18 November 2013

Our Reading List

We are really in love with this room.  Our library...  It has a certain je ne sais quoi.  I don't expect anyone to like it except us.  It is darker than other rooms in the house.  It is full, as a library should be, and always evolving.

My daughter and I read many classics together, and we discuss them.  She also reads many books in her literature class and those are listed as well.  We have read to the end of a trail, so we have to create our December list, and then a new list for Spring.

It doesn't take a lot of time. The books we read together take about an hour and a half of reading, five or six nights per week. Depending on the length, we are usually reading two or three books at a time, but often a fiction book with a non fiction book or essay.  We also have themes.  It's hard to explain, but we look for big themes for example, what is sense? logic... emotion... What is an education? What are the competing views of education.  What's the allegory?  What can this character teach us about humanity?  The book list evolves as we go, but evolves on relationships in the reading material. The lighter reading is solely my daughter's, and it is for fun.  She has a solid reading of Shakespeare, Greek and Roman Myththology, and Bible, so she really does well with classics.

Summer Reading 2013

The Time Machine  H.G. Wells
War of the Worlds   H.G. Wells
I'm a Cat Natsume Soseki

Short Story
Spiegel the Cat Gottfried Keller

Lighter Reading:  
The Warrior Cat Series
The Canasta Capers Series

Autumn Reading September - November 2013

The Wonder Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
The Scarlett Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen


The Country of the Blind H.G. Wells
The Canterville Ghost Oscar Wilde
The Diamond as Big as the Ritz   F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Death of Ivan llyich Leo Tolstoy
Mice and Men John Steinbeck
Animal Farm  George Orwell


Common Sense Thomas Paine
On Property James Madison
Tradition and the Individual Talent C.S. Eliot
Looking for Another Country: Nostalgia and Desire in C.S. Lewis Fr. Dwight Longeneker 

Short Stories
John Inglefield's Thanksgiving Nathaniel Hawthorne

C.S. Lewis
The Magician's Nephew C.S. Lewis (She read this series when she was younger, but we chose it again for a specific reason.)
C.S. Lewis Oration on Education
Screwtape Letters C.S. Lewis

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats T.S. Elliot
Four Quartets T.S. Elliot

Lighter Reading: The Tony Hillerman Series 



  1. Wow! I wish we could exchange our books it would be very nice

  2. This brings back memories - your reading list looks alot like the English lit classes I took many moons ago :) I gotta say though, I will never pick up Austen or anything older again. It is just too much of a struggle.

    1. My daughter loves Jane Austen especially, Elinor's and Elizabeth's observations. The superficiality, the pecking order, the sarcasm underneath it all... It's still relevant in it's own way. I think Jane Austen can be slow moving, but the chapters are all short. I read them again, but I see the books differently than when I was younger.

      She really loved the gothic novels such as Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and Frankenstein.

  3. that's a whole lotta reading! I never seem to make time for reading anymore - too much online time and movie watching. Good for you taking this on!

    1. I think that's easily true these days.

      I'm glad it is finally cool enough again to get outside. Our summer's are so long and hot that we shut ourselves up indoors now that we don't have a pool.

  4. I absolutely love that you do this with your daughter! What a beautiful way to share time together! I LOVE that she reads Shakespeare! We definitely need a library in our home. You've inspired me! xoxo Jen

    1. Thank you, Jen. I've bought more than half of my books second hand from used book stores, sometimes "Half-Price Bookstores", and some library sales. I even have accepted donations from friends who organized or cleaned. In that situation, I may sort what to keep or donate.

  5. Strickland Gillilan
    I had a mother who read to me
    Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea.
    Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth;
    "Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath.
    I had a Mother who read me lays
    Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
    Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
    Which every boy has a right to know.
    I had a Mother who read me tales
    Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
    True to his trust till his tragic death,
    Faithfulness lent with his final breath.
    I had a Mother who read me the things
    That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
    Stories that stir with an upward touch.
    Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
    You may have tangible wealth untold;
    Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
    Richer than I you can never be --
    I had a Mother who read to me.


    1. I love this poem, I heard a very long time ago. We will have to read it. Thank you!

      Wouldn't it be wonderful if all parents read these stories to their boys? My daughter loved Beowulf. She thought he was glorious, and she was so sad when he died. She sensed it was coming, and didn't want to read his last battle, but she did, and loved him more.

      P.S. We read Ivanhoe! She thought Aethelstane was hilarious. She also liked Treasure Island and the Tales of King Arthur.

    2. That is so awesome! I'm going to copy this into my journal tonight! Hugs to you both!

  6. I love those big stacks of books on your table. We've made a library out of our dining room and it's been wonderful. Love seeing your reading list and trying to see all of the books on the shelves....I LOVE books! Enjoy your week my friend!

    1. Thank you, Lavender Dreamer. My daughter does that! They are shorter these days. One time when she was about seven she told me she was going to organize her books, and I said okay. A half hour later I came back to check, and she had grouped them into science, true stories, and fiction, but stacked to a height taller than herself.

  7. Such an interesting mix of books. :-)

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I think what we will read on the next list will be quite different, depending on what she selects to start with.

  8. I think this is wonderful. I have such fond memories of night time reading with my children. My son and I would spend a great deal of time reading different series together. He loved the Harry Potter books, the Narnia series and various classics. I had all my old books, Hardy boys, Nancy Drew etc. that he wanted to read with me. It is such a great moment to connect with your child, discuss the world and all the various questions that come about. I think people who don't read with their children are missing out a great deal on the special relationship that can be formed. I think we answered a lot of "questions" that might not have been asked otherwise.

  9. This is wonderful / I have always loved and cherished books since a young child ...and LOL right now I have so many books laying around here and there...some might call it Clutter but I call it Normal :)

  10. I haven't read all the books in your list, but there are some of my favourite books in it, like the Scarlett Letter.

    1. Thank you, Magali. That's an interesting one in that the setting is sort of a character and the people seem more like symbols. It is a classic that use to be a requirement in high school.

      I think my favorite book is Les Miserables and the Narnia series.


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