The Third Decade (2017-2026)

I'm amazed to say that I'm now in my third decade of planned reading.

In 1996, wanting to give myself the liberal education I thought my schooling had denied me, I began reading (along with many other things) the ten-year plan that comes with the Britannica Great Books set. I enjoyed the experience so much, two years before the end of the schedule (that was 2005: it actually took me eleven years to complete the first list -- oops!) I drew up my own ten-year plan filling in gaps and extending my reading in the traditional western canon and other areas of history, theology, and philosophy of interest to me. You can see that entire plan under the tab marked "The List." I started the new legenda (a word that should be a word) in 2007 and read between 60 and 600 pages in each of 39 categories every year for ten years, finishing right on time in December of 2016. You can read more about that journey under the tab labeled "The Project."

Of course, I planned yet another ten-year list. For this third decade, though, since it seemed to me that I had accomplished my goal of knowing the outline and key figures of western history, the major movements in philosophy, and the monuments of literature through the ages, I included a lot of titles intended to bring me back to the literary joys of my adolescence. So on the list below, along with Renaissance epic, medieval philosophy, and ancient history, you'll also see adventure novels of Robert Louis Stevenson and Jules Verne, science fiction by Isaac Asimov, detective mysteries by Agatha Christie, and even the ludicrous fantasies of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

2019 is year 3 of the Third Decade, so on this trip around the sun I'm reading the title or titles in each category next to the number (3): plays by Ben Jonson, Black Arrow, Coningsby, Hyperion, Robots of Dawn, and so on.


(1) Terence: Andria, Hecyra; Plautus: Asinaria, Alularia
(2) Stoppard: The Real Thing, Arcadia
(3) Jonson: Volpone, Every Man His Humour; John Webster: The White Devil
(4) Mamet: Glengarry Glen Ross, Speed-the-Plow
(5) Stoppard: Jumpers, Travesties
(6) She Stoops to Conquer, School for Scandal, The Rivals
(7) Marlowe: Tamburlaine, Edward II; Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy
(8) Stoppard: Night and Day, The Dog It Was that Died
(9) Ben Jonson: Sejanus, Batholomew Fayre
(10) Shepard: Buried Child; Simon: Lost on Yonkers

Novels, Mostly Adventure
(1) Dumas, Count of Monte Cristo
      Verne, Hector Servadac aka Off On a Comet
      Roberts, Arundel
(2) Dumas, The Three Musketeers
      Scott, Quentin Durward
      Roberts, Rabble in Arms
(3) Stevenson, Black Arrow
      Disraeli, Coningsby
      Longfellow, Hyperion
(4) Dumas, Twenty Years After
      Norris, The Octopus
      Scott, The Talisman, The Lay of the Last Minstrel
(5) Verne, Journey to the Centre of the Earth
      Roberts, The Lively Lady
      Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles
(6) Dumas, The Man in the Iron Mask
      Scott, Rob Roy
      Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris
(7) Verne, In Search of the Castaways
      Roberts, Captain Caution
      Cooper, The Pathfinder
(8) Verne, The Mysterious Island
      Stevenson, Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde
      Wister, The Virginian
(9) Roberts, Northwest Passage
      Scott, Ivanhoe
      Hardy, Jude the Obscure
(10) Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days
      Dana, Two Years Before the Mast
      Disraeli, Tancred

Isaac Asimov
(1) End of Eternity, Complete Robot
(2) Caves of Steel, Naked Sun
(3) Robots of Dawn
(4) Robots and Empire
(5) Stars Like Dust, Currents of Space, Pebble in the Sky
(6) Prelude to Foundation
(7) Forward the Foundation, Foundation
(8) Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation
(9) Foundation’s Edge
(10) Foundation and Earth

Histories of Countries
(1) France: The Cambridge Illustrated History of France
(2) Italy: Force of Destiny
(3) China
(4) Japan
(5) Ireland
(6) Scotland
(7) Germany and HRE
(8) Russia
(9) Mexico
(10) Netherlands

William James
(1) Biography: William James in the Modern Maelstrom
(2) Chaps. XII, “Conception”; XIII, “Discrimination”; VII, “Methods”
(3) Chap. XX, “Space”
(4) Chaps. XVII, Sensation”; XXI, “Perception of Reality”; VIII, “Minds”
(5) Chaps. XV, “Perception of Time”; and XXVIII, “Necessary Truths”
(6) Pragmatism
(7) Varieties of Religious Experience, first 1/4
(8) Varieties of Religious Experience, second 1/4
(9) Varieties of Religious Experience, third 1/4
(10) Varieties of Religious Experience, fourth 1/4

