My parents often bought a particular mix of Christmas gifts for my brother and me. There would be:
1. Something fun that we wanted
2. Some clothes that we needed
3. A few supplies for creating new things
4. A resource to nourish our spirituality
5. Stuff for outdoor adventures
6. A book or toy that encouraged us to check out an unfamiliar realm
7. Something scientific
8. A couple of books for hours of solitude
While working up my summer reading list today, I realized that I was automatically finding books that fall into those categories. (My list is pretty nerdy, but I’ll share it with you anyway.)
If you were to choose a book to read in each of these categories, what would you select? What would your kids pick? If your family members decided to spend one week reading on each theme, then invited dinner conversations that revolved around what was being learned, what would you discover together over the next eight weeks?
Just an idea. I’d love to read your lists, if you want to post them below.
1. Something fun that I want to read: Tremendous Trifles, by Chesterton
2. Something I need to read: a book on the German romantic philosophers (Still deciding on which one, maybe German Idealism by Beiser.)
3. If I read this it might help me create new things: Lyrics by Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, early American bluegrass lyrics
4. Nourishment for the spiritual realm: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, by Eugene Peterson
5. This will help me learn about the outdoors: Standing by Words, by Wendell Berry
6. Something that will expose me to an unfamiliar field: A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants, Peterson Field Guides
7. Something scientific: Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos, Michio Kaku
8. For times of solitude: Library of Congress: Slave Narratives (These are so moving. Check them out if you’ve never read them before.)
Rebecca Reynolds teaches Classical Rhetoric and Philosophy of Faith in eastern Tennessee, and is a contributor to the Story Warren website. She’s the author and illustrator of the pediatric series From the Medical Files of Dr. Phineas C. Bones and collaborated with Ron Block as the lyricist for his critcally-acclaimed album, Walking Song. She lives in Kingsport, Tennessee, with her husband and three children.