TL Wright

A Bookish Life: Books & Writing

What I’ve Read This Week – Jan 1-7, 2023

Reading Project

Harvard Classics Vol. 1: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, The Journal of John Woolman, & The Fruits of Solitude by William Penn.
Franklin made ~200 pages a drag, oof. But I was more interested in his little habit/virtue tracker (13 virtues) and his plan for his day. Woolman was very Quaker, and he was an early abolitionist of both wars and slavery. He had some very interesting thoughts about not paying taxes for wars (he advocated not paying taxes during the French and Indian War (1754-1763)), as well as being against cruelty to animals. William Penn’s Fruits were numbered paragraphs on how to conduct oneself. I thought the public life sections were illuminating. Also, Franklin was not fond of the Penn family, so it’s rather striking that Franklin & Penn share a volume. The first volume was already prepared before Charles Eliot gave his name to the project, though, as Collier thought the Harvard
Gateway to the Great Books Volume 1: Introduction; Syntopical Guide
This volume was an introduction to the set, how to read through the set, starting with a first initial run-through, then going back for a second look (or more depending), and other hints on reading the selections in the set. It also offers a Syntopical Guide, offering related pieces and authors in the Gateway & Great Books of the Western World sets for every author in the Gateway set. There is an appendix covering a Plan of Graded Reading by school grades: Part I is for 7th & 8th grade-level readers, Part II is for 9th & 10th grade-level readers, Part III for 11th & 12th grade-level readers, and Part IV is for those reading at the level of freshman & sophomores in college.
Flatland – Edwin Abbot
My copy is from Standard Ebooks. I read this ages ago in an old paperback copy, and decided to read it again for my Classics Club Reading List. It really makes you think about place and dimension and even space. The inhabitants of Flatland are shapes, ranked by their angles. Women are straight lines, and men are shapes, starting from the most narrow of triangles all the way to circles. The more sides one has, the higher rank you are.

Completed Books

The Widows of Malabar Hill (Perveen Mistry #1) by Sujata Massey, reread, 4 stars
Dancing With Danger (Goode Girls #3) by Kerrigan Byrne, 4 stars

Started Books

Leather bound books on top bottom is blue with white text saying TL Wright | A Bookish Life, then in grey text: What I've read This Week: Jan.1-7, 2023 and back to white text saying: Bradbury Trio links, Books I've completed and started, and my reading project progress

Bradbury Trio Readings

Sunday, January 1

Monday, January 2

Tuesday, January 3

Wednesday, January 4

Thursday, January 5

Friday, January 6

Saturday, January 7

assorted books on book shelves

Self-Education Project Part Two: The Extended Great Books Reading Plan

As I’ve written before, I’m starting a self-education plan, and this time it’s divided into subjects with a rather large reading list. I’ve been working on creating the list for a couple of years now, whenever I can.

I’ll be reviewing my grammar and mathematics skills while reading through the project, along with starting my Latin and Greek study, then add in each subject as my schedule permits.

Furthermore, I’ll be adding each book on the list to both my Gcal and Todoist, so I have a handy list in apps I check daily. If I don’t see something, I won’t think of it, so I put it in places I will see it and already have the habit of checking.

assorted books on book shelves
Photo by Pixabay on

Timetable Of Subjects

Language – 45 minutes dailyXXXXXXX
Mathematics – 45 minutes 3x weekly X X X 
Great Books – 2 hours 5x weekly, 1 hour weekendsXXXXXXX
Music Study – 1-2 hours weeklyX      
Art Study – 1-2 hours weekly; 1 hr study of art, 1 hr practice      X
Nature Study – 1 hour weekly  X    
Science – 45 minutes 2x weekly  X X  
Grammar/Logic/Rhetoric – 45 minutes 5x weekly XXXXXX
Movie Study – 2-3 hours weekly, write a review & analysisX      
Weekly Schedule of Autodidactic Study

