Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Subject Topic: HOW to READ a BOOK---reviews? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Chari
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Posted: Sept 03 2010 at 9:39pm | IP Logged Quote Chari

Has anyone read:

HOW TO READ A BOOK by Adler and Van Doren?


I am thinking about including it in my high schoolers' English this year.

Can anyone give me a review? Is it worth a read? What did you like or not like about it?

What did you gain?

Thanks!



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Angie Mc
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Posted: Sept 03 2010 at 10:35pm | IP Logged Quote Angie Mc

I haven't read it (have heard it mentioned often) but thought I'd mention that we use The Well Educated Mind as a how-to guide to read books at the high school level and beyond.

ETA: removed the pizza place link that I mistakenly placed under The Well Educated Mind    .

Love,

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Chari
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Posted: Sept 04 2010 at 12:37am | IP Logged Quote Chari

Thanks, Angie, for your recommendation. Since I own the "How to read...." book I thought I would utilize it.

You tempt me with the other title.

Hmmm....wonder if that one is better than mine? Maybe we should do both?

Blessings!



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Bridget
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Posted: Sept 04 2010 at 7:47am | IP Logged Quote Bridget

We have it. I like it very much and my teens did tackle parts of it this summer. I hope we all finish it.

Part of what interested us is that Adler was part of a wave of intellectual Jews connected to the University of Chicago and also the University of Michigan, who were converting to the Catholic Church and then converting others. He shared an office with an acquaintance of my parents, Dr. Herbert Ratner, who also was a convert. (Dr. Ratner was one of the early supporters of LLL.)

Mortimer J. Adler, Catholic -Musings at 85 is an fascinating piece that touches on these great men.

Some day I am going to read everything these brilliant men wrote. I am fascinated by this group and what happened among them to lead to so many conversions.

Anyway, that's probably more than you really wanted to know.

You can't go wrong with Adler's book and it really is not a tough slog.

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Posted: Sept 04 2010 at 8:41am | IP Logged Quote stefoodie

I *loved* HTRAB -- I probably got about halfway, then got busy with other things. I gave it to 19-yo around middle school and she finished it in junior year of high school. She highly recommends it. She likes that she has been able to apply what she's learned from it to both reading and writing.

She says "make the big kids do it".

... but just title itself is offputting to my 14-yo boy. I imagine I'll push for him to read parts of it in the summer.



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Posted: Sept 04 2010 at 9:24am | IP Logged Quote Lori

Bridget, thanks for sharing some "backstory" to the book and author...I enjoy learning about those kinds of things.

And thanks for this thread...it's a reminder that I have the online version of HTRAB bookmarked, and need to read it myself!

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Carole N.
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Posted: Sept 06 2010 at 3:57am | IP Logged Quote Carole N.

My ds and dd are studying Memoria Press Classical Rhetoric this year. HTRAB is one of the main texts for the course. My dd has already started to read the book and from what I have seen, I really like it.

And Bridget, thanks for the interesting information you shared. I like learning about authors and their lives and how they influenced others around them.

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Angie Mc
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Posted: Sept 06 2010 at 10:44am | IP Logged Quote Angie Mc

Bridget, thanks so much for the background information. I told Devin about it and she found it interesting too.

Love,

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Posted: Sept 06 2010 at 12:31pm | IP Logged Quote stefoodie

on the angelicum/great books/adler connection.... just posted about Liberal Studies Program in case anyone's interested.

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Chari
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Posted: Sept 06 2010 at 3:25pm | IP Logged Quote Chari



I found this comment at Amblleside, year 7 questions:


"LOGIC

How To Read a Book by Mortimer Adler

Wendi: This is a difficult book to get through, but it is a worthy book, very helpful. We do it as a read aloud and will continue to do so. I don't think you need to have read it before year 8, but I would start at the beginning and read through parts one and two during year 8, applying the ideas you read about to the books you are reading."

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Chari
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Posted: Sept 06 2010 at 3:49pm | IP Logged Quote Chari

an article by Adler here


Adler's list of great books to read

How to read a blog is taking adler's ideas and applying them to blog reading....I have not read all of this article myself, yet

an online version of one his earliest versions of this book


archives of Adler's articles


you can see I am doing some websurfing today

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Posted: Sept 06 2010 at 5:05pm | IP Logged Quote stefoodie

i meant to mention -- if you like Adler's How To Read A Book you might be interested also in "The Paideia Program" -- it was one of my go-to books when i was compiling booklists for the kids.

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Bridget
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Posted: Sept 06 2010 at 5:36pm | IP Logged Quote Bridget

I am reading and bookmarking as fast as I can! Thank you for sharing your finds Chari and Stef!

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Chari
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Posted: Sept 07 2010 at 12:20am | IP Logged Quote Chari

Thank you, Bridget! And, Stef, too.

I have decided that I will read it aloud to my high schoolers this year, as far as we can get through it...

Three pros:

I would finally get it read.

One of my dds is a slower reader and might not be able to keep up with the other.

and we can all discuss together as we read.

Thanks for your companionship with this.

Who else, then, will be tackling it this school year?

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Posted: Sept 07 2010 at 8:03am | IP Logged Quote Carole N.

Thanks for all the great links! I read Bridget's link and watched the video of Adler. I was so inspired. The I went and pulled out our copy of The Great Conversation. This book was recommended by the Great Books Program at Angelicum Academy. While we were not enrolled in the college credit course, my ds completed the program last year and my dd is currently enrolled in her second year. They really enjoyed the program immensely.

I think that I will try to read How to Read a Book along with my ds and dd in the Classical Rhetoric class from Memoria Press. Rather than reading cover to cover, it seems to be looking at sections that apply to the program. Perhaps that will make reading it a bit easier. I find that I am like Alder--I am not a fast reader and so sometimes it is a bit of a struggle for me.


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Posted: Sept 07 2010 at 8:35am | IP Logged Quote Willa

Mortimer Adler is one of my favorite writers. A self-educated man who dropped out of school at about 15, got a job with a newspaper, and went from atheism to Catholicism because of his love for philosophy.   He helped start that Great Books wave that we are still benefiting from in terms of Thomas Aquinas College and other liberal arts colleges based on a literature/discussion format.    I have read HTRAB more than once (and several of his other books) and most of my older kids have read it at one time as well.

HTRAB is very sensible and has lots of good advice. The first time I read it, I was slightly annoyed by a subtly pedestrian tone of voice.   The way he talks about reading imaginative literature, particularly, is not very "poetic". James Taylor's book Poetic Knowledge is much more perceptive about the literature experience IMO, though JT is very difficult reading for a high schooler.

On a second reading of HTRAB I am more sympathetic to Adler's approach. His philosophy is basically very sound and the slight "staidness" of his prose I think is because he is trying to communicate very good but not easy things to a normal American audience (from the 50's when the normal American was actually fairly literate).

My kids noticed the tone, so I imagine your girls might as well, Chari. But I think the book is quite worthwhile. (I had something of the same impression about The Well-Educated Mind, only even stronger, so maybe I'm just picky)

Didn't see your second post, Chari -- I'm going to start it with Kieron but plan for it to take at least 2 years -- Ambleside has kids read it over 3-4 years.



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Chari
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Posted: Sept 11 2010 at 12:06am | IP Logged Quote Chari

Thanks, Willa! I just read your post to the girls...and most of them actually.

WE have started reading it this week......(hey! I have actualy started SOMETHING for school!!!!)

Carole....Your kids' courses sounds intriguing. We will always remember this as the year we were reading HTRAB at the same time    And maybe, you, too, Lori.

God bless!

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