics books singled out here when all other stats books are in QA?)

J: Two, from J,JF,JJ,JL,JN,JQ,JS,JV,JX,JZ. This one might not happen.

K: One, from anything but KF.

M: One, from M or MT. Does M proper actually have books in it, or is it just for sheet music?

N: One, from NB,NE,NK,NX.

P: Four, from PB,PC,PD,PF,PH,PK,PL,PM. Two possibilities, for PB and PL.

R: One, from R,RA,RB,RD,RK,RL,RM,RS,RT,RV,RX,RZ. I have a possibility from RB.

S: One TBR.

T: One, from TA,TC,TE,TF,TG,TH,TJ,TP,TS. I have a few possibles.

U: Two, from anything -- I don't have anything here, and I probably won't.

V: One, from anything other than VK.

Z: One, from ZA.

23DaynaRT
Redigerat: mar 18, 2009, 12:59pm

For CR (Heraldry), I have The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ. I see that there are other Knights Templar related works in that category.

The best I could do for M was a guitar tablature book that had small snippets of song and band info interspersed throughout.

24carlym
mar 29, 2009, 10:47am

I don't know about M, but I have a book on my list for MT: What to Listen for in Music by Aaron Copland. I haven't read it yet.

25lorax
apr 30, 2009, 7:28pm

SD: The Wild Trees. That's my goal for S.

26lorax
Redigerat: maj 22, 2009, 2:03pm

After debating with myself I've decided it's not my fault that the system is outdated in some areas, and am counting Welcome: A Unitarian Universalist Primer for BX, where the LC puts it, rather than considering as a BL as it should be.

I also noticed that I'd never bothered to enter or count M. C. Escher: 29 Master Prints (NE), which means I've met my goal for N without even realizing it.

27lorax
jun 12, 2009, 1:08pm

I finally have another one:

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds for AZ. I've been reading this, off and on, for months; as a dense 700+ page book, with no real connection between chapters other than "here's some other bizarre thing people believed or did", it's very easy to dip into like that. For normal people (as opposed to us wackos doing the challenge), I'd recommend just reading the first three chapters, on financial bubbles, and then stopping.

28lorax
jun 22, 2009, 11:22am

PM: Bastard Tongues by Derek Bickerton

This was a very interesting book about creoles -- it's structured sort of as an academic memoir, so it's very much about one man's work and theories, but he's good about presenting them as his ideas (though obviously he thinks they're correct) rather than unquestioned truth. Really interesting, and in a really tough category.

29lorax
jul 1, 2009, 12:24pm

RB: Riddled With Life by Marlene Zuk

Met my goal of 5 categories for R!

This was a recommendation from someone in this group, though I'm afraid I no longer remember who. Whoever it was, thank you; this was a very interesting read.

30lorax
jul 1, 2009, 12:29pm

Catching up again on what I have left toward my initial goal:

A: One, from AG,AI,AP,AS,AY.

C: One TBR; need two more, from C,CD,CE,CJ,CN,CR,CS.

D: Three, from DB,DD,DE,DF,DG,DH,DJ,DJK,DL,DQ,DR,DX. I have a couple possibilities.

H: Three, from H,HA,HB,HC,HF,HJ,HN,HS,HT. I have a couple possibilities.

J: Two, from J,JF,JJ,JL,JN,JQ,JS,JV,JX,JZ. This one might not happen.

K: One, from anything but KF.

M: One, from M or MT.

P: Three, from PB,PC,PD,PF,PH,PK,PL. I have a couple possibilities.

T: One TBR; need one more, from TA,TC,TE,TF,TG,TJ,TP,TS. I have a few possibles.

U: Two, from anything. This one might not happen either.

V: One TBR.

Z: One, from ZA.

31lorax
jul 24, 2009, 12:52pm

VM: Survival of the Bark Canoe

That's my admittedly modest goal for V met, and without reading any militarily-oriented books! Fortunately anything boat-related is classified here, so I got to read this very interesting little book by John McPhee -- who I'm convinced can make anything interesting.