Subjects to Study

  1. Bradbury Trio – 1000 days: 1 poem, essay, & short story/novella a day. Do this in addition to the reading program. I use Instapaper for this, searching for online short stories, poetry, and essays, then sending to Instapaper to send to my Kindle daily, so I can read with a comfortable screen. I’ve not been very consistent with this, but will be working on it.
  2. How To Read a Book – Chapter a day until finished, take notes and highlight.
  3. The Well-Educated Mind – 1 week. Take notes & highlight.
  4. Harvard Classics – 1 volume every week, including fiction (they get two weeks for each volume)
  5. Gateway to Great Books – 10 volumes, 1 every week
  6. GBWW – 60 volumes, 1 a week, start after finishing Gateway
  7. Combined Reading List – 1 book every two weeks
  8. Classics Club + Reading Challenges: Do along with the reading project/combined reading list (already added/will be added)
  9. TBR: work through my TBR list if not otherwise listed.
  10. Other Subjects
    • Ancient Greek {Perdisco + Athenaze + Mastrode + Duolingo}
    • Latin {Perdisco + Wheelocks + LLPSI} – goal: to read in the original language fluently
    • French {Duolingo + texts}
    • Reading knowledge of German and Italian {Duolingo + texts}
    • Math Review {Khan Academy + texts}
    • Grammar & Composition – Texts
    • Logic {Memoria Press Traditional Logic program, do after Grammar}
    • Rhetoric {Memoria Press Classical Rhetoric program, start after finishing Logic}
    • Nature Study – weekly – nature study book
    • Art Study – weekly + look at daily art’s art of the day
    • Music Study – weekly: albums, genres, eras
    • Movies – weekly: 1001 movies list, other movie lists. Write reviews & comments on the blog, Copy them to Letterboxed

Combined List

Combined Reading List – Organize by WEM methodology (novel, autobiography/memoir, history/politics, drama, poetry, science, philosophy then chronologically in each genre). Read chronologically.

Criteria for List: published in a book, published by a newspaper/magazine/college, or by someone with a literary reputation. The list should be primarily classic works or important texts that influenced people. Include a source: cite where I got the list (book or site)

I have the lists below as PDFs for my own use, but I am working on making a collated list, which will be linked here as a new page when it’s done and ready.

  • Adler – How To Read A Book
  • Bauer – Well-Educated Mind
  • Bloom – Western Canon
  • Ward – Lifetime Reading
  • Fadiman – Lifetime Reading Plan 3rd & 4th edition
  • Mustich – 1000 Books to read
  • Boxall – 1001 Books to read [all editions combined, no removals]
  • Borges – Personal Library
  • Smiley – 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel
  • Van Doren – Joy of Reading
  • Durant – 100 Books for an education
  • The Lists at Greater Books [skip the ones already listed above]
  • Prose – Reading Like a Writer
  • Foster – How To Read Like a Professor [+ Novels + Poetry]
  • Utne – Loose Canon 1 & 2
  • Vulture – 21st Century Canon
  • Guardian – 1000 Novels, Best English Language, 21st Century
  • Modern Library Lists – Editor’s Picks
  • St. John’s College – Curriculum per their website. I’ve also written down the essays they read for their Science and Mathematics Labs.
  • Any lists on R. Teeter’s site not listed above
  • Classics Club List (already on blog)
  • Reading Challenges (already on blog)
brown wooden desk

Self-Education Project: Great Books Reading Plan


The plan includes the reading projects that I’ve already posted here on the blog (check the pages) along with teaching myself Latin and Greek, to begin with, then other languages as said further on in this post. My ideal schedule will be 1-2 hours of writing, a walk, then studying and fun reading.

I’ve always thought of myself as an autodidact, a self-taught learner, and this plan has been an off-and-on project that I pick up every so often. There is a rather large spreadsheet in Google Drive with various book lists along with the Harvard Classics (HC), The Gateway to Great Books (GGB), and The Great Books of the Western World (GBWW) 1st & 2nd editions. I already have copies of all the listed sets, except for the GBWW 2nd edition, and I’m keeping my eyes out for a good deal.

