Category Archives: Literature

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


The Advent Book Box

A great idea for the holidays is to set aside a special box or basket containing your family’s special Christmas or other holiday books. The Holiday Book Box only comes out during the Advent season, and is put away again with the decorations after the first of the year.


This list of Favorite Christmas Books was compiled following a discussion 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

Defining Twaddle

by Catherine Levison

Because Charlotte Mason strongly recommended the avoidance of twaddle, parents are often concerned about what it is and how they can successfully avoid it in the context of education. Continue reading

Twaddle-Free Literature by Grade Level

51BlGAcUHnL(This reading list is simply my personal idea of twaddle-free reading — it isn’t the Twaddle-free Gospel.) 🙂

Living Books = books that are well-written and engaging–they absorb the reader–the narrative and characters “come alive”; living books are the opposite of cold, dry textbooks.

Twaddle = dumbed down literature; absence of meaning

This list of recommended reading is now included in the new book, A Twaddle-Free Education: An Introduction to Charlotte Mason’s Timeless Educational Ideas.

Continue reading