Books "for Quizbowl"

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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Rountree » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:02 pm

FlamingPiWalrusWizard wrote:How about books for British history? Also, does anyone know if AP Euro prep books (PR/Barron's) cover this subject well for quizbowl?
.

Palmer and Colton's History of the Modern World (which basically starts in the Renaissance), is very good for European history (though not exclusively British history). It is chock full of quizbowl-relevant information, it is not too long (or boring), and it is not without a good sense of humor.

FlamingPiWalrusWizard wrote:Also, does anyone know if AP Euro prep books (PR/Barron's) cover this subject well for quizbowl?


As Jerry said, not really. By the time you have read all the "review" material in those books, you might as well have read the textbook or primary source and, in the process, learned the history more thoroughly.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby warobison » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:10 pm

After thirty years of working with elementary, middle school, and high school quiz bowlers, I've found that the most successful players are the ones who have really mastered the basics. That mastery of basics not only leads them to many answers directly, but it also teaches them to make intelligent guesses that are often correct. For younger and beginning players, I strongly recommend mastering The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. If you can still find copies, I also recommend The Compact Classics series published in the 1990's. (The first couple were published as The Great American Bathroom Book.) These books provide short two page summaries of classic literature plus summaries from important works in a wide range of subjects. (They also have many pages of important quotations and fun quizzes included.) Each of the books in the series is about 600 pages of very useful information for the quiz bowler. Someone has already mentioned An Incomplete Education, another valuable resource. And (again, if you can find copies), all three of The People's Almanac by Wallechinsky and Wallace. There's a ton of information, but most of all, they're just fun to read. Finally, if you have a Kindle (or a Kindle app), I invite you to take a look at two e-books I've recently completed for Amazon: Quiz Bowling: A Perfect 300 Guide, and Quiz Bowling-300: Lite, a 99 cent introductory version. Just go to Amazon.com and do a search for "quiz bowling." These are games that are loosely based on the format that we used for quiz bowling, and they are designed just for fun.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Duncan Idaho » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:07 pm

warobison wrote:If you can still find copies, I also recommend The Compact Classics series published in the 1990's. (The first couple were published as The Great American Bathroom Book.) These books provide short two page summaries of classic literature plus summaries from important works in a wide range of subjects. (They also have many pages of important quotations and fun quizzes included.) Each of the books in the series is about 600 pages of very useful information for the quiz bowler.

These sound a lot like the Uncle John's Bathroom Reader series, which have 2-,4-, and 6-page entries on "miscellaneous" topics, mostly about concern pop culture, biographies of famous people and history, particularly Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges into History. Prior to playing quizbowl, I learned a lot of historical tidbits that weren't covered in class from those books. These books, also, have quizzes on quotes and other things.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby warobison » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:51 am

These sound a lot like the Uncle John's Bathroom Reader series


I, too, enjoy the "Uncle John" bathroom readers and have almost every one of them in my library. However, the "Compact Classics" and their original bathroom readers are a lot more straightforward and serious than the "Uncle John" books. The "Uncle John" books are a lot more fun and quirky, but it would be difficult to look at the Table of Contents and decide what to study. For the Quiz Bowler who's looking for a fun read, I'd definitely recommend "Uncle John": learn a little, laugh a lot. But for more serious study, the "Compact Classics" would have to be the choice. For example, I'm glancing at the TOC of Compact Classics: Volume I from 1991. The section called "Heroic Epic and Allegory" contains two-page summaries of Paradise Lost, Beowulf, Prometheus Bound, The Divine Comedy, and El Cid. There are similar five-item sections on topics such as historical fiction, social and political commentary, Shakespearean tragedies, philosophy, etc. But, when I head to the "John," I'm much more likely to take "Uncle John" than the compact classics!
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby grapesmoker » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:37 am

Hey, I would like to voice a protest against some of the things being recommended here. Of course, you can get some general idea about the chronology of things from perusing Uncle John's Bathroom Reader or whatever; it might even have some good anecdotes in it. But for the most part, you're rarely getting anything more than a major name and date. It might help you get things at the giveaway, but it's practically useless for any kind of in-depth knowledge.

