Reading Plato's lengthy dialogue "The Republic" is like pulling a parachute through water. I am taking notes as I read, which is probably the real reason my pace is suddenly languid. Rather than slog through Plato (which I am still doing) I decided to do some side reading.
About two months I added a collection of books to my library that I found at my wife's grandmother's house. Assembled in 1967, these books are from the makers of the GBWW and the reading selections are still considered classics, but they are directed toward children. Therefore I am still reading "western literature classics" and this is a needed break from Plato.
Recently I have finished:
A Christmas Tale by Charles Dickens - Although we are all familiar with this work I think few of us have read the original work. I would not call this a children's book unless your child has a graduate school vocabulary. It is quite well written and I am looking forward to reading more of Dickens in the future.
Stories from 1001 Arabian nights: Several short stories, includes "Ali Babba and the 40 thieves".
Greek and Roman Mythology: Lots of stories here - quite informative.
Fables by Leo Tolstoy - Probably the most accessible literature written by Tolstoy.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson: This is a great story! The wooden legged pirate Long John Silver, a loquacious parrot and buried treasure marked "X" on a map! The pirate, swashbuckler dialogue is fantastic - and it makes you want to drink a lot of rum.