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    What to Read, What to Read

    September 13, 2012 by Brandy Vencel

    For quite some time now, I’ve had my reading “assigned” to me. Our Russell Kirk book club was almost directly followed by our Richard Weaver book club {or, at least, it felt that way to me} and because of the nature of my schedule I had little time to read anything else other than The Good Book.

    Now that things have calmed down a bit, I’m first trying to make myself finish some books I started, such as

    Uncovering the Logic of English
    by Densie Eide

    Which, by the way, I highly recommend.

    And also

    Natural Goat Care
    by Pat Coleby

    Which has apparently gone up in price since I purchased it. Hmm.

    But I’m trying what to decide to do with my limited personal reading time. I spend a bit of time on the weekends pre-reading for fifth grade, which is harder than it sounds because this fifth grade is certainly not like the fifth grade I was subjected to.

    The trouble is not that I have nothing to read but that while I was not reading anything other than God-Kirk-and-Weaver, I was blessed with a bunch of wishlist matches on PBS, and now I have a pile of must-reads between which I must decide.

    I started

    Climbing Parnassus:
    A New Apologia for Greek and Latin
    by Tracy Lee Simmons

    It was the most recent arrival, therefore still sitting on my desk. I think it is a great weakness of mine that I do not make it wait in line with all the others.

    So what else? I try to read a number of books at a time; it’s more fun that way, though it doesn’t mean I finish any more books than I would otherwise.
    I can choose from

    When Sinners Say “I Do”:
    Discovering the Power of the Gospel
    for Marriage
    by Dave Harvey


    Last Child in the Woods
    by Richard Louv


    From Dawn to Decadence:
    1500 to the Present
    by Jacques Barzun

    Or even

    Why Gender Matters
    by Leonard Sax

    To name a few.

    This isn’t a democracy, but I’ll let you all vote on what you want to be pestered with quotes with for a while. I’m curious.

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  • Reply Crunchy_Conservative September 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    “Last Child in the Woods” is fantastic. It was one of those worldview changers for me. (Although, I don’t know if you can include the way you see your child’s relationship to the natural world as part of your worldview. For now, I am going to stick with that assertion. Maybe more mulling will change my mind.)

    I am also curious about Why Gender Matters, although I have to say that writers and speakers who give bad breastfeeding advice land quickly on my bad side. I need to get a copy of “Uncovering the Logic . . . ” I have a feeling it is going to be one of those books I get to when my kids are older, then wish I had read it much sooner.

    So many books, so little time!

  • Reply Rahime September 18, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Meh, I know I’m late to the game, but I’m another vote for Why Gender Matters, but that’s purely for selfish reasons because I’m curious about what you think about it. The others all look good though.

  • Reply Rahime September 18, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Meh, I know I’m late to the game, but I’m another vote for Why Gender Matters, but that’s purely for selfish reasons because I’m curious about what you think about it. The others all look good though.

  • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts September 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    So far Last Child in the Woods is in the lead! Any more votes? πŸ˜€

    This is sort of fun. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Karen G. September 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I read Climbing Parnassus…I argued with the author all over the margins. He makes a really good case for classical education, but a much weaker one for the Greek and Latin, imo.

    If you read Dawn to Decadence and post quotes, maybe you’ll convince me to pick it up again–I so want to finish! Do you know Jacques Barzun will be 105 if he lives until November 30th?

    • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts September 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      So far, CP is not convincing me. I mean, I’m convinced of the goodness of studying Greek and Latin, but not of the *necessity* which I think is what he wanted to argue. Of course, I’m still in chapter 1! {These are the longest chapters–the whole book only has 3…}

      Yes, I just listened to a Ken Meyers lecture in which he stated that Barzun can write well about the last 500 years of history because he remembers 20% of it! This will be my first real Barzun; I think I’ve only read essays before. Even if I don’t read it right away, I *will* read it.

      I’m also reading Lost to the West right now and I wonder if I ought to wait until I’m done with it to commence with D2D…

    • Reply Phyllis September 17, 2012 at 4:40 am

      I just looked up Lost to the West on Amazon, and it looked fascinating! You could write more about that one. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Ordo-Amoris September 15, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    I have heard mixed reviews of Last Child in the Woods so I would love for you to read it and tell me if it is worth it. From Dawn to Decadence is EXCELLENT BUT it took me about a year to read it at baseball games. It is a great book to read in small doses but not a good book to whiz through.

  • Reply Naomi September 15, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Glad you posted The Logic of English book. It’s been on my personal list and I needed reminding.

    I vote for the last one, Why Gender Matters. I may pick it up myself. My generation is very much into the non-genderization of our children. It seems to be one of the next big waves the feminist movement is taking up. πŸ™

    • Reply Naomi September 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

      bah, I later looked up the gender book on Amazon and it had lots of horrible reviews. Of course, some of them seemed warranted and some not. However, for those that made sense it made me not want to read this book at all. He suggests you are spoiling a nursing baby if you feed on more than one side per feeding, and you should only spank boys and not girls. I think I’ll skip that one.

    • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts September 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      Really? Well, that’ll make it an interesting read! Hmmm… I didn’t look at any reviews, but rather I had heard a lecture that quoted extensively from this and one other of his books and it was intriguing…

  • Reply sara September 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    I’ve started Climbing Parnassus…but I stumbled.

    However, I would love to he pestered with quotes from Last Child in the Woods! Maybe I’ll try to read it too.

  • Reply Phyllis September 14, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I’ll vote for the marriage book.

    And about The Logic of English: I listened to a talk by the author that you recommend. For the first part, I kept telling myself that it sounded like she was speaking to Russians. I was wondering why on earth someone at an American homeschool/education conference would be answering all these Russian claims and questions… and then she said that her background is in teaching ESL to Russians! Hah!

  • Reply Mahers Hill Academy September 14, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Well, I’ve got Dawn to Decadence and Last Child in the Woods waiting to be read, so I’ll vote for one of them. πŸ™‚

  • Reply dawn September 14, 2012 at 3:03 am

    I think you should just stop teaching your children and read books and write out quotes for us! That’s quite a selection to choose from πŸ™‚

    Last Child in the Woods or From Dawn to Decadence would be my choices …

    I’ve started Climbing Parnassus a couple of times and he sure does like the expensive words.

  • Reply Sharlene September 14, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Since you are taking the opinions of the public. I would vote on Why Gender Matters.

  • Reply Jennifer Gregory Miller September 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Last child in the woods! I’d love to be hammered with quotes!

  • Reply Mystie September 13, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I think Dawn to Decadence has been on my shelf waiting for at least 18 months. I read a different book by Leonard Sax and it was quite good. I still need to acquire Climbing Parnassus. My goal is to read Uncovering the Logic of English before January, when I start with phonics in earnest with my then-5-yo.

    I’m 1/3 of the way through From the Garden to the City and am enjoying it quite a bit. And I have at least 2 books I started in 2011 that I haven’t picked up in months and months that I should probably sit down and finish. πŸ™‚

    • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts September 13, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      So far Climbing Parnassus is a little bit *too* elitist for my taste, but I think I’m still settling into the books so we’ll see. I am looking forward to your review of From the Garden to the City!

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