My name is Lisa VanDamme and I am the founder of VanDamme Academy, a small private school in Southern California with big ambitions to provide students with an exceptional education and a joyful learning experience.

The single, animating element of my career – the one that provides me with an endlessly replenishing daily dose of endorphins – is teaching literature. I am not a literary scholar. I cannot classify works by “school” or “movement,” I cannot describe how they reflect the historical period in which they were written, I don’t know how to inventory their various literary devices. And I don’t care to.

If I have a unique talent as a teacher of literature, it boils down to this: I am passionate about great books. Hugo wrenches my heart and makes me weep tears of anguish and of wonderment. Rostand stirs me to noble ambition in work and love and life. Tolstoy challenges me to think – and to feel – on planes higher than