The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You  Never HadThe Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had
Susan Wise Bauer
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Have you lost the art of reading for pleasure? Are there books you know you should read but haven't because they seem too daunting? In The Well-Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer provides a welcome and encouraging antidote to the distractions of our age, electronic and otherwise. In her previous book, The Well-Trained Mind, the author provided a road map of classical education for parents wishing to home-school their children, and that book is now the premier resource for home-schoolers. In this new book, Bauer takes the same elements and techniques and adapts them to the use of adult readers who want both enjoyment and self-improvement from the time they spend reading.

The Well-Educated Mind offers brief, entertaining histories of five literary genre - fiction, autobiography, history, drama, and poetry - accompanied by detailed instructions on how to read each type. The annotated lists at the end of each chapter - ranging from Cervantes to A.S. Byatt, Herodotus to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich - preview recommended reading and encourage readers to make vital connections between ancient traditions and contemporary writing.

The Well-Educated Mind reassures those readers who worry that they read too slowly or with below-average comprehension. If you can understand a daily newspaper, there's no reason you can't read and enjoy Shakespeare's Sonnets or Jane Eyre. But no one should attempt to read the "Great Books" without a guide and a plan. Susan Wise Bauer will show you how to allocate time to your reading on a regular basis; how to master a difficult argument; how to make personal and literary judgments about what you read; how to appreciate the resonant links among texts within a genre - what does Anna Karenina owe to Madame Bovary? - and also between genres. Followed carefully, the advice in The Well-Educated Mind will restore and expand the pleasure of the written word. 432 indexed pages, hardcover with dust jacket.

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Part I: Beginning: Preparing for Classical Education
Chapter 1: Training Your Own Mind: The Classical Education You Never Had
Chapter 2: Wrestling with Books: The Act of Reading
Chapter 3: Keeping a Journal: A Written Record of New Ideas
Chapter 4: Starting to Read: Final Preparations

Part II: Reading: Jumping into the Great Conversations
Chapter 5: The Story of People: Reading through History with Novel
Chapter 6: The Story of Me: Autobiography and Memoir
Chapter 7: The Story of the Past: The Tales of Historians (and Politicians)
Chapter 8: The World Stage: Reading Through History with Drama
Chapter 9: History Refracted: The Poets and Their Poems