Lisa Van Damme Launches “Read With Me”

Lisa VanDamme, founder of VanDamme Academy, has launched an online book club called “Read With Me” at readwithmebookgroup.com.

Writes Lisa on Read with Me:

The single, animating element of my career – the one that provides me with an endlessly replenishing daily dose of endorphins – is teaching literature. I am not a literary scholar. I cannot classify works by “school” or “movement,” I cannot describe how they reflect the historical period in which they were written, I don’t know how to inventory their various literary devices. And I don’t care to.

If I have a unique talent as a teacher of literature, it boils down to this: I am passionate about great books. Hugo wrenches my heart and makes me weep tears of anguish and of wonderment. Rostand stirs me to noble ambition in work and love and life. Tolstoy challenges me to think – and to feel – on planes higher than I had ever known. Ibsen, Dostoevsky, Balzac, Jane Austen, Maupassant, Rattigan, Sinclair Lewis – all have helped me to see, in the words of English professor Mark Edmundson, “that life is bigger, sweeter, more tragic and intense—more alive with meaning than I had thought.” I derive profound personal joy from literature, and I have a knack for helping others do the same.

That is why I started Read With Me. I know so many people – thoughtful, intelligent, motivated people – who avoid reading the classics. And for understandable reasons: they’re busy, they don’t know what to read, they’ve never been taught how to enjoy it, they have unpleasant memories of tedious discussions in high school English…

If you are intimidated, uninitiated, jaded, disillusioned or just plain busy – read with me. Let me show you what reading can be.

Visit the website at readwithmebookgroup.com.

Free Objectivist Books

It’s September 2, Atlas Shrugged Day. What better way to celebrate than by giving a copy to a student who wants to read it?

Right now on Free Objectivist Books, there are over 120 students looking for donors to send them copies of Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and other Objectivist books. A few minutes and a few dollars can put a copy in their hands.

In case you haven’t heard of Free Objectivist Books, it’s a website for the purpose of giving away copies of Objectivist books to students who want to read them. Students sign up with their name and school, and say what book they want to read and why. Donors choose which students they want to sponsor, and then send them the books directly. As a donor, you’ll get a personal thank-you from the student, and when they finish reading the book, you’ll get to hear their reaction. It’s a simple, easy, direct form of activism that is unusually motivating and rewarding.

Sign up to donate today at freeobjectivistbooks.org.

Coming Soon: The Cause of Hitler’s Germany

Cause of Hitler's Germany

 

Self-sacrifice, Oriental mysticism, racial “truth,” the public good, doing one’s duty—these are among the seductive catchphrases that circulated in pre-Nazi Germany. In The Cause of Hitler’s Germanypreviously published as part of his 1982 book The Ominous Parallels—Leonard Peikoff, Ayn Rand’s long-time associate, demonstrates how unreason and collectivism led the seemingly civilized German society to become a Nazi regime.