One of my favorite things to gather are book recommendations. Last week, at the Great Homeschool Convention, I sat and listened to many great thinkers who always inspire me to read more. Here's the list I came up with from the speakers I heard from. I can't wait to dig into some of these great books!
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Martin Cothran Recommendations:
Martin Cothran, the editor of Memoria Press's The Classical Teacher, spoke first on "What is a Christian Worldview." He outlined some of the fundamental questions that shape a worldview, and what makes a worldview specifically Christian. He is a prolific book recommender. I also heard him talk about reawakening the imagination. Here are some of the books he mentioned that I'm eager to read:
This was recommended as a great controversial read about how the modern educational system has stopped teaching virtue, and the effects of this void has left.
We are assaulted by information, but we don't know how to order it. Instead of using technology to support our lives, we are shaped by it.
I've read this one by Neil Postman, and I'm encouraged to read it again. It's so easy to get swept away with the culture of entertainment and ignore the impact of television on our lives.
If you're looking for a great work on "ordered thinking", Dante's Inferno is a great illustration of expressing metaphysical ideas in concrete ways. I need to read this!
So much of Cothran's thinking has been impacted by the writings of Chesterton. He recommended this index as a great way to locate the ideas among all of Chesterton's writings. I'm interested to get my hands on this one!
I've read this one, but it was a few years ago, so I'm eager to read it again and savor it again. Maybe I'll understand more of it this time!
This is a collection of essays written by the Inklings (C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Dorothy Sayers)...this looks like an amazing collection of writings. Tolkein gives his argument for the importance of fairy stories. It also ties in with this great article about how Christianity is a Myth that Really Happened by C.S. Lewis.
I also went to hear Martin Cothran talk about G.K. Chesterton (do you see a theme here) and the Metaphysics of Amazement. His idea is that the modern world requires everything to be proven by science, there can be nothing not explainable like God. Cultivating imagination is a great way to cultivate faith. He is a prolific book recommender, so here comes a great list of books I'm going to work to add to my collection.
The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
Chance or the Dance by Thomas Howard
The Reenchantment of the World by Morris Berman
Restitution of Man by Michael Aeschliman
Time of Need: Forms of Imagination in the Twentieth Century by William Barrett
Heidi by Johanna Spyri - This is a great example of what happens when a soul is surrounded by artificial things. Our souls become alienated, and we are orphans to nature.
The Natural History of Make Believe by John Goldthwaite - Mother Goose wakes up our soul and helps us see the world.
The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear
The Golden Key by George MacDonald
The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
Christian Classical Education Recommendations:
If you want to learn the values of the Greeks, read the Iliad and the Odyssey.
For learning Roman values, read Virgil's Aeneid.
For learning Christian values, read:
Christopher Perrin's Recommendations
Christopher Perrin of Classical Academic Press spoke on the Art of Teaching. I can't wait to read this one:
Dr. Carol Reynolds' Recommendations
If you've never sat under Dr. Carol Reynolds, you are missing out. She is an amazing wealth of information, and she can help you redeem your own education with her online courses. There is a great subscription plan that you can access all of her classes for a small monthly fee. I'll be signing up this summer to feed my soul. I can't wait.
Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window - I've just started reading this one and it is fascinating. It is a true story following the education of a little Japanese girl who is curious and attends a school that fosters a love of truth, goodness, and beauty.
Beauty: A Very Short Introduction by Roger Scraton
The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin - Pushkin is the essence of Russian cultural history. Carol Reynolds loves Russian history, so if you're looking for a new author to delve into, check out Pushkin.
The Captain's Daughter by Pushkin
Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
Janice Campbell's Recommendations
This was the first time I heard Janice Campbell speak at the Great Homeschool Convention. She was on the Classical Panel, and she seemed like a seasoned homeschool mom who has cultivated so many wonderful resources for Classical homeschoolers. While I didn't need another writing curiculum, when I stopped by her booth, I found a treasure for my husband and several other book recommendations that I can't wait to check out.
Working it Out: Growing Spiritually with the Poetry of George Herbert - I purchased this one, thinking that my husband would enjoy including it in our morning time. However, it came at just the right time to bless our souls in working out the grieving of the loss of my sister. My husband won't share his copy anymore, so I've ordered myself my own copy. This is a book every family needs. Beautiful work.
So there's 36 books that I'll be looking out for to add to my library. I love learning from those who have gone before me. Andrew Kern would say to read a few books well, and Martin Cothran would say to read widely. I'm more of a wide reader, but I would love to have a couple that I sit with for a long time, and get to know really well.
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.