Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Wanna Fit In With My Friends (You Know Who You Are!)

I have some really close friends (and a husband!) who are "thinkers". When we get together we (well, mostly they) talk about ideas and books and movies all in a philosophical, theological, and analytical way. They all bring different views to the table because of education, life experience, and spiritual back ground. Everyone is constantly grabbing books off our shelves and thumbing through until they find the passage they are referring to so that we can hear it "straight from the horse's mouth". I am impressed with their knowledge and passion on most issues.

I came across a great quote the other day and it really made me think (I am capable of being a "thinker" myself sometimes).

"Nobody can decide for himself whether he is going to be a human being. The only question open to him is whether he will be an ignorant undeveloped one or one who has sought to reach the highest point he is capable of attaining." Robert Hutchins

I do not want to be and "ignorant undeveloped" human. I want to know things. I want to experience things. I want to feel things. Being the "book-made
" family we are, I have decided to seek these things through books and authors I know my husband and friends admire. Here's a list of books I am going to read, and in some cases reread, to "reach the highest point" I am able to attain.

Louisa M. Alcott
Little Women

Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility

Mansfield Park
Northanger Abbey

Robert & Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Biographies about their life together

John Bunyan

Pilgrim's Progress

The Canterbury Tales

GK Chesterton
The Father Brown stories
The Club of Queer Trades

Stephen Crane
The Red Badge of Courage

The 3 Muskateers

Trans. David Ferry
The Epic of Gilgamesh

William Goldman
The Princess Bride

Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlett Letter

The Odyssey

The Iliad

Aldos Huxley
Brave New World

Andrew Lang
The Fairy Books

CS Lewis

Pilgrim's Regress
Space Trilogy (reading the first one now!)
Chronicles of Narnia
Surprised by Joy
A Grief Observed
The Great Divorce
The Screwtape Letters
Mere Christianity

George MacDonald
The Princess & the Goblin
The Princess & Curdie
At The Back of the North Wind
His short Fairy Stories

Paradise Lost

George Orwell

Cornelius Ryan
The Longest Day

Harriet Beecher Stowe
Uncle Tom's Cabin

The Idylls of the King (read aloud by Collin)

The Hobbit

On Fairy Stories

Sheldon VanAucken
A Severe Mercy (my FAVORITE book)

Misc. (not sure on the translations yet)
The Lais of Marie de France
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight


I know this is a really long list, and I will probably make changes and additions to it. Hopefully after I have read a few of these, I will be able to participate in the "life-changing" discussions my friends have in my living room. It's kind of like Sheldon and Davy VanAucken when they were living in Oxford. If only I were in Oxford...


Anonymous said...

Well, naturally being Elizabeth Bennet you fit in quite well knowing, like any sensible, that good sense doesn't come by the number of books one reads but which books one reads and how often one has read them, and from a variety of other pleasures and experiences in life.
"Miss Eliza Bennet," said Miss Bingley, "despises cards She is a great reader and has no pleasure in anything else."

"I deserve neither such praise nor such censure," cried Elizabeth; "I am not a great reader, and I have pleasure in many things."

"In nursing your sister I am sure you have pleasure," said Bingley; "and I hope it will soon be increased by seeing her quite well."

Elizabeth thanked him from her heart, and then walked towards a table where a few books were lying. He immediately offered to fetch her others; all that his library afforded.

"And I wish my collection were larger for your benefit and my own credit; but I am an idle fellow, and though I have not many, I have more than I ever look into."

Elizabeth assured him that she could suit herself perfectly with those in the room.

"I am astonished," said Miss Bingley, "that my father should have left so small a collection of books.—What a delightful library you have at Pemberley, Mr. Darcy!"

"It ought to be good," he replied, "it has been the work of many generations."

"And then you have added so much to it yourself, you are always buying books."

"I cannot comprehend the neglect of a family library in such days as these."
--Pride and Prejudice

LisaWA said...

I’m not sure who anonymous is, but you have just quoted from my favorite book!!!

King Alfred Academy.... you will love the books from your list! If one of the books does not speak to you (you are not enjoying it) please move on to one you will like and soak it in!

When I read Pride and Prejudice, its like sitting with a friend. Its comfortable and enjoyable. *Ü* Jane Austin a CS Lewis are 2 of my favorite authors.

I do not have time to go check the quote, but in P&P Lizzy is playing a piano and commenting that she does not play well and also Darcy commenting that he does not socialize well….. but, Lizzy comments back…. if she would give it more practice she could perfect it and also, ever so subtly indicating the same for him with socializing. I love that and I use it for myself and my children. To become accomplished in something or do anything well, it takes time... and effort.

Good for you! Desiring to put in time and effort into reading a wonderful collection of literature! Many of the books you have chosen will soon become favorites!

II am inspired by your list and I will try to come up worth my own. *Ü*

Thanks for the inspiration today!


Skeller said...

What a terrific book list! I just finished reading a couple George MacDonald fairy tales - Princess & the Goblin and Back Side of the Wind. I loved them. Enjoy your reading!!
Susan (in SoCal)

Brittney said...

Thanks for all of your encouraging comments. I am a little intimidated, but looking very much forward to the journey. Lisa, I will take your advice of moving on if the book is not speaking to me. It will take me a long time to get through this list and so maybe I will just have to try it at another time in my life. Susan, I love fairy stories and hope I will enjoy them as much as you did! Wes, thanks for your inspiration. I am looking forward to many in depth conversations in my living room with you!
Here's to good books!

Anonymous said...

"And friends are friends forever/
If the Lord's the lord of them..."
And that, that I think should be a comfort to us all if nothing else...

Seriously, an excellent blog. I think you summed up what we all feel in one way or another... All of us being constantly challenged and intimidated to keep up with each other. But p'raps that's what friendship is about. You've definitely always been intimidating to me as I watch you be both flexible but structured, fun but serious, swingin' gal but loving mom and wife, smart but not afraid to enjoy the simple things too (ahem, Gray's Anatomy.... :) AND CUTE on top of it all! "Yes, if I were a man, you'd be my dream." I think that about says it all.

Love you, Friend!