Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Big Book Summer Challenge 2019

I need encouragement!
So, I'm doing this.
I must conquer this book. It exceeds 1200 pages.


I started The Count of Monte Cristo in May with an intention to read along with Books by the Cup. But then there were four days and nights of dance shows and piano recitals, a funeral out of state, end-of-school events, one of the cars broke down - and its still out of commission - my 19-year old ran away...again, and yada, yada, yada...

Needless to say, reading The Counte of Monte Cristo took a backseat. Everything took a backseat.

But I'm back! And I need help reading this book. So I'm joining Book by Book's Big Book Summer Challenge.

Need an excuse to read a big book, 
or need some encouragement to get through a doozy?
See link above for more info.

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

The Red Badge of Courage (reread)
Stephen Crane
Published 1895

I read this when I was in grade school for required reading, then again for The Well-Educated Mind novels. This third time was with my children, and I included it in my Back to the Classics Challenge, for novella, under 200 pages. Each time I like it more and more. While there is not much of a plot, there is something more important being told. Also, the language is rather tricky, and it must be read carefully because it is not a common writing style. I almost want to call it poetic.

The Red Badge of Courage is a coming-of-age story of a youth eager to go to war and become a real man. The setting is the American Civil War over the course of three days, though several intense battle scenes. The main character, often referred to as the youth, undergoes consecutive contradicting emotions. And it is through these exposures and revelations that he discovers the true meaning of manhood. It is not an outward appearance that characterizes maturity, but something far deeper and internal, something eternal.

Here is an example of one of his changes:
It was revealed to him that he had been a barbarian, a beast. He had fought like a pagan who defends his religion. Regarding it, he saw that it was fine, wild, and, in some ways, easy. He had been a tremendous figure, no doubt. By this struggle he had overcome obstacles which he had admitted to be mountains. They had fallen like paper peaks, and he was now what he called a hero. And he had not been aware of the process. He had slept and, awakening, found himself a knight. 

The Battle of Dry Wood Creek

Another example, not only of his metamorphosis, but also of the beautiful language used by the author:
Within him, as he hurled himself forward, was born a love despairing fondness for this flag which was near him. It was a creation of beauty  and invulnerability. It was a goddess, that bended its form with an imperious gesture to him. It was a woman, red and white, hating and loving, that called him with the voice of his hopes. Because no harm could come to it he endowed it with power. He kept near, as if it could be a saver of lives and an imploring cry went from his mind.  
And I love this, too:
It had been necessary for him to swallow swords that he might have a better throat for grapes. Fate had in truth been kind to him; she had stabbed him with benign purpose and diligently cudgeled him for his own sake. 
Henry, or the youth, struggled with fear and inexperience. He made mistakes. But he found courage enough to be accountable for those mistakes, and it made him better -- a better version of himself. He had time to "study his deeds, his failures, and his achievements." According to his memory, he "felt gleeful and un-regretting, for in it his public deeds were paraded in great and shinning prominence," and "he saw that he was good."
With this conviction came a store of assurance. He felt a quiet manhood, non-assertive but of sturdy and strong blood. He had been to touch the great death, and found that, after all, it was but the great death and was for others. He was a man. 
 Should You Read This?

If you have an interest in American Civil War stories, or stories about coming-of-age, this is perfectly short book to read. It doesn't require a great commitment. Also, if you appreciate unique and beautiful complex writing styles, give this one a try. You won't be disappointed.

Stephen Crane, 1895

Thursday, June 6, 2019

My Year with Shakespeare

This is not my first experience with Shakespeare, but I have only ever read children's versions. However, this is my first experience with Shakespeare in its original language and format. To complicate matters...I read it with my children, ages 14, 11, and 10. These are the plays we read for the school year. By the way, we assigned ourselves characters and read our lines accordingly, sometimes willingly, sometimes under duress. 

Published 1623

So Macbeth was absolutely too violent for young ears; said child did not even watch a film edition with us when we were done reading the play. She is exceptionally sensitive to these issues, and that is understandable. The other two enjoyed the story of Macbeth, once it started to make sense. For my own sanity, I often used a resource to help us comprehend what we read. 

Obviously violence is a theme of Macbeth, and so is fate. Sadly, the main character Macbeth started off as a good general, but he became zealous when he heard a prophecy about his future that he would be rewarded a title and power; thereafter, he schemed with his wife to take control of his own fate and force the result, getting so caught up in their selfish desire, creating such terror and permitting the prophecy to come true after all, though not as they had expected. 

I have to be frank: it really was frightening to see the evil scheme unravel and cause so many others dread and fear. But in the end Macbeth and his wife received their rightful payment for their plot and restitution was given to the one Macbeth owed. 

Twelfth Night
Published 1623

Twelfth Night was not murderous or violent, but extremely confusing and meant to be silly. And the silliest character of them all, the clown, is also the wisest. Pay attention to him whenever he joins the set. Characters in this play are not who you think they are, unless you follow easily; there is a lot of cross dressing and name changing. It was like doing algebra...my brain hurt. 

Although Shakespeare broke a lot of protocol for playwrights in his day, he cleverly cleaned up the confusion in the end. But over all, he is no different than artists today who pressure the status quo, provoke thoughts, and influence the culture.

We watched a film edition of this play, and it was really weird. Not surprised at all.

Published 1622

Finally, we read Othello, and I knew this was one of the more controversial plays to read with young children. We skimmed over the disputable sections, though much of the context went over their heads. Whew. 

A major theme of this play is envy and jealousy. One man, Iago, ruins so many lives because of his greedy desire to be more important than everyone else. Though Othello is the object of his hate, Iago spreads lies and defames anyone involved with Othello. The frustrating thing is that we are not sure why he hates Othello, who is a righteous man. Is he motivated by racism, envy, jealousy, or even lust? We never find out. But like Macbeth, the evil scheme spreads like cancer and causes such horrible results. Unfortunately, there is no retribution here. It was literally a mess.

Aside from the mess, I found this play easy to read and understand. Reading aloud was smoother than the previous two plays. And no, we did not watch a film version of this play. Of course.


So...why read Shakespeare in the original format and language? Because it is like learning a new language, such as Latin. It is like physical exercise for your cranium. It is challenging, and young people should be challenged. It is too bad Shakespeare is not required reading in grade school. 

For fun, here is a skit from Kiss Me Kate, called "Brush up Your Shakespeare." 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Time to talk about Don Quixote

Don Quixote (reread)
Published Part I 1605, Part II 1615
Back to the Classics (comic novel)

Three weeks ago, my family and I flew to Missouri for a funeral. On our way home we were held up at airport security, in Springfield, because of something in my backpack. Two officers took it aside and one proceeded to question if I had anything in my backpack that would poke him; I said no. After inspecting the contents of my backpack via his X-ray monitor, he discovered the location of the suspicious item. 

Cautiously, he reached in and removed my copy of Don Quixote. Slowly, he flipped through its pages - all 1050 of them. Then satisfied, he pronounced it "good" and returned it to my backpack. And I replied, as he handed my bag to me, "It is good...it's Don Quixote."

He did not think I was funny.

Maybe he is like a lot of other people who attempt to read Don Quixote and find nothing funny about it. Well, I cannot say that I blame airport security or anyone else who finds this comedic tome a real downer. 

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
Entertained by Basil and Quiteria
Gustave Doré, 1863

For one reason: IT'S REALLY LONG...maybe even unnecessarily long; two: it's repetitive; and three: it's mean!

Let me explain more. Cervantes released Don Quixote in two parts: part one, in 1605, and part two, ten years later. You could read only one part of your choice and still experience all you need from the book. Some say part two is a lot better, but you should read both parts anyway to form your own opinion. I think there is something important about both.

Part one was such a success that readers wanted Cervantes to release a second; but he took too long, and someone using a pseudonym wrote a part two. In doing so, Cervantes was forced to speed up -- if ten years is considered speeding up the process -- and release the real part two of his work. So you could say the popularity of the story encouraged its length.

About its length: Cervantes had too much fun writing Don Quixote. He went on and on, adventure after adventure, heroic achievement after heroic achievement, drubbing after drubbing, monologue after monologue. Some monologues went on for pages! 

About its repetition: most of the adventures are similar. After a few, you successfully predict what is going to happen next. Only the very last adventure of part two ends differently, and it happens to be the decisive moment for Quixote to voluntarily return home for good. But most of all, it is so repetitive, you could put it down for weeks and then pick up to read at a new chapter, having never missed a beat. 

About its meanness: it is! Your good sense tells you that Don Quixote especially is verbally cruel and insensitive toward his friend and partner, Sancho. You also recognize that other characters that interact with Quixote and Sancho are unkind and heartless toward them. You question if their pranks are worth laughing about. You feel guilty for having witnessed it. You know it is not right, and you wish to do something about it; but you cannot. Maybe that is where you start wondering if you should altogether stop reading it.