It looks a little bit like some people are asking in this thread, "What book will teach me history/literature/science?" Well, no book will teach you that. You should decide what you're interested in and then get some books that deal with that topic. If you love the Civil War, there are plenty of books about that. If you want to learn something about postwar American literature, there are books about that. The important thing is to narrow your interest down to something better-defined than just "history" or "music" and find books that are going to give you detailed information on those topics.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby AKKOLADE » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:44 am

What book do I read so I can have a giant green skull like your avatar?
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Cheynem » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:51 pm

I should note that I have gotten things pretty early from Uncle John books, sometimes, although usually in trash or NAQT packets. Get with the program, ACF! Write some more tossups on _potato chips_.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Duncan Idaho » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:16 pm

To clarify my post in light of Jerry's, I do not recommend Uncle John's or the like for studying quizbowl. I mean, I read those when I was in middle school, and they helped me learn middle school topics. A person with the amount of cultural literacy as a typical quizbowl player would not profit much, in terms of play, from their use. There are many, far better resources which have been brought up in this tread for learning about quizbowl topics.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby grapesmoker » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:53 pm

Ronnie the Bear wrote:What book do I read so I can have a giant green skull like your avatar?


Classical Electrodynamics, by J.D. Jackson.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby PennySalem » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:57 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
Ronnie the Bear wrote:What book do I read so I can have a giant green skull like your avatar?


Classical Electrodynamics, by J.D. Jackson.


0_O
What's in this book that has to do with a green skull?
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Habitat_Against_Humanity » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:58 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
Ronnie the Bear wrote:What book do I read so I can have a giant green skull like your avatar?


Classical Electrodynamics, by J.D. Jackson.



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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Auks Ran Ova » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:06 pm

PennySalem wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:
Ronnie the Bear wrote:What book do I read so I can have a giant green skull like your avatar?


Classical Electrodynamics, by J.D. Jackson.


0_O
What's this book about that has to do with a green skull?

Classical electrodynamics.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Sykology » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:00 pm

This is a very useful thread. I look to purchase a few of the mythology books first. I started quiz bowl this year and I know very little about mythology, and unfortunately, the same can be said for the rest of my team. Hopefully those books can help me grab a few extra points this year. Thanks.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Anshu » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:44 am

I recently got Masterpieces of World Literature by Frank Magill. It's perhaps a little too comprehensive for quizbowl, but reading the entries in it gives a pretty qb-exhaustive knowledge on literature (though it seems a little Western-centric).
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby dtaylor4 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:17 pm

Anshu wrote:I recently got Masterpieces of World Literature by Frank Magill. It's perhaps a little too comprehensive for quizbowl, but reading the entries in it gives a pretty qb-exhaustive knowledge on literature (though it seems a little Western-centric).


I actually love Magill. Through my old university, I have access to Magill's online database, and I use it frequently.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Everything in the Whole Wide World » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:12 pm

For newer players, I'd recommend Don't Know Much About History by Kenneth Davis. It's a very good overview of the most important topics in American History, and makes them interesting by explaining why.

http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Know-Much-Ab ... 0380712520

I'd also recommend a trip over to iTunesU. Most of the academia on there is pretty poor, but if you dig there's a lot of great material covered in depth to help convert tossups. Yale has a number of particularly good ones, especially from their history department.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Charbroil » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:48 am

Morraine Man wrote:
Inkana7 wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions for books to get one a nice base knowledge of Ancient Greco/Macedonian history? I'm looking to get into that area of history and I want to know where to start.


I read the first half of Alexander to Actium as a sophomore in HS and eight years later I am still answering Diadoch War tossups and Antigonus Gonatas bonus parts because of it.

The book does go on long digressions about art and philosophy, which I found annoying, but I guess it could get you non-history questions as well.


