Classical Conversations discussion

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Practice discussing good books

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message 1: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Floyd (cherylfloyd) | 12 comments What a great idea to start a good reads book discussion for CC people. This is a great place to practice how to discuss a good book! This is a "safe" place. You have to just trust that and allow back and forth discussion - I know I want to grow in my ability and understanding concerning what makes a good book good, a Classic book classic, what to highlight, what to analyze, how to use Lost Tools for discussion, etc...

Looking forward to this group!


message 2: by M.G. (new)

M.G. Bianco (mgbianc) | 20 comments Mod
Thanks, Cheryl! I hope we can see some good and exciting conversations and ideas regarding good books. One might say, I hope we can participate in the classical conversation!


message 3: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Floyd (cherylfloyd) | 12 comments My favorite CC book we've read so far would be between Where the Red Fern grows and Father and I were Ranchers. Probably because of the way my children reacted and responded. They were so sympathetic to the protagonists. Of course I loved how mature and how responsible the characters were and were expected to be at "young" ages - not young for their time and culture though. Both boys longed to be men, to be responsible, and rightly independent, not rebelliously individualistic. What book from CC's reading list is your favorite so far? Or your thoughs on either/both these books?


message 4: by M.G. (new)

M.G. Bianco (mgbianc) | 20 comments Mod
I spend more of my time with the upper challenges, so my favorites are The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid, as well as Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, and Macbeth. I've not read Where the Red Fern Grows in a long time, and I've never read Father and I Were Ranchers.

The Odyssey may be my all time favorite book, though. Especially if you read it as a set with The Iliad.


message 5: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Floyd (cherylfloyd) | 12 comments Which version(s) do you prefer?


message 6: by M.G. (new)

M.G. Bianco (mgbianc) | 20 comments Mod
Lattimore and Fitzgerald.


message 7: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Floyd (cherylfloyd) | 12 comments One of my favorite quotes comes from Hamlet: My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts to heaven never go. - by the uncle

What is your favorite part of The Odyssey or your favorite aspect?


message 8: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 5 comments Mod
My favorite book changes each year as I see new insights based on my life experiences that year and on the discussions I have with that year's students. Right now, I am really enjoying Screwtape Letters. Last year, I would have definitely said Julius Caesar. As I have said, though, my preference for Julius Caesar last year is based on the fact that we had our most fruitful and enjoyable discussions while reading that play.


message 9: by Marc (new)

Marc Hays (marc_hays) | 14 comments Next week, the students' Out of the Silent Planet essays are due. I'm excited to see what they say about it. That is one of my favorite books of Lewis', and the essay prompt seems like one that could spur on some important conversations. I'll be praying that this spring weather we're having doesn't distract them too much from their studies.


message 10: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Floyd (cherylfloyd) | 12 comments Oh but God's Nature is a worthy distraction. :)


message 11: by M.G. (new)

M.G. Bianco (mgbianc) | 20 comments Mod
My favorite part of The Odyssey is the relationship between Odysseus and Penelope.

My favorite book is The Odyssey, although I have to agree with Jennifer: my opinion is often moved by the quality of discussion I have on a book. So, in the past, my favorite books have been Hamlet, The Iliad, MacBeth, To Kill a Mockingbird...


message 12: by Marc (new)

Marc Hays (marc_hays) | 14 comments To Kill A Mockingbird provokes some of the best discussion of the year every year. Harper Lee's gifts plus adolescent characters and mature themes equals very thoughtful conversations from 14 year olds. Always some of the best talks.


message 13: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Floyd (cherylfloyd) | 12 comments It's interesting that you list the age of the characters as part of what provokes good discussion. I thought it very insightful when reading the introduction of Ender's Game by the author that he said he knew he had to make his protagonist extremely young to invoke sympathy from the reader. Can you imagine The Odyssey with a female lead and a husband who dutifully sits at home waiting for her return? It just wouldn't work. The reader wouldn't believe it.

Hunger Games works because of the age of the characters as well. Also because it IS a female protagonist. We wouldn't feel her to be vulnerable the same way as we would think of a guy going through the same scenarios. In this case it is Peeta's love that is enduring and causes the reader to consider that virtue. - I'm not comparing Hunger Games and The Odyssey on a qualitative level though! :)

Just considering the thoughts of authors choosing things like the age or gender of their character in order to make an appeal to the reader. Why was it Odysseus' wife and not daughter - does it make a better case, does it matter at all? I thought it was very insightful for Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game) to recognize the need to make his character a child or else he would lose his audience. When you watch the movie, you can imagine that if they had chosen a truly young cast how much more provocative it would have made the subject matter. But because we are used to seeing young adults fight, be competitive, bully, and make extreme choices, it just didn't give the same effect as the book did. There's a vast difference between 8 and 14! And between men and women, and even between a daughter and a wife as the object of love.


message 14: by M.G. (new)

M.G. Bianco (mgbianc) | 20 comments Mod
Great observations, Cheryl. I agree!


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