For the last couple of weeks I’ve been turning in circles, which is why I haven’t done a long post. It hasn’t been an ineffective sort of circling–I feel more like I’m cooking and I have four or five hot pans in front of me, and a couple more on burners behind me, and I have to keep turning around from one pan to the next, and the next, and the next, so that nothing scorches. (But they all have something good in them.)

So here’s what I’m doing.

1. I’m working on the outline of a course for The Teaching Company. They recruited me to teach for them right before Christmas and I’m thrilled. Can’t post details yet because the course is still in development but I’ll keep you informed.

2. I’ve been keeping track of reactions to the History of the Medieval World, which has only been out for a week and is still in the “review window” for most papers, magazines, and journals. (The window gets ever narrower.)

This is a kind review from The Providence Journal:

Bauer treats her period (from the early fourth century to the late 11th century) with a fine-tooth comb, and as the chapters march across the globe and the battles and treaties, the droughts and famines accrue, there is the distinct danger that readers will be swept away in a sea of names and dates. After all, even 640 pages seem a bit skimpy up against 700 years of world history.
Curiously — and much to Bauer’s credit– the reader who stays the course starts to see the globe differently, at first as the arena for myriad independent clashes, and then, slowly but surely, as a unified whole where no nation is an island.

and a fun one from a blog I read occasionally (and would read more often if they’d ditch the horrible white-on-black type); it is, as you’ll see, co-written by four MEN.

Let me, first, say a word about the genre of a world history book/series. For a historian, this undertaking is their Super Bowl, the World Series, and March Madness all rolled into one. Imagine for one moment what it means to try and write a history of the entire world รขโ‚ฌโ€œ including all sections of the globe, covering all time for as long as written history (and a little before) has existed!

3. I’m working on the History of the Renaissance World. Those of you who follow me on Twitter will be happy to know that I’m finally out of India.

4. The spring speaking schedule has begun. Reflections on my first trip of the year are here.

5. I’m finishing up a scope and sequence for the middle-grade writing series; don’t email to ask us when the books will be published (I’ll let you KNOW, I promise) but I’m making progress. Have been reading Aristotle and Cicero and contemplating how to use topics exercises with sixth-graders.

6. I’ve mucked out stalls. A LOT. It keep raining and snowing and the horses hunker down in there and…make a mess.

7. I’m reading student papers: my creative writing students had ten thousand words due by this week.

8. I’ve been filling out college financial aid forms for Son #1. AGGHH. And imagine: I get to do this every spring for the next FOURTEEN YEARS. Hurrah.

9. I’m editing a new series for Peace Hill Press.

All good things. But disorienting to do so many at once. And I feel like I’m leaving something out…

Showing 12 comments
  • dangermom

    Holy moley. But what I was really going to say was–a Teaching Company gig! How cool!

  • Paige

    Wow, that is alot! A new series for Peace Hill Press?? Can’t wait to find out what that’s about and to hear about your Teaching Company gig!

  • Heather

    Very excited to see the writing series! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Karen K.

    Congratulations on the Teaching Company course! I’m looking forward to getting it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lynn in WI

    Goodness. Let’s hope you don’t run out of chocolate.

    I need some m&m’s just reading this entry.

    (Teaching Co–very cool!)

  • Matt Keeling

    Let me give you even more praise, I am about three chapters short of finishing the latest book. As with your first, it is so tremendously educational, entertaining, funny, and insightful that in some ways I wish I had waited until all four were finished so I didn’t have to wait another few years for volume three.

    I look forward to my girls getting a little older so I can introduce them to the History for the Classical Child series.

  • Angie (WI)

    You would kick butt in a Teach Co class!

  • Ellen

    This is all exciting (barring the financial aid forms and the mucking business). But I have one question: when do you sleep?

  • james k

    Mrs. Bauer;

    I began the “History of the Medieval World” a week ago, and all I would like to say is – thank you. You present History as I enjoy to experience it! (And, I like the witticisms – “… apparently unable to think of a better solution, invited the Quadi king to a banquet and murdered him”. Nice touch!)

  • Janie

    The Teaching Company! Yah!! Can’t wait!

  • A Daring Adventure

    Susan! Being recruited for Teaching Company is OUTSTANDING!!!

    A thousand congratulations to you! That is a fabulous accomplishment and an amazing opportunity!!

  • Michael D. Mabin


    I’m half-way through The History of the Ancient World and I’ve been loving it. As soon as I saw The History of the Medieval World was out I bought it without a second thought. They way you present history with mythical accounts, archaeological evidence as well as with references to modern popular culture makes me feel linked to the past in a way I’ve never felt before. Thank you for the incredible gift of your writing! Writers like you and Jared Diamond have made history one of my favorite subjects!

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