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17 of the Best of the Ancient Classics (BC)

These are the classical texts I read in high school and college that I actually liked! Full of passion, love, sacrifice, fate, and prime storytelling, they contain deep insights into human life, and I highly recommend them!

What’s the oldest book you’ve ever read? Mine is the Epic of Gilgamesh, but I didn’t like that one very much! 😴😄

1. Homer’s The Iliad

2. Homer’s The Odyssey

3. Sophocles’s Agamemnon

4. Sophocles’s Eumenides

5. Sophocles’s The Libation

Bearers

6. Aeschylus’s Oedipus Rex

7. Aeschylus’s Oedipus at

Colonus

8. Aeschylus’s Antigone

9. Plutarch’s Parallel Lives

10. Thucydides’s The History

of the Peloponnesian War

11. Herodotus’s Histories

12. Julius Caeser’s The Gallic

Wars

13. Plato’s Meno

14. Plato’s The Symposium

15. Plato’s The Republic

16. Aristotles’s The Poetics

17. Aristotles’s The Politics

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RISE

With a glance behind and gaze to fore

I pushed myself beyond the door

Door that closed upon my past

And now the future die is cast

Cast to breaking on the shore

Shore that’s breaking on the floor

Floor of deep embedded beads

That time has wrought to sandy seeds

Seeds mix and jumble up inside

My newfound person stepping wide

Wide the round and fertile earth

a promise – a paean – of rebirth

Birth from inner sin and woe

upon the mortal shore I go

Go crawling and pushing upon my knees

Until enveloped in the balmy seas

Seas roil and billow and drown my soul

till my old life has met its toll

Toll on, yea bells, of troubled mirth

Your laughter ends with final birth

Birth anew, a raging clutching pain

And I, defenseless, cast upon the main

Mainly, you know, I’ve struggled and run

to find myself at last a conquered one

One, rise! Oh divinely mortally met

And in thy threesome bosom I am set

Set at last, on softly wafting shores,

And closed, behind, the sinful, mortal doors

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Weirdly Whimsical Words

As I was falling asleep the other night I ran through words to help me fall asleep, and I was using the letter W.

What came out ended up being a lovely vignette!


Why worry when

The woman begins

To wield the weirdly words?

A whimsical charm

A mystical yarn

That reveals itself to the world.

 

 

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The Barren Garden

Where barren bones bring no life to straggling gardens, some seeds new and vibrant should be planted.

But where do we find such soulful seedlings? Where should we plant our special plantlings?

Plant and do not worry, for yesterday has passed away. Plant and rejoice, for tomorrow has a way of coming.

Plants aplenty come and go, some regal and some low, but without today last years would be a myth. With today, tomorrow’s a gift.

Rejoice and cry out, “Today is a bounty!” Rejoice and exclaim, “Tomorrow’s a harvest!”

Hope from death and death from hope. Seeds from plants and life from dust.

We harvest what we plant, we plant what we harvest. So plant anew and plant it better, there’s no such place as a barren garden.

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A Whole New World in the Hundred Acre Wood

(An add-on article for my original post: how to motivate children to read more and my 2018 reading list)

I grew up on Winnie the Pooh. I watched the classic movies, of course, and also the late 90’s and early 2000’s TV shows on Disney Channel on Saturday mornings,spaces but my fondest memories of Winnie the Pooh are of the nights before bed when my dad read the A.A. Milne books aloud. He would do all the voices – similar to the films, but just a little bit different – and would make those characters come alive for me and my brothers, make them more than something hidden behind a tv screen. He made them a part of us.

There really is such a difference between watching a movie and listening to a book. The movie experience is lovely and can enliven the imagination, but a book seeps into your bones and becomes a part of your DNA. The characters take up life inside of you, and a whole new world becomes just as real as the one we live in.

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I wanted my little brother Joseph, age 5,  to have the same experiences of Pooh Bear that I had, but my dad has been working two jobs lately and is often gone in the evenings, so this past year, I decided to read the books aloud to him myself – just like my dad had done.

