I am so grateful for the recent realization that I don't have to read all of the great classics. In fact, if I am truly trying to grow closer to Heavenly Father in my daily life and increasing in faith - I find that am able to find great knowledge in seemingly simple things. Even a few minute of reading from a good classic (and especially from the core classic - the scriptures) in the evening can give me great deal to ponder on and ways to improve. What is the use of reading a bunch of classics anyway if I don't give myself time to digest them and see the truth and beauty in them?
I find that a good book gives me perspective, as does a walk in nature, praying, pondering, attending the temple, or taking time to chat with a child. The Holy Ghost teaches me the things that I need to know when I'm doing these things (and others). If I'm reading to get through a list- the whole point is lost and I probably ought to be spending my time doing other things.
There are several books that I've read over again, that I learn from each and every time I do so. Those are true classics. I think that what makes a book worth reading is that it is true, even if it's fiction. In other words, it espouses true principles. I find the fiction books that I can learn the most from are those that portray people with weaknesses and strengths, that those inner qualities are changed for the better of for the worse by the choices they make. Also, inversely, those choices should be in line with what you know their characters to be like. In these kind of books, truth shines through. I am able to ponder on certain universal principles, or God's ways.
Unfortunately, I wasted much of my youth reading stuff without substance. As my children get older I find I am at a loss about what I really ought to recommend that they read. I've started on several lists only to find that they are not all the quality of literature that I think I should be spending my time on.
I'm going to link this post to several reading lists that I like. Some of them I can't find on the internet so I'll write them out. If any of you want to comment on any books on the lists (if you don't think they are worth reading or if they are not up to a high enough standard, please comment and let me know so that I don't have to waste my time on them).
So what is my standard? I want books that are true (true in the sense that I describe above), and that would not offend the spirit. I want to have the influence of the Holy Ghost as I read so I can discern truth from error and find what I can apply to my life. Some books offend the spirit and then I am left to decide for myself - and that is not nearly as productive ;-)
Here are the lists:
-If there is a book on the list that I read and do not think it is up to the standard above (or if I didn't like the first in the series and am not interested in reading the rest), I'll
-If there is a book that I read and it was up to the standard, I'll put in in bold. Maybe I'll even get around to writing a comment on it and linking it.
-If I don't know anything about the book, or if I haven't read it lately and am not sure how I would feel about it now, I'll leave it as it is. I would love some feedback from any of you who have read them.
My Reading List
Children's Book Lists:
The Good Books
Milestones Academy (thanks Christy!)
TJed Home Companion: List for Children
A Thomas Jefferson Education: Appendix List for Children
Book Lists for Youth:
TJed for Teens list
TJed Home Companion: List for Youth
A Thomas Jefferson Education: Appendix List for Youth
Book Lists for Adults:
Author Henry King's List for a Lifetime
The Great Books
TJed Home Companion: List for Adults
A Thomas Jefferson Education: Appendix List for Adults