Category Archives: Books

Living Books, Twaddle & Whole Books

Cassat%20Reading%20to%20ChildrenLiving books are the opposite of dull, dry textbooks. The people, places and events come alive as you read a living book. The stories touch your mind and heart. They are timeless. Continue reading

Q&A: Choosing Books

by Catherine Levison
Guest Contributor


“I’ve been hard at work planning our new school year and I think I’m making it more complicated than it needs to be, trying to find the ‘perfect’ books that ‘can’t miss.’  I was worried that we’d get bored reading the same books over and over. My kids are very close together (four children in a five year spread), and even a good book gets old if you read it over four times in a row!  I’d like to stay away from a set curriculum, which is more like Continue reading

What is a Living Book?

by Sheila Carroll
Guest Contributor

What is a living book? Charlotte Mason said a living book is one that is “well put” and “well told” (Parents and Children).

In other words, in a living book:

  1. The language used powerfully and beautifully expresses the ideas of its author
  2. The narrative — whether fiction or non-fiction — holds together in a compelling and memorable way.  Continue reading

Which CM Book to Start With?

I found the following quote online and thought it was good information for anyone trying to decide where to start with reading about Charlotte Mason’s methods:

“I love Catherine Levison’s books, both A Charlotte Mason Education and More Charlotte Mason Education. I bought her back issues of Charlotte Mason Communique, and I read them diligently and reread them. … I like practical, down to earth, straightforward, cut to the chase, plain, unadorned, just the facts ma’am approaches. I’m a practical, cut to the chase, ‘is that logical’ sort of person. That’s the way Levison writes — lots of practical, useful ideas, little wrapping, and none of it fluffy.”

You can read the entire posting here:


How to Read a Hard Book

I stumbled across this article today and thought some of you might find it helpful, as well.  Here’s a small snippet:

The tremendous pleasure that comes from reading Shakespeare was spoiled for generations of high school students who were forced to go through Julius Caesar, Hamlet or Macbeth scene by scene, to look up all the new words and to study all the scholarly footnotes. As a result, they never really read the play. By the time they got to the end they had forgotten the beginning and lost sight of the whole. Instead of being forced to take this pedantic approach, they should have been encouraged to read the play in one sitting and discuss what they got out of that first quick reading. Then they would have been ready to study the play carefully, for they would have understood enough of it to be able to learn more.

–excerpted from “How to Read a Hard Book” by Mortimer J. Adler

To read the complete article, go to: