Lisa VanDamme - Read With Me

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I teach literature at VanDamme Academy, the school I founded in an effort to provide students with the sort of rich, substantive, soul-forming education I wish I'd received. For years, I have inspired my students with passion for the great works of literature, works by authors such as Rostand, Hugo, Tolstoy, Maupassant, Ibsen, and more. In November of 2017, a friend wanting to expand her literary horizons asked me for a reading list. I responded off-hand, "I should start some sort of online read-with-me book club, so we can read them together." That was the day Read With Me was born. 

Read With Me was my way of expanding my reach beyond the classroom. It is now a richly-stocked, ever-growing, easy-to-use app that puts the classics, and my guidance through them, at anyone's fingertips. For each work I have covered (including, in just the first year, Hugo's Ninety Three and Notre Dame de Paris, Tolstoy's Kreutzer Sonata, Sinclair Lewis's Arrowsmith, Maupassant's Boule de Suif, and more) there is an audio library with my chapter-by-chapter readings of the work, followed by commentary meant to help the reader both to understand the work and to derive personal meaning from it, and an associated Facebook group linked from the app, where I can interact directly with our community of members. I add new material every week, and I hope to continue doing so forever. 

For the first year, subscribers paid about $12/month for membership in Read With Me. I am honored by their support, and they made this project possible. But I am a zealot on a literary mission, and I want this app in the hands of anyone who has any interest in it at all. Our world is characterized by a desperate quest for meaning, and I want to help people see how much of that meaning can be found when you crack the pages of musty, old, beautiful, timeless books. 

So, I have made the app free to all - to eliminate the financial barrier in front of anyone who can't afford it, or doesn't yet understand its value. If you can, and you do, you can support the project with a subscription donation of $10 per month.   
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