The main part of the plan involves reading each volume of the above sets, one per week. For the first ten weeks of 2023, I will be reading a volume of the Harvard Classics and a volume of the Gateway to Great Books, then start the Great Books of the Western World while still reading all 51 volumes of the Harvard Classics and 20 volumes of the Shelf of Fiction until finished. Gateway is only ten volumes and is meant to be read before the main GBWW set, even though it was released after the 1st edition. There is also the Great Ideas Program, which is basically meant for the solo reader to give them a way into the Great Books without having to depend on a discussion group. It is a list of selected readings from the 1st edition in ten subject areas to give the reader a broad introduction. I’ve located a physical set since I have no other way to read the prefaces, which look to be interesting.

brown wooden desk
Photo by Pixabay on

Plan & Method

  1. Set up Google Calendar and Todoist with the schedule: as an All-Day Event in GCal, and as part of a project with due dates in Todoist. I love ticking off things in Todoist, and GCal gives me an agenda/schedule view on my phone, perfect to keep track of when and where I should be.
  2. Read through and take notes from How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles van Doren. I have a physical copy as well as a digital copy, and I can use Moon+ Pro (Android e-book manager & reader) to do highlights and notes. Readwise will get a copy of the highlights. Readwise is the service I use to collate all my highlights and notes from Kindle, Moon+, Twitter, and other places. I’d like it if they offered Reddit as an option, for I have loads of saved posts (mostly recipes and recommended books).
  3. Read through The Well-Educated Mind, taking notes. I have the list on the blog and that list is in my spreadsheet of doom as I said above. I have a digital version which I will be using to take notes.
  4. Create a template in Evernote to hold all my collected highlights and notes per book/volume I read during my project. I’m also testing out Obsidian for book notes.
  5. Create a page on this blog with a running list of works I’ve read while reading the Harvard Classics, Gateway, and GBWW sets. A second page for books on the consolidated reading list I have collected from the various Great Books lists and other reading lists. This and the above items to be done by Dec 31, 2022.
  6. Starting in January, read 1 volume of the Harvard Classics Five Foot Shelf & Shelf of Fiction per week (71 volumes)
  7. Also in January, start reading The Gateway to Great Books, 1 volume per week, 10 volumes in total.
  8. Once done with Gateway, begin reading Great Books of the Western World, 1 volume a week. I have the 1st Edition as stated above, will be looking for the 2nd edition published in 1990.
  9. Not directly related to this, but keep a list of books that I’ve read, even if they aren’t part of the program. Also, include other forms of media if possible.
  10. Post notes & commentaries here once finished with the book/volume.

Per my spreadsheet, if I spend a week per volume (I’ve read thicker books in a day), and have the first volumes read by Jan 7, 2023, I will be done on May 11, 2024. Super reasonable to me, since I’ve seen others say 7-10 years to get through just one set (The GBWW).

Part Two: The Extended Reading List

Part Two

New Social Link

Find me at Mastodon now! Since Twitter is sorta falling apart at the moment. I’ve also updated my social media icons and will be freshening up the home page/landing page once I nail down the new design.

I’m also [email protected] as well, because I’m also a member of Romancelandia, albeit more in a lurker fashion right now.

Announcing Classics Club Reading Challenge Schedule Update

I’ve adjusted the dates for my Classics Club List, and will be aiming to finish by October 2025. Just a few months off schedule. I have approximately 61% of the books on my list in my library in some format, mostly digital, as many of my copies were purchased from Amazon or acquired from Standard Ebooks.

Brief Update – Not A Zombie Blog Anymore

Just a tiny bit dusty here, isn’t it? Apologies, my ADD was particularly strong the past few months along with my health, and I found out I had a busted plugin. But thanks to the wonders of Google and SFTP, I fixed the issue and got everything up to date, plugin-wise.

As for content, I’m drafting ideas, and planning new things for this place. Definitely will be starting a newsletter, plus regular posts. Not reviews, I found writing reviews bores me to absolute tears, and life is much too short for that. But more book lists and discussions about books in general and particular are in order, and a new (old) project is to start on Jan 1, 2023.

I’ve read 153 books this year per Goodreads, and yes, I read them from cover to cover. I’m a quick reader, and if a book doesn’t grab me, I have no problems marking it as DNF or paused, and finding something else. DNF is for something I won’t ever try to read again, while paused is usually because it’s a library book and I couldn’t settle long enough to read it before I needed to give it back. Usually, because there are people waiting for their turn to read it.

As for social media! I started a few new profiles at some Twitter alternatives as well, I’m not a fan of Elon Musk.

Countersocial: @tlwright

Cohost: @tlwright

Readerly: Another Goodreads alternative (I already have a profile with The Storygraph). @tlwright. The website isn’t as feature-rich as the app is, so you’ll need to download the app to start your account. It does import Goodreads without having to download the CSV file, but it marked a bunch of books read that I haven’t read yet.

How I find Books to Read For Free At The Library

My pile of books. See the post for a description.


Picked up a few interesting books, with a mix of online reserves and wandering the stacks. I found that one library I have a card at had The Lost Art of Dress thanks to a useful extension I use with Firefox: Library Extension. It’s available for Chrome (and other Chromium browsers) and Edge as well. It has a little window that pops up whenever I’m on Goodreads, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. The addon has a list of sites it works on, sadly it does not work on Kobo yet, but they’re working on it. I have a limited book budget, so finding things I want to read at the library is such a boon to the pocketbook, making my budget go farther for books I really want to have.

Online reserves are so handy! I picked three of the books online, picked them up at the checkout desk, then found the rest in the stacks. Iwas in an eclectic mood, but the Trainable Cat I picked as we recently got a new cat to add to our clowder and we’re having some adjustment issues with the former baby of the house, Josiah.

From the top down I got:

  • Chanel by Francois Baudot [Goodreads]
  • The Trainable Cat by John Bradshaw and Sarah Ellis [Goodreads]
  • The Secret History of Home Economics by Danielle Dreilinger [Goodreads]
  • Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking by Kate Colqhoun [Goodreads]
  • Spice: The History of Temptation by Jack Turner [Goodreads]
  • The Lost Art of Dress by Linda Przybyszewski [Goodreads]
  • Seven Sisters Style by Rebecca Tuite [Goodreads]

Salad Bar Beef by Joel Salatin: My Review

Salad Bar BeefSalad Bar Beef by Joel Salatin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mr. Salatin has some excellent ideas for raising cows that doesn’t involve acres of corn and liquid manure, which is not very sustainable in the long run, but his method works as he’s been in business for thirty years, with increasing growth, carefully managed.

I first met Mr. Salatin through Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, and as I was looking for a low-cost option to start raising my own food and possibly food for other people, I looked into this book. I have 106 highlights scattered throughout the book and a list of other books to look at.

He is very libertarian and a touch contrarian, and his principles honed by years of experience with dealing with the government in all flavors from local to federal, but that doesn’t negate the fact that with some paying attention to the world around you, and not buying expensive additives (I’m a gardener, and still learning and I’ve priced things for my plants that made my pocketbook wince) or getting expensive equipment right off the bat, you can make enough to raise a family while also keeping your livestock fed and cared for, in a clean environment.

I was never interested in farming when I was younger, even though I come from farmers on both sides of the tree simply because, in my experience, farms were gross, especially chicken farms. Now I live near a dairy operation, and it gets ripe in the summer when they spray the fields with liquid manure. But Joel Salatin in his book spoke at length his techniques: frequent rotation through grazing fields, using chickens after the cows, and using bedding in the winter, keeping them in a hay shed, then using pigs each spring to till up the bedding & manure. Nothing’s wasted. The chickens make eggs that are sold/used as marketing; the chickens are butchered and processed and sold, and the pigs become dinner once they’re large enough. And of course, the cows are processed/sold as needed.

And now, I’ve been in research mode, reading as much as I could on various methods like square foot gardening, Ruth Stout’s no dig mulching technique and, of course, keeping livestock.

I recommend the book if you’re interested in reading alternative ways of farming, and can cope with a strong Christian libertarian bent to many of his words.

View all my reviews


As a note, my copy was from Kindle Unlimited, and they updated the Kindle version from the 1995 paperback and which is a lot more affordable.

Book Haul & What I’ve Read & Loved so far in 2021

Book mail ?

