Tag Archives: classic

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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Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel adapted by Mariah Mardsen

When I saw somewhere there was a graphic novel version of Anne of Green Gables, I had to get it immediately from my library. It’s one of my favorites, and I’m happy to consume it in different versions.

Illustrator: Brenna Thummler

Published: 2017

Genre: middle grade fiction graphic novel

Length: 230 pages

Setting: the town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island, Canada, early 1900s

Summary: Short version: Orphan Anne growing up in Avonlea Continue reading

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The Aeneid by Virgil

I chose this as a book for Mr. Curiosity to read for his study of Ancient History this year. I read it alongside him so we could discuss it together.

Translator: Robert Fagles

Published: originally around 30 BCE; this edition in 2006

Genre: classic historical fiction epic poetry

Length: 386 pages of text, 484 pages total

Setting: various locations within the Mediterranean Sea, after the Trojan War

Summary: Short version: Aeneas and his men travel the Mediterranean to found Rome Continue reading

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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I know Monday is usually a review of short fiction, but I’m in the middle of five different books right now (a read aloud with the kids, the audiobook we started and didn’t finish on our trip to the outskirts of Philly this weekend for a gymnastics meet, a book Mr. Curiosity and I are reading together for school, and two books for my pleasure because I couldn’t help starting the second one) and I just can’t manage to add another to the mix without my brain exploding. So, another book review it is.

For our last read aloud, Mr. Curiosity requested a science fiction book. I actually had a hard time coming up with something that was the right length (I like novella length so the book doesn’t take forever to finish) and something I wanted to read to the kids. After looking through a bunch of recommendations, I settled on this classic. It’s something I read in high school, but remember very little of (beyond things like “Ending is better than Mending”).

Published: 1932

Genre: science fiction

Length: 152 pages

Setting: near future London

Summary: Short version: In the future, we consume, not think. Continue reading

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Persuasion by Jane Austen

This is one of the BBC’s The Big Read books. It’s the highest on the list I’ve never read and I decided to pick it up. Plus, I was in between library books and this was available from Gutenberg for free for my Kindle.

Published: 1818

Genre: literary fiction

Length: 249 pages

Setting: 1800s England, in and around Bath

Summary: Quick version: Class gets in the way of potential husband Continue reading

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Republic by Plato

I assigned this book to Mr. Curiosity as one of his Great Books of the Ancient World that he’s reading this year. I read the books alongside him so we can discuss the books together.

Translator: G.M.A. Grube, revised by C.D.C. Reeve

Published: originally around 380 BCE; this edition in 1992

Genre: philosophy

Length: 292 pages of text, 300 pages total

Setting: ancient Greece, although no real setting is described Continue reading

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