32carlym
jul 24, 2009, 3:19pm

Ooh, that looks like a great choice for VM. I read a John McPhee for UA-Armies--La Place de la Concorde Suisse, which is military-oriented but not in the usual way.

33lorax
jul 31, 2009, 7:21pm

Thanks carlym, I'd been considering that -- glad to hear you found it interesting! I'll have to see if the library has a copy.

34lorax
aug 7, 2009, 1:34pm

GE: Seven Wonders: Everyday Things...

I really need to get going on D and P; I have a couple possibilities for both but nothing TBR.

35lorax
aug 27, 2009, 12:22pm

HN: Skipping Towards Gomorrah

Forgettable fluff, but entertaining enough as airplane reading. Some sections were much more interesting than others, and I think this may have worked better if it had been a series of magazine articles than all in one go.

36lorax
sep 9, 2009, 2:23pm

BQ: Peace Is Every Step

Actually I finished this one a week or so ago and forgot to update. Read at the urging of a friend and actually enjoyed it.

37lorax
sep 24, 2009, 12:24pm

TP: Travels with Barley

Who knew books about beer (or wine, for that matter) get classified as "chemical technology"?

38lorax
nov 3, 2009, 12:48pm

39lorax
nov 3, 2009, 12:54pm

It's been a while, so time for another catchup post on what's left for my goal:

A: One, from AG,AI,AP,AS,AY.
C: Two, from C,CD,CE,CJ,CN,CR,CS.
D: Three, from DB,DD,DE,DF,DG,DH,DJ,DJK,DL,DQ,DR,DX. I have a couple possibilities.
H: One TBR; need one more, from H,HA,HB,HC,HJ,HS,HT.
J: Two, from J,JF,JJ,JL,JN,JQ,JS,JV,JX,JZ. This one might not happen.
K: One, from anything but KF.
M: One, from M or MT.
P: Three, from PB,PC,PD,PF,PH,PK,PL. I have a couple possibilities.
T: One TBR.
U: Two, from anything. This one might not happen either.
Z: One, from ZA.

41lorax
feb 9, 2010, 1:22pm

HF (Commerce): A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World

Flawed (mostly by omission), but very interesting.

42lorax
mar 5, 2010, 4:10pm

43lorax
mar 5, 2010, 4:16pm

Progress update for what's left for my initial goal:

A: One, from AG,AI,AP,AS,AY.
C: Two, from C,CD,CE,CJ,CN,CR,CS. I have one TBR.
D: Three, from DB,DD,DE,DF,DG,DH,DJ,DJK,DL,DQ,DR,DX. I have a couple possibilities.
H: One, from H,HA,HB,HC,HJ,HS,HT. I have a couple possibilities.
J: Two, from J,JF,JJ,JL,JN,JQ,JS,JV,JX,JZ. This one might not happen.
K: One, from anything but KF.
M: One, from M or MT.
P: Two, from PB,PC,PD,PF,PH,PK. I have a couple possibilities.
U: Two, from anything. This one might not happen either.
Z: One, from ZA.

My progress here is getting slower and slower. That huge mass of European history in the Ds just keeps staring me in the face.

44lorax
maj 19, 2010, 1:15pm

CE: Marking Time

This was very slow going, especially in the first half.

45lorax
jul 7, 2010, 7:27pm

SF: Mad Dogs and an Englishwoman

I don't think I would have ever picked S to be the second category that I'd read all subcategories from (after Q, and excluding the single-subcategory E and F), but there's a surprising number of readable 'S'es.

My current TBRs will get me BT, DG (finally, another D!), HC, HT, and VA; so while progress has been slow, it will hopefully pick up a bit soon.

46lorax
aug 2, 2010, 5:56pm

HT: The Works: Anatomy of a City

Brief reaction (it doesn't rise to the level of a review) here in my DDC Challenge thread.

That's my goal for H!

48lorax
Redigerat: sep 24, 2010, 3:39pm

It's been more than six months since my last progress check, so here goes. Books left for my original goal:

A: One, from AG,AI,AP,AS,AY.
C: One, from C,CD,CJ,CN,CR,CS.
D: Two, from DB,DD,DE,DF,DH,DJ,DJK,DL,DQ,DR,DX.
J: Two, from J,JF,JJ,JL,JN,JQ,JS,JV,JX,JZ. This one might not happen.
K: One, from anything but KF.
M: One, from M or MT.
P: Two, from PB,PC,PD,PF,PH,PK. I have a couple possibilities.
U: Two, from anything. This one might not happen either.
Z: One, from ZA.

I'm actually surprised that D is so intractable. I don't have anything for any of these categories on my TBR pile, either.

49lorax
okt 19, 2010, 2:44pm

HB: The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008

Highly recommended. This book made me smarter, by which I don't just mean that I learned some facts, but it gave me a framework for understanding economics far better than I previously did. And, unsurprisingly to anyone who regularly reads Krugman's columns, it's funny, too.

50lorax
dec 29, 2010, 10:05am

VA: The Frigate Surprise

If you're a Patrick O'Brian fan, I don't need to say anything beyond alerting you to this book's existence. If you aren't, you don't care.

Only two new categories since my last check, neither of them helping toward my goal. I'm going to try to knock off either P or D next year.

51lorax
apr 21, 2011, 10:29am

I'm really slowing down on this; halfway through April, and I only just got my first new category of the year.

TJ: One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw

An odd and very short little book, picked up in a used bookstore because I had time to kill and no reading material. Much like Petroski's work this was an examination of the history of something most of us don't even think of as having been invented. Rybczynski started out after being asked to write about the greatest tool of the last millennium; upon learning that "tool" was narrowly defined, to mean "the sorts of things you'd find in a toolbox" (ruling out his original plan to write about eyeglasses), he found that, unlike most which were Roman inventions, the screwdriver was a medieval development. (Screws in the sense of threaded fasteners are much older, as he describes in the later part of the book, but they're more like what we'd call bolts now.) I think it's safe to say this is the most interesting book on the history of the screw out there, and while that's deliberately damning with faint praise it actually was a pleasant although not earthshaking read, filling the niche of "an interesting way to pass an afternoon" very well. And hey, it got me a new category, which is nothing to sneeze at.

52lorax
apr 21, 2011, 10:31am

Progress check for books remaining toward my original goal:

A: One, from AG,AI,AP,AS,AY.
C: One, from C,CD,CJ,CN,CR,CS. I have one TBR.
D: Two, from DB,DD,DE,DF,DH,DJ,DJK,DL,DQ,DR,DX. I have two TBR.
J: Two, from J,JF,JJ,JL,JN,JQ,JS,JV,JX,JZ. This one might not happen.
K: One, from anything but KF.
M: One, from M or MT.
P: Two, from PB,PC,PD,PF,PH,PK.
U: Two, from anything. This one might not happen either.
Z: One, from ZA.

53carlym
apr 22, 2011, 11:17am

#51: I have that one but haven't read it. It is short, though, which seems appropriate for the limited nature of the topic.

54lorax
apr 22, 2011, 11:43am

#53, yeah, it's not the sort of topic that could be extended much longer than what it is (about 150 pages of text). That's one of the complaints I've heard about Petroski's The Pencil, which is somewhat similar in spirit (I haven't read it), which is that it's just too long.

55MarissaKings
maj 2, 2011, 6:31am

The book about the history of the screwdriver sounds suprisingly interesting! I'll have to look out for it - I've got no TJ books.

56lorax
jul 28, 2011, 9:23am

CS: The Language of Names by Justin Kaplan

I've posted a review, but to avoid sending you to the review page which features a misogynistic screed, I'll repost it here:

The focus of The Language of Names is far narrower than the rather grandiose title suggests, though a careful reading of the back cover copy (which mentions "contemporary society") would reveal its limitations. There are a lot of interesting questions about names to be explored: that no culture has ever been encountered that doesn't use them (and indeed, there are indications that some species of whales and dolphins use some form of individual identifiers); the development of last names rather than patronymics or ad-hoc identifiers based on occupation or location; the wide variation in the number of names available in different cultures (we all know that most Koreans are named Kim, Park, or Lee, but why?); and other anthropological questions. Unfortunately, this book answers none of those questions.

Instead, it explores a set of situations rather narrowly confined to modern American naming practices -- immigrants Anglicizing their names (though no discussion of how and why this has fallen out of favor in the last century), celebrities changing theirs, and the deep ire with which many men view the apparently shocking practice of women choosing not to change their names upon marriage. Overall, the book read like a somewhat padded magazine article -- an okay way to pass the time, but not worth seeking out.

57DaynaRT
jul 28, 2011, 9:27am

there are indications that some species of whales and dolphins use some form of individual identifiers

Just read an interesting article about parrots naming their chicks: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-parrot-chicks-parents.html

58lorax
jul 28, 2011, 10:15am

Progress check for books remaining toward my original goal:

A: One, from AG,AI,AP,AS,AY.
D: Two, from DB,DD,DE,DF,DH,DJ,DJK,DL,DQ,DR,DX. I have two TBR.
J: Two, from J,JF,JJ,JL,JN,JQ,JS,JV,JX,JZ. This one might not happen.
K: One, from anything but KF.
M: One, from M or MT.
P: Two, from PB,PC,PD,PF,PH,PK.
U: Two, from anything. This one might not happen either.
Z: One, from ZA.

59lorax
nov 27, 2012, 10:30am

TG: How to Read Bridges

I'm terrified of bridges. This is an irrational phobia, I freely admit that, but that knowledge doesn't make it go away. Sheer habituation has made me more comfortable with the large bridge I cross on the most regular basis (the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland), but I'm still not happy with it and would still not be able to drive across it myself.

My wife thought that this little book - a discussion of bridge styles and construction, followed by lots of individual examples (a photo and a one-page description of each bridge) would help me deal with this phobia. It didn't, but it was still an interesting book, and I did learn a lot. However, a word of warning - there's at least one glaring error (the photo for the "Chesapeake Bay Bridge" and the description do not match; the photo's the one in MD, the description is the Bay Bridge-Tunnel in VA. This does not exactly fill me with confidence for the accuracy of the material I'm less familiar with).

60lorax
nov 27, 2012, 10:34am

Currently on my TBR stack:

BD, BT
DF, DL
GA
HC
PK
R
TA
UA

A decent chunk, if I can actually get to them!

61lorax
dec 4, 2012, 8:33am

Well that was unexpected:

BP: A Queer and Pleasant Danger by Kate Bornstein

My wife picked this one up on a trip, and I read it expecting it to be an HQ like all the other LGBT books; I was surprised to see it land instead in BP, down in the "miscellaneous" part of the classification; I guess the catalogers found the 'escape from Scientology' portion to be more central than the 'transsexual' portion, and I could easily see it go in either one. Morbidly fascinating and weird is probably the best way to describe it.

62lorax
feb 25, 2013, 10:11am

AG: The Visual Miscellaneum by David McCandless

An entertaining if fluffy (the subtitle is "A Colorful Guide to the World's Most Consequential Trivia"; the 'trivia' part is certainly right, the 'consequential' maybe less so) book good for flipping through, reading a couple pages here and there; it's a lovely data-visualization book even though sometimes it violates some fairly cardinal principles (distinctions in color or size don't always have meaning, for one). One of the earliest pages was the most striking - a two-page spread divided up into little colored boxes representing the amount of money spent on or generated by this and that (NASA's budget, Walmart's profit, and so forth) is followed by another two-page spread, all one color, with the annotation "Money lost in the 2008 fiscal crisis". Wow. A fun read for anyone interested in data visualization and a good pick for an otherwise tough category.

