The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had (Updated and Expanded)
The enduring and engaging guide to educating yourself in the classical tradition.
Have you lost the art of reading for pleasure? Are there books you know you should read but haven’t because they seem too daunting? In The Well-Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer provides a welcome and encouraging antidote to the distractions of our age, electronic and otherwise.
Newly expanded an...more
Bauer makes shockingly few references to Adler (only one comes to mind) which seems disrespectful given that she co-opted his w ...more
This book is a fantastic introduction to the "classical education" method, a steady-as-she-goes education of the self by dipping into the Great Conversation of books and authors and ideas that has been going since the Epic of Gilgamesh.
The first section of the book is entirely dedicated to teaching you the basics of the method, wh ...more
The Well-Educated Mind is a starting point for anyone interesting in tackling the "great books" of the Western canon. Bauer breaks the books into five categories - fiction, plays, history, autobiography, and poetry - and provides a mini ...more
I give it five ...more
Totally impractical process for an adult with a job. Susan Wise Bauer says one needs only 30 minutes a few days a week to get through her list of readings - each book three times.
Never gonna happen!
I mostly liked it anyway. Great survey of the history of different types of writing in the Western canon. Interesting (albeit Euro- and Ameri-centric) lists of must-reads... though, to be fair, SWB's is broader minded than almost every "great boo ...more
Yay, Sonlight curriculum. Homeschooling for the win.
Anyway, this is an excellent overview of how to read classical/historical works spanning several different genres. It also contains multitude book recommendations sure to blow up your to-read list. ...more
I don't believe a book requires this much readin ...more
I m ...more
Susan Wise Bauer puts pen to paper to expose adults to what Learning looks like and gives hope that one can gain the education they felt they never had. That is why I picked up this book and why many others do too. Bauer does a great job going through history, literature, plays, and poetry in a way that many of us have never been exposed to before. She takes us by the hand and helps us dig deep into the subjects by applying the Classical ...more
Most of us are "chaos readers" and tend to forget to read with intent. Bauer sings the merits of doing so (and) provides a fantastic, self-study method to being a more serious reader. Great resource for teachers, home schoolers, and those looking to brush up on their critical thinking skills.
Less useful, at least to me, was the "instruction" in how to read "serious literature"; I find th ...more
It covers a lot of the same ground Mortimer Adler covers in "How To Read A Book", however where Ms. Bauer excels is linking reading to the trivium.
Breaking the process down to grammar, logic and rhetoric should have been obvious and common sense, but it isn't really.
For me that was my 'fulcrum' point, the biggest takeaway. It's adjusted the way I shall read books from now on.
Definitely well worth a read for anyone wanting to sharpen their critical thinking skills.
PS: I h ...more
What I appreciated and found most helpful was Bauer’s brief history of each genre and step ...more
The Act of Reading
If you’ve read Adler’s How to read a Book then there isn’t much new here. Good stuff, but I didn’t spend too much time on it.
Keeping a Journal
I used to, but when I saw the awesome power of google docs, I moved everything there. Simply no comparison. However, her suggestions on how to reflect on literature are good. The goal is to understand, evaluate, and reac ...more
Here’s a list of books on her list that are also on my to-read list:
• Greek Lyricists
• Lucretius, De Rerum Natura
• Robert Frost, The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems (ed. Lathem)
• Christina Rossetti, Rossetti: Poems
• Emily Dickinson, Dickinson: Poems
• Jo ...more
I did find her explanation for why "the novel" was originally received with such suspicion and condescension to be interesting.
My personal take-away: Like Thomas Jefferson, Bauer is a big believer in a systematic, disciplined system of reading. She urges readers to peruse gr ...more
Bauer reviews an area and recommends readings to her readers. The areas I chose to work through did indeed help fill some gaps and I feel the mission of her work has been achieved in my particular instance. ...more
I like the idea of this book, of how to read better, with more understanding and all, but honestly, I don’t need those tips so much. Sometimes I take notes, sometimes I don’t, I don’t like to write quotes so much unless they are really striking, and I defiantly don’t need to do it ...more
Chapters 5-9 are set up in the same ...more
I have some anxieties about what social media is doing to my reading habits and attention span. I can get behind this kind of “self-help” for readers in troubles.
But I’ve also read a lot of books and essays (JSTOR, Project MUSE, CUP, OUP, PUP, Routledge) about literature — Bloom, Kermode, Frye, Kenner, Rorty, Cleanth Brooks, Perloff, TS Eliot, JS Brooker... and this ...more
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From the author's website:
Susan’s newest book for Norton, The Story of Western Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory, was published in May 2015. The History of the Renaissance World: From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Conquest of Constantinople (2013), is the third in a multi-volume series providing a narrative world history; the first volume, The History ...more