Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Omnibus Reading List

The Omnibus program is a six year course of study developed by Veritas Press that walks students through the great classics of Western Civilization. The goal is to teach history, literature, philosophy, and theology as an integrated whole rather than as disparate subjects. Since 2006 I have been privileged to teach from the Omnibus textbooks. I have found in my experience that the program is a phenomenal way for middle/high school students to learn core subjects in the humanities and draw connections between ideas and events. The program is also focused on inculcating a good understanding of the Bible and theology that will help students in their lives as Christians in our world today.

In addition to reading and studying every book of the Bible, students who complete all six years of Omnibus will have read the following:


The Aeneid by Virgil
The Orestia by Aeschylus
Codes of Hammurabi and Moses by W.W. Davies
Early History of Rome by Livy
The Histories by Herodotus
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
The Last Days of Socrates by Plato
The Odyssey by Homer
Plutarch’s Lives Vol. 1 by Plutarch
The Oedipus Trilogy by Sophocles
The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius
The Best Things in Life by Peter Kreeft
The Unaborted Socrates by Peter Kreeft
Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff
The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis


Beowulf by Seamus Heaney (trans.)
The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Confessions by St. Augustine
The Divine Comedy by Dante
Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede
Eusebius: The Church History Eusebius
History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
On the Incarnation of Our Lord by St. Athanasius
Rule of St. Benedict by St. Benedict
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by J.R.R. Tolkien (trans.)
The Song of Roland by Dorothy Sayers (trans.)
The Dragon and the Raven by G.A. Henty
Henry V by William Shakespeare
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
King Richard III by William Shakespeare
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers
Winning His Spurs: A Chronicle of the Crusades by G.A. Henty


1984 by George Orwell
Lincoln’s Speeches and Writings by Abraham Lincoln
The Anti-Federalist Papers
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
The Federalist Papers
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford
The Pilgrim’s  Progress by John Bunyan
Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher-Stowe
The Westminster Confession of Faith
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Slave Narratives
Animal Farm  by George Orwell
The Autobiography of Charles G. Finney by Charles Finney
Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
How Should We Then Live? Francis Schaeffer
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The New Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe
Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Postmodern Times by Gene Edward Veith
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


The Iliad, Homer
The Peloponnesian War, Thucydides
The Bacchae, Euripides
The Clouds, Aristophanes
The Hippocratic Oath
The Republic, Plato
Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle
Poetics, Aristotle
Euclid’s Elements, Euclid (Excerpts)
The War with Hannibal, Livy
On the Nature of Things, Lucretius
Writings of Cicero by Cicero
Annals of Imperial Rome, Tacitus
Eclogues and Georgics, Virgil
Metamorphoses, Ovid
The Jewish War, Josephus
Meditations, Marcus Aurelius
The Apostolic Fathers
Aesop’s Fables, Aesop
Death on the Nile, Agatha Christie
Troilus and Cressida, Shakespeare
Augustus Caesar’s World, Genevieve Foster
Art and the Bible, Francis Schaeffer
The Lost World, Arthur Conan Doyle
Knowing God, J. I. Packer
Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne
Phantastes, George MacDonald
Mythology, Edith Hamilton
Plutarch’s Lives Vol. 2, Plutarch
Desiring God, John Piper


The City of God, Augustine
The Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius
Chronicle of the Kings of England, William of Malmesbury
The Divine Comedy, Dante
Lives of Thomas Becket
The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer
Don Quixote, Cervantes
The Fairie Queen, Spenser
Heidelberg Catechism, Williamson
Here I Stand, Bainton
Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin
Le Morte D’Arthur, Thomas Malory
Idylls of the King, Tennyson
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Twain
St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi, G. K. Chesterton
The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
The Decameron, Boccaccio
A Distant Mirror, Barbara Tuchman
Othello, Shakespeare
Complete Poems of George Herbert
The Koran, Mohammed
The Praise of Folly, Erasmus
Martin Luther: Selections from His Writings
The Prince, Macheavelli
Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare
The Saga of the Volsungs
Tartuffe, Moliere
Summa Theologica, Aquinus
Two Lives of Charlemagne, Einhard and Notker


Paradise Lost, John Milton
Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes
Pensées, Pascal
Emma, Jane Austen
The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
The Portable Enlightenment Reader, Isaac Kramnick
American and French Revolutions, Friedrich von Gentz
Moby Dick, Melville
Democracy in America, Tocqueville
Huckleberry Finn, Twain
Notes from the Underground, Dostoevsky
Battle Cry of Freedom, James McPherson
Beyond Good and Evil, Neitzsche
All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Remarque
The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway
Citizen Soldiers, Stephen Ambrose
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
The Stranger, Albert Camus
Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Brave New World, Huxley
On Christian Doctrine, St. Augustine
Out of the Silent Planet, C. S. Lewis
Perelandra, C. S. Lewis
That Hideous Strength, C. S. Lewis
Hamlet, Shakespeare
Common Sense, Paine
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving
John Adams, David McCullough
The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane
Self-Reliance, Emerson
Civil Disobedience, Thoreau
Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, R. L. Stevenson
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud
The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
50 Great Short Stories, Edited by Milton Crane
Poetry of T.S. Eliot