Friday, November 26, 2010

2011 Special Topics in Calamity Physics Challenge.

This post is my starting point for the Special Topics in Calamity Physics Challenge hosted by Amazingly Pretty and Somewhat Literary.

I love the premise of this challenge and that is why I am joining. I also like that it is more of a short term goal (it lasts for only 3 months-January 1, 2011 through March 31, 2011) and short term goals are my friends.

And while it might seem slightly complicated, I am looking forward to it. The challenge was inspired by the book that was reviewed on their site, and the reading requirements come from the titles of the chapters.

The goal is to read books from the following sections, with each book being assigned a point value. Once point values are added up, you earn a degree. Here is the full list of books and their point values:

50 points:
Othello - William Shakespeare
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
The House of the Seven Gables - Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

40 points:
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
Les Liaisons Dangereuses - Pierre Chordelos de Laclos
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
Pygmalion - George Bernard Shaw
The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie

30 points:
Moby-Dick - Herman Melville
A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway
Women in Love - D. H. Lawrence
"The Housebreaker of Shady Hill" - John Cheever
Sweet Bird of Youth - Tennessee Williams

20 points:
Laughter in the Dark - Vladimir Nabokov
The Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales - Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch
A Room With a View - E. M. Forster
Howl and Other Poems - Allen Ginsberg
The Taming of The Shrew - William Shakespeare

15 points:
Deliverance - James Dickey
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
One Flew Over the Cockoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
Bleak House - Charles Dickens

10 points:
The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler
Justine - Marquis de Sade
Quer Pasticciaccio Brutto de Via Merulana - Carlo Emilio Gadda
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
The Nocturnal Conspiracy - Smoke Wyannoch Harvey

5 points:
Che Guevara Talks To Young People - Ernesto Guevara de la Serna
"Good Country People" - Flannery O'Connor
The Trial - Franz Kafka
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Metamorphoses - Ovid

100 points:
Paradise Lost - John Milton

From there, you can add up the points for the books you are reading to see what level you will reach. The levels are as follows:

Freshman 0-200 points
Sophomore 201-400 points
Senior 401-600 points
Undergraduate 601-800 points
Graduate 801-900 points
PhD 901-950 points

Since some of these books I have already read, and some are not on my list, I took each of the books that is still left to create my own list for the challenge. The books I will be attempting to read for this challenge are as follows:

Othello (50 pts)
Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (50 pts)
The Woman in White (50 pts)
The House of Seven Gables (50 pts)
Moby Dick (30 pts)
Heart of Darkness (15 pts)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (15 pts)
Things Fall Apart (10 pts)
The Trial (5 pts)
Metamorphoses (5 pts)
Paradise Lost (100 pts)-
This is if I am feeling brave.

Whether I am feeling brave enough to tackle Paradise Lost or not, I am still in the range from 280-380, which means I will be aiming for the sophomore level.

This is a great way to get some of those books off my list that have been sitting there for awhile out of dread. :) It will be a fun way to kick off the new year and start on some new goals.


  1. Ooh this is a good challenge for someone who has a list put together already! Good luck and have f un!

  2. This sounds like a fun challenge. Refreshing approach as well. I feel as if I might have to read Special Topics in Calamity Physics first..

  3. Ha! I love this challenge! I have sworn off challenges for 2011, but if I were going to make an exception, it would be for this. I loved Special Topics and the way it was organized...

  4. I think this is the most interesting challenge I've heard of lately! What a wonderful way to create a challenge with such a varied assortment of books to choose from. I'm really tempted to join this one, not only because I'm intrigued, but since I just read this book last spring, it almost seems like I should. Unfortunately, I don't think I can count on having the reading time available next year to complete it.

  5. This does look like a great one. I added up what I've already read and I got 515, which makes me a senior. So of course now I want to read all of the other books on the list.