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=”https://www.lifeingraceblog.com/category/bookclub/”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8302/7746607330_325c0da786_n.jpg&#8221; 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.”


p.s.  If you have a blog and would like to be included on the blog list of book club members, let me know by including your blog address with your email address!


59 comments on “Read Well, Live Well::A classical online book club”

  1. I am in!!!! Be still my beating heart. As a former English teacher now homeschool mom I have been craving the classics. This is just what I need to get motivated to get started. Thanks EDIE!!!!

  2. YES!!!! I am ALL IN!!!
    And I think a LIVE BOOK CLUB at the end of the year is another BIG YES!!!
    Thanks for adding to my day and my life 🙂 I appreciate all of you 🙂

  3. So excited about this! I have used SWB’s book list and read many classics from it, but haven’t done The Odyssey. Might read the junior version aloud to my little one since we’re starting SOTW Book 1 again this year. Nervous that I can’t keep up since we’re also starting our homeschool year and soccer season and dance year at the same time. I’ll give it a try, though. Thanks, Edie!

  4. P.S. In your spare time, could you start a book club for little girls reading the classics? My girl would love it, as there aren’t many little girls reading the classics around here that she can discuss with. K? Thanks. Bye. 🙂

  5. Thank you so much for all the time you have put into this! I am eager to join you, and growing in my understanding of the classics!

  6. i’m so excited because i’ve been wanting to read the classics in an organized way and this is just the push i’ve been looking for. i’m in!

  7. I’d like to give it a try. I’m going to be moving this fall, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep it up, but I want to. There are lots of classics that I’ve wanted to read for a long time. Maybe this will keep me going.

  8. oh yes, I’m in. LOVE the Odyssey! [I second the motion for classics for kids – and I’m always trying to find good reading for my 14 year old son!]

  9. a) beautiful quote there at the end… just what I needed.. Have been feeling a bit without-purpose, and this reminds me of my aim and settles my heart.
    b) YES!! I am so on board, Edie! Will be emailing you shortly and then ordering this first book. Can’t wait to see the rest of the list!
    c) best wishes as YOUR new school year ramps up!
    xo from Oklahoma

  10. Yay! I’m in! I have containers full of books, mostly classics, that I’ve read and didn’t want to part with. It’s funny, but my son-in-law just borrowed The Odyssey from me two weeks ago. I’ll have it back by September so I can delve into it again with you. Thanks for doing this. Hugs.

  11. I can’t wait to get started. Don’t know if anyone else has this problem but I can’t see the translation you are using. My button to the girls’ book works fine. Help.

  12. I’d like to join too. We are starting our second cycle through history this year (DS is 6th, DD is 4th grades, and my middle DS is a new Kindy), so we’ll be starting Ancient history and literature again. I’m excited to educate myself a little more this time around too. It seemed the first time through history, I was barely remembering what I learned in school (if I even learned some it!), so this time am ready to read some of the meatier stuff that I read in college.

  13. I’m in – also emailed! This is perfect for me…chickened out the last go-round with a Well-Trained Mind book club. I need to redeem it! Thank you for doing this, Edie…

  14. Woot! Woot! – ready and rarin’ to go! A book club for young girls? Lovely idea!
    Here’s to a year of great books, great minds, discovery of self and others, and this amazing God given life we share.

  15. This is quite simply the best news I have had all day!! I have never read it and am so excited! And, I agree with the end of the year gathering @ your house! I swear that I would come all the way from Texas! (not to stay AT your house, that might officially lead to me being tagged a stalker)! Going to amazon right now!

  16. Yay! I’m in, and definitely looking forward to reading the Odyssey again (and reading it with intention and not as a required college class haha). Thank you for taking the lead on this, Edie. You’re the best!!


  17. Thank you! Thank you! Am off to Half Price Books to look for a copy first. You are so thoughtful and kind to initiate this for us! Your grace shows in all you do. Would love to see you at the end of the year!

    Emailing now!

  18. Very excited!! Amazon only has the kindle version of this translation but Barnes and Noble had it in stock : ). Thanks for putting this together Edie!

  19. I wasn’t sure if this was for me so I got the book and started reading it yesterday. I’m on chapter 5 and I’m loving it. I figure I will read it again in September. I’ve never been part of a book club so I’m excited.
    I wish I knew how to pronounce their names, at least the main characters. Guess I could google it. I’m looking forward to hearing what you’ve learned.
    Thanks Edie.

  20. Yes! Read the Odessey a long time ago, took copious notes and missed out on the joy of reading it. This time will read it for the sheer pleasure. Can’t wait to be part of this book club!

  21. I want to participate Burma already committed to start the bible in90 days again on August 20. So maybe I can join you on yournext title!! 🙂 love the idea!!

  22. So excited for this! I have wanted to begin reading the classics. I’m a child of God, Wife, Mom, minister, and a lover of knowledge! Can’t wait to start the journey. Love you, by the way. So much of what you write resonates with me. Looking forward to a wonderful year!

  23. Edie!
    Each Monday, I am posting a little series called “a healthy reminder”. With your permission, I would like to feature “Live Well, Read Well”. I will “link”, and place your club on my sidebar.
    Thanks for doing this. I have always wanted to be in a book club!

  24. Feeling like a chicken but….I’m in! I reluctantly read a few of the classics in high school and college, but I didn’t really pay attention to what I was reading. Now I have two of my children in a classical school, and all or these works are coming for them in the next 10 years or so. I bought The Well Educated Mind last month thinking of how I will need to keep up with my kids, so I’m excited that your book club could help me with that!

  25. this is exactly what i need!! i’m a middle school librarian who has become disenchanted with the quality of books lately…sigh… I read your post on fifty shades of grey and couldn’t agree more with your thoughts…*thank you* for hosting such an inspiring, much needed book club!

    faded prairie

  26. I found your site through Kristin (Faded Prairie) and loved your post on fifty shades of grey as well ( a book I had and have no desire to read) and would love to join a wonderful book club like this! I read many of the classics in college and would love a chance to revisit some great writing! Thank you!

  27. Thanks so much for starting this book club! I’ve been visiting your site for a while now and I enjoy it so much. Can’t wait to get started…I read the Odyssey in college but have no memory of it, so it will be like reading it for the first time.

  28. Ok…I’ve decided to join in. I’ve downloaded the book and I’ll start reading it tonight. I did not grow up in the US and never read any of the classics that american students get exposed to. I’ve never joined a book club either, so I’m really excited about learning something new. Love the fact that we will advance in chronological order. Thank you Edie for doing this!


  29. Count me in too!! I hope I am not getting in over my head with this. This will be my first time reading Odyssey. I am excited to get started, thanks Edie!

  30. Against my better judgment….I’m in….I love to read but can’t say no to anything so I am “booked” beyond belief. I decided that I have to do this because it is for me and my children…..I can’t expect them to take time to read if I don’t. thanks for giving me this opportuntity….now I better get this book and start reading!!!

  31. Hey Edie I tried to put your button on my neglected little blog. I couldn’t get it to show up. Was wondering if you’ve heard this from anyone else?? It could be me. Actually it probably is me. :/

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