Family Reading List

There are many kinds of books in this world, but to make it simple, we’ve put them all into one of four categories:

Meat: Classics (in all areas, not just fiction)

Potatoes: not quite Classics, but good themes or other redeeming quality that elevates it somewhat. Often, major award winners fall into this category.

Candy: these are entertaining books that don’t change us particularly, don’t help us to understand the human condition, but are fun while they last!

Drugs: these are books that will harm our souls, tear boards from our character houses, and are generally to be avoided. They are not welcomed into in our home.

Here is a running list of some of the books we’ve enjoyed recently, and see our full meaty classics list below. I also pin on a couple boards about books at my Pinterest site.

Core and Family reading, including History

  • Scripture stories, study and mastery of verses
  • Talks by LDS leaders
  • Leadership Education books
  • Seven habits of Highly Effective People by Covey
  • Say Go Be Do by Earl
  • The Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States
  • Various Non fic: Histories, Ancient and American, warfare, weaponry, technology, biographies, etc etc
  • Tapestry of Grace: year one, year two
  • Anything by Usborne
  • Story of the World volume 1: Ancient World, volume 2: Middle Ages
  • The Writer’s Journey by Vogler
  • Write Magic by Levine
  • Core knowledge series, Hirsch, and his Dictionary of Cultural Literacy

Math / Science

  • Singapore Primary Math books
  • Life of Fred: Fractions, Decimals, Apples, Butterflies, Cats, Dogs
  • The Grapes of Math and others by Tang
  • Anno’s Magic Seeds
  • Sir Comference series
  • Mathematicians are people, too!
  • Archimedes and the Door to Science
  • Algebra: the x and y of everyday math
  • Geometry: the size and shape of everyday math
  • National Geographic Magazines
  • Various Science books — animals, anatomy, earth, space, etc.

Literature

  • Red Scarf Girl
  • Snow Treasure
  • Sign of the Beaver
  • The Lost Prince
  • Door in the Wall
  • Within Reach: My Everest Story
  • The Giver, Lowry
  • Number the Stars, Lowry
  • Les Miserables by Hugo
  • The Percy Jackson series’ (incl. Kane Chronicles)
  • The Dr. Seuss collection
  • Various favs: Love you Forever, The Witch who was Afraid of Witches, Ira Sleeps Over, etc.
  • Howl’s Moving Castles, Jones
  • Narnia series
  • Little House Series
  • Little Britches
  • Laddie
  • A Single Shard
  • Everything by Roald Dahl
  • Animal classics like Black Stallion, Flicka, Shiloh series, Call of the Wild, etc etc
  • Anything from the Warriors series by Hunter
  • Ender’s Game
  • The Hobbit
  • Myths, Greek, Roman, Egyptian
  • Aesop’s Fables, Grimm’s and Hans Christian Anderson’s Tales
  • Tales of King Arthur, Robin Hood, etc.
  • Young reader versions of Frankenstein, Dr. Jeckyll, Swiss Family Robinson, Robinson Crusoe, Illiad and Odyssey, The Invisible Man, Moby Dick, Sleepy Hollow, Don Quixote, etc etc
  • Golden Compass Trilogy
  • Fablehaven Series
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends and other Shel Silverstein
  • Bunnicula series
  • Poetry: Poe and Whitman

 

* YR = Young Reader Adapted Version.

 


 

Here’s our overall classic list, modified for our family from the Leadership Education folks:

CORE and Family Reading

  • Aesop’s Fables
  • Andersen’s Fairy Tales
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Bunnicula (AM)
  • The Bible
  • The Blind Men and the Elephant
  • “Casey at the Bat”
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Chicken Little
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Dr. Seuss books
  • The Story Of The Other Wise Man
  • The Gift of the Magi
  • The Giving Tree
  • “God Save the Flag”
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • The Goose that Laid Golden Eggs
  • Grimm’s Fairy Tales
  • “The Highwayman”
  • Ira Sleeps Over (AM)
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • “Lincoln, The Man of the People”
  • Little Boy Blue
  • The Little Engine That Could
  • The Little House Series
  • The Little Red Hen
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Love You Forever (AM)
  • Mary Poppins (AM)
  • McGuffey’s Readers or Bob/HOP Books
  • Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes
  • “Paul Revere’s Ride”
  • Perloo The Bold
  • Peter Pan
  • Peter Rabbit
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin
  • Pinocchio
  • Pollyanna
  • The Princess and the Pea
  • Puss in Boots
  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi
  • Rip Van Winkle
  • Roald Dahl’s stories
  • Robin Hood
  • Rudyard Kiplng’s Just So Stories
  • Shel Silverstein’s stories
  • The Song of Hiawatha
  • A Story to Tell (AM)
  • Tales from the Arabian Nights
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff
  • The Three Little Pigs
  • Twas the Night Before Christmas
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends (AM)
  • The Witch who was afraid of witches (AM)
  • Winnie-the-Pooh
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

