Two weeks ago I sent a simple test on American Classical Literature. The results were unexpected and left me puzzled. The response was huge, which told me that most people who read it were deeply touched by the subject of my article. However…
Out of 32,000 people who received that newsletter, no one has guessed all five books correctly. Several people guessed two or three answers. Two people correctly guessed four books. Here are the correct answers:
1. The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry
2. Salamina by Rockwell Kent
3. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
4. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
5. A Dog’s Tale by Mark Twain
Some people asked me if I recommended these particular books for children. I am sure your children will enjoy The Ransom of Red Chief and A Dog’s Tale, but the other three were intended for adults. I picked them for the survey because all five of them were written by famous American classical authors, and were all interesting to read.
Several people shared that they preferred to watch a movie instead of reading. While I understand and agree that movies can be more pleasurable, I would like to explain that there is an enormous difference between the classical books and the movies based on those books. The classical books were written by the best, most brilliant, and honest people among us. Their authors thoughtfully chose the perfect length and style for their books. These books provoke critical thinking and have a life-changing effect on their readers. On the other hand, movies serve mostly as entertainment. There are very few movies with a really deep content, and they rarely follow the true content of a book.
Movies and classical books affect audiences in diametrically opposite ways. Movies depict a heavily idealized version of reality, featuring heroes that do not exist in the real world. Both male and female characters wear perfect make-up, clothes that never get wrinkled, live in perfectly clean houses, and have relationships that are exaggerated in various ways that omit the true complexity of communication. Movies inevitably depict unreal heroes and lifestyles, leading to not only the lowered self-esteem of viewers, but also to the longing of audience members to attain all those perfect impossible things that simply do not exist and therefore can never be found.
Classical books, on the other hand, are often autobiographical, which means they portray the real authentic feelings, thoughts, and actions of people, which can be both positive and negative. The authenticity in books teaches readers to appreciate the world as it is and to avoid idealism. Most importantly, good books strengthen readers' self-esteem, reveal how much all of us have in common, and enable us to set unique goals in life and follow our own dreams.
For those who don't like the process of reading I highly recommend audiobooks. I buy them by the score and always have a bunch in my car. This way, every time I drive for several hours, I feel inspired by some incredible person.
Contrary to popular belief, classical books are the most engaging books to read. I especially enjoy world classics from the 19th and 20th centuries. I am now thinking about publishing a selected list of world classics, and am wondering if anyone would be interested in such a catalogue?
Our New Books Have Arrived
Today a large semi truck brought several pallets of our new books, Raw and Beyond, as well as Will You Love Me Still. We were happy to package and ship your orders.
Visit the Green Smoothies Blog for the latest information from Victoria about Green Smoothies and their amazing benefits. www.greensmoothiesblog.com
Visit our Newsletter Archives, by clicking here. You will find archived copies of Raw Family Newsletters dating back to 2005.
To unsubscribe/change preferences: