I've found myself in a predicament, as of late. I have two lists of books I want to read. The first one is the list I posted earlier; the second is a list of Medieval and classical works as well as works expounding upon the former period. One could say the first list is my casual reading list, though to a casual reader--by most definitions--it would look rather academic. The second would clearly appear entirely academic, though it's becoming a bit of an obsession of mine. I have before me an untouched wealth of knowledge, which, in the words of Seneca the Younger, "were born for us and prepared for us a way of life."
I have been gathering up Medieval texts over the passed few months--over the passed year, actually. Of these, I've only read selections from The Golden Legend. I intend for this to change in the coming year. Of the books I intend to read next year, here is a list. By making a list, I can use it as a reference, as well as make it more definitive.
Books about the Medieval Period include:
The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature by C.S. Lewis
Medieval Lives by Terry Jones, with Alan Ereira (The documentary was fantastic.)
Monarchy by David Starkey (Again, the documentary was fantastic.)
Actual Medieval (and going back to the Classical period and into the Renaissance) texts:
The Illiad and The Odyssey by Homer
Ethics by Aristotle
The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius
Confessions by Saint Augustine
City of God by Saint Augustine
Piers the Plowman
Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede
Alfred the Great by John Asser
The History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth
The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Inner Life by Thomas a Kempis
Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory (more thoroughly)
Utopia by Thomas Moore (again)
Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
I'll be honest. I don't think I can read all of those in one year, but I'm ambitious. That's not including the books in my Amazon wishlist, like William of Newburgh's History of English Affairs or Lewis' Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature. I also want to find more books about Medieval literature and life. That and hopefully I'll be able to find a cheap copy of some of Roger Bacon's works. It may take some time, considering the other reading list I have, but I've become increasingly passionate about these studies. I think the Medieval mindset contained something that we've lost in the last few hundred years that was beneficial, but for some reason we've been damning Medieval man as if he were lower than us. It's chronological snobbery, as Lewis put it.