 

LOL and Scholar

  • Alice In Wonderland, Carroll
  • Animal Farm, Orwell
  • Asimov on Numbers, Asimov
  • The Anne of Green Gables series, Montgomery
  • Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, Julia Ward Howe
  • Because of Winn-Dixie (AM)
  • Ben-Hur, Wallace, Johnson
  • The Bible
  • Brighty: Of the Grand Canyon, Henry
  • Black Beauty, Sewell
  • The Black Stallion series, Farley
  • Boy and Going Solo, Dahl (AM)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia series, Lewis
  • Collected Works of Edgar A. Guest
  • “The Concord Hymn”, Emerson
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Twain
  • The Constitution of the United States
  • David Copperfield, Dickens
  • Davy Crockett Legends
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The Diary of a Young Girl, Frank
  • Don Quixote, Cervantes
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stevenson
  • Dred Scott Decision
  • The Education of Henry Adams, Adams
  • Eight Cousins, Alcott
  • Emily Post’s Etiquette
  • Ender’s Game, Card (AM)
  • Fablehaven (AM)
  • “In Flanders Fields”, McCrae
  • Flatland, Abbott
  • The Foundation series, Asimov
  • Frankenstein, Shelley
  • “The Gettysburg Address,” Lincoln
  • “The War Inevitable”, Henry
  • The Giver, Lowry
  • The Great Brain series, Fitzgerald
  • Gulliver’s Travels, Swift
  • Mythology, Hamilton
  • “Hamlet,” Shakespeare
  • Harry Potter (AM)
  • Heidi, Spyri
  • The Hiding Place, Boom
  • History Reborn, Anderson
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain
  • Horatio Hornblower, Forrester
  • I, Robot, Asimov
  • “I Have A Dream,” King
  • Ivanhoe, Scott
  • The Hobbit, Tolkein
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins, O’Dell
  • Joan of Arc, Twain
  • Jo’s Boys, Alcott
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth, Verne
  • “Julius Caesar,” Shakespeare
  • The Jungle Book, Kipling
  • King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table
  • Laddie, Porter
  • The Last of the Mohicans, Cooper
  • “Let America Be America Again,” Hughes
  • The Lincoln-Douglas Debates
  • The Little Britches series, Moody
  • Little Lord Fauntleroy, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Little Men, Alcott
  • Little Women, Alcott
  • The Lonesome Gods, L’Amour
  • The Lord of the Rings series, Tolkein
  • “The Man with the Hoe,” Markham
  • Mathematicians Are People, Too (2 vol), Reimer
  • Moby-Dick, Melville
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • National Velvet, Bagnold
  • Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language; also: Online 1828 Dictionary
  • North to Freedom, Holm
  • Number the Stars, Lowry
  • “O Captain! My Captain!,” Whitman
  • “Old Ironsides,” Holmes
  • Old Yeller, Gipson
  • Oliver Twist, Dickens
  • Paul Bunyan and Other Tall Tales
  • The Phantom Tollbooth, Juster
  • “The Present Crisis,” Lowell
  • The Prince and the Pauper, Twain (AM)
  • “The Road Not Taken,” Frost
  • The Real Benjamin Franklin, Allison
  • The Real George Washington, Parry
  • The Real Thomas Jefferson, Allison
  • The Robe, Douglas
  • Robinson Crusoe, Defoe
  • The Sackett Series, L’Amour
  • Saxon Math series
  • The Secret Garden, Burnett
  • Soldiers, Statesmen & Heroes, Parry
  • Shakespeare’s Sonnets
  • Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers, Kavanaugh
  • Stuart Little, White
  • Summer of the Monkeys, Rawls
  • The Swiss Family Robinson, Wyss
  • Tom Sawyer, Twain
  • Treasure Island, Stevenson
  • The Trumpet of the Swan, White
  • The Doctor Dolittleseries, Lofting
  • White Fang, London
  • The story of William Tell
  • Where the Red Fern Grows, Rawls