GA: On the Map by Simon Garfield

An ER pick that I as a map junkie quite enjoyed. I'm late on my review, partly because I was procrastinating and partly for personal reasons, but I'll update this with a link when I have it.

TA: To Engineer is Human by Henry Petroski

Interesting if dated look at the important role of failures in engineering and design in general; Petroski argues that failures are a necessary part of innovation and advancement but can be mitigated to a large extent (that there are unexpected and unforseeable wrinkles, and then there's just outright human error).

63lorax
feb 25, 2013, 10:14am

Progress check for books remaining toward my original goal:

D: Two, from DB,DD,DE,DF,DH,DJ,DJK,DL,DQ,DR,DX. I have two TBR (DF and DL).
J: Two, from J,JF,JJ,JL,JN,JQ,JS,JV,JX,JZ. This one might not happen.
K: One, from anything but KF.
M: One, from M or MT.
P: Two, from PB,PC,PD,PF,PH,PK. I have one TBR (PK).
U: Two, from anything. I have one TBR (UA).
Z: One, from ZA.

The arbitrary goal I set back at the beginning really emphasizes how much harder some categories are me for others; in some (like B and T) I've blown past my initial goals while in others (like K and M) I haven't managed to read a single new classification in the 4+ years I've been doing this.

64lorax
maj 14, 2013, 11:36am

BD: Doubt by Jennifer Michael Hecht

65lorax
maj 14, 2013, 11:39am

Currently on my TBR shelves:

BJ, BS, BT
DF, DL
HC
PK
R, RD
UA

66lorax
jun 7, 2013, 10:31am

I've never been happy with my BX, which is correctly classified but the classification does not correspond to reality (BX is "Christian Denominations"; my BX was a book about Unitarian Universalism, and while both halves had their roots in Christian denominations it's no longer the case). So I'm going to change that out for God Believes in Love, which is much more appropriately classed there. See my post on my Dewey thread for more details.

67lorax
sep 13, 2013, 10:54am

BJ: I don't know by Leah Hagar Cohen

My ER read, very short and interesting book about the importance of being able to admit ignorance and uncertainty.

DF: Ancient Athens on five drachmas a day by Philip Matyszak

Entertaining overview of daily life in Periclean Athens; the travel-guide schtick isn't really very consistent but neither is it annoying or intrusive. I read this mostly to get a better overview for the purposes of reading historical fiction, it certainly isn't for serious students.

68lorax
sep 13, 2013, 10:57am

Progress check for books remaining toward my original goal:

D: One, from DB,DD,DE,DH,DJ,DJK,DL,DQ,DR,DX. I have one TBR (DL).
J: Two, from J,JF,JJ,JL,JN,JQ,JS,JV,JX,JZ. I'm more optimistic about this than I was in the past; there are two on my wishlist.
K: One, from anything but KF.
M: One, from M or MT.
P: Two, from PB,PC,PD,PF,PH,PK. I have two TBR (PC and PK).
U: Two, from anything. I have one TBR (UA).
Z: One, from ZA.

69lorax
okt 29, 2013, 10:04am

RD: Complications by Atul Gawande

(WTF, touchstones, what makes you think "Surely when she types "Complications" she means "Little Women!")

This reads like a compilation of essays or magazine articles, but it's a good one - each chapter ponders a different issue pertaining to the practice of medicine, ranging from the dilemma of training surgeons (Everyone benefits from having trained surgeons; in order to be trained they need to actually do surgery, but nobody wants to be the first heart surgery someone does), which was one of the stronger entries, to a description of the major conference for surgeons (which was very weak). In one or two areas this ten-year-old book shows its age; when he was describing a comparison of automated analysis of EKG to that of trained cardiologists for detection of heart attacks, I found myself thinking "Well that's not really fair, the late 1990s were early days for machine learning and it would surely be much better now", when what he wanted us to think was "Wow, the computers beat even trained cardiologists at this task!". Still, it's a very interesting and well-written book, surprisingly humble, and recommended (though probably not as a lunchtime read.)

70lorax
nov 18, 2013, 10:11am

UA: Drift by Rachel Maddow

Hey look, I got something for U! (The Dewey, disappointingly, is in the giant catch-all morass of 306.)

71fundevogel
nov 18, 2013, 6:56pm

Oh cool! I think I'll have to see if my library has that one.

72lorax
nov 22, 2013, 10:06am

71>

It's definitely worth a read. I think it would be even if your politics don't generally agree with Maddow's, but since mine do I can't say that conclusively - the central argument of "wars shouldn't be entered into lightly" is hard to argue with.

73lorax
nov 22, 2013, 10:26am

PK: Censoring an Iranian Love Story by Shahriar Mandanipour

I'm not generally a big fan of fiction that messes about with the form, since I tend to be blind to such games unless they are extremely obvious, and read only the surface level of a story. (That's not to say that I require my fiction to be simplistic, just that I'm a bit old-fashioned in my tastes in that respect.) That said, this book was one that really only worked because of the metafictional form - the author is writing the titular "Iranian love story", while censoring himself and discussing both the story and his own actions. As the book goes on the two narratives become more intertwined, with the lines between the "real world" and the fictional one becoming blurred.

74fundevogel
Redigerat: nov 22, 2013, 4:04pm

72> That's not an issue for me as I quite like Maddow. And I'm sorta a teeth-gnashing peacenik.

Edit: Damn, your last one sounds really good too.

75lorax
jan 23, 2014, 3:34pm

I forgot to do a year-end roundup!

Progress check for books remaining toward my original goal:

D: One, from DB,DD,DE,DH,DJ,DJK,DL,DQ,DR,DX. I have one TBR (DL).
J: Two, from J,JF,JJ,JL,JN,JQ,JS,JV,JX,JZ. I'm more optimistic about this than I was in the past; there are two on my wishlist.
K: One, from anything but KF.
M: One, from M or MT.
P: One, from PB,PC,PD,PF,PH. I have one TBR (PC).
U: One, from anything but UA.
Z: One, from ZA.

So I should be able to get to my original goal for D and P in 2014, and hopefully pick up a J. Other than that it's slim pickings.

76lorax
aug 11, 2014, 12:59pm

RA: And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts

77lorax
aug 11, 2014, 1:02pm

Past midyear and no actual progress here - one new category, but it doesn't help toward the Arbitrary Goal. I'll have to make sure to read either the PC, the DL, or the JV that's currently en route to me before the end of the year, so that I have something to update.

78bunnygirl
aug 18, 2014, 12:22pm

You've been going at this a lot longer than I have. You've made a lot of progress since 2008!

79lorax
sep 15, 2014, 1:08pm

Thanks, bunnygirl! It's helpful to go back and look at where I started when I start despairing of how slow progress has become. (I'm finally reading that DL, though!)

80lorax
okt 1, 2014, 9:07am

DL: Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga by William Fitzhugh

This rather formidable book was written to accompany a museum exhibition, and consists of 30+ articles on a variety of topics related to the Vikings, from the founding and abandonment of the settlements in Greenland (a topic that will be familiar to readers of Jared Diamond's Collapse) to the sagas to hoax artifacts in North America. I have a few quibbles related to the overall editing - in particular, since the articles were all written by different people, there's a fair amount of repetition of some details (while they're all on different topics, so overall duplication is low, I think the "Maine penny", a Norse penny found in Maine and attributed to extensive trading networks rather than to direct contact that far south, was mentioned five times or more) - but generally it was very well done and quite interesting. It's a bit of a brick, though, and did take me quite a while to get through.

81lorax
okt 1, 2014, 9:11am

Since that was my goal for D, here's what I have left:

J: Two, from J,JF,JJ,JL,JN,JQ,JS,JV,JX,JZ. I have one TBR (JV).
K: One, from anything but KF.
M: One, from M or MT.
P: One, from PB,PC,PD,PF,PH. I have one TBR (PC).
U: One, from anything but UA.
Z: One, from ZA.

I'm considering revising the goal to drop M and Z - there aren't any actual books in M itself, and MT seems to be restricted to highly technical musical theory. ZA seems to be limited to books about using library search systems, with the exception of a couple extremely dated works on the "dark web" (the part of the web that isn't indexed by search engines). I guess I'll make that decision when I get to the point where those are all I have left.

82bunnygirl
okt 5, 2014, 11:44am

Are you using your home library or using a public library for your selections? My local library has books in MT that are guides to music education for parents, histories of music education, primers on how to read music, how to listen to music, and other such general audiences fare. I also see ZA on the cultural commons, the history of cyberspace, and a 2014 book on Internet fact-checking.

83lorax
okt 5, 2014, 1:07pm

I've been browsing interesting-looking libraries here on LT.

Some actual titles would be appreciated - as it is there's a faint whiff of "you just aren't looking hard enough".

84bunnygirl
okt 5, 2014, 4:53pm

Ah, I didn't mean that at all, I was just wondering if you were working out of personal collection only or if your local library was really short on options. I just did a sort by call number at the local library (St. Paul Public Library, http://alpha.sppl.org/search/c) for MT and ZA and found those.

MT: Raising Musical Kids: A Guide for Parents, Robert A. Cutietta; How to Listen to Great Music, Robert Greenberg

ZA: Common as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership, Lewis Hyde; Virtual Unreality, Charles Seife

85lorax
okt 6, 2014, 9:00am

Well, my local library is organized by Dewey, as are most public libraries, so it wouldn't really help.

I've been browsing interesting libraries on LT for suggestions, but since there's nothing like the Dewey/Melvil browser for LC I have to go one library at a time. Thanks for the suggestions!

86carlym
okt 28, 2014, 1:20pm

The only one I have for MT is What to Listen for in Music by Aaron Copland, and I'm honestly not all that excited about reading it. I'm also stumped on ZA. The Ks are also a killer. I'm a lawyer, and almost all my law-related books are in KF. The only non-KF I can suggest is The Return of Martin Guerre, which LT shows as a P but the OCLC Classify site shows as KJV. I read it ages ago, so my memory of it isn't super clear, but it isn't long, and my recollection is that it is a good story and almost like a novel.

87lorax
okt 29, 2014, 3:01pm

I seem to remember someone here read The Code of Hammurabi a long time ago for KL. Not a riveting read but I'm sure it can't be worse than parts of the Old Testament.

88fundevogel
okt 29, 2014, 10:41pm

That was me. It's a list of laws, but I thought they were old and weird enough to be worth the time and effort. It's relatively short and its a little amusing to see the laws the Bible ripped off (eye for an eye anyone?)

89lorax
nov 4, 2014, 2:58pm

Found another possible ZA, using the spiffy new "search group member's books" feature at https://www.librarything.com/index_catalog.php?page=group

The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser

90lorax
jan 20, 2015, 9:53am

PC: The Story of Spanish by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow

And that is my goal for P. I'll just link to my post over in the Dewey Challenge rather than say the same thing twice.

91lorax
jan 20, 2015, 9:57am

So here's what I have left toward the totally arbitrary original goal:

J: Two, from J,JF,JJ,JL,JN,JQ,JS,JV,JX,JZ. I have two TBR (JV, JZ).
K: One, from anything but KF.
M: One, from M or MT.
U: One, from anything but UA.
Z: One, from ZA. A couple possibilities.

