March 23, 2005

On the Book Shelf...

Did I mention that I am reading as part of the ESO Reading for Life program? No, well skip down a few entries to the article on ESO (just make sure to come back here when you are done, ok?)

Here's a brief review of some of the books I have finished:

How to Read A Book by Mortimer Adler

This book is a required read for my ds who will be entering Year 7 in September. In fact, he will be reading this scholarly book for several years so I thought I had better do some pre-reading to check it out. It is a GREAT book! If you have never thought about the process of reading and would like to get more out of your reading, then visit your local library and check this book out.

Adler details the four levels of reading: Elementary (basically learning to read; k-6th grade), Instructional (Jr. and Sr. High reading), Analytical (this is where you actually start to read deeper and begin studying), and Synoptical (literary criticism - drawing from more than one source and then comparing and contrasting differing author's viewpoints). In this book, he gives you the study tools needed to move from an elementary reader (many adults are elementary readers) to an analytical reader (college level reading). I would rate this book as an imperative study for any Jr. High-High School student who plans on attending college.

The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

Ms. Bauer is the author of the very popular "The Well-Trained Mind," a resource how-to book on classical education. TWTM takes you explains the trivium and illiustrates a well-planned course of study for children K-12. The Well-Educated Mind is written for parents or any adult who would have liked to have been schooled 'classically.' In this book, Ms. Bauer outlines a reading program to help even the newest readers tackle the cannon of classical literature.

I checked this book out of the library because I was interested in seeing her reading list. Reading lists are the 'big' thing these days and seeing what other people, people in the know, think are worthy reads, well, is just interesting. Anyway, I found this book to be very dull, dry and boring (much like the TWTM). Again, Ms. Bauer has written an how-to guide and as such it is rich in detail and would make a good reference volume to keep on one's shelf.

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