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A book is a literary compass that has the potential to direct our thoughts and actions:

"Everything we read stimulates our mind to think, and what we think determines what we desire, and desires are the seedbed of our actions. Given this iron law of human nature--from reading to thinking, to desiring, to acting--we are shaping our destiny by the ideas we choose to have enter our minds through print." - Fr. John Hardon, S.J., The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

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"Every soul that uplifts itself uplifts the world." --Elisabeth Leseur

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Music to Listen to While You Read, Part I

Picture yourself curled up on the couch with a good book and your favorite drink. No interruptions. What music is playing in the background?

Some people like to read in silence, but I'm not one of them. The right music helps me become more involved in my book by creating a kind of environmental blanket that envelops me and keeps the world out. I thought I'd share some of my favorite music to read by with you in the hopes that you might share yours with me.

If you've ever read Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander series then you know how important music is to the story. Both Captain Aubrey and Stephen Maturin play musical instruments and they try to play together in Aubrey's cabin whenever they can. ESS.A.Y Recordings has put together a trio of cds featuring music mentioned in the novels: Musical Evenings with the Captain, Musical Evenings with the Captain, Volume II, and Musical Evenings in the Captain's Cabin. They feature works by Locatelli, Handel, Mozart, Bach, and Haydn.

I love listening to these cds while I'm reading not only the Patrick O'Brian books but any book set in England in the early to mid 1800s (Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, for instance).

Another great cd to listen to while reading Patrick O'Brian is Roast Beef of Old England: Traditional Sailor Songs. This collection features songs that the men on board ship would have sung together: "Spanish Ladies", "Roast Beef of Old England", "Heart of Oak, " 24 songs in all. Confession: I love to sing along with this cd while I'm driving to work in the morning, especially "Heart of Oak." Of course, I wait until all the kids have been dropped off first, so I can really belt it out.

Check back tomorrow for more music to read by.

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posted by Nick Senger at 5:14 AM

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