I Have Decided to Make a Decision

Last year in January, as I began my Well-Educated Mind journey, I had no idea I would find other WEMers doing the same.  Adriana at Classical Quest was working through the autobiographies and then decided to join the ladies at Classic Caseof Madness who were working their way through the novels. Tonia at The SunnyPatch was also reading along with the group.  They were all several titles ahead of me.

My plan was to start from the beginning of the WEM list, but whom would I be able to discuss the classics with if I was not reading along with anyone?  If I wanted to join the group, I would need to catch up.  After taking almost three months to get through Don Quixote, I knew I needed to push myself. 

"Run, Forrest, Run"
Finally, eight months later, by Crime and Punishment, I did it!  For the next several books I had rhetoric partners, which I have absolutely enjoyed.  However, I have since read ahead of the group, and it has been pestering me.  Suddenly, I feel like Forest Gump when his platoon is attacked while in Vietnam, and he ran and ran and ran so fast that when he looked back he realized he was all alone.  I believe he said, “…and that is a very bad thing.”  Well, this is not what I wanted to happen after I had worked so hard to catch up. 

Therefore, I have thought about it for awhile, and I realize I must make a decision: while I did not want to stray from the list, I would rather continue reading through the list with others; but in the event that I run ahead of the group, such as I have, I am going to read from my TBR list.  After all, that list is rather lengthy, and I do not know how much time God has afforded me to accomplish it all.

So the plan is to hold off on The Red Badge of Courage until the group begins to read it, and instead chose something from my TBR list.  The question now is…which one do I choose?

UPDATE: 2.19.13  Since I had only read an abridged version with my kids many years ago, and it was the next book on my TBR list, and it is the the prequel to Huckleberry Finn, I decided to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer while in waiting.  Thank you guys for your absolutely worthy suggestions.


  1. What a delightful dilemma!

    I just took a look at your TBR. I've read Little Women and The Scarlet Pimpernel. Loved both. (disclaimer: I read the SP in 7th grade. It was a nail bitter. I had never heard of it when I read it. Don't watch the movie before you read the book.)

    Personally, I would chose either Les Miserables or War and Peace. Incidentally, both are on the Wikipedia List of Longest Novels, so either would keep you busy for a while! (At least a week or two for YOU, Ruth!!!)


    P.S. Forest Gump? :D Too funny!

    1. Oh, too late on the SP movie. I just saw it last August; but I still want to read the book. I heard it is far better than the movie.

      I was hoping to read something comparable in size of Huckleberry Finn since I want to be ready to read Red Badge of Courage w/ the group. I know I will not be able to read Les Mis or War and Peace in a week. That's funny. I'm averaging about one to three chapters a day.

      I checked out the link, and do you know I was familiar with only three of those books on the list? Yes, W&P and LM were two of them.

  2. I'd agree with Adrianna about the Scarlet Pimpernel. It's delightful! But, if you're an incredibly fast reader (as has been mentioned by Adrianna) then you are likely to finish this in less than a day...perhaps a max of two days. So allow me to suggest The Lord of the Rings (yay!) and A Tale of Two Citites (extremely gripping!). :)

    1. Oh! And the Wind in the Willows. It is simply cozy, vivid, heart warming and beautiful.

    2. I just purchased the four box set of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy; but THEN I read some negative reviews about this particular publication, and I think I may return it. Major fans said that there are a lot of misspellings and misprints, and I am wondering if I should return it to B&N to just buy the better publications separately.

      But, it did cross my mind to start The Hobbit.

      BTW, I have read abridged versions of the Wind in the Willows with my kids, and I think it is a delightful adventure story. I have a beautifully illustrated unabridged version that I plan to read on my own.

      Thank you for ideas, too!

  3. Yay! I was afraid our pokiness had separated us forever, I'm so happy we'll all still be in the great conversation together.

    Now, I'm off to read your WEM answers for POAL, we're meeting to go over ours tonight, and I'm drawing a complete blank and need your inspiration.

    1. I felt like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders when I admitted to myself that I could read something else besides what was on the WEM list. It is more important to have an opportunity to discuss the classics with others who are also reading them.

      And thank you for your compliment. I am grateful to be able to inspire anyone.

      I am beside myself about the rhetorical inquires for POAL. I do hope that you guys are able to come up with something. Do share, please!!!!!