ambleside curriculum, Ambleside Forum, Book reviews

Reading Updates. May

I finished reading Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson. A satisfying read, thought provoking, and tender. We also read the Iliad at the Ambleside Online Forum. That was quite a feat! lol. It was great to read in company. I don’t know if I would have read it alone, and I know I would never have gotten so much out of it on my own, that’s for sure. This Friday, we will start the discussion of Three Men in a Boat, which I will lead. After that, we are going to read together Frankenstein, and maybe Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide, because in the AO list for books for the upper years, there is a title suggested for worldview, The Deadliest Monster, that many of us want to read as well, and in which these two other books are discussed.

In the picture above, you see three books I am reading now. Actually, you see a bit of my Kindle paperwhite, where I am reading Right Ho, Jeeves, by P.G. Woodhouse, free for Kindle, and The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde, both of which are funny beyond words. And I started to read The Royal Road to Romance by Richard Halliburton. He is currently in Spain, and I am glad to say that in him, I have found another mine for travel books, because I have felt sad since I finished After You, Marco Polo, such a clever and fascinating book.

I also read here and there some poems, and essays from a book of essays, and Choldmondeley’s Charlotte Mason Story.

I notice I like to read from these categories or genres,

  • a biography
  • a book of travels
  • essays
  • poetry
  • a challenge book, -usually this is a literature classic-
  • non fiction, -which could be essays, biography, history, books on education, philosophy, religion, other disciplines-
  • some for fun
  • some more serious, but not as challenging, -some literature classics are not challenges anymore, but pleasant reads-
  • and children classics with the girls, 🙂

New this year is the fact I am writing some quotes and lines from these reads in my common place book, which is a pretty blank pages journal where I write that which I want to meditate on and that made me stop and read it twice or more.

With the girls, we are today and tomorrow, about to finish our years 1 and 3 of their AO studies. And I cannot believe it, but we will be changing their shelf with the books for years 2 and 4, and we will be putting away the books for year 1 which will not be used as school reads by them anymore. Goodbye Paddle, Just So Stories, James Harriott… and hello Shakespeare, Plutarch, Daugherty…

We are finishing our Swallows and Amazons, and we started Tanglewood’s Secret, by Patricia Saint John, because of my Aussie friends recommended her, though I am sure many are fans. I am being careful to buy her old editions, because the newly published books by Moody are “updated and revised”, which has robbed them from the beauty of the language used by Saint John originally, and according to a good friend, converted them from living books into twaddle.

We are also reading Hamlet… correction, “I” am reading Hamlet, and the girls half listen, half play. I don’t expect them to understand everything, but we are in the first stage of soaking into the language, I am getting practice, fluency, and I am definitely enjoying it more as a read aloud that if I read to myself. If I read it to myself, I read faster, and I don’t seem to process what is going on. This way, I am finally enjoying it and understanding more. It is tiring to some extent for them, but a few pages every night, and I can see we will soon have giving it a first round, and be ready to find parts of a play we can watch together. It is most rewarding to get to famous parts, and read and re-read them.

                          from Hamlet Act 2 scene 2,


Doubt thou the stars are fire,
Doubt that the sun doth move,
Doubt truth to be a liar,
But never doubt I love.


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