The Return of Don Quixote
Hippolyte Lecomte

Well, let me share why you should read Don Quixote...why it is good, worthy literature. 

It is excellent literature. The very best writing! Maybe my translator, Walter Starkie, should receive that credit, but I do believe it is not far from the truth. However, I read that John Ormsby's translation from the original Spanish is one of the best, and most other modern English translations, including Starkie's, originate from Ormsby. So if you get a good translation, you shall enjoy a really great example of excellent literature. 

Another reason to enjoy Don Quixote is because it is hysterical. It is full of sarcasm through and through. Cervantes is mocking knight-errantry, chivalry, and all of their formalities. He is mocking it to the core. Also, the interactions and conversations between Quixote and Sancho are comedic, though it certainly helped that I visualized the two characters and stuck with it. Quixote is tall and lean, brass and arrogant and smug, while Sancho is short and plump, nonchalant and undisturbed.

Scenes from the Life of Don Quixote
John Vanderbank 1730

The humor extends into the true part two about the false part two. Cervantes, through Quixote, makes references to the fake author who messed up his own true version of the story. And to further the humor, the characters in part two declare to know the famed knight and his squire because they proclaim to have read part one. So made-up characters in a story know about the made-up knight and his squire because they read the real first part of Don Quixote. Go figure!

But wait! Not only is this flooded with humor; it is flowing with wisdom. There is so much wisdom coming from both Quixote and Sancho, you should always read with a pen; you will want to underline all of the proverbs and wisdom of Sancho, as well as Quixote. They are brilliant! Cervantes was brilliant!

One final fun reason to enjoy Don Quixote is this: you will be just as confused with reality as our knight. The first time I read this, I did not catch the mockery of knight-errantry. The author is perfectly duplicitous in his elevation of chivalry. In addition, Cervantes writes so much history and reality into his novel, with just enough untruths, causing you to question if what you are reading is true. Finally, you will wonder if you should take Quixote seriously or not. He is always on the verge of reality, and so is the entire saga of Don Quixote. 

In fact, even Sancho is a dual character. He is not as pathetic and dumb as you are supposed to believe. There is always wisdom and statesmanship pouring from his character, especially when he is finally awarded a governorship. You think he is written as a completely different character. But you know what is said: if you let a man lead, he will rise to the occasion.

Don Quixote Consults the Enchanted Head
Charles-Antoine Coypel

So there you go. This is my case for Don Quixote. I absolutely love it and find joy in reading it. It is so lighthearted and full of humor and wisdom, all the same. Let me share a little Quixotic wisdom...one the most enjoyable quotes I have ever read about matrimony:
When anyone wishes to make a long journey, if he be prudent, he looks for a safe and agreeable travel companion before he takes to the road. Then why should he not do the same when he has to travel all the days of his life to the resting place of death, and especially if the companion has to consort with him in bed and at the table and everywhere, as the wife has to do with the husband? The companionship of one's own wife is not mere merchandise that, once bought, can be returned, bartered, or exchanged, for marriage is an inseparable union that lasts as long as life. It is a noose that becomes a Gordian knot once we put it around our neck. And if Death's scythe does not cut it, there is no untying it.
By the way, you could also read into this sarcastically, considering Cervantes is describing marriage as a noose around one's neck; speaking from experience, it sometimes feels this way. So, once again, it is ironically true.

And finally, I leave you with a typical proverb from Sancho:
Clothe me as you will, I'll still be Sancho Panza.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books From My Favorite Genre

My favorite, favorite, favorite genre is BIOGRAPHIES, AUTOBIOGRAPHIES or MEMOIRS. Everyone has a story, and many are powerful and interesting. We truly can walk in someone else's shoes if we can know their stories.

I pulled up some of my favorite reads, and I listed them in somewhat order beginning with the ones I most enjoyed, though I enjoyed them all almost equally.

Testament of Youth 
Vera Brittain

Letters of a Woman Homesteader
Elinore Pruitt Stewart

The Hiding Place
Corrie ten Boom

Laura Hillenbrand

Eric Metaxas

The Road From Coorain
Jill Ker Conway

Amazing Grace
Eric Metaxas

Up From Slavery
Booker T. Washington

And runners up to the ten are...

Confessions by Augustine

Life and Times of Frederick Douglass

Malcolm X

What biographies have you read and enjoyed?