Civil War History
(1) Thomas Connelly, Army of the Heartland
(2) Foote, vol. II, first 1/3
(3) Foote, vol. II, second 1/3
(4) Steven Woodworth, While God Is Marching On
(5) Foote, vol. II, third 1/3
(6) Steven Woodworth, Nothing but Victory
(7) Foote, vol. III, first 1/3
(8) Foote, vol. III, second 1/3
(9) Connelly, Autumn of Glory
(10) Foote, vol. III, third 1/3

Civil War Biographies 
(1) Lincoln by Sandburg (1-vol. version)
(2) Gilbert, Churchill
(3) Joshua Chamberlain
(4) Grant autobiography
(5) Harwell and Freeman, Robert E. Lee
(6) Burlingame, Inner World of Abraham Lincoln
(7) Stonewall Jackson
(8) O. O. Howard, Autobiography
(9) Jefferson Davis
(10) Lincoln by Benjamin Thomas

(1) Christina Georgina Rossetti
(2) Sidney Lanier
(3) Longfellow
(4) Coleridge
(5) Robert Browning, William Cullen Bryant
(6) Dante Gabriel Rossetti, James Russell Lowell
(7) Matthew Arnold
(8) W. H. Auden
(9) Gerard Manley Hopkins, Edwin Arlington Robinson
(10) Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost

"Recent" Christian Literature
(1) Walter Wangerin, Jr., The Book of the Dun Cow
(2) Owen Barfield, This Ever Diverse Pair
(3) Waugh, Officers and Gentlemen
(4) Leif Enger, Peace Like a River
(5) Eliot: poems and plays
(6) Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
(7) Young, Night Thoughts (recommended by Boswell)
(8) Eddison, The Worm Ouroboros (The author a sometime guest of the Inklings)
(9) Barfield, Saving the Appearances
(10) Waugh, Black Mischief
George MacDonald
(1) Thomas Wingfold
(2) Malcolm
(3) The Marquis of Lossie
(4) Lilith
(5) Alec Forbes
(6) Sermons
(7) Donal Grant
(8) Weighed and Wanting
(9) Heather and Snow
(10) What’s Mine’s Mine

Galsworthy Forsyte Saga, Modern Comedy, End of the Chapter
(1) The Man of Property
(2) Indian Summer of a Forsyte, In Chancery
(3) Awakening, To Let
(4) The White Monkey
(5) A Silent Wooing, The Silver Spoon
(6) Passers By, Swan Song
(7) Maid in Waiting
(8) Flowering Wilderness
(9) Over the River
(10) Roberts, Oliver Wiswell

(1) On Grace and Free Will, On Nature and Grace
(2) On the Trinity, bks. 1-5
(3) Lectures on the Gospel of John, Chapters I-III
(4) Treatise on the Predestination of the Saints, Treatise on the Gift of Perseverance, A Treatise on Faith and the Creed
(5) On the Trinity, bks. 6-10
(6) Homilies on the First Epistle of John
(7) Gospel of John, chapters IV-VII
(8) On the Trinity, bks. 11-15
(9) Gospel of John, chapters XIV and XV
(10) Concerning the Nature of Good (against Manichaeans), Correction of the Donatists, A Treatise on the Good of Marriage

Aquinas and other Scholastics
(1) 131 pages of remainder
    Part I:
    QQ.37-41 (27 pp.)
    QQ.44-48 (26 pp.)
    QQ.61-64 (25 pp.)
    QQ.91-102 (44 pp.)
    QQ.117-118 (9 pp.)
(2) 130 pages of remainder
(3) 130 pages of remainder
(4) Cardinal virtues, 25 questions
(5) Cardinal virtues, 25 questions
(6) Mary, Purgatory, Limbo, Slavery, Communion
(7) Penance (in III and in supplement)
(8) Abelard (Priscilla Throop: Sic et non)
(9) Peter Lombard, Sentences, selections
(10) Albertus Magnus

This and That
(1) Elyot, Castle of Health; Brown, History of Victorian Literature
(2) Gregg Allison, Historical Theology
(3) Bakhtin, Dialogic Imagination
(4) Christopher Dawson, Religion and the Rise of Western Culture
(5) Morris, The Well at the World's End
(6) Capote, In Cold Blood
(7) Charles Williams, Descent of the Dove
(8) Grimm's Tales
(9) Sidney, Arcadia
(10) Butler, The Way of All Flesh

Plato and Aristotle
Read notes from corresponding years in the Second Decade (i.e. read my 2007 notes in 2017, etc).

