Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Summer reading challenge update

So. I've spent a few days figuring and sorting and counting, and I've come up with an almost-comprehensive list of books for my summer reading challenge. (I say almost-comprehensive because the list includes neither read-alouds, nor those stray volumes I may happen to pick up as fillers throughout the summer. I'm sure those books will come along, though, so I'll re-post this list periodically with the requisite updates.) Asterisks indicate the books I'll be buying for my personal library, double-asterisks denote re-reads, bold font indicates the books I've completed. Below each book title is the reason I chose the book. And, because I'm somewhat of a list-happy, organizer character, I've divided my selections into categories.

Classics, the real challenge:

The Complete Greek Tragedies: Sophocles I*
Why? Because it's next on this list.

Plutarch: Lives of Noble Grecians and Romans*
Why? See above.

Metamorphoses* (Ovid)
It has been on my to-read list for a long, long time, and this summer will be a great chance to get to it before I lose myself in next year's academic activities. Also because the last anthology of Greek myth I picked up was hopelessly dull. I decided to go straight to source this time.

Classics and various, fiction, poetry, and plays:

The Ordering of Love* (Madeleine L'Engle)
Why? Because poetry has suddenly taken on a new interest in my eyes; because I happen to enjoy L'Engle's books very much; and because I've been looking at this collection of her poetry for a long time now.

Ex-Libris (Ross King)
I stumbled upon the book in a Bas Bleu catalogue. It looked interesting.

Wind in the Willows
** (Kenneth Grahame)
I tried to re-read it this spring, but our copy was sent to storage, and the library's copy was too dirty to make the experience enjoyable. Summer seemed like a good time to renew my endeavor.

Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen)
I think it's the only one of Austen's novels I haven't read.

The Scottish Play and As You Like It (Shakespeare)
I like Shakespeare, but I have read only a few of his plays. I've been wanting to read these ones for a while. And if these go as fast as I suspect they will, I'll throw in a few extras for good measure.

Our Mutual Friend
** (Charles Dickens)
I read it a few years ago, and promptly declared it my favourite Dickens. I decided I'd better test the fastness of my belief and re-read it. But for this reading I'm buying my own copy.

The Phantom Tollbooth** (Norton Juster)
I didn't like it when I read it ages ago, but I have since played the reluctant audience to several "why everyone should love The Phantom Tollbooth" lectures. Perhaps I'll appreciate it more this time around.


Divided by a Common Language: A Guide to British and American English (Christopher Davies)
Why? Because the gap between American and British English fascinates me.

How to Read a Book
* (Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren)
I saw it somewhere - the place escapes me now - and I thought it would complement my summer challenge nicely.

On the Art of Writing (Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch)
Why? Because Auntie Di is reading it. And, of course, because this is the sort of thing that appeals to me.

The Outermost House (Henry Beston)
Another Bas Bleu find.

Whose Bible Is It?* (Jaroslav Pelikan)
I found this one in Touchstone a few months back, and Techie Brother agreed to read it with me.

Wheelock's Latin Reader (Richard A LaFleur)
Why? Latin study is on the menu this summer. And I need something real to read besides the stilted sentences in my current Latin book. I will probably not make it through the whole thing this summer, but felt like including it in this list anyway.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


We made some memories this week-end.

We hiked six miles, three of them UP. We had a cold lunch on the top of a mountain. We thought we'd lost three of our hikers, but made it back to camp en masse with sore feet and hungry boys.

We explored crevisses, snapped photos, and laughed.

Penguin Boy and SisterBlogger trade hats

We did a lot of laughing. We pulled some old jokes out and gave them a good airing. We made up some new ones. We laughed at the kinds of things that are only funny at eleven o' clock at night, during the middle of a rain storm when the water is seeping through the sides of an over-crowded tent.

We poured tea into fine china tea cups (and we didn't drop a single one of them).

We read Poe late at night. We danced (in the middle of an empty road, in a small town park). We sang. We tried to tell a round-story. We even slept for a few hours.

And we realized again that we're still kindred spirits - even if we are 589 miles apart.

(Photos two and four courtesy of our good friend over at Chivalry and Armour, he also has a spectacular panorama posted here; for more pictures see Lavender and Old Lace, A Learning Life, and A Circle of Quiet.)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Summer Reading Challenge

A Circle of Quiet's post on the Summer Reading Challenge (started by Amanda) has me jazzed. I love to read all year round, but sometimes I let the summer slip away before I get to anything really worth while. The challenge? Bloggers set their own goals for the number of books, and which books, they will read over the summer (hopefully blogging about their progress throughout June, July, and August).

The challenge gives me a good reason to get my literary ducks in a row, and to that end I spent a few moments yesterday with a cuppa in hand, and the latest catalogues from Bas Bleu and Veritas Press. I also popped over to Schola Classical Tutorials for a look at what's next in my self-imposed study of the Great Books. I still don't have my complete summer book list drawn up, but I should be posting it sometime next week.

The challenge officially starts on June 1st and ends August 31st; but since university doesn't start until September 18th, I will be continuing my own, personal challenge through mid-September.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Week in Review


The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

The Chosen

Mrs. Miniver
(read my review here)

Jill the Reckless
(for the second time, outloud)


Ladies in Lavender
(A slow film, and not for everyone. But the older girls in our family liked it. For in-depth reviews, see here and here. For the first link, you'll have to go into the site archives, the link will not take you directly to the review.)

The Miracle Worker


Fiddler on the Roof

Underneath the Stars

24 pages for the last major research project of the year. Done. Finished. Complete.