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Book list(s)

Last night David downloaded the book list for his fall freshman semester at the University of Evansville. His World Cultures class does not have a list. I assume this is because they are reading several books over the semester (actually the whole year, since it’s a full year requirement for all freshmen) and the teacher only wants them reading one book at a time. So he’ll likely have to get those directly from the college bookstore. And it appears as though his Computer Science 101 class does not have a text. Wouldn’t it be a novel idea for a computer science class to be all computerized? No textbook needed?

So, he has to purchase books for three classes: Japanese, Calculus and Chemistry. The full list price at the bookstore for all three classes totals $433.10. If he buys used from the bookstore (assuming they are still available used), it would cost $292. After spending an hour on E-bay and Amazon this morning, I can get several for less, although surprisingly the Japanese books are cheapest at the campus bookstore. If I buy some online and the Japanese at the campus bookstore, the total could be around $260, and most of those online were brand new. So that’s a fair savings.

I would love to see the list of books that David will be using for his World Cultures class. He brought home from Orientation the first book for that class, The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. I have had that book on my “too read” list for over a year. I’ve already read one of his books to the boys and have another here on my shelf to read next. I’m willing to bet that David’s World Cultures class will be a very interesting one.

This morning someone posted on one of the high school homeschool e-mail lists a request for “the” book that we think each high school student should read. And also which book we read as a high school student had the most lasting impact. She wants to create a “must read” book list for her high school student.

If I had to name one book that made the most impact upon me as a high school student, it would have to be The Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. But if I had to name one author, it would be Leon Uris. I think his books did more for my understanding of history, especially history over the past 100-150 years, than any history class I ever took, and I did enjoy all my history classes.

As an adult, there is one book that I think all adults should read before they have children of their own or work with children in any capacity. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Maybe adults would view children differently, treat them differently, if this was required reading.

I’ve always thought book lists were fun. A list of books someone has read can tell you a lot about that person. So can the books they own. The first thing I do upon visiting someone is look over their bookshelves (hopefully they have some!). I think the books there, or the absence thereof, tells you a lot about the household.

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