What I Read in May

I read fewer books this month…let me explain.
First of all, I spent a great deal of time researching curriculum changes for next year. That’s now complete and I’m happy with my choices. Second we’ve been pushing to finish our studies this month because it’s getting harder and harder for the boys to focus when they (actually we all) would rather be outside playing, gardening, exploring, etc. So we’re almost done! Yay!

Finally, I mentioned last month that I would be reading:

So after reading 1/2 of The Well Educated Mind, I slowed things down. The Author Susan Wise Bauer encourages you to read the classics and to really digest what you are reading…it also says reading a whole lot of books really fast is symptomatic of our society of fast food, TV and the world wide web. (gulp)That we are dumbing ourselves down by not diving into books that require serious contemplation (including FICTION and a different approach to reading scripture). It is one heck of a book with very good arguments…so I’ve decided to challenge myself to the reading list in the book (which they suggest would take YEARS to complete) Ha!

As a personal note: the below list kind of terrifies me, but many of the books I’ve always wanted to read, and now I find  so much of our home school curriculum refers to them too. So as terrifying as it is, I’m also oddly excited. PS. I’ll still be reading other smaller books as I’ve always done, but not as many, because I really do want to increase my intelligence and educate my kids in the same way. 

Included in the book are her suggestions of 30 great books to read from 5 genres: Fiction, Autobiography, History/Politics, Drama and Poetry. The books are listed chronologically and she suggests reading them in order. The genres are broken down into 5 chapters with an detail explanation how to read them and a synopsis is included on each title with the best edition to read.

The goal of the mini challenge is to read at least 3 books in each category.  Any book read can be applied to the 12 classics in 12 months challenge.  Listed are the first 15 suggestions in each category, however you may choose from any title listed in the Well Educated Mind.
(Those written in Blue, I already own, and some I’ve read…so should start there – those written in Purple, I’d like to try next) By the way, this is not a complete list. 🙂 Wish me luck.
Don Quixote – Miguel De Cervantes
The Pilgrim’s Progress -John Bunyan
Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
The Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy
The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
The Trial – Franz Kafka
1984 – George Orwell

Augustine – The Confessions
Margery Kempe – The Book of Margery Kempe
Michele De Montaigne – Essays
Teresa Of Avila – The Life of Saint Teresa of Avilaby Herself
Rene Descartes – Meditations
John Bunyan – Grace Abounding in the Chief of Sinners
Mary Rowlandson – The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration
Jean Jacques Rousseau – Confessions
Benjamin Franklin – The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Henry David Thoreau – Walden 
Harriet Jacobs – Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself 
Frederick Douglass – Life and Times of Frederick Douglass 
Booker T. Washington – Up from Slavery 
Friedrich Nietzsche – Ecce Homo
Adolf Hitler – Mein Kampf 
Herodotus – The Histories
Thucydides – The Peloponnesian War
Plato – The Republic
Plutarch – Lives
Augustine – The City of God
Bede – The Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Niccolo Machiavelli – The Prince
Sir Thomas More – Utopia
John Locke – The True End of Civil Government 
David Hume – The History of England, Volume V
Jean-Jacques Rousseau – The Social Contract
Thomas Paine – Common Sense
Edward Gibbon – The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Mary Wollstonecraft – A Vindication of the Rights of Woman 
Alexis De Tocqueville – Democracy in America
Aeschylus – Agamemnon
Sophocles – Oedipus the King
Euripides – Medea
Aristophanes – The Birds
Aristotle – Poetics 
Everyman (14th Century)
Christopher Marlowe – Doctor Faustus
William Shakespeare – Richard III
William Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
William Shakespeare – Hamlet
Moliere – Tartuffe 
William Congreve – The Way of the World
Oliver Goldsmith – She Stoops to Conquer 
Richard Brinsley Sheridan – The School for Scandal 
Henrik Ibsen – A Doll’s House 
The Epic of Gilgamesh 
Homer – The Iliad and the Odyssey
Greek Lyricists 
Horace – The Odes 
Dante Alighieri – Inferno
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 
Geoffrey Chaucer – The Canterbury Tales
William Shakespeare – Sonnets 
John Donne 
King James Bible – Psalms 
John Milton – ParadiseLost 
William Blake – Songs of Innocence and of Experience 
Williams Wordsworth 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

2 thoughts on “What I Read in May

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