Education,  Interviews,  Show Notes

Episode 78: The Literary Life of Thomas Banks

This week on The Literary Life podcast, we are excited to delve into the literary life of the mysterious Mr. Banks! But before we get started, we do want to let you know that we have posted the reading schedule for January-March, and you can view it on our Upcoming Events page. Also, Blue Sky Daisies Publishing is running a fun contest for kids involving our new Commonplace Books, so you will want to head over to their website and check that out! Finally, be looking out for The Well Read Poem podcast coming to a podcast app near you on January 18, 2021!

Cindy begins the interview asking Thomas about his family background and the influence of his parents on his own reading life. He shares about many of the books he loved in childhood and how that shaped his tastes in literature. He also talks about how he approached school learning as opposed to his personal reading. Angelina asks Thomas to tell about how he fell in love with poetry and how he ended up going to college even though that was not his original goal. He also shares more about his reading as an adult, as well as his habit of commonplacing quotations.

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

…but I was glad to sing again too; it had been a greater loss that I realized in that particular wintering which saw the waning of my voice. It wasn’t about the vanity of being able to trill out a fine song; it was about the joy of singing for its own sake.

Katherine Ma

Michael explains to Adam in the last book of Milton’s Paradise Lost, that tyranny exists in human society because every individual in such a society is a tyrant within himself, or at least is if he conforms acceptably to his social surroundings.

Northrup Frye

The Gods that are wiser than Learning

But kinder than Life have made sure

No mortal may boast in the morning

That even will find him secure.

from “A Rector’s Memory” by Rudyard Kipling

Time, Real and Imaginary

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

On the wide level of a mountain’s head,
(I knew not where, but ’twas some faery place)
Their pinions, ostrich-like, for sails out-spread,
Two lovely children run an endless race,
A sister and a brother !
This far outstripp’d the other ;
Yet ever runs she with reverted face,
And looks and listens for the boy behind :
For he, alas! is blind!
O’er rough and smooth with even step he passed,
And knows not whether he be first or last.

Book List:

Wintering by Katherine May

The Double Vision by Northrup Frye

Classics to Grow On book set

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carol

Beatrix Potter books

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

Oxford Book of Children’s Verse

Praeterita by John Ruskin

The Golden Treasury of Myths and Legends

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J. R. R. Tolkien

Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis

The Saga of the Volsungs by Anonymous

The Adventures of Tintin by Herge

Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott

Julius Caesar by Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare

The Complete Poems of John Keats

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Hardy the Novelist by David Cecil

The James Bond Dossier by Kingsley Amis

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Mishima

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

The Double by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

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Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at

Find Cindy at, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

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