Tuesday, May 17, 2011

0001-The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had

So where will Bookgeekism begin this new journey at?  It begins with a book by Susan Wise Bauer.

This text is actually comprised of 2 real parts.  The first part discusses the 4 basic parts of Bauer's technique for attaining the classical education.  The second part discusses the different genres of text she has choses, Fiction ( Literature), History, Autobiographies, Poetry and Verse.  Bauer makes interesting points and her steps are pretty basic really.  My only real issue with her approach is that she recommends for beginning that one only reads the books she recommends for 30 minutes a day, four days a week.  I did not agree as a reader this was a sufficient amount of time to delve into a book.  maybe if you are not a reader by nature and are more casual in your approach to reading that may be of more use to really help one focus on the text.  This is also more true if you have never really been exposed to critical analysis of books.   The only other fault I find with the  book, is Bauer synopsizes each of the text she recommends and gives away essential plot points.  It would be best if you only really look at the book title and author, and then which edition Bauer recommends.   She also tends to refer back to Mortimer Adler's text, How to Read a Book. ( Which I will admit I also now have sitting on my to be read pile. )  I did like this text a great deal and actually have passed it along to my mother to read and given a copy of the text to a friend to read.  I do highly recommend this book.

This book was a game changer for me in the sense that it really helped me realize that in the absence of completing college (for now)  I really needed to focus on classically educating myself so as to keep my mind acute and not let it fall into atrophy.  I (and my mother who I have also recruited in this path of self education --for she desires to better her understanding of literature)   have even begun reading the first text Bauer recommends under fiction which is Don Quixote, which I will admit has always been an intimidating book due to its sheer size, that I now find myself looking forward to reading. 

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