Book Haul

I woke up this morning to a pile of books arriving. A super great way to wake up is to wake up to a book haul arriving in the mail. All my books came from Abebooks, one of my favorite used book sites for when I can’t get to my local used bookstore or the bookstore doesn’t have what I want.

The Books, a Partial List

The top one, the Random House Hostess set, is a two-volume set, with one volume being a book of etiquette and the other one a cookbook. This is replacing the set my grandmother gave me when I was younger. I wore the books out and also misplaced the slipcase in a move, so this set is important to me since it was a gift. I’m excited over the fact that it is in such excellent condition, too!

Next from the top is a 1996 reprint of a book, Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer, which I loved when I was in high school. The illustrations were so pretty, and it sparked off my love for cooking. The one I remember checking out almost once or twice a year was an older print, but my new copy is in much better condition with a dust jacket. I have it on a bookcase that isn’t in sunlight and is partially hidden by the trim, which should help keep it nicer. I’ll have a bookshelf tour up soon once I take pictures of my paperback bookcase.

The Chic Simple books with Cooking [the dust jacket is faded, but that’s the worst damage] on the bottom were also favorites. I already have Clothes, Women’s Wardrobe, and What Should I Wear?, and added Accessories, Dress Smart, Home, Cooking, Woman’s Face, and Work Clothes to my collection. These books aren’t just for a collection, but I like the aesthetics, even though they’re going on 30 years old now. Some examples may be dated now, but a lot of the advice on how something should fit and how to find quality and take care of your clothes is timeless.


2020 was not a good year for keeping up with this blog. I have ADD and I was moderately depressed at least until November 3, then I was just Anxious until Jan 20, which made for an excellent birthday present. I tried to do a 30-day book challenge, but I’m going to do that in June instead, and a fun bookish tag for April.

What I’ve Loved in 2021

As for what I’ve read lately, it’s been a slump, mostly trying to decide what to read from my TBR.

I picked Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches/All Souls series, which I inhaled in February. Three books, three days. And they aren’t thin books, either! I enjoyed the entire series, though it got rough during the second and third books because of a character’s motivations and subsequent actions. I’ll have an in-depth review next week with explanations and appropriate content warnings. The TV show is on my list to watch, for sure, so look out for my thoughts about it.

Another book I’ve read recently was The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, and it’s one of my favorites. I’ve reread it four times that I could remember the dates of, according to my Goodreads. I’m working on a review for next week, hopefully.

What have you been reading lately? In between scrolling social media and phone games or was that just me and my family?

graphic with an open book, paged fanned out over a solid gray background with text saying TL Wright | A Bookish Life then 30 Books in 30 Days Reading Challenge then below 30 books, one month at

Reading Challenge: 30 Books in 30 Days Start

September usually means back to school and also time for my Reading Challenge! Which means today is the first day of my 30 Books in 30 Days Reading Challenge! Plus, I’m making some adjustments in tracking and posting from what I planned in my previous post. You’ll also find the booklist in the linked post.


Each Friday, I’ll post reviews of the books I’ve read up to then, and I will update my Goodreads with every book I read as I read it. Follow me there for updates.

I adjusted my plans from the earlier post because once a day is a lot because of my health and other obligations, but a weekly post is a lot more achievable. I organized the reading list by the author’s last name and then by series for the two series I’m reading, and set up a Kindle collection as well, in reading list order. Anything to make it easier to remember where I am and what I’m reading and what I need to do next. A couple of books were not purchased from Amazon, but via the World SF Storybundle, and sent to Kindle so I could read in one place. I wish there was an app that is not the Kindle that syncs progress with Goodreads and other reading sites.

Reading Challenge Method

I use the Kindle app on an Android tablet and my Pixel and Pixel 3a phones, and for books not from Amazon, I use MoonReader+ Pro paired with Calibre Companion on the devices and Calibre on my laptop. I archive all my Amazon Kindle purchases in Calibre, as Amazon has a nasty habit of pulling back books without refunds. That’ll be a post at some point, so keep an eye out!

Time to start my reading challenge with Strange Love by Ann Aguirre. It’s been in my queue since Feb of this year.

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