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Message Board > Miscellaneous > 2013 Reading Challenge ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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2013 Reading Challenge
Harvard Classics Baby!
LuceLu
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LuceLu  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/8/13 11:18 PM

I decided this year I will begin my oft desired goal of reading the entire collection of the Harvard Classics. All the books are downloadable for free and can also be found on Librivox to listen to. The first volume starts with Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography and also includes
"The Journal of John Woolman", by John Woolman
"Fruits of Solitude", by William Penn.

It seems like if more people read these books, there would be some better dialogue and ideas on creating solutions as more would remember history and the ideas and theories that carry us forward would be remembered more holistically, not just the parts that appeal to individual ideologies. I plan to start a Google Community on it.

I think I might blog about this but definitely will post some thoughts about what I'm reading here. If you are interested read along and post your thoughts as well. I've also resolved to return to posting on my Art of Sewing blog too. I was getting bogged down trying to cover the chapters, life intervened (Mom moved in). I decided to just hit some highlights because I don't want to get in trouble with copyright issues.

From Bartelby's:
The most comprehensive and well-researched anthology of all time comprises both the 50-volume “5-foot shelf of books” and the the 20-volume Shelf of Fiction. Together they cover every major literary figure, philosopher, religion, folklore and historical subject through the twentieth century.href='http://www.bartleby.com/hc/' target='_blank'>Bartleby

From wikipedia
"The Harvard Classics, originally known as Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf, is a 51-volume anthology of classic works from world literature, compiled and edited by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot and first published in 1909.[1]

Eliot had stated in speeches that the elements of a liberal education could be obtained by spending 15 minutes a day reading from a collection of books that could fit on a five-foot shelf. (Originally he had said a three-foot shelf.) The publisher P. F. Collier and Son saw an opportunity and challenged Eliot to make good on this statement by selecting an appropriate collection of works, and the Harvard Classics was the result.

Eliot worked for one year with William A. Neilson, a professor of English; Eliot determined the works to be included and Neilson selected the specific editions and wrote introductory notes.[1] Each volume had 400-450 pages, and the included texts are "so far as possible, entire works or complete segments of the world's written legacies."[2] The collection was widely advertised by Collier and Son, in Collier's and elsewhere, with great success.Wiki

LuceLu
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LuceLu  Friend of PR
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In reply to LuceLu <<


Date: 1/8/13 11:24 PM

You can get the actual volumes in Kindle format here:

Harvard Classics in Kindle

Michelle T

Michelle T
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Date: 1/8/13 11:33 PM

I had never heard of the Harvard Classics.

I might join in with you, but I know I would not read them all this year. I do read at least 50 books a year, but for entertainment.

I looked over the list and have read a couple of them. Several are on my son's grade 11 and 12 reading list too.

------
Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student

tg33

tg33
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Date: 1/9/13 7:53 AM

I have never heard of this list before, but thanks for posting, it looks interesting!!

------
Reading from Europe

birdmcfarland
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birdmcfarland
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Date: 1/9/13 7:55 AM

great idea

Padmé

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In reply to LuceLu <<


Date: 1/9/13 8:22 AM

I'll try and do that with you. I've skimmed them many times, but always fail on the every day reading.

Collier did a 10 volume junior classic set that went up to 6th grade over the set, then you were supposed to go into the Harvard Classics readings.

Britannica did Gateway to the Great Books then the Great Books combined with a set of question and discussion books called the Great Books Program, and the The Annals of America which is better read along with a good American History book such as The Oxford History of the American People, Paul Johnson's A History of the American People, or A Patriot's History of the United States to name a few examples.

These were just a few of the sets that I used in my homeschooling program. There is something you can do alongside is to precis the works or have a notebook to write down things that you want to remember or do further research on, or both.

EleanorSews
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EleanorSews  Friend of PR
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In reply to LuceLu <<


Date: 1/9/13 8:58 AM

When I went off for my feshman year of college (back in the fall of 1067), to a small Catholic women's college southeast of Pittsburgh, one of the women in a nearby room brought the Harvard Calssics bookshelf with her! It had been a graduation gift from her father.

It is unlikely that I would have time to read all 51 books this year. There is a book discussion group at my church and then another neighborhood one and I'm having trouble keeping up. However, I am going to put this on my list of things that would be useful to do. Thanks for the inspiration!

------
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal." unknown

LuceLu
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Date: 1/9/13 9:35 AM

I don't think I'll get through them all in a year. My resolution is merely to start.

There are also the lectures that go around the books of the topics in Vol. 51-- History; Poetry; Natural Science; Philosophy;
Biography; Prose Fiction; Criticism and the Essay; Education; Political Science; Drama; Voyages and Travel; and Religion.

Before starting a volume or book, one can read these sections to gain an overall picture or commentary in which to put the readings in context. They can be found on the Barltleby's site.

After I read this, I plan to read the 20 volume Literary collection. Then there is the expanded Multicultural list but I may save that for my language project so I can read them in their native languages. (all on the bucket list lol).

I find I spend so much time surfing almost aimlessly on the internet. While I am reading interesting and educational things --sometimes not so educational, it starts resembling more of a binge exercise rather than an intentional action that adds to my intellect and character-- kind of like our kids playing video games. They may get some sense of satisfaction when completing one but then it is on to the next with little reflection of what they learned or how they can use that skill outside of playing another game.

Anyway, I've created a Google Community called "Reading the Harvard Classics", feel free to join. If we get enough community members and a good give and take going, we can schedule hangouts and have a real live book club meeting.

Padmé

Padmé
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Date: 1/9/13 11:13 AM

What is a Google Community? Is it like a Yahoo Group?

LuceLu
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LuceLu  Friend of PR
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In reply to Padmé <<


Date: 1/9/13 12:11 PM

It is part of Google +. G+ is a social network similar to Facebook.

There are communities you can join and the posts will show up in your feed. If you have gmail, any responses to you will show up there so you don't have to hunt the feed so to speak. You can respond via your gmail account. They are fun, I am in quilting, knitting, and sewing communities as well as others. They have challenges if you want to join them or just show and tell on projects, ask questions etc. They are different than circles because everyone that joins a community will get what is posted by anyone in the community. You can also just go right to your community to see an uninterrupted feed from that group.

Whereas with your circles, you post something and assign whatever one of your circles gets it. But if someone from one of your circles posts, you will get it but not everyone in the circle. I like this better because not everyone wants to hear my political rants lol. And my tech peeps could care less about my knitting. And geez, don't want work people to know everything in my life!

I prefer g+ to facebook as there is more privacy. However, I still have FB because that is where people from work and family are, most are not very tech-savvy so they tend to stay with what is familiar (tho I wish they would all move to G+); I try to keep my friends list to just people I personally know and not clutter it up with other stuff. I only check in on FB once a day and might post something I think will amuse people and keep in touch.

So I use FB to keep in contact with people I know (esp. coworkers who have left and far flung family) and G+ for new & interesting people, news, new tech and ideas. G+ is more dynamic for me; it also works better on my smart(wifi)phone.

If you join, my name is Kathy Gillies. Search for me and add me to your circles. I'll add you back.

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