Intro



This is my online commonplace book where I write about what I read.  I started my project in January 2012, and it has grown and evolved a dozen times, and probably will continue to change again and again.  It cannot be helped.  Books change me.

Here I share my personal opinions and feelings about what I read, including essential quotes or  ideas from the author.  I also write about connections between these books and current events that are relevant to my life experience and worldview. These are just my impressions, and it is ok to disagree with me.  (It is ok to disagree with people!  Just don't be rude.)

Most of the books I read and review here are classics. Initially, I was reading through The Well-Educated Mind, by Susan Wise Bauer, but I am also reading additional classics and other books, as my interests have expanded and I am inspired.  My hope is to someday reread many of them again and again because I believe that will only enhance my experience and comprehension of each work.

Thanks for reading.

~ Ruth


Updated: July 2015

33 comments:

  1. It's exciting to find others on the WEM journey. It was fun for me to read through some of your Don Quixote posts and remember my experiences with that novel. Happy Reading!

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  2. First of all, my hat's off to you as a homeschooling mother of 5!! I was homeschooled and plan to homeschool if I'm ever a mother, so I greatly sympathize =). I found you the CC members list and am so glad I did! "The Well-Educated Mind" is on my list of books to read. I'll be following your journey with great interest! And I love the Rules to Remember you quoted, I'm going to have to use that somewhere on my blog =). God Bless and happy reading!! =))

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment.

      BTW, I was really impressed with your CC booklist. Wow! I wish I was reading those titles when I was your age. Before The Well-Educated Mind, I wold have never read Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy.

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  3. The biblical story includes the progress of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. Within this plot we learn truths that teach us about the activity of God, the condition of our world, the dignity of humanity, the sin in our hearts, the work of the Savior, the return of our Savior, and the restoration of nature. Understanding these points helps us to build a Christian worldview, which makes it possible for us to perceive and cherish the Truth we read in non-biblical books and for us to be a discerning reader of books. (Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books - Tony Reinke)

    That's a beautiful quote! Perhaps a reason why I don't read much modern and contemporary lit. I'm so glad I came across your blog. I found it through the CC monthly meme. Am looking forward to keeping up! :)

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    1. Thanks, Risa. You may also like to read a little book called EPIC by John Eldredge all about the story God is telling. You could read it in a day, and it is all about how literature stirs the heart b/c it is the same true story that is being told today on a grander scale.

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    2. That's interesting. I'll definitely check it out. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

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  4. Hi Ruth. I just wanted to say hello and tell you I love your thorough study of literature. It's inspiring. :-)

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  5. Hi Ruth. I saw you requested access to my site yesterday. It's active now. :) I linked your "How To Read" post, because it seems like such a great summary of Bauer's book. Cheers and happy reading! :)

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  6. Hi Ruth! Thank you for dropping by my blog, and I'm sorry it took me so long to reciprocate. I really like your blog, and the spirit behind it. (Also, the little picture on the top is hilarious and on point.) Best of luck with this project!

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  7. Really liking the blog from what I see thus far! I deal with a very similar thing at www.christianlitreview.com.

    It's really great to find other people passionate about making God known through literature!

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  8. Hullo! I really like your blog, so I'd like to nominate you for a Liebster Award! Here's the information: http://ravens-and-writingdesks.blogspot.com/2014/03/liebster-award.html

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  9. Hello Ruth....I've enjoyed surfing your blog, and looking for books in common we've reviewed. I've added a link to your blog on my own, and invite you to do the same if you wish.

    http://100greatestnovelsofalltimequest.blogspot.com/

    Thank you for your boldness...good to see.

    Joseph

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  10. Hi Ruth,

    I just wanted to let you know that I nominated your blog for the Liebster Award (http://majoringinliterature.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/liebster-award/). I see you've already been nominated before, but I just wanted to express my admiration for your excellent blog. :)

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  11. Ruth, I love your blog and I love your spirit. I will visit frequently. I noticed in an early comment you mentioned EPIC by John Eldredge. It sounds fascinating. I will post again when I have read it. Thanks. By the way, I taught high school English for 25 years and loved it but if I had to do it again I would definitely home school.

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    1. Well, thank you for your kind words.

      Epic is a powerful idea in a little book. I think it makes great sense.

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  12. I just finished Epic and already recommended it to friends. Such a profound book in four simple acts. Thank you for mentioning it. Merry Christmas.

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    1. This is late - sorry. I am so glad you enjoyed Epic. It's an inspiring little book.

