Reading: Great Literature and the 1001 Good Books

It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones.”
C. S. Lewis

I’ve read that interests that hobbies and interests tend to ebb and flow over the course of life, and I’ve found that true of almost all the things I enjoy except reading. Books, both good and great, have been lifelong companions for me. As an only child in the television-free home of my grandparents, I had long peaceful afternoons of reading and writing from the time I was very small.

If you have never said "Excuse me" to a parking meter or bashed your shins on a fireplug, you are probably wasting too much valuable reading time.

School didn’t stop me, though it certainly tried. I always read whatever was assigned, then immediately tucked a book into my textbook or in my lap under the desk, and kept reading. I read in hallways, on the bus, walking to and from school, up in the avocado tree, on top of the garage roof, and anyplace else I could find a bit of peace and quiet.

Not much has changed. I still love to read, but I write a lot too. Here is an index of many of my posts on reading, classic literature, teaching the great books with my curriculum, Excellence in Literature, and a few of my favorite poems. I hope you find some things you enjoy here. If you have a great reading list or suggestions for an author I don’t have on my booklist, please feel free to write.

The Benefits of Reading: Seven Tips for Reading More

Why Christians Should Read Fiction

Reading for Fun is the Foundation of Literary Appreciation

How to Build a Home Library Inexpensively

Print or eBook for Literature Study?

Teaching the Great Books

Teach Classic Literature in Context

Should You Teach Literature and History in Chronological Order?

Charlotte Mason on Teaching With Literature

Literature, Language Arts, and the Common Core Standards

Teaching from the Known to the Unknown

Literature- It’s Central to Literacy

Literature Connects Disciplines

How Many Classics Should Students Read in a Year?

Everyone “Knows” Shakespeare- Or Do They?

The Map that Inspired Treasure Island by Celia Blue Johnson

Read to Learn, Not Just for Story

Great Literature is Great Because It’s Sticky

Bayeux Tapestry: An Animated Look at History

How King James Can Boost Your Student’s Reading Skills

Reading “Laddie” (and a Happy Birthday Dinner)

Teaching Literature with Excellence in Literature

Excellence in Literature Main Page: What it is and How to Use it

Questions about using Excellence In Literature in a co-op

Alternatives to Writing a Literary Analysis

Why Context? What You Know Changes How You Read

Christian Worldview or Christian Content in EIL

Book Lists

Summer Reading: It’s Time to Break Out the Good Books!

Winter Reading: Something Old, Something New

Three (or so) Books for the Homeschool Journey

Great Books Week 2010 Day 2: What Makes a Book Great?

Historical Fiction for Young Readers (at Excellence in Literature)

Books Boys Like (at Excellence in Literature)

Reading Suggestions for Summer
Summertime- Blake, Rilke, Sandburg, Shakespeare


Gratefulnesse by George Herbert

The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy (and SAT Essay Prep)

An Autumn Poem for Copywork

Poems for Spring by Gerard Manley Hopkins and Amy Lowell

Winter Poems by Stevenson, Emerson, and Hardy

Summer Poem: A Boy and His Dad by Edgar Guest

Our Summer Poem: The Summer Rain by Henry David Thoreau

Celebrate April with Hopkins, Frost, Eliot, and Rossetti

Veterans’ Day 2008- The Soldier by Robert Frost

In Flanders Fields

Specifically about Excellence in Literature

In case you haven’t encountered Excellence in Literature, it’s a classic literature curriculum for grades 8-12. It’s designed to help you teach classic literature and writing to your students even if you don’t know Virginia Woolf from Beowulf. Here is some basic information and links to articles that will tell you more.