It's looking doable, thanks to a few suggestions, but M is still looking tough.

92lorax
jul 9, 2015, 9:58am

JV: The Devil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea

This is a wrenching (gut- and heart- both) account of a group of undocumented immigrants attempting to cross from Sonora to Arizona. Most of them didn't make it out of the desert. The book's narrow focus on this one group in 2001 obscures the fact that "walkers" die in the desert every year; this group wasn't the first or the last, just the largest up to that point with fourteen dead in May, 2001.

I used to live in Tucson, and like anyone who spent time in the area (and who ever left the city), I've seen crossers walking in the desert. The Border Patrol checkpoints have moved farther and farther into Arizona (checkpoints on the highways were routine, even those that didn't actually go to the border), in an attempt to catch people who have caught a ride after crossing on foot, so the walkers spend more and more of their time on foot. I've seen the big blue flags of the water tanks left by the Humane Borders volunteers - a dangerous and thankless job, since the tanks not need to be refilled if they're used but are routinely vandalized by the sort of people who think illegal border crossing should carry a de facto death penalty, the sort of people who would celebrate the events detailed in this book. We drove through Organ Pipe frequently, and everyone knew it was much too dangerous to camp there. (Ordinary "walkers" are no threat to anyone, but the "coyotes" can be.)

Urrea doesn't pull his punches when talking about the coyotes who lead the walkers into the desert to die, although he doesn't mention some of the routine lies that upset me the most ("It's just a one-day walk to Phoenix" and the like), and since the book describes events of May, 2001 the border policy described was obsolete before the book was even published, with drones becoming routine after 9/11. (He does, though, breathlessly and credulously spread the rumors that al-Qaeda members were sneaking through the Mexican border.) He's gentler on the Border Patrol, being entirely willing to write off everything bad as being purely individual and not at all due to any cultural issues, and barely mentions the barbaric acts of the vigilantes who destroy the water caches.

93lorax
nov 9, 2015, 10:23am

ZA: The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser

This was mostly interesting to me as an outsider view of online personalization - I build recommendation and personalization systems for a living (though not for one of the huge companies Pariser talks about, and not using any data that the company I work for doesn't get directly; no third-party tracking involved). Mildly interesting, but it let me check off an otherwise nearly-impossible box.

94lorax
nov 9, 2015, 10:30am

So here's what I have left toward the totally arbitrary original goal:

J: One, from J,JF,JJ,JL,JN,JQ,JS,JX,JZ. I have a TBR (JZ).
K: One, from anything but KF.
M: One, from M or MT.
U: One, from anything but UA.

I've got a couple possibilities for U, and should be able to come up for something for K, but M still looks bleak - anything even vaguely readable seems to invariably be ML.

95lorax
nov 24, 2015, 9:57am

NB: The Elgin Affair by Theodore Vrettos

See my Dewey post. A disappointment.

96lorax
Redigerat: feb 7, 2016, 1:49pm

JZ: Capital of the World by Charlene Mires
See my Dewey post. That's my goal for J!

(Also, Touchstone bizarreness - the top result was "The Communist Manifesto". I could sort of even understand "Capital" showing up, but WTF. Probably one or two miscombined omnibuses, I suppose.)

97lorax
feb 7, 2016, 1:50pm

So here's what I have left toward the totally arbitrary original goal:

K: One, from anything but KF.
M: One, from M or MT.
U: One, from anything but UA.

On the plus side, I checked off another top-level goal; however I don't have anything TBR for any of these, although I do have a couple tentative ideas for U.

98lorax
okt 3, 2017, 10:52am

BT: A History of God by Karen Armstrong

See my Dewey post. Hey, look at that, I can still get new sections here!

99lorax
okt 6, 2020, 8:43am

Nothing new to add, but I wanted to bump the group so it doesn't get irrevocably archived when Tim introduces that feature.