I just finished reading this and it was absolutely wonderful, both for Quiz Bowl and from a more general learning things perspective. The writing about the history is fast paced and interesting, while the interludes are done extremely well and do a great job of giving an impression of what Hellenistic society was like. I do agree with Bruce that the interludes can be a little bit awkward because they divide the book into a series of cliffhangers, which makes it harder to appreciate, say, a discussion of Epicureanism while you're trying to find out what happens to the Seleucid Empire, but overall the book is still fascinatingly insightful.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Zivel » Mon May 16, 2011 12:03 am

The Mental Floss History of the World gave me more than a few powers that I wouldn't have known otherwise.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby i never see pigeons in wheeling » Tue May 24, 2011 4:30 pm

Mythology: The Illustrated Edition edited by C. Scott Littleton is an entertaining read that covers pretty much the entire high school myth canon. It's a large book (in terms of area and volume), but if you don't mind that aspect, it's a great way to equip yourself to get myth.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby BlueDevil95 » Wed May 25, 2011 4:52 pm

In addition to what Ankit recommended, Mythology by Edith Hamilton is a very good resource, too, especially 3 days till the HSNCT.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Sniper, No Sniping! » Thu May 26, 2011 6:31 pm

BlueDevil95 wrote:In addition to what Ankit recommended, Mythology by Edith Hamilton is a very good resource, too, especially 3 days till the HSNCT.



Good choice! I have it already packed in my carry-on to read when we leave for Atlanta tomorrow. Excellent read,
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby BlueDevil95 » Thu May 26, 2011 7:02 pm

CavsFan2k10 wrote:
BlueDevil95 wrote:In addition to what Ankit recommended, Mythology by Edith Hamilton is a very good resource, too, especially 3 days till the HSNCT.



Good choice! I have it already packed in my carry-on to read when we leave for Atlanta tomorrow. Excellent read,


I'm reading it as I type this message (well, not REALLY, but you get the idea).

Some more quick and easy resources:

-- If you like to look at art, try Marina Vaizey's 100 Famous Paintings. Big pictures with good analysis to go along with it. It's deep.

-- Anyone with a iPhone/wireless enabled device should go to http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/meta/authors.html. It conforms almost perfectly to your iPod and has tons of novels, short stories, etc. On the plane ride to Atlanta, try reading some stories.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Charbroil » Thu May 26, 2011 11:13 pm

BlueDevil95 wrote:-- Anyone with a iPhone/wireless enabled device should go to http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/meta/authors.html. It conforms almost perfectly to your iPod and has tons of novels, short stories, etc. On the plane ride to Atlanta, try reading some stories.


Thanks, this looks really interesting even from a non-Quiz Bowl studying perspective. www.online-literature.com also has quite a few classics, and since you can search through the works, it's useful for finding quotes for essays in addition for Quiz Bowl.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Andrew from jc » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:31 pm

Anyone have book recommendations for Islamic history?
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:41 am

Andrew from jc wrote:Any have book recommendations for Islamic history?


Let me whole-heartedly recommend two books that I discovered on the floors of other quizbowl players.

The first is "God's Crucible" by David Levering Lewis. I discovered this book laying next to me while I was sleeping on Chris Borglum's floor after 2009 Sun n Fun. It is actually two parallel books: an account of the rise of Islam, and an account of the rise of the Carolingian empire. (Spoiler: they end up meeting at the Battle of Tours). I think both strands of the book are valuable for quizbowl, and it should let you answer most tossups about early Islamic/Arab history.

The second book is "The Ottoman Centuries" by Lord Kinross. I discovered this book laying on Jerry Vinokurov's floor during the afterparty of 2008 EFT. It is an extremely detailed account of the Ottoman Empire from its start to its fall. It is extraordinarily clue-dense: you learn about rulers, about the treaties they signed, the names of their advisors, etc. There is no better source from which to write a tossup about any aspect of Ottoman history.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Mnemosyne » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:57 pm

Along the lines of The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy and other books that cover the basics, "I Used to Know That (stuff you forgot from school)" is a great book for covering basics. It's 175 pages, novel sized. You could probably take away a third of that by removing the math sections that hopefully all quiz bowlers know since we're still in school for the most part. It has an incredible quiz bowl content to volume ratio. Everything in this book is in the canon, outside of the grammar and common sense math.