Other Ancient Literature
(1) Greek Epic Fragments from Loeb
(2) Horace: Odes, Epodes
(3) Finish Shahnameh
(4) Herodotus I
(5) Horace: Epistles, Satires, Ars Poetica
(6) Cicero, De Re Publica, De Oratore, De Oficiis
(7) Epictetus
(8) Herodotus II
(9) Reread some Greek plays
(10) Reread Consolation of Philosophy

Durant (380 pages per year)
(1) Vol. VII, Chs. IV-XVII (87-461)
(2) Vol. VII, Chs. XVIII-XXIII (462-648); Vol. VIII, Chs. I-VI (1-182)
(3) Vol. VIII, Chs. VII-XIX (183-547)
(4) Vol. VIII, Chs. XX-XXIV (548-722); Vol. IX, Chs. I-V (1-213)
(5) Vol. IX, Chs. VI-XVII (214-604)
(6) Vol. IX, Chs. XVIII-Epilogue (605-798); Vol. X, Chs. I-VII (1-188)
(7) Vol. X, Chs. VIII-XXI (189-575)
(8) Vol. X, Chs. XXIII-Envoi (576-966
(9) Vol. XI, Chs. I-XVIII (1-393)
(10) Vol. XI, Chs. XIX-XL (394-780)

Church Fathers
(1) Book of early fathers
(2) Justin Martyr
        First Apology
        Hortatory Address to the Greeks
        Dialog with Tryphon, chs. 77-82
      Lactantius, Divine Institutes, book 7
(3) Hilary of Poitiers, On Councils
      John of Damascus, Orthodox Faith
(4) Cyprian, Treatises 1-10
        Unity of the Catholic Church
(5) Irenaeus, Heresies, bks. IV and V
      Anselm, De Concordia
(6) Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, book I
        Who Is the Rich Man that May Be Saved?
        Stromata, books I, II, and VI
(7) Leo the Great, Holiday sermons
          Gregory the Great, selections from Moralia
(8) Hippolytus, Refutation of All the Heresies, bks. I, IV, V, VI, VII
(9) Jerome, Prefaces to commentaries
          Athanasius, On the Incarnation
(10) Julius Africanus, book I of the Chronology
      Cyril of Alexandria, The Unity of Christ

Renaissance Epic (1) Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered, first 1/4
(2) Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered, second 1/4
(3) Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered, third 1/4
(4) Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered, last 1/4
(5) Spenser, Faerie Queene, bks. I and II
(6) Spenser, Faerie Queene, bks. III and IV
(7) Spenser, Faerie Queene, bks. V and VI and Mutabilitie
(8) Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, first 1/3
(9) Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, second 1/3
(10) Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, last 1/3

All's Well that Ends Well
2 Henry VI
Julius Caesar
Twelfth Night
Sonnets 1-15

Richard III
Comedy of Errors
Sonnets 16-30

King Lear
Richard II
Much Ado About Nothing
The Merchant of Venice
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Sonnets 31-45

1 Henry IV
2 Henry IV
The Tempest
Sonnets 46-60

Romeo and Juliet
Henry V
As You Like It
Measure for Measure
Sonnets 61-75

All's Well that Ends Well
2 Henry VI
Julius Caesar
Twelfth Night
Sonnets 76-90

Richard III
Comedy of Errors
Sonnets 91-105

King Lear
Richard II
Much Ado About Nothing
The Merchant of Venice
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Sonnets 106-120

1 Henry IV
2 Henry IV
The Tempest
Sonnets 121-135

Romeo and Juliet
Henry V
As You Like It
Measure for Measure
Sonnets 136-154

Other Novels
(1) Manzoni, The Betrothed
(2) War and Peace, first half
(3) War and Peace, second half
(4) Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
(5) Finnegans Wake (with Campbell’s Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake)
(6) Hesse, Glass Bead Game
(7) The Brothers Karamazov, first half
(8) The Brothers Karamazov, second half
(9) Greene, Quiet American
(10) Gogol, Dead Souls

(1) Nicholas Nickleby
(2) The Old Curiosity Shop
(3) Dombey and Son
(4) David Copperfield
(5) Bleak House
(6) Little Dorrit
(7) A Tale of Two Cities, Hard Times
(8) Great Expectations
(9) Our Mutual Friend
(10) Edwin Drood

(1) A Christmas Carol, Dickens Letters
(2) Mansfield Park, Forster biography of Dickens
(3) Barnaby Rudge,  Cricket on the Hearth
(4) Northanger Abbey, Dickens plays (half)
(5) Christmas Stories, Slater biography of Dickens
(6) Pride and Prejudice, The Haunted Man
(7) Other story collections, Dickens plays (second half)
(8) Pickwick Papers
(9) Martin Chuzzlewit
(10) Oliver Twist, Emma

