Tag Archives: classic

Utopia by Thomas More

Mr. Curiosity is studying medieval history this year. As part of his work, he’s reading several medieval pieces of literature. This was one of his choices for the year. I read the books alongside him.

Translated by: Robert M. Adams

Published: originally in 1516, this edition in 1975

Genre: classic philosophy

Length: 85 pages

Setting: Utopia, a medieval society

Summary: Short version: More’s description of a society set up to benefit all Continue reading

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Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

When the new movie version of the book came out, I thought perhaps I could read the book to the kids and then we could watch the movie and compare.

Published: 1934

Genre: murder mystery

Length: 212 pages

Setting: a train car in the Orient Express, 1930s

Summary: Short version: A closed room mystery of who killed Ratchett Continue reading

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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This is our book club choice for the month of January. I’ve read it before, but it’s been a few years so I read it again. I was also in the play with my kids (I was the narrator while Miss Adventure was Scout and Mr. Curiosity was Jem).

Published: 1960

Genre: historical fiction

Length: 376 pages

Setting: Maycomb, Alabama, 1930s

Summary: Short version: Growing up in the 30s in the South Continue reading

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We Who Are About To… by Joanna Russ

This book has been on my TBR list so long I have no record or memory of why it put it there. I’m sure it has something to do with it being a scifi classic.

Published: 1976

Genre: science fiction

Length: 118 pages

Setting: an exoplanet, far future

Summary: Short version: What to do when marooned on an inhospitable planet Continue reading

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

This was my book club’s choice for October. I’d heard good things about it recently and was happy for the excuse to read it.

Published: 1943

Genre: fiction

Length: 493 pages

Setting: Brooklyn, 1900s-1920s

Summary: Short version: An unapologetic view of growing up in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. Continue reading

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Beowulf: A New Telling by Robert Nye

I gave this to Miss Adventure to read while Mr. Curiosity and I were reading Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf. I’m still following many suggestions in The Well-Trained Mind for homeschooling, and Bauer and Wise recommend having middle-schoolers read some of the original literature. They recommended this version of Beowulf for the younger audience. After I talked to Miss Adventure about the book, I realized there were some significant differences between the two versions. I decided to read this version to compare to Heaney’s.

Published: 1968

Genre: historical fiction

Length: 92 pages

Setting: Scandinavia, some time before it was written

SummaryShort version: Beowulf defeats the monsters Continue reading

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Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney

This is one of Mr. Curiosity’s Great Books of the medieval period he’s reading this year. I like to read along with him so we can discuss the book together. I’m pretty sure I read the book in high school, but I only remembered that Beowulf fights the monster Grendel.

Published: this edition in 2000, originally between the seventh and tenth centuries, CE

Genre: epic poetry

Length: 213 pages, but for each two-page spread, the right page is the original middle English, and the left page is the translation, so you’re most likely only going to read half of that

Setting: Scandinavia, some time before it was written

Summary: Short version: Beowulf is awesome and defeats all the monsters Continue reading

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