I was worried that $9 was a lot for it (hardback at Sam's Club) and it would end up being a waste, but it's actually 100x the investment compared to the $30 I paid for the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Rufous-capped Thornbill » Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:15 am

Any suggestions for Egyptian Myth?
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Khanate » Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:07 pm

The NPR Listener's Encyclopedia of Classical Music is an excellent resource for studying music. However, it also has stuff that never comes up, and its not the best guide for Opera either.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Sniper, No Sniping! » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:01 am

So this isn't a book but I didn't exactly know where else to put it (I know it'd be frowned upon most likely to make a new thread about this) but for Geography a good source material I've found is the KGeography program available on Linux, notably Ubuntu. It really is only a political map based program, so like mountains and that good stuff won't come up, but it has built in quizzes for capitals, flags of countries, not to mention it actually has somewhat scaled maps of even obscure countries (note not every single one though) and I've found it to be a useful tool for remembering things like those darn Canadian territories and their capitals solid.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Robert Williams Avenger » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:21 am

This might sound a little crazy and isn't necessarily a book, but reading old Cracked.com articles has helped me get some tossups in the past.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Smuttynose Island » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:44 am

Not sure if anyone's mentioned it yet, but I recently got a used copy of A Gathering Storm by Winston Churchill. So far ut has proven to be a goldmine for pre-WWII Western European history and I suspect that it will be just as good when it gets to the war. Although Churchill's writing ability makes the book engaging and accessible, I wouldn't recommend it as a jumping off point as it's clues are more likely to come up at HS Nationals and in college tournaments.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Nero D'Avola » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:21 pm

The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross is a very good summary of 20th Century Classical music.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Granny Soberer » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:00 pm

Paul from OM wrote:The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross is a very good summary of 20th Century Classical music.


Second that. Even though the more modern stuff doesn't come up too often in quizbowl, the sections on Strauss, Mahler, and the Second Viennese School are great. Very readable too.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby cornfused » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:28 pm

Smuttynose Island wrote:Not sure if anyone's mentioned it yet, but I recently got a used copy of A Gathering Storm by Winston Churchill. So far ut has proven to be a goldmine for pre-WWII Western European history and I suspect that it will be just as good when it gets to the war. Although Churchill's writing ability makes the book engaging and accessible, I wouldn't recommend it as a jumping off point as it's clues are more likely to come up at HS Nationals and in college tournaments.

I'm about two-thirds of the way through that book and I'd like to second the praise for it - very readable, very interesting, and very clue-dense.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby 1992 in spaceflight » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:57 pm

Dripping Springs State Park wrote:
Paul from OM wrote:The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross is a very good summary of 20th Century Classical music.


Second that. Even though the more modern stuff doesn't come up too often in quizbowl, the sections on Strauss, Mahler, and the Second Viennese School are great. Very readable too.


Thirded. I've only read the chapter on Strauss, but it is definitely a good tool that I plan on using more when I have free time.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby The Stately Rhododendron » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:11 am

I read Aztec a couple years ago when I was in a bronchitis-induced fog. I remember some historical detail about the Aztecs from it, so I guess its a good book for that.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Casey » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:26 pm

I agree with everything that has been said, most notably Edith Hamilton's Mythology.
On summer days when I was stuck at my grandparent's house, and both legos and PBS failed me into boredom, I occupied myself with Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia 1st Edition (from 1979 or something). It's at the bad ends of practicality, portability, and general coverage, but the main facts are still there, and the dry prose has some merits (it can be sorted through), even if the better half of it is filler that was never supposed to have eyes laid on it. Now, there's a much more sexier option to the 29 volumes, which I hope to purchase soon. (Wikipedia should get all the proceeds to the sale of this thing. It's well designed!)

The most useful book I've read for Scholastic Bowl is Kagan, Ozment, & Turner's Western Heritage, the AP Euro Qur'an. It covers basically everything you need to know about European civilization, and a chunk of the Eastern questions that come up often are tied to Europe (such as Tokugawa Iemitsu, Ieyasu, etc. and isolationism) and have some mention in this book.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby jman010295 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:54 pm

How about good books or ways to learn Art, classical music, history. Also what ways are there to learn the bible and literature quickly and easily? Im trying to get the most info as efficiently as possible.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby jman010295 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:29 pm

how would u guys go about learning the Bible in a quick way?

