Friends and family, I want to invite you to read more in 2013!
Former Wheaton College English professor (now at Baylor), Alan Jacobs, in his book, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, encourages us to read on a “whim” – read what brings us delight. This is a gentle poke at the potentate like instruction (more like a command) that Mortimer Adler gives in How to Read a Book which forces the audience to welcome and enjoy mental strain – that is, if anyone desires to call their activity, READING. Jacobs tries to balance Adler’s approach with the notion that reading can and should bring pleasure; however, Jacobs does address the conviction that we do at some point need structure and deeper interaction with books. So, with that in mind, this exercise is a middle ground between structure and pleasure (fingers crossed that both will be accomplished).
So, here is a list of eight books that we can read together throughout the year (this will give me a chance to travel off the beaten path). They are fun books that also should bring about serious reflection. Plus, if we read as a community, there will be some amount of accountability (most of us work better under a little pressure). Let me know if you’re interested. For those of you who are local, we’ll set up eight meeting times to discuss the books. Others of you, we’ll try the online discussion route.
- January – The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
- February and March – Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
- April – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- May – Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
- June, July, and August – Hamlet by William Shakespeare
- September – Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton
- October – The Cocktail Party by T. S. Eliot
- November and December – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens