Photo via Amazon
A couple of years ago I bought “Who Should We Then Read?” vol 1 and vol 2 by Jan Bloom from Amazon – noticing that one dealer was BooksBloom and was located in MO. I ordered from that dealer and thinking it would get here quicker. A few minutes later I received an email from the author who asked if I had noticed we are from the same town inviting me to pickup the books at her house, and she would refund my shipping money.
I went over to her house – talk about instant gratification on order fulfillment (lol) – and got to meet Jan Bloom…she was very gracious and interesting! (I found another person who has a map above the kitchen table and has bookcases all over the house…literally…and I was drooling over the one bookcase full of titles I could read…all books that are recommended here and ohhhh…how about their inventory…I volunteered to get lost in there – LOL) She and her husband travel to the conventions and sell the OOP / living books CMer’s all want. She generously offered to help find my list of hard to find books if I would email it to her…how cool is that?? I no longer feel so alone in my CM venture here.
I asked if I could share her advice on obtaining these books and she was happy to agree. Most of us talk about ordering from Amazon, but she suggested that we use the search engine http://used.addall.com/ to find these books. She says that it searches over 40 places, and suggested that we would find much better prices for our books. I wanted to share that since it may save us all money and a headache! She made my weekend! LOL
So – if you have made it this far – I’ll tell you about the actual book and why I think that it is a valuable resource to own.
The biographies are helpful AND it is fun to “get to know” an author as a person – what they did, what some of their experiences were, how they believed, even about their families make them real. Then they really start to become “friends.” Knowing the name of a “safe” author is important because if you know the name, the world opens up when you are in a book-buying time.
photo via Amazon
As for how Jan’s books are organized:
There is a section containing such things as the acknowledgements, the table of contents, introduction, where to find great books, the care and repair of books, a guide to resourses about authors, biographical resources and alphabetical author information (including the page number of each individual author biography).
Then it moves into a history overview and teaches you about choosing books based on the sources, the stories and the secrets (what really mattered?), history storytellers, with a short list of excellent writers. She does the same thing with biographies and fiction.
On page 29 she lists reading level suggestions by author for beginning readers to advanced readers and includes lists of series for each, including a variety of genres. VERY COOL since that allows you to find books to interest the picky reader.
From page 36 to page 263, Jan writes about 140+ authors. First she lists everything they wrote and published, listing it in series or other categories such as juvenile fiction, poetry, biography, etc. At the end of the list she does a brief biography of the author.
From page 264-340, she lists the books in series such as Childhood of Famous Americans, Landmark, American Heritage, Cornerstones of Freedom, Newberry Award, and so many more.
At the end of page 340, she has her bibliography.
This book is a real treasure! But Jan didn’t stop there – she wrote “Who Should We Then Read? Volume 2” as well. Volume 2 contains 155 new authors and book lists. I highly recommend these because they have contain lists of 300 safe authors which translates to thousands of good living books, not just lists of specific books to read!
Here is a link to her first volume:
And here is a link to the second volume: