Q3 Educational Challenge: The Great Books Quest Returns

Another quarter. Another challenge.

Q3 is upon us, my friends. It is July, 2014. And that means I am gearing up for another life and educational challenge.

This quarter’s challenge will be slightly more intense for me, because I notice that my academic muscles are too flabby.

My commitment muscles are too flabby, and it’s time to change that. So let me talk about the two challenges that I’ll be taking on this quarter.

1. My College Education

I will continue my college education this semester, with a slightly more intense set of classes. Instead of taking 6 credits like I did in Q1, or 3 credits like I did in Q2, I am going to apply myself for a 12 credit courseload. And here they are:

1. Principles of Management – Saylor Academy – BUS208 (3 credits)
2. Principles of Marketing – Saylor Academy – BUS203 (3 credits)
3. Introduction to Computer Science 101 – Saylor Academy – CS101 (3 credits)
4. Managerial Accounting – UExcel Exam (3 credits)

As you can see, I will be taking 3 classses at Saylor Academy this semester. What makes things different, is that the 3 Saylor courses are actually NCSSR approved for college credit, and Excelsior is partnered with Saylor.

Basically, this means that I can take the 3 Saylor Final Exams, have a transcript sent over to Excelsior, and get college credit. It costs about $25 for each exam attempt.

The Managerial Accounting exam, on the other hand, will cost a whopping $200. That’s about $65 per credit.

I love the opportunity that Excelsior and Saylor have given me to work on a college education for the fraction of the cost. And I’m going to take advantage of it. A big thanks to Jay Cross from DIY Degree who turned me on to this idea.

2. The Great Books Quest

Lit For Brains was originally started as an offshot of Mortimer Adler’s Great Books of the Western World. A series of the greatest books of Western Civilization. Read them. Study them, and you shall be well on your way to becoming an effective citizen of the world, a truly educated human being.

I’m in. I started going through the book list in August of 2012, and continued to study the books and record educational videos about them until July 2013, when I temporarily bowed out. Or, shall I say, burned out.

Well, now I feel it is time to restart the Quest. This time, here are the conditions:

-1 hour a day of Great Books Study, 6 days a week minimum.
-At least 1 article written for each book that I read
-A quick youtube video at the end of the each day, recapping my study and insights

I will be following the Great Books of the Western World as my framework, which has a reading list that can be seen HERE.

I won’t be following this plan dogmatically. Sometimes, I may choose to read a book that’s not even on the list. Sometimes, I might skip around. As long as I put in my hour a day, and record my youtube video, I will have fulfilled my quest.

And it starts with Homer’s Iliad. Tomorrow, July 6th, 2014. So it shall be.

The Great Books Quest is an indefinite commitment, so it will go on much longer than a quarter. Ideally, I will sustain this habit for the rest of my life. Books are the backbone of a great education.

If you want a world-class education, you’re going to have to read world-class books.

A simple formula.

To follow along in the great books quest, make sure you subscribe to my Personal Youtube Account, where I will be uploading a video every day of my Quest.

Closing Words

I have fallen off of the Great Books Quest before. I have stumbled and I have fallen. It has taken me 1 year to find the courage within me to get back up again. No matter. I will do it. I will put in my hour a day, six days a week. I will be writing a piece about each book that I read. I will be recording a Youtube Video every day of my studies, so that it will create a full archive of every single day of my studies.

I encourage you to follow along with my reading plan. Let us see where the rabbit hole will take us.

Homer, here we go.



  1. Mariam July 5, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    Brilliant plan! 😀

    How readable are the Great Books?
    And where do you get these books?

    Good luck!! 🙂

    • Josh Lipovetsky July 5, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

      Awesome, Mariam! They’re pretty readable, and in that reading list, it gets progressively difficult every year. Year 10 should be the most challenging.

      I agree on some account…Plato’s “Timaeus” is in Year 10, which is a highly philosophical and metaphysical account of the creation of the Universe…I tried to read it last year, and it was quite the intellectual puzzle!

      This is quite a contrast to Plato’s “Apology” about the Trial of Socrates, which is the first book of Year 1. That is a much more manageable read.

      But Don Quixote Part 2 is in Year 10, which I didn’t find very challenging. Isaac Newton is in Year 4, which some people find very challenging. Marx is in Year 1, which also can be tough. It’s all highly personal. The whole point is to be challenged, but to remember that all of these books were written for regular citizens during the time of their writing. They were written to be accessible to all people.

      The books will challenge the intellect. It’s like the ultimate long-term exercise program. A triathlon of the mind, if you will.

      Pretty much all of the readings are available for free downloads in beautiful ebook format right here (many are read online, download for kindle, or download as an ePub file):


      Thanks again for the support, Mariam! Let me know if you decide to take on a challenge this quarter!

Leave a Reply

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software