I recently became the proud owner of the Great Books of the Western World by Britannica (1994 Edition). I also own a set of the Harvard Classics: Five Foot Shelf of Books and the complimentary Shelf of Fiction. The purchase prompt for each of these sets stemmed from listening to Spencer Klavan’s podcast: Young Heretics, which sadly is ending in its current format at the end of the year. During the last two years of listening to Spencer, I learned that classic works are surprisingly more accessible than I initially assumed. For example, before listening to Spencer, I heard from different sources how difficult Dostoyevsky is to read or how out of reach Dante is; however, I know the initial approach is the most challenging part of any classic text. Although I do not have a classical education, and although I might misunderstand aspects of the text, I have learned there are benefits to be gleaned by reading and trying to understand at a lay level. Here is my goal for 2023: digital devices off and analog books open. Well, maybe not entirely off; the internet as a resource to check my understanding is a great supplement, but I intend to embark upon two journeys this coming January. First, I will follow the Harvard Classics 15-minute daily reading guide. Second I will begin the Great Books of the Western World 10-year reading plan. Anyone who searches my site will see it is a digital scrapbook; fragments of undigested words litter the archives like a messy storage locker. I contemplated removing these fragments, and cleaning the house, so to speak; however, I ultimately decided against it. Instead, I did away with the navigation links, although the search function still exists. Moving forward in 2023, I will require myself to provide some personal analysis or insight, at a minimum, suggesting either the author’s thesis, any takeaway, or something I find personally interesting.
So what is on my reading list for this year?
Here is to 2023 and the Great Conversation that will come with it. Best wishes, Blessings, and Cheers.