In January 2016, I began a Masters Program at St. John’s College in Annapolis. St. John’s is a small liberal arts college that is well-known for its “great books” curriculum–that is, a carefully composed curriculum that focuses on reading and discussing many of the most influential texts from the ancients on up. Each semester is determined by one of five overarching subjects: Philosophy and Theology, History, Literature, Politics and Society, and Mathematics and Science.
My reasons for getting this Masters degree were very personal: I wanted to develop a relationship with these books and authors that could last a lifetime. And I wanted to build that in dialogue with my friends and family and bring these texts to life. So, I started this blog about the books that I was reading.
The title “Out of Living Books” is a play on the latin phrase “Ex Libris” (“from the books of”) which is used on book plates to denote the owner of the book. When telling my brother, a classicist, about my desire to show these books as “living” even today, my brother added “vivis” to “ex libris”– hence, “Ex Libris Vivis” or “Out of Living Books. “Vivis” is also a play on my name, Eva, which means “Life.”
I completed my Master’s degree in May 2017 and have kept this site as a way to continue my ongoing education and share my thoughts on whatever books I am reading. Sometimes the books are very academic, other times they are just useful and fun, like books on gardening or cooking.
See my first post.
I am married to a wonderful man named Tom and so far we have two little boys, Anselm and Joseph. We live in Alton, IL, where Tom was born and raised. I, however, was raised in NJ, first on a farm and then in a busy commuter town. My parents taught my two older brothers and me to love great art, music, reading and intellectual pursuit, nature, and above all, God and one another. I went to Princeton University, where I studied Art History, Studio Art, and Dance and indulged in my love for foreign languages and travel. Tom and I have lived in many places before Alton, while he was serving as a lawyer in the U.S. Army. That’s how we ended up in Annapolis, MD where I received my MA from St. John’s College.