Also, should I use the classical music and art for dummies books or are those books not good enough?
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby mhayes » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:08 am

jman010295 wrote:Also, should I use the classical music and art for dummies books or are those books not good enough?


I'm not sure about art, but the NPR Listener's Encyclopedia of Classical Music is a great resource.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby JamesIV » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:47 pm

I know this particular comment was made about three years ago, but I happened to see it, and I've just read the book in question, so here goes:

Cernel Joson wrote: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?


First off, very good read. As to quizbowl-usefulness, it depends on what. For getting a tossup on Simon Bolivar, definitely. Plenty of names and places to learn as being "associated with" the Liberator. For questions about the struggles for independence of the various South American nations, maybe. Ditto for the many people involved with those struggles. The book includes dozens of places and historical figures, which (with a few exceptions, like Santander and Urdaneta) are not clearly differentiated. I think one would need at least a bit of background knowledge about the people/places/events of the era before they became much more than names attached to figures in the book.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Chandragupta Maurya » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:02 am

Does anybody know if The Oxford Dictionary of Chemistry is good for studying quizbowl chemistry?
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Kwang the Ninja » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:44 am

jman010295 wrote:How about good books or ways to learn Art, classical music, history. Also what ways are there to learn the bible and literature quickly and easily? Im trying to get the most info as efficiently as possible.

"learning in a quick way" and "learning so you can actually be good at quizbowl" are pretty mutually exclusive goals. The best way to learn the Bible is to read the Bible. The best way to learn about literature is to read literary books. If you're not willing to do either of those things, quizbowl is probably not for you. There are no shortcuts to getting good at quizbowl.
edit heh wrong quote
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Kilroy Was Here » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:03 pm

I've gotten countless tossups on Imperial Rome (Post civil war) from Chronicles of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre, it's broken down really well and is actually interesting.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby tinioril » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:10 pm

Playing Campaign Mode in Age of Empires 2 has helped me with various history tossups.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Kilroy Was Here » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:09 pm

tinioril wrote:Playing Campaign Mode in Age of Empires 2 has helped me with various history tossups.

Total war games have done that for me too, Ive gotten some strange geography stuff from names of cities in Rome Total war
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby 1992 in spaceflight » Mon May 21, 2012 4:04 pm

I've gotten more than a few points from books I've read for History classes. This biography of Ivan the Terrible is a really good one, if you want some knowledge on him: http://product.half.ebay.com/_W0QQprZ30223791
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon May 21, 2012 5:32 pm

Shout-out to two books that I used for ACF Nationals:

The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall by Christopher Hibbert
http://www.amazon.com/The-House-Medici- ... 608&sr=8-1

Despite the title, I found this to be an excellent survey of Florentine history, from before the Medici rise to power until the end of the Medici dynasty, which lasted all the way into the 1740's. I used it to write the "Florence" tossup from the playoffs, which didn't directly mention the Medici until the giveaway, but instead included some new clues about pre-Medici Florence that I learned from this book.

Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin
http://www.amazon.com/Byzantium-Surpris ... 753&sr=8-4

This was a cool survey book on Byzantine history. It avoided the trap of narrating every single rebellion and usurper, but it also avoided the (IMO even more dangerous and these days far more common) trap of avoiding a political narrative altogether and focusing just on trends or social history. You learn about individual rulers, battles, and treaties, but you also learn a great deal about court life, ritual, and, yes, society.
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Kilroy Was Here » Mon May 21, 2012 5:42 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:Shout-out to two books that I used for ACF Nationals:

Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin
http://www.amazon.com/Byzantium-Surpris ... 753&sr=8-4

This was a cool survey book on Byzantine history. It avoided the trap of narrating every single rebellion and usurper, but it also avoided the (IMO even more dangerous and these days far more common) trap of avoiding a political narrative altogether and focusing just on trends or social history. You learn about individual rulers, battles, and treaties, but you also learn a great deal about court life, ritual, and, yes, society.

I second this one, I read it, and it has let me one line most Byzantine history tossups. Another good one is "Lost to the West"
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Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Postby Warlockoftheeast » Wed May 23, 2012 11:54 pm

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?
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