Author(s): Susan Wise Bauer
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. Newly expanded and updated to include standout works from the twenty-first century as well as essential readings in science (from the earliest works of Hippocrates to the discovery of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs), The Well-Educated Mind offers brief, entertaining histories of six literary genres-fiction, autobiography, history, drama, poetry, and science-accompanied by detailed instructions on how to read each type. The annotated lists at the end of each chapter-ranging from Cervantes to Cormac McCarthy, Herodotus to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Aristotle to Stephen Hawking-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. Bauer will show you how to allocate time to reading on a regular basis; how to master difficult arguments; 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. In her best-selling work on home education, The Well-Trained Mind, the author provided a road map of classical education for parents wishing to home-school their children; that book is now the premier resource for home-schoolers. In The Well-Educated Mind, 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. Followed carefully, her advice will restore and expand the pleasure of the written word.
Revised and Expanded
Susan Wise Bauer is the best-selling author of the Story of the World series and The Well-Trained Mind, among other works. She lives in Virginia.