Trollope (Read 10% of the short stories each year as well)
(1) Phineas Redux
(2) The Prime Minister
(3) The Duke’s Children
(4) The Way We Live Now
(5) The Claverings
(6) Castle Richmond
(7) The American Senator
(8) He Knew He Was Right
(9) Mr Scarborough’s Family
(10) Dr Wortle’s School

C. S. Lewis
(1) Letters, first half; Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
(2) Surprised by Joy, An Experiment in Criticism; Poems, first 1/4
(3) The Abolition of Man, The Great Divorce, A Grief Observed, Reflections on the Psalms
(4) The Problem of Pain, Spirits in Bondage, poetry: 1/4
(5) Studies in Words, poetry: 1/4
(6) The Chronicles of Narnia
(7) Letters, second half; on Tyndale in English Lit in the Sixteenth Century
(8) The Four Loves, Letters to Malcolm, poetry: 1/4
(9) Space Trilogy, Selected Literary Essays
(10) The Screwtape Letters, Image and Imagination

(1) Illustrated London News (1918, 1923)
(2) ILN (1919, 1924)
(3) Everlasting Man
(4) ILN (1925, 1926)
(5) ILN (1927, 1928)
(6) ILN (1929, 1930)
(7) ILN (1931, 1932)
(8) ILN (1933, 1934)
(9) ILN (1935, 1936)
(10) Finish and reread favorites from ILN

(1) Tolkien, Letters
(2) Shadows of Ecstasy, and read one play from Collected Plays with each novel
(3) Descent into Hell
(4) The Silmarillion
(5) Lord of the Rings
(6) War in Heaven
(7) The Place of the Lion
(8) Many Dimensions
(9) The Greater Trumps
(10) Till We Have Faces

(1) Master and Commander, Post Captain
(2) HMS Surprise, The Mauritius Command
(3) Desolation Island, The Fortune of War
(4) The Surgeon’s Mate, The Ionian Mission
(5) Treason’s Harbour, The Far Side of the World, The Reverse of the Medal
(6) The Letter of Marque, The Thirteen Gun Salute
(7) The Nutmeg of Consolation, The Truelove
(8) The Wine-Dark Sea, The Commodore
(9) The Yellow Admiral, The Hundred Days
(10) Blue at the Mizzen, 21

The Golden Legend
(1) Andrew, Nicolas, Conception, Lucy, Thomas, Stephen, John Evangelist, Thomas of Cant.(2) Silvester, Remigius, Hilary, Anthony, Fabian, Sebastian, Agnes, Vincent
(3) Julian, Ignatius, Blaise, Agatha, Valentine, Matthias, Gregory, Longinus
(4) Patrick, Benedict, Cuthbert, Annunciation, Ambrose, Alphage, George, Mark, Brandon
(5) Philip, James the Less, Invention, John of Port Latin, Pancras, Dunstan, Austin of Cant., Barnabas, Edward
(6) John Baptist, Genevieve, Maturin, Leo, Peter, Paul, Swithun, Margaret
(7) Mary Magdalen, James the More, Christopher, Seven Sleepers, Martha, Dominic, Assumption, Bernard
(8) Timothy, Bartholomew, Austin of Hippo, John Chrysostom, Matthew, Cosmo and Damian, Michael, Jerome
(9) Francis, Denis, Edward the Confessor, Luke, Ursula and the Virgins, Crispin, Simon and Jude, Martin of Tours, Elizabeth of Hungary
(10) Hugh, Edmund King, Cecilia, James the Martyr, Bede, Simeon, Polycarp, Thomas Aquinas, Louis

Burroughs, Grey, Haggard
(1) Tarzan of the Apes, Pellucidar, Pirates of Venus
(2) The Return of Tarzan, The Beasts of Tarzan, (Haggard) She
(3) The Son of Tarzan, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, (Grey) The Rainbow Trail
(4) Jungle Tales of Tarzan, Tarzan the Untamed, Tarzan the Terrible
(5) Tarzan and the Golden Lion, Tarzan and the Ant Men, Tarzan Lord of the Jungle
(6) Tarzan and the Lost Empire, Tanar of Pellucidar, Tarzan at the Earth’s Core
(7) Tarzan the Invincible, Tarzan Triumphant, (Grey) Wanderer of the Wasteland
(8) Tarzan and the City of Gold, Tarzan and the Lion Man, (Grey) The Vanishing American
(9) Tarzan and the Leopard Men, (Grey) The Man of the Forest, Tarzan/Venus/Pellucidar
(10) (Grey) The U. P. Trail, Tarzan/Venus/Pellucidar

