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Looking to expand my knowledge (book suggestions?)

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Re: Looking to expand my knowledge (book suggestions?)

Postby braggtastic » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:04 am

Good for you for wanting to expand your knowledge!
I would certainly suggest reading the major Shakespeare plays, or if you prefer, watching DVDs of them. Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, Henry V, Richard III, Merchant of Venice, Mid Summer's Night Dream, Julius Caesar to start. Also Charles Dickens & Mark Twain.
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Re: Looking to expand my knowledge (book suggestions?)

Postby Momma Snider » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:45 am

If you are looking to enjoy reading more, I personally wouldn't suggest Shakespeare, or Dickens, either. I'm more of a lightweight reader, even though I read well, and I much prefer less intellectual material. Game of Thrones might be good!

I just read The Book Thief. It comes from a different point of view (Death) but still gives a lot of historical information about Nazi Germany. That's my favorite, accurate historical novels. I feel like I'm learning something while I relax.
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Re: Looking to expand my knowledge (book suggestions?)

Postby geniusonwheels » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:44 am

If you are interested in reading more so you can have a better breadth of knowledge, the best three things you can read are:

1) The newspaper. The newspaper is full of all kinds of information. Reading about world news will not only help you on politics/foreign leaders, but you can pick up things like geography and religion along the way. There's always articles on new science discoveries, upcoming films, major businesses and companies, and sports information. These things should sound like Jeopardy categories, and the paper has them. If you can't get access to a daily paper, read the news online.

2) Famous books. I don't need to tell you that names like Hemingway, Steinbeck, and O'Neill are famous. However, if you come across the title of a book/play that you know is famous but you've never read it, go read it. That's how I read Catch-22, Fences, Much Ado, Miss Lonelyhearts, The Stranger, Dubliners, Things Fall Apart, and Yeats's poetry. If you don't feel like reading full length novels, plays and short stories make reading fun and much shorter. And for many books/plays, there are decent movies that go over the plot of the stories.

3) Wikipedia. It's free, accessible, and has a lot. Whenever you stumble upon something you don't know a lot about, go and read the Wikipedia article. Knowing more about the people and places in history will help you bridge the gaps of knowledge, and make everything much more relative. It's much easier to learn about the Battle of Gettysburg if you know about the people of the Civil War.

That's a pretty painless way to learn more things, and if you are consistent, you will definitely learn a lot (and probably increase your Jeopardy answer ratio).
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Re: Looking to expand my knowledge (book suggestions?)

Postby Bill » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:24 am

Shakespeare's pride of place in the literary canon is no accident. The work it takes to understand his language pays off manifold benefits. Reading Shakespeare is its own reward and I highly recommend it to anyone who is considering embarking on the journey.

However, if your primary goal is to get better at trivia, reading Shakespeare seems to me to be an incredibly inefficient strategy. Most of what you get in general trivia can be absorbed by reading plot summaries. Memorize character names and opening lines from each play and move on.

On the other hand, if it's simply the case that your lack of trivia knowledge has prompted you to want to become more well-read and well-rounded, then yes, I recommend Shakespeare.
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