We have joined the Books Program, started by NY Senator Libous. The program encourages parents and children to read together by offering rewards after certain numbers of reading-hours are accumulated. (The first reward is a McDonald's gift certificate; but the second reward is a pair of passes to a local educational museum.)
So I try to keep track of the times I spend reading to Gwendolyn. Since I have to read for work, I figure it's fair game to read out loud and get credit for Gwendolyn. Thus it is that we are logging time spent reading a classic middle-English epic poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
I remember having to read it for senior high school English class, but all I retained from it was that it had something to do with Sir Gawain from King Arthur's court and, well, a green knight.
Now, having developed a good deal more interest in the kinds of things they were trying to teach us in high school, I am enjoying the second read very much. It is a masterful work of art, even in translation (I cannot read the middle English text). Since it is poetry, it reads out-loud much better than, say, Jared Diamond's Collapse. And when the alliterative assonance gets rolling, Gwendolyn joins in with raucous cheers.
If Gwendolyn ever decides to pursue studies in English literature, perhaps we'll know why. Thanks, Senator Libous!