Mystery: Christie, Sayers, and Peters
(1) Sayers, Five Red Herrings; Peters, The Confession of Brother Haluin    Christie: There Is a Tide, Crooked House, They Do It with Mirrors
(2) Sayers, Have His Carcase; Peters, A Rare Benedictine
    Christie: Funerals Are Fatal, A Pocket Full of Rye, The Pale Horse
(3) Sayers, Murder Must Advertise; Peters, The Heretic’s Apprentice
    Christie: Destination Unknown, Hickory Dickory Death, By the Pricking of My Thumbs
(4) Sayers, Hangman’s Holiday (stories); Peters, The Potter’s Field
    Christie: Ordeal by Innocence, The Clocks, Postern of Fate
(5) Sayers, The Nine Tailors; Peters, The Summer of the Danes
(6) Sayers, Gaudy Night; Peters, The Holy Thief
(7) Sayers, Busman’s Honeymoon; Peters, Brother Cadfael’s Penance
(8) Sayers, In the Teeth of the Evidence/Striding Folly (stories)
(9) Sayers, The Zeal of Thy House
(10)Sayers: Whose Body?

(1) Lancelot-Grail Reader, The Complete Romances of Chrétien de Troyes
(2) Mammoth Book of King Arthur, and The Oxford Guide to Arthurian Literature and Legend
(3) Churchill I
(4) London
(5) Churchill II
(6) The Discovery of King Arthur, The Once and Future King
(7) Churchill III
(8) Sarum
(9) Churchill IV
(10) New Forest

Other Large Things
(1) . . . And Ladies of the Club
(2) Divine Comedy, Sayers trans.
(3) The Sum of All Fears
(4) Hawaii
(5) Debt of Honor
(6) Autobiography of Henry VIII
(7) Executive Orders
(8) Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
(9) Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained
(10) Favorites from the Decameron

More Miscellany
(1) Boorstin, The Discoverers
(2) Tolkien, The Lost Road
(3) Biography of Andrew Jackson (Jon Meacham)
(4) Tolkien, Unfinished Tales
(5) Roger Bacon, Opus maius
(6) Goodwin, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys
(7) Selections from Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
(8) Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham
(9) Pascal, Pensées
(10) Thomas More, Utopia

Samuel Johnson
Prayers and Meditations, selections each year
Highlights from Boswell each year

American History
(1) Samuel Eliot Morrison, The Great Explorers
(2) Middlekauff, The Glorious Cause, 1763-1789
(3) Wood, Empire of Liberty, 1789-1815
(4) Damiel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought, 1815-1848
(5) Lincoln-Douglas Debates
(6) Brands, American Colossus: Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900
(7) Schulman, Reawakened Nation (expected release: 2020)
(8) Kennedy, Freedom From Fear, 1929-1945
(9) Patterson, Grand Expectations, 1945-1974
(10 ) Patterson, Restless Giant: From Watergate to Bush vs. Gore

Music and Society
(1) Antiquity and the Middle Ages
(2) The Renaissance
(3) The Early Baroque Era
(4) Athanasius Kircher: The Last Man Who Knew Everything
(5) The Late Baroque Era
(6) Charles Burney
(7) The Classical Era
(8) The Early Romantic Era
(9) The Late Romantic Era
(10) Modern Times

(1) Malory, first 1/4
(2) Malory, second 1/4
(3) Malory, third 1/4
(4) Malory, fourth 1/4
(5) Stewart, The Crystal Cave
(6) Stewart, The Hollow Hills
(7) Stewart, The Last Enchantment, The Wicked Day
(8) Lawhead: Taliesin, Merlin
(9) Lawhead: Arthur, Pendragon
(10) Lawhead: Grail, Avalon

Yet More Miscellany
1) Kephart, Smoky Mountain Magic
2) Chesterton, The Victorian Age in Literature
3) Parts of Hooker’s Ecclesiastical Polity, and “A Learned Discourse on Justification”
4) Petrarch, sonnets and trionfi
5) Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy
6) Abbott, Life of Albert the Great
7) Peer Gynt
8) Meacham, American Gospel
9) Aelred, Spiritual Friendship
10) Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Miscellaneous Miscellany
1) Noll, America’s God: from Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln
2) White, The Once and Future King
3) Howatch, Penmarric
4) Rutherfurd, Paris
5) All for the Union
6) Howatch, Wheel of Fortune
7) Faust, This Republic of Suffering
8) Lady Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love
9) Richard Baxter, Practical Works aka Christian Directory
10) Hugo, Les Miserables

No comments:

Post a Comment