Monday, May 27, 2019

A Christian Manifesto by Francis A. Schaeffer

A Christian Manifesto 
Francis A. Schaeffer
Published 1981

This book is a public declaration of Christianity meant to answer the question: "What is the Christian's relationship to government, law, and civil disobedience?" I could not decide how to review it, so I wrote a narrative of its contents. Remember, it was written in the 80s, but it is just as relevant today. 


Francis Schaeffer made the case that there has been a breakdown of society in bits and pieces, and that each is a symptom of a larger problem. There had been a shift away from the Christian worldview in areas of law, education, and government, and Schaeffer claimed that Christians were slow to understand this, partly because they had a defective view of Christianity. What they misunderstand is that Christianity is truth; not only that its doctrines are true, but that it is the standard of truth for everything.


The other side of the worldview argument, the one that was replacing Christianity, was humanism, which is the absolute opposite and has completely different results than Christianity. Humanism is the "placing of Man at the center of all things and making him the measure of all things." In my marginal notes I added: Humanism controls stuff and ruins everything. I think that sums it up well. 

Because Humanists misunderstand human nature, their ideas of society and law are mistaken. In the beginning, God's character of justice was above His power, which was a basis for man's law on earth; authority rested in God's written Law (the Bible or His Word). Humanists claim to support freedom, but under manmade authority (the state), they only create more chaos and control, the opposite of liberty.

Our rights come from God. Our Founders, and those who embraced Reformation Christianity, understood that law - not man - was king because our laws came from a Law Giver, " a Person" who gave us "the inalienable rights."

Schaeffer wrote that the First Amendment protected religious liberty and prevented government from interfering with the free practice of religion. But today, the First Amendment is used to "silence the church." The acceptance of this has led to the effacing of influence of the Christian religion in civil government; we have been moving away from "the Judeo-Christian basis for law and shifting away from the original restraints of the Constitution."


The Judeo-Christian worldview gave us modern science because it tells us there is "a reason for observation and experimentation to be optimistically pursued," whereas materialistic science, which comes out of humanism, is hopeless and tells us that everything is by chance. Instead, the new concept replacing Christianity, also called Pluralism, is based on personal preferences; "there is no right or wrong." 

Because of this shift away from Christianity, law has become situational, in which smaller groups determine randomly what, according to their personal opinion, is best for society at that fleeting moment, and therefore, becomes law.


Due to the "material-energy-chance humanistic worldview," the intrinsic value and compassion for the unique and individual dignity of each human life linked to the personal-infinite God, the Creator of human life in His own image, is sadly decreasing in America. Is it not ironic that the philosophy named for humanness would bring about the death of humanity?


The "open window" encouraged Schaeffer, in the 80s, with the election of Reagan. He thought there could be a swing in the direction toward conservative, Christian values; but he also wanted readers to be prepared if the window did not remain open to good changes. He warned readers to beware of the growing number of anarchists. Anarchists are nihilists who are hopeless and believe life is meaningless; they hate both the State and the Church. Whatever the case, "Christians must stand absolutely and totally opposed to the whole humanist system" whether they come from conservatives or liberals. Schaeffer also hoped that the window would not close because he warned that it would get worse for the church. (It has.) 


Ironically, a humanist understands that he must obey the state because the state has guns and power. A Christian or God-fearing person knows that the Bible tells him to submit to God-sanctioned civil government. Unfortunately, because the state is humanist, it does not trust its citizens, and it must use threats and force to assert its authority.
The state is to be an agent of justice, to restrain evil by punishing the wrongdoer, and to protect the good in society. When it does the reverse, it has no proper authority. It is then a usurped authority and as such it becomes lawless and is tyranny.
In other words, sometimes it is a right and duty to disobey the state. The author said that "tyranny is satanic" and Christians honor God when they reject what is satanic. They may respect the office, but they are not beholden to the man of that office.

Civil disobedience requires that the individual must defend himself by protest via legal action; flee, if possible; and use force to defend himself, if necessary. An example of using force is the American Revolution.


To answer the initial question...Christians must look at the whole picture, not bits and pieces, that today's government, education, and law are based in humanism, a worldview that is wrong and brings forth inhumane results, and is being forced upon citizens. Christians must admit that when any government office forces what is contrary to God's law, it loses its authority. Christians must take legal and political stands. If they do not, then they are not truly living under Scripture.


The Reformation of Northern Europe (Martin Luther) gave us a clear picture of the gospel and form-freedom balance in government with checks and balances.

In the middle of the 1800s, increasing numbers of immigrants not based in the Reformation came to the United States.

A rise of material-energy, chance worldview of reality (humanism), with its meaningless, purposeless, and valueless idea of life, became influential after the 1900s; and this worldview affected the areas of education and the media.

The original ideals of the founding, which gave us the possibility of "liberty and justice for all,"  are increasingly shunned in the areas of government and education and the public in general. 

We must stand against that other worldview because it is not truth and its results are in opposition to those of our Founding, which gave us freedom, liberty, and justice. We must do this to protect freedom for all religion, especially so that Reformation Christianity may compete in the free market of ideas instead of being censored. Christians who are under Scripture must do so for the sake of truth and to proclaim the gospel.
So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, and he was appalled that there was no one to intercede. ~ Isaiah 59:14-16

If you are a Christian, you should. It will make you think about civil disobedience, especially concerning blatantly wicked and legally protected practices like abortion, which the author discusses in great detail. Scripture commands that Christians submit to government; but what if our government protects and funds the murder of defenseless pre-born babies? What then? Is civil disobedience biblical? How so? Schaeffer is not lukewarm in his opinion.

P.S. Another great Christian-philosophical read by Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture. Ever wonder what has happened to art and music over time? And why? Schaeffer exposes the shift from biblical to humanism and demonstrates how the change is reflected in our culture, music, and art/architecture. Check it out:

Thursday, May 9, 2019

A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille

A Thomas Jefferson Education:
Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first Century
Oliver DeMille
Published 2000

This is the most awesome book about self-education and reading classics. I have read it three times. Shortly after I began homeschooling, in 2001, it inspired me to begin my own journey of self-education, and it radically changed my views on schooling. 
...societies are successful when people choose to be good. If people choose mediocrity, they end up with a mediocre society. If they choose excellence, they build an excellent society; if they choose decadence, society decays. This is not only common sense, it is historically accurate.

Oliver DeMille argues that the reason we cannot fix education is because people cannot agree on its purpose. There is also a misconception about what the problem is. In the end, the only person who can fix education is the student. DeMille adds that teaching is not education, but rather teachers should inspire students to educate themselves. Education happens when excellent teachers inspire students to learn.

There are only two teachers: mentors and the classics. Mentors meet with students face-to-face to encourage, inspire, and share knowledge, while the classics are works produced by other great teachers through books, music, art, science, and the like. 

Parents are a student's first mentors, which is why homeschooling is perfect for education. Unfortunately, many parents only know one way of teaching: the way they learned in school. 


1. Public Education teaches WHAT to think, and prepares everyone for a job. Originally, public schools were created to educate the poor, while the wealthy were educated at private institutions or had tutors or apprenticeships, focusing more on leadership or professional training. 

Public schools use a "conveyor belt" method of teaching. Each student gets the same ideas and is graded the same, "regardless of interests, talents, goals, and mission." The object is to set standards so low that all students finish at the same time, while conforming to the same ideas.

Over time, even the wealthy attended public schools, which monopolized the education system, eliminating those institutions that produced professionals and leaders. 

2. Professional Education teaches WHEN to think and trains up specialists, like doctors, lawyers, etc. to know how to utilize information in their field of expertise; but it is not the best training for leadership. Even this system has its own conveyor belt, in which standards are set higher, making the field competitive.

3. Leadership Education teaches HOW to think and prepares students to be entrepreneurs in business, statesmen in government, and leaders in the home and community. The three main goals of leadership education are to train up competent thinkers, to perpetuate freedom, and to lead effectively to "help society remain free and prosperous.


Today, more people receive the conveyor belt public school education, which means there are more people in leadership positions, such as business and government, who are unfit for such positions. (You can say that again!) The result is a highly trained, uneducated society of people. 


Thomas Jefferson, the author of America's Declaration of Independence, was a well-educated statesman. (Look at his resume, if you need evidence.) George Wythe, signer of the Declaration and delegate to the Constitutional Convention, mentored Jefferson for four years in law, the ancient classics, English literature, and political philosophy. It was an "apprenticeship for greatness." 

Mentoring under TJE is quite simple because all that is required is reading, having the student write about what he read, and then discussing with the student what moral lessons he takes away from reading the book. When discussing, mentors should ask questions to prompt the student to think deeply. When students write, mentors can focus on content, helping them to be better communicators. Another aspect of mentoring is application of lessons, either personally or to current events and society. 

Mentors can personalize a program for each individual to fit his or her goals. Learning through the classics is individualized because each reader will get something different from the same book. 

Finally, mentors must set the example by reading, studying, thinking about, and applying the classics along with their students.


Reading the classics changes people because they make us think about the "great ideas of humanity." 
The classics teach us about human nature, how to predict behavior, and to use good judgment. They teach us "empathy, compassion, wisdom, and self-discipline." 

They bring us "face-to-face" with greatness and inspire us to be better. They give us courage to confront our internal "frontier," which has yet to be conquered. They force us to think. And they connect us to those we share stories in common. 

In addition, reading the classics helps us to discover our own PERSONAL CANON, "a set of stories which we hang onto and believe in and base our lives around; and great classics are the best canon. A canon is the set of books we consider to be the standard of truth." Our canon "becomes our plot!"

There are four types of stories: bent, broken, whole, and healing. Bent portray evil as good, and good as evil. Avoid these. Broken portray evil as evil and good as good, but evil wins; though not pleasant, they may help us to change the direction of society. Whole stories portray good as good, and good wins. These are the best stories. Finally, healing stories are whole or broken where the reader is personally moved, changed, and improved for life. Healing stories become part of your canon.

DeMille encourages readers to develop a personal canon, spend time reading these books, become an expert in them, and teach them to others. 
As students become familiar with and...conversant with the great ideas of humanity, they will learn how to think, how to lead, and how to become great. The classics, by introducing the young mind to the greatest achievements of mankind and the teachings of God, prepare children to become successful human beings,...

Teaching subjects in TJE simply means using the classics in literature, history, science, math, art, and the rest. DeMille encourages students and mentors to study the originals and make personal inferences instead of using modern text books that often "mischaracterizes classics and historical figures to fit an agenda." 


Again, TJE seeks to develop men and women capable of leadership, no matter what they do. Statesmen portray six characteristics: virtue, wisdom, diplomacy, courage, ability to inspire greatness in others, and to move the cause of liberty.
The Leadership Education goal is to train thinkers, entrepreneurs and statesmen - individuals with the character, competence and capacity to do the right thing and do it well in business, government, church, school, family, and other organizations.
 The second goal is to perpetuate freedom, to prepare people who know what freedom is, what is required to maintain it, and who exert the will to do what is required.
The success and perpetuity of our society depend upon leadership education. 

Following is a list of 100 required classics for students of George Wythe University, which sadly closed its doors in 2016. Nonetheless, it's a book list!! My edition also includes a list for children and youth and a recommended reading list about education. 

100 Classic List

From George Wythe College Required Classics List

The History of Freedom
John Adams
Thoughts on Government
On Kingship
Nichomachean Ethics


The City of God
Pride and Prejudice

Sense and Sensibility
Novum Organum
The Law

What is Seen and Not Seen
The Proper Role of Government
The Bible

The Consolation of Philosophy
Wuthering Heights
Jane Eyre
The American Tradition
The Tao of Physics
Selected Speeches
The Republic

The Laws
On War
The Constitution of the United States
On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
The Divine Comedy
The Declaration of Independence
Robinson Crusoe
A Discourse on Method
A Tale of Two Cities

Great Expectations
Magnificent Obsession
A History of Civilization
Collected Essays
Alas Babylon
Letters and Writings
Civilization and Its Discontents
Two New Sciences
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
The Iliad

The Odyssey
Les Miserables
Essays Moral, Political and Literary
Letters, Speeches and Writings
History of Warfare
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Collected Speeches
The Structure of Scientific Revolution
Elements of Chemistry
Mere Christianity

The Screwtape Letters

The Weight of Glory
Collected Speeches
Second Treatise of Government
The Prince
Madison, Hamilton, and Jay
The Federalist Papers
Marx and Engels
The Communist Manifesto
The Magna Charta
On Liberty
Paradise Regained
Human Actions
The Monroe Doctrine
The Spirit of the Laws
Mathematical Principles
Introduction to Arithmetic
Beyond Good and Evil
The Northwest Ordinance
Collected Works
The Chosen
Collected Works
The Five Thousand Year Leap

The Majesty of God's Law

The Making of America
The Wealth of Nations
A World Split Apart

The Gulag Archipelago
Oedipus Trilogy
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Sun Tzu
The Art of War
Vanity Fair
War and Peace
History of the Peloponnesian War
Democracy in America
Letters, Speeches, and Writings
Mainspring of Human Progress
The Virginian