Well, you convinced me to do it.
Albeit, it’s not like you had to twist my arm or anything but I’m so excited to announce the birth of a new online book club for those desiring to read or reread the classics. September is a perfect time to start, since school will be starting for most of your kiddos. I’ve debated and hemmed and hawed and done extensive research (i.e., frantic google searches) on how best to conduct an online classical book club. I think for our purposes, we will do a chronological approach instead of a genre approach. In my (amazingly, wonderful) real life book club which I started four years ago, we chose the genre approach and went by semesters. So the first semester, we read classic novels and then proceeded through every other genre, following the suggested reading list of Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well-Educated Mind. Novels are easier to read and so it was a great way to ‘ease in’ to reading classics and we’ve since been through the book once, picking and choosing titles that were interesting to us.
But I like the chronological approach better, as a way of following the development of western civilization and how one writer’s work builds on the writers before them—although we’ll even alter that as need be. I’m still working on the reading list but I think we’ll start with The Odyssey first. Reading classics is its own odyssey, if you will. And there will be times when you feel as if you’ve been kidnapped on a strange island by a sorceress who is bewitching your mind. But reading classics will definitely help you on your journey home!
Let’s start with The Odyssey for September and then I’ll let you know when I’ve had time to work on the rest of the list. I have this translation and it gets great reviews and if we all have the same copy, it’ll make discussion easier.
However, if you already own it, just read the one you have. My girls and I have been reading it aloud this summer and I purchased this copy for them (Odyssey) by Stanley Lombardo, which was recommended by the Duke Talented and Gifted program, and is a little easier for them to understand. It’s still in poetry form and as far as I can tell is a great junior version of the book. I’ve been taking an online course on The Odyssey so I’ll share what I’ve learned as we go along. I may move our discussions to my other blog so that people who aren’t doing the book club aren’t continuously annoyed. We’ll see. I also need to add your email address to the pool is you’re joining the book club because I’ll be sending emails occasionally, instead of posting onto the blog.
Also, I’m thinking we might have to do a live book club at my house at the end of the year to celebrate!
If you are still interested, email me at ‘ediewadsworthatmacdotcom’ and make sure you put ‘book club’ in the subject of the email or it will get lost in my email abyss.
I would encourage you to go ahead and buy the book and start. It’s challenging. But remember, reading classics is a skill that you must practice. It doesn’t come natural to most of us. Just keep reading and don’t get bogged down by too many details. Just keep turning the page!
We will likely discuss the book in the middle of the month and then again at the end.
I’d also highly recommend Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman. It will be good motivation to keep on trucking!
I made this cute little button for you to place on your blog as a way to spread the word and it will link back to the book club category of my blog!
and here’s the code to place the button on your site::
<a href=”http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/category/bookclub/”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8302/7746607330_325c0da786_n.jpg” width=”320″ height=”189″ alt=”readwelllivewell1″></a>
Yay! I hope you’ll join us! More info to come on tips for reading classics and themes to watch for in The Odyssey.
And here’s a quote to leave you with—from Odysseus, himself.
“May the gods grant you all things which your heart desires, and may they give you a husband and a home and gracious concord, for there is nothing greater and better than this -when a husband and wife keep a household in oneness of mind, a great woe to their enemies and joy to their friends, and win high renown.”