  • A Wrinkle in Time, L’Engle (AM)
Classics for Adults
  • Acton, The History of Freedom
  • John Adams, “Thoughts on Government”
  • Aquinas, “On Kingship”
  • Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics
  • Aristotle, Politics
  • Aristotle, Rhetoric
  • Augustine, The City of God
  • Aurelius, Meditations
  • Austen, Pride and Prejudice and all others
  • Bacon, Novum Organum
  • Bastiat, The Law
  • Bastiat, “That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen”
  • Benson, “The Proper Role of Government”
  • The Bible [click here for an itemized list of stories from the Bible]
  • Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy
  • Bronte, Wuthering Heights
  • Bronte, Jane Eyre
  • Carson, The American Tradition
  • Capra, The Tao of Physics
  • Chesterton, Orthodoxy
  • Churchill, Collected Speeches
  • Cicero, The Republic and The Laws
  • Clausewitz, On War
  • Confucius, The Analects
  • Constitution of the United States
  • Copernicus, On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres
  • Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Dante, The Divine Comedy
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  • Descartes, A Discourse on the Method
  • Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities 10
  • Dickens, Great Expectations
  • Douglas, Magnificent Obsession
  • Durant, The Story of Civilization (11 Volume Set)
  • Einstein, Relativity
  • Emerson, Essays
  • Euclid, Elements
  • Frank, Alas, Babylon
  • Franklin, Letters and Writings
  • Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
  • Galileo, Two New Sciences
  • Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
  • Goethe, Faust
  • Hobbes, Leviathan
  • Homer, The Iliad
  • Homer, The Odyssey
  • Hugo, Les Miserables
  • Hume, Essays Moral, Political, and Literary
  • Jefferson, Letters, Speeches and Writings
  • Keegan, A History of Warfare
  • Kepler, Epitome
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Collected Speeches
  • Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
  • Lavoisier, Elements of Chemistry
  • Lewis, Mere Christianity
  • Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
  • Lewis, The Weight of Glory
  • Lincoln, Great Speeches
  • Locke, Second Treatise Of Government
  • Machiavelli, The Prince
  • Madison, Hamilton and Jay, The Federalist Papers
  • Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto
  • More, Utopia
  • The Magna Charta
  • Mill, On Liberty
  • Milton, Paradise Regained
  • Mises, Human Action
  • The Monroe Doctrine
  • Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws
  • Newton, Mathematical Principles
  • Nicomachus, Introduction to Arithmetic
  • Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
  • The Northwest Ordinance
  • Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
  •  Plato, Complete Works
  • Polybius, The Histories
  • Potok, The Chosen
  • Plutarch, Lives
  • Ptolemy, Almagest
  • Shakespeare, Complete Works
  • Skousen, The 5000 Year Leap
  • Skousen, The Majesty of God’s Law
  • Skousen, The Making of America
  • Smith, The Wealth of Nations
  • Solzhenitsyn, “A World Split Apart”
  • Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
  • Sophocles, The Oedipus Trilogy
  • Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • Sun Tzu, The Art Of War
  • Thackeray, Vanity Fair
  • Thoreau, Walden, Civil Disobedience
  • Tolstoy, War And Peace
  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War
  • Tocqueville, Democracy in America
  • Twain, “The Guilded Age” (AM)
  • Washington, Letters, Speeches and Writings
  • Weaver, The Mainspring of Human Progress
  • Wister, The Virginian


