Well Trained Mind Readers discussion

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The WEM Biographies > Reading through the biographies

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message 1: by grllopez (new)

grllopez (greatbookstudy) | 102 comments If anyone is interested in reading through the biographies from the WEM w/ a partner, I will be starting them in about five months. I have five more novels to complete from the novel list, and then I will move on to the biographies, beginning with Confessions. Just let me know if you are interested.


message 2: by Cleo (last edited Jan 07, 2014 09:37PM) (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments I would be interested, Ruth. I've read Confessions, but I'm not adverse to reading it again and would have to because it's been a couple of years. This will also get me reading Montaigne's Essays, which I've been meaning to get to for a couple of years.

Do you have an idea of how you want to approach this? Discussions while reading? Discussions after reading? Another format?

I think it's a good idea to have some reading buddies. I find I always get more out of a book if I've discussed it with someone else.


message 3: by grllopez (new)

grllopez (greatbookstudy) | 102 comments If you have a copy of TWEM by Bauer, she provides topics for discussion. I am sure the questions for the novels are different for biographies.

I have not thought about how to approach it - but thought I'd throw it out there to see if you or others would be interested.

Would you be willing to add more to your commitments this year? I only do about 1 WEM book a month.


message 4: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments Ruth wrote: "If you have a copy of TWEM by Bauer, she provides topics for discussion. I am sure the questions for the novels are different for biographies.

I have not thought about how to approach it - but ..."


Yes, I have the TWEM. Her questions are quite general (as they should be) yet are wonderful for helping you get to the "meat" of the book. Often I have tons more questions or comments than the resource notes and, then again, sometimes I am just blank. ;-)

If you're starting in about 5 months I would be able to join in. I have about 3 months of overload here and then my schedule will open up. One WEM book a month is perfect ……. I couldn't handle anymore.

So let's wait and see if anyone else pops up. I have someone in mind so I will pm her and see if she's interested.


message 5: by grllopez (new)

grllopez (greatbookstudy) | 102 comments Ok, that sounds great.


message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 40 comments Excellent! I'm in! I need this push to get started in the biographies. I finished to fiction list last year and need some motivation.


message 7: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments Lisa wrote: "Excellent! I'm in! I need this push to get started in the biographies. I finished to fiction list last year and need some motivation."

Great, Lisa! Glad you said yes. I have another member who will be joining so that makes at least four of us. It should make for great conversation.


message 8: by Robin (new)

Robin Mccormack (robinmccormack) | 39 comments If you guys are doing one WEM book a month, I can handle that. I'm still in the midst of the fiction list, but in the middle of all the lists. Reading about 3 a year at least from all the lists. I have yet to read Confessions and keep saying I'll get around to it.


message 9: by Plethora (new)

Plethora (bookworm_r) | 119 comments My partner in reading crime (well, not really, no crime in reading), Cleo, has talked me into adding yet another reading project to my plate.

So here I am, at least with a few months to drown myself in more reads.


message 10: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments Bookworm R wrote: "My partner in reading crime (well, not really, no crime in reading), Cleo, has talked me into adding yet another reading project to my plate.

So here I am, at least with a few months to drown mys…"


Oh yay! There you are! I'm glad I could convince you, although you're pretty easy to convince when it comes to reading ……. one of the many things I like about you!


message 11: by Plethora (new)

Plethora (bookworm_r) | 119 comments Are we starting in May or June?


message 12: by grllopez (new)

grllopez (greatbookstudy) | 102 comments By my calculations, I should start Confessions (Augustine) by June.


message 13: by Plethora (new)

Plethora (bookworm_r) | 119 comments Sounds good, just wanted a ball-park figure to have in the back of my mind.


message 14: by grllopez (new)

grllopez (greatbookstudy) | 102 comments Since I just joined this group, do I have permission to add the biographies to the bookshelf so we can see what titles we are reading and in what order? Just wondering?


message 15: by Robin (new)

Robin Mccormack (robinmccormack) | 39 comments Sure, no problem


message 16: by grllopez (new)

grllopez (greatbookstudy) | 102 comments Hey, Readers:
Just a heads up!
I have already started my final WEM novel. I hope to be done before end of May. I'm excited to begin reading the first biography, Confessions by Augustine, in June, if anyone is still interested.
See you then.
~ Ruth


message 17: by Plethora (new)

Plethora (bookworm_r) | 119 comments Have purchased and have penciled in for June.


message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 40 comments Excited to get started!


message 19: by Robin (new)

Robin Mccormack (robinmccormack) | 39 comments All lined up and ready to go!


message 20: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments I'm ready to go!


message 21: by Cleo (last edited May 23, 2014 07:07AM) (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments I see we start Confessions on June 1st, yet I was wondering the time frame. Have we set it at one month officially?


message 22: by grllopez (new)

grllopez (greatbookstudy) | 102 comments We can try to manage one a month; if we need more time, we can adjust it. What do you think?


message 23: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 40 comments Sounds good!


message 24: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments Ruth (A Great Book Study) wrote: "We can try to manage one a month; if we need more time, we can adjust it. What do you think?"

I think that would be fine for the first two books. Giving Montaigne's essays a longer schedule I think would be beneficial so we can have the time to read carefully for understanding. Then we could go from there.


message 25: by Mandi (new)

Mandi (rainbowstitchez) | 1 comments Hi everybody. I am new here but would like to join you if you do not mind. :)


message 26: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments Welcome, Mandi! It's always great to have another voice in the discussion. We start Confessions on June 1st!


message 27: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments Robin, are we going to set up a thread for Confessions? I was thinking it might be a good idea to set up a folder for the biographies and then list the separate books as threads there. Do you think that would work best?


message 28: by grllopez (new)

grllopez (greatbookstudy) | 102 comments Hi, Mandi, Welcome!


message 29: by Robin (new)

Robin Mccormack (robinmccormack) | 39 comments Yes, we do need to set up a thread for Confessions. I have absolutely no idea how to set up a folder or how a folder works, so if you want to take care of that or tell me how.


message 30: by Cleo (last edited May 29, 2014 11:09PM) (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments The members can start new threads but unless I'm a moderator, I can't open a new folder. I'll try to give you some instructions:

To add a new folder, from the homepage of the group you can click on the "general" folder. You should then see at the top in green (probably over "last activity") "edit folders". Click on it. You should see at the top in the same area "add a folder". Click on it and you can add the folder name, perhaps something like WEM Biographies. After we have the folder, we can add the threads for each book we are reading.

If you have any problems, you could always add me as a moderator to do it and then take me off afterwards. But you should be able to do it with my instructions.

Thanks so much, Robin!


message 31: by Robin (last edited May 30, 2014 04:03PM) (new)

Robin Mccormack (robinmccormack) | 39 comments Ah. I'm not actually listed as moderator, Lesley is. Just messaged her. But in the meantime, started a new thread.


message 32: by grllopez (new)

grllopez (greatbookstudy) | 102 comments Hi, Deborah,
Glad to have you join us. We are hoping to read one book a month, but that will change from time to time. For now, assuming we get through Confessions by end of June, you can join us for the next one. Just keep in touch and see where we are in our reading of Confessions.
~ Ruth


message 33: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments Welcome, Deborah! We'll be looking forward to your comments on The Book of Margery Kempe.


message 34: by grllopez (new)

grllopez (greatbookstudy) | 102 comments Great! The more re-readers we have, the better. You'll have a different perspective than those of us who are reading it the first time.

~ Ruth


message 35: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments Deborah wrote: "On second thought, I will be joining you all on The Confessions…."

Yay! :-)


message 36: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments I'm going to post a schedule here in case anyone needs it.

Schedule:

June 1 - 8: Book One - Book Five

June 9 - 15: Book Six - Book Eight

June 16 - 22: Book Nine - Book Ten

June 23 - 30: Book Eleven - End


message 37: by grllopez (new)

grllopez (greatbookstudy) | 102 comments Thanks, Cleo. This is perfect. ~ Ruth


message 38: by Robin (new)

Robin Mccormack (robinmccormack) | 39 comments Cleo, can you post the schedule in the confessions thread too, please.

Thanks.


message 39: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments I have a question about Montaigne's essays, which I think is the next book. Are we starting in August and are we going to schedule more time for this book? There are a whole swack of essays and I'd hate to rush through them.


message 40: by Plethora (new)

Plethora (bookworm_r) | 119 comments The one Penguin Edition is over 1300 pages.

Are we reading all his essays or a selection? I know in WEM Bauer points out certain essays for those not interested in French warfare. However, I'd be interested in the history I can glean from his insights.


message 41: by grllopez (new)

grllopez (greatbookstudy) | 102 comments Let's start in August if we are all done w/ Kempe. However, I agree that I think we may need more time than a month.

For sure I want to read all of the essays that Bauer lists, but at this time I have no idea how long they will take b/c I have not even looked at each one. I just know this is a big book.

So, that's all I have to say for now about it. I'm going out of town again at the end of this week, and I won't be back until August 3 or something like that. And then I'll hopefully get started on the Essays right away.

~ Ruth


message 42: by Cleo (last edited Jul 21, 2014 10:12AM) (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments Ruth (A Great Book Study) wrote: "Let's start in August if we are all done w/ Kempe. However, I agree that I think we may need more time than a month.

For sure I want to read all of the essays that Bauer lists, but at this time…"


So shall we go through the essays on her list, see how long it takes and then decide if we want to read more? I'll have to check out her list. I have a really nice leather Essays that is 4 volumes (3 essays & 1 extra) but I was only planning on taking one on vacation with me.

I'm gone from July 24th and won't return until August 25th, and I'll have limited internet during this time but I'll keep checking in!

(edited)


message 43: by Plethora (new)

Plethora (bookworm_r) | 119 comments Bauer wrote the following:

You need not read every essay unless you’re particularly interested in sixteenth-century French warfare. Begin with Montaigne’s direction “To the Reader.” In Book 1, read Chapters 2–4, on the power of emotion and grief to shape (and distort) the self; Chapter 9, on memory; Chapters 19–21, on the shape of a life that looks inevitably forward to death; Chapter 26, on education (for boys); Chapter 28, “On affectionate relationships” (this has elsewhere been titled “On friendship” and is the best known of Montaigne’s essays); Chapter 29, on man’s relationship to society; and Chapter 51, on the untrustworthy nature of words. In Book II, read Chapter 1 and Chapters 5–8, on the various qualities that make up what we think of as our “core” or “true” self; Chapter 10, on the value of studying the lives of great men (Montaigne winks at the reader here, encouraging us to view his own life as “great”); and Chapters 17–21, 29, and 31, which complete Montaigne’s musings on the virtues and vices that make up the “self.” Finally, in Book III, read Chapters 1–2, on the difference between “useful” actions and “good” actions; and Chapter 13, “On Experience.” Here Montaigne ponders the nature of truth: can the mind think its way to certainty? Drowning in speculation, Montaigne casts a life-line around the details of everyday life; he chooses, willingly, to limit his vision for the sake of sanity, placing a border around the too-wide world. “If you have been able to examine and manage your own life,” he concludes, “you have achieved the greatest task of all.”


message 44: by Plethora (last edited Jul 21, 2014 11:20AM) (new)

Plethora (bookworm_r) | 119 comments What it boils down to is a very small percentage of what is contained in his works.

Book 1
Chapters 2-4 (15 p.)
Chapter 9 (6 p.)
Chapters 19-21 (36 p.)
Chapter 26 (37 p.)
Chapter 28 (15 p.)
Chapter 29 (2 p.)
Chapter 51 (4 p.)

Book 2
Chapter 1 (8 p.)
Chapters 5-8 (42 p.)
Chapter 10 (15 p.)
Chapters 17-21 (55 p.)
Chapters 29 (8 p.)
Chapters 31 (8 p.)

Book 3
Chapters 1-2 (16 p.)
Chapter 13 (64 p.)

If I did my calculations right, the pages count are in ( )'s. From the The Complete Essays edition.


message 45: by Plethora (new)

Plethora (bookworm_r) | 119 comments In full from the Penguin edition, I just rounded page counts:

Book 1 - 57 Chapters - (~370 p)
Book 2 - 37 Chapters - (~520 p)
Book 3 - 13 Chapters - (~320 p)


message 46: by Cleo (last edited Jul 21, 2014 10:55AM) (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 274 comments Wow, that's great Bookworm! It gives us something to mull over. Thanks!

Personally I would like to read more than what she's listed (French warfare does interest me). When I have a moment (ha!), I'll have to sit down and have a look at my volumes.

P.S. Does the Penguin edition include all of what she suggests? More/less than she suggests? How much of the complete essays does it leave out?


message 47: by Plethora (last edited Jul 21, 2014 11:18AM) (new)

Plethora (bookworm_r) | 119 comments The Penguin edition is the one she recommended, but covers considerably more: The Complete Essays


message 48: by Plethora (last edited Jul 21, 2014 11:22AM) (new)

Plethora (bookworm_r) | 119 comments Cleo wrote: "Personally I would like to read more than what she's listed (French warfare does interest me). When I have a moment (ha!)..."

I'm with you on this front. The history insights intrigue me.


message 49: by Plethora (new)

Plethora (bookworm_r) | 119 comments As a side note the smaller penguin edition - The Essays: A Selection does not cover most of the essays listed by Bauer.

Book 1
Chapters 2-4 (15 p.)
Chapter 9 (6 p.)
Chapters 19-21 (36 p.) Only 20
Chapter 26 (37 p.)
Chapter 28 (15 p.)
Chapter 29 (2 p.)
Chapter 51 (4 p.)

Book 2
Chapter 1 (8 p.)
Chapters 5-8 (42 p.) Only 5 and 8
Chapter 10 (15 p.)
Chapters 17-21 (55 p.)
Chapters 29 (8 p.)
Chapters 31 (8 p.)

Book 3
Chapters 1-2 (16 p.) Only 2
Chapter 13 (64 p.)


message 50: by grllopez (new)

grllopez (greatbookstudy) | 102 comments Thanks, Bookworm, for working that out. The suggested chapters are not very long at all. And there are several others I'd like to read, too. I think we'll have plenty of time in August to read Bauer's suggestions and more. But we can determine that when we get to it.

And Cleo, hope you enjoy your vacation. Safe travels!


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