Recently I received a course catalog from The Teaching Company in the mail and I took my time going through it. Anyone who knows me knows that I am big on continuous learning. I particularly like this catalog because they didn’t have the regular run-of-the-mill courses, and many of them fascinated me — Change and Motion: Calculus Made Clear, Understanding the Brain, How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, Games People Play: Game Theory in Life, Business, and Beyond, Understanding Complexity, Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer’s Craft. Aren’t these fantastic names for courses?
I was interested in nearly all the courses listed, but that’s not practical. One course which fascinated me was Life Lessons from the Great Books. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful course to take? And the amazing thing is that the catalog has courses on DVD, with each lecture 30 minutes long. Most people can sit down for 30 minutes, couldn’t you dedicate 30 minutes each day for a course, if you could apply the concepts?
The following are the Course Lecture Titles. I must admit that most of those books I have never read, but after reading the copy in the catalog I wanted to take the course and I wanted to read the books. Has that ever happened to you?
- On Providence (Annotated), Seneca
- The Gospel of John (The Gospel of John)
- Conscience, Boethius, (The Martin Luther King, Jr. Companion: Quotations from the Speeches, Essays, and Books of Martin Luther King, Jr.) Martin Luther King
- The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky
- Night (Oprah’s Book Club), Elie Wiesel
- Schweitzer—Out of My Life and Thought
- The Sufferings of Young Werther, Goethe
- Hamlet, Shakespeare
- Ajax, Sophocles
- Epistle VII (The Seventh Letter (Illustrated)), Plato
- “On Old Age”, (Treatises on Friendship and Old Age) Cicero
- The Penitent, Isaac Bashevis Singer
- Alcestis, Euripides (Three Plays of Euripides: Alcestis, Medea, The Bachae)
- Medea, Euripides
- Tristan And Isolde, Von Strasburg
- Antony and Cleopatra (Folger Shakespeare Library), Shakespeare
- Macbeth, Shakespeare
- Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
- The Odyssey, Homer
- Philoctetes (Greek Tragedy in New Translations), Sophocles
- Chivalric Adventure, The Song of Roland (Penguin Classics)
- Chivalric Romance, The Nibelungenlied: Prose Translation (Penguin Classics)
- The Journals of Lewis and Clark, 1804-1806
- Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph: The Complete 1922 Text, T. E. Lawrence
- The Eleven Comedies – Volume 1,The 11 Comedies – Volume 2
- Menander : The Grouch, Desperately Seeking Justice, Closely Cropped Locks, the Girl from Samos, the Shield (Penn Greek Drama Series), Menander
- Mandragola, Machiavelli
- The Praise of Folly, Erasmus
- Animal Farm, (Animal Farm and 1984) George Orwell
- The Jewish War: Revised Edition (Penguin Classics), Josephus
- Cato a Tragedy, in Five Acts, Joseph Addison
- George Washington’s Farewell Address
- Abraham Lincoln, George Patton—War
- An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt
- The Wisdom of Great Books
“What Makes a Book “Great”?
According to Professor Fears, four characteristics define a Great Book:
- Its focus on great themes such as love, courage, and patriotism
- Its composition in a noble language
- Its ability to speak to readers across the ages
- Its ability to speak to readers not as groups, but as individuals”
How many of the books above have you read? Would you willingly want to read them? Let’s keep the conversation flowing, please comment.
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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