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I do all the voices just the same as my dad, and in doing so, I have realized for the first time just how much I remember from when I was little, and how inseparable the book characters are for me from his voice and presentation.

I have the feeling that had I read these books for the first time when I was an adult, I would certainly have enjoyed them, (as I have many child book classics that slipped by me in childhood) but never with the same complicated fondness , heart-warming laughter, and tear-jerking finish that I do now.

And, of course, my brother loves it! He loves it so much that when we finished, and I tried to pull out a new book (“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,”) he insisted that we start Pooh Bear all over again!

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I can not recommend A. A. Milne’s masterpieces, Winnie-the-Pooh and House at Pooh Corner, enough!

Tv shows: the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the Book of Pooh

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The Classic I Never Knew

Brave New World

In January at the beginning of the year, I was staying with a friend in New Hampshire for a couple weeks and browsing her bookshelves. I caught site of A Brave New World, and asked her if she thought I’d like it. As both of us were liberal arts students who had attended the same college together, she was in utter astonishment that I had never read it before.

“Will I like it?” I asked.

“You have to read it,” she said, thrusting it into my hands, and asking, “Haven’t you at least heard of it before?”

Thinking back on it now, I must have at some point. But it never registered in my mind. Somehow, it was a classic that slipped through the cracks. Maybe it was too recent – I tend to ignore recent books.

So I read it… and loved it! Maybe I could compare it to 1984, but it was so much better than that. I highly, highly recommend it! The references to Shakespeare are so inspiring, they make you want to read and study all of his plays! It’s sort of like reading A Series of Unfortunate Events for adults – feels like there’s secret code everywhere.

And of course, when I came home from my trip, while perusing my brothers shelves, I saw the same book. Apparently he had had it for some time, and I just never noticed!

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 (🌟)

I would rate this a 4 for difficulty level for middle schoolers, but grant a child a 5 for reading it, considering that it is a classic. However, I would not give it to a child under at least 15, due to mature subject matter.

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How to Motivate Children to Read More, and my 2018 Reading List

In 2018, I read almost 50 books. Most of them I loved! I have a hard time finishing a whole book if I don’t absolutely love it. But there are a few that were less than wonderful, but that I still pushed through to the end. In the next couple weeks, I’ll be posting reviews for each of the books.

This year, I’ll be trying to match, if not exceed, last years total. I also have been doing my best to motivate my young siblings to read more, and especially more of high literature. My 11-year-old sister and 13-year-old brother are not always avid readers, especially if something has been assigned for school work. They were devastated to hear about some of the books that I was assigning them to read, and the sheer number of them (which really wasn’t that much.) But then I decided to make it a competition. They are both very competitive personalities, and as soon as I suggested that they could keep a list of how many books they read, and could score the books on a scale of 1 to 5 stars according to difficulty level, and whoever had the most stars at the end of the semester would win, they could not stop talking about it! Every time they see me now, they ask how many stars is this book worth, how many stars for that book?

My system is: I will grant three stars for something that is at their reading level, and then go up and down according to that. But if something is considered a classic, it gets an extra star, and if something is a specially long, then it gets an extra star. So, for example, Alice in Wonderland is two stars according to middle school difficulty level, but three stars, total, since it is a classic.

My brother has been trying to push through Lord of the Rings for a very long time, but now that he knows he will get 5 stars ⭐️ every time he finishes one of the books, he’s all over it!

I’m so excited to see what they read this year! Welcome 2019!