Math Classics for Kids

  • Donald in Mathmagic Land (DVD)
  • Anno, Anno’s Counting Book, Anno’s Journey, Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar, Anno’s USA, Anno’s Magic Seeds, Anno’s Magical ABC: An Anamorphic Alphabet, and All in a Day
  • Burns, Greedy Triangle and Spaghetti And Meatballs For All!
  • Calvert, Multiplying Menace: The Revenge Of Rumpelstiltskin (A Math Adventure)
  • Ellis, What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras?
  • Lee, 5-Minute Math Problem of the Day
  • McKellar, Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss
  • McKellar, Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing your Mind or Breaking a Nail
  • Neuschwander, Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream, Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry, Patterns in Peru: An Adventure in Patterning, Pastry School in Paris: An Adventure in Capacity
  • Neuschwander, Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens, Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone, Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter, Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi, Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland, Sir Cumference and the First Round Table
  • Scieszka, Math Curse
  • Tang, The Best Of Times, Grapes Of Math, Math Appeal (Mind-Stretching Math Riddles), Math Fables, Math Fables Too, Math For All Seasons, Math Potatoes: Mind-stretching Brain Food, Math-terpieces
  • Schmidt, The Life of Fred (everything!)


Math Classics for Adults

  • Plato, Timaeus; First mathematical treatise of western thought
  • Aristotle, Analytica Priora et Posteriora; System of deductive logic and method
  • Euclid, The Elements (in three volumes); Exhaustive compliation of Greek geometry
  • Archimedes, The Sand Reckoner; Introduces base-ten system, principle of the logarithm
  • Archimedes, Method; Foundation of integral calculus
  • Apollonius, Conic Sections; Exhaustive work on the conic sections
  • Nicomachus, Introduction to Arithmetic; Compilation of arithmetic principles
  • Ptolemy, The Almagest; Greek trigonometry used to record star positions
  • al-Khowarizmi, al-jabr w’al-muqabalah; First treatise on algebra and Hindu-Arabic numerals
  • Fibonacci, Libro di bacci; Introduces Hindu-Arabic numerals to Europe
  • da Vinci, Linear Perspective; The mathematical elements of painting
  • Stevin, La Disme; Systematic treatment of decimal fractions
  • Cardano, Ars Magna; Solves cubic and bi-quadratic equations, imaginary
  • numbers
  • Galileo, Two New Sciences; Challenges Aristotle’s law of falling bodies
  • Descartes, Geometry; Lays the foundation of analytical geometry
  • Fermat, On the Theory of Probabilities; Pascal lays the foundation of probability
  • Newton, The Principia; Invention of calculus and defines gravity
  • Bernoulli, Law of Large Numbers; Lays the foundation of statistics
  • Euler, Seven Bridges of Konigsberg; Lays the foundation of topology
  • La Place, Celestial Mechanics; Applies calculus to heavenly orbits
  • La Place (Sommerville translation), Celestial Mechanics [click here for online
  • text]; Expansion of La Place’s work
  • Boole, Symbolic Logic; Discovery of symbolic and boolean logic
  • Abbott, Flatland; Fictional work about mathematical dimensions
  • Poincare, Chance; Probability and statistics [click here for online text]
  • Poincare, Mathematical Creation; How to create mathematics
  • Mendeleev, Periodic Law of the Chemical Elements; Lays the foundation for the periodic table
  • Whitehead, Principia Mathematica; Deepest study of the foundations of
  • Mathematics
  • Polya, How to Solve It; Problem solving
  • Jeans, Science and Music; Lays the foundation for the physics of music
  • von Neumann, Games and Economic Behavior; Lays the foundation of game
  • theory

 

Topic specific classics

Teaching and learning

  • Multiple Intelligences by Gardener
  • Teach your child how to think
  • Dictionary of Cultural Literacy
  • All the Leadership Education books (http://www.tjedonline.com)

Relationships

  • Crucial Conversations
  • Proper care and feeding of husbands
  • The Five Love Languages
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People / Families
  • Leadership and Self Deception (bk 1 of 3)
  • Bonds that Make Us Free (bk 2 of 3)
  • Anatomy of Peace (bk 3 of 3)
  • Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus
  • Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
  • Fascinating Womanhood
  • The Peacegiver (fic)
  • David Copperfield (fic)
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel (fic)
  • Cheaper by the dozen (fic)
  • Fireproof (MOVIE)

Writing

  • Characters & Viewpoint and How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Card
  • Monomyth stuff by Campbell
  • The Writer’s Journey by Vogler
  • Write Magic by Levine
  • On Writing by King

LDS Religion

  • Jesus the Christ
  • A Marvelous Work and a Wonder
  • The Miracle of Forgiveness
  • Anything by Hugh Nibley
  • General Conference talks (all)
  • Teachings of Presidents of the Church series
  • The Holy Temple

 

One Reply to “Family Reading List”

  1. From the same author as Good Calories, Bad Calories is a more layman-friendly read: Why We Get Fat. Also, a new classic to me is Team of Rivals.

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