Reading books of substance goes a long way toward true education. As homeschoolers we need to provide quality books and we must provide our students time to read. I am hoping to do a better job of this in the future; we always have room to improve, right?
Let’s be careful not to overestimate the value of running around to extra-curricular activities, and underestimate the value of time to read and absorb a good book.With that in mind, I am excited to share this amazing book list with you. This list comes to us courtesy of my brother-in-law Daniel. He kindly provided me this list in 2016, when I was searching for Christmas gift ideas for my teenage boys. Daniel is an avid reader, a history buff, and a dad of four boys. I knew, when I asked him for a book list, that he would offer valuable suggestions of exactly the types of books I would want my young men to read. Last year, my high schoolers and I did an essay study in addition to their regular subjects. This year, I am thinking about having them do a monthly book review, on an approved book of their choice. Maybe, just maybe, I will have time to join them in this activity and do a monthly book review myself. I can always dream…So, assuming that some of you are like me– wanting to provide quality reading materials for growing young men (of course many of these would be great for young ladies too!); not having much time to read in my current season of life; and needing ideas…. without further ado, here is Daniel’s list, complete with his notes on some of the titles.
•Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi
•Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
•Rudyard Kipling, various books
•The Omnibus of Crime, edited by Dorothy Sayers. (Might have to buy used copy. Stories by various authors, all written before 1929.)
•John P. Marquand’s Mr. Moto books.
•John Buchan wrote spy books like The 39 Steps.
•Roland Bainton’s Martin Luther
•Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers
•Kenneth Roberts’ Arundel and Rabble in Arms (These might have a few scattered “D” words. I can’t remember. Written in the 1930s I think. They are historical fiction about Benedict Arnold before he turned traitor. He also wrote Oliver Wiswell which is about a loyalist during the American Revolution.)
•Winston Churchill’s Richard Carvel, The Crisis, The Crossing. (This is not the famous English Churchill. There was an American one. These are historical fiction about the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and westward expansion. Written around 1900. Free ebooks.)
•Other recommended authors: Richard Ketchum, David Hackett Fischer, Shelby Foote, Bruce Catton, David McCullough (all are very good historians/storytellers).
•I’ve never read C.S. Forester or Conn Iggulden but I have heard good things about them. I can’t vouch for their use of language, violence or other things. I watched a PBS television version of C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower novels and it was good. Iggulden is a modern writer. It is hard to find anything modern that is clean. I’d be cautious, but he might be worth checking out. (Historical Fiction)
•Delphi Complete Works collections from Amazon are the cheapest and best full collections of classic authors in ebook form.