My 2018 reading list

1. Brave New World

2. The World of Winnie-thePooh

3. Heir to the Empire

4. The Tempest

5. Paper Towns

6. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

7. The Art of Loving God

8. Creating Character Arcs

9. Boys Adrift

10. Odd Thomas

11. The Color Purple

12. Anya’s Ghost

13. The Hard Thing About Hard Things

14. Romeo and Juliet

15. The Once and Future King

16. Catherine of Sienna

17. The Two Princesses of Bamarre

18. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

19. The Book of Merlyn

20. Running Down a Dream

21. Maggie Now

22. The ONE Thing

23. Ella Enchanted

24. The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time)

25. Twelfth Night

26. Good Morning Midnight

27. Peter Pan

28. Winnie-the-Pooh

29. The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre

30. Pride and Prejudice

31. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

32. The Epic of Gilgamesh

33. As You Like It

34. A Christmas Carol

35. The Loser Letters

36. Halfbreeds

37. Dogbert’s Top Secret Management Handbook

38. Forever Odd

39. Vader’s Little Princess

40. The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me

41. The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

42. And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street

43. Ruth Hall

44. Princess Academy

45. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

46. Mother Angelica Her Grand Silence

47. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

48. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

49. Esio Trot

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The Terror and Thrill of Reviewing My Novel

Now that I have enough of Trinian, An Epic Fantasy put together to send into the world for review, I’m getting germinal feedback. I love it! But it’s also terrifying.

My sisters, who are geniuses with artwork, have already taken a stab at illustrating a couple characters, and my best friend Sophia has started marking up my first chapter. She says she’s being harsh, and I’m so grateful to her for that! I want the feedback as truthful as possible, so I can turn out a final product that will please my readers! And, of course, help me to achieve the highest level of writing ability that I can!

I’m thrilled and nervous all at once, and the emotions flow together inside me to create general excitement! Whether the manuscript is terrible or wonderful, it’s going out into the world, and that something!

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Literacy: The Phenomenon that made us Culturally Inept

Just joined Medium.com, and this was my first post! You can read the entirety here.

We see illiteracy as a negative thing because without being able to read, we lack the ability to effectively communicate ideas. But, ironically, our reliance on literacy has actually led to a degradation in our confidence to communicate through the written word.

While any average person on the street can tell you how to pronounce the sounds of the alphabet, or how to spell “Kardashian,” they stumble over writing a basic business email. And most wouldn’t have the confidence to sit down before a room of kindergartners and tell them a ten-minute story about a cat and a ball of yarn.

Yet this is a very simple process, drawn upon everyday experience, with a very simple audience who, if you make the cat fall down or get twisted in the yarn, will be very forgiving of your mistakes. They just want to hear about how a cat responds to the yarn because it helps them understand life. The illiterate children relate to storytelling better than…continue reading

Snow White: A Passive Princess

Favorite Books!

Hey guys! I don’t usually break the fifth wall – you know how much I love writing a story and just putting it out there. Without commentary, without introduction.

But I’d love to hear more from all of you! So I thought I would share a list of my top ten favorite books, and then ask you to comment and share your favorites! I’d love to read them. 😀

Here are mine:

  1. Pride and Prejudice1885The best written love story of all time!
  2. The Great Gatsby4671The imagery of the green light, the eyes of Dr. Eckelburg, and the ridiculous pomp of Gatsby’s parties will never cease haunting me.
  3. The Little Prince157993Look up at the stars – and believe!
  4. Go Set a Watchman24817626Who knew I would like the sequel even better than the first? Harper Lee never disappoints!
  5. The Lord of the Rings33Arguably the most influential book of my childhood.
  6. Tenant of Wildfell HallTenant-artistThough I love all the Brontes, this is my very favorite!
  7. The Picture of Dorian Gray5297With his masterful portrayal of characters, his societal wit, and his flair for the dramatic, Wilde paints a word picture of Dorian Gray!
  8. Through the Looking-Glass24213Again, a sequel I love even better than the original! The White Knight, the Red Queen, and the boating sheep – I love them all! And Alice the most.
  9. Hamlet1432The greatest ghost story – if not the greatest story – of all time. 
  10. Winnie-the-Pooh99107My favorite book of childhood – and all these years later, it does not disappoint! The veins of wit, humor, subtle characterization, and innate understanding of childhood simplicity that run like a tapestry all through are utterly charming, funny, and nostalgic!

 

Tell me about your favorite books! Which of the above did you read? Did you like them? I’d love to hear!