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  13. Your website is inspiring! I love the classics and am always looking for online buddies who enjoy diving into intimidating books as much as I do : )

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    1. Hi, Dr. Sus -
      Thank you!
      I have a lot of catching up to do. It looks like you have two blogs?
      It is always great to meet new like-minded people.

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  14. Hi Ruth, I’ve nominated you and your blog for the Premio Dardos Award: http://100greatestnovelsofalltimequest.blogspot.com/2015/07/premio-dardos-award.html

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  15. Wow, your blog is practically #goals. I was searching for an analysis about a certain book for our English subject and i happen to find myself into your blog as i clicked random results on google. Actually, all the classic books i've read are just as much the non-classics. Probably because i love the idea of reading some literature written centuries back. But that's a shallow reason so i bet there's more to why i kinda prefer classic books from earlier ones.
    Hi Ruth *waves* so can you like suggest some books that a geeky sixteen-year-old like me can tolerate? :)))

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    1. Hi, Leah,

      When I was 16, I did not read much literature - although I would have loved it had I a good mentor, teacher, or someone who opened my eyes (again) to the love of the classics. Unfortunately, I did not get that kind of instruction in high school.

      However, in elementary school, we read The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway; The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne; The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane; and Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck. All of them had a lasting impression on me.

      In high school I read The Diary of Anne Frank a true account of a young Jewish teenage girl who hides with her family for two years during the Holocaust. That is a favorite of mine.

      Now as an adult, I have been reading through The Well-Educated Mind to help me get over my intimidation of the classics, and it has worked. You could check out the list of books (novels) from TWEM right here on my blog, and start there. Don Quixote was one of my favorites.

      Maybe I can help direct you better if you could tell me what you mean by tolerate. What are your interests, and what would you rather read about?

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  16. I am waiting for The Well Educated Mind to arrive in the mail. This blog may be a good help to me. Thank You.

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    1. Hi, Melissa,
      I wonder, are you using the new edition of TWEM, the one that has an added science list? I have the older edition, but maybe if I finish it, I will look at the science list of books to read. Anyway, you are welcome to come by anytime and see what is happening here. Good luck to you, and let me know if you have a blog that I can follow you in your progress. it's always fun to meet other readers using TWEM.

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  17. Hello. Yes I have bought the new edition but it has not arrived yet.I do have a blog where I plan to discuss the books I read among other things. www.booksandpaisley.com.au
    I'll keep popping onto your blog to see what you are sharing.
    Thank you.

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    1. Hi, Melissa. I visited your blog already, and we use some of the same books and have a similar education philosophy. : )

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    2. Thank you for visiting. I share our books and some thoughts on our home education every now and then. Beautiful books make me happy. I loke to talk about them.

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  18. Oh, I love that Thoreau quote at the top of this page. :) I just stopped by to ask if you've watched this? (I switched blogs again. Too much readalong pressure again! I've got to stop signing up -- ha ha. Feel free to delete this comment. I just thought you might like the show. I'm sharing here with you specifically, not trying to permanently advertise.) :)

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  19. I am finding your blog delightful! A long time ago, I intended to write a book blog but it morphed into a comglomerate of various types of posts. Blogs were new back then. I find yours well organized, lovely to look at and filled with content. All the best in reading!

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  20. Ruth

    I am an avid reader, I love knowledge and truth! I absolutely love collections of books. My favorites is half filled with websites about books and collections. You have a fine collection of reads in this blog! Sincerely from the depths and best in me, I thank you for this wonderful collection.
    One thing about myself I am an atheist. An atheist has only one definition and that is has no belief in any god. With that said, I've read and own the Christian bible, the Quran, the Torah, books about Hinduism, Buddhism and so many different religious readings. I'm not writing this to be disrespectful in any way, I am wondering was it your conscious decision to not have a category for non-believers. I have enough intellect to enjoy and learn and navigate for myself. Again, by no means am I wanting to come across as an a-hole, I am fascinated with the individualistic reasoning behind decisions and acts people take. I kick myself many times daily for having not switched my major from education to psychology.
    Ruth, thank you for your collection and either if you reply or not happiness, health and love is hoped for you and in your life!

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    1. Hey, Nathan,
      Thanks for commenting. I'd love to answer your question; but first, help me understand what you mean by, "...was it [my] conscious decision to not have a category for non-believers?" To what category are you referring? Thanks.
      I am guessing that you have navigated through my blog here, and you recognize that I am a Christian. Nonetheless, I read non-Christian works quite often. I have read the Quran, too. In fact, I am compiling a list of Islamic or Arabic literature to read in the future.
      Again, I'm not really certain I understand your question, and I hope you return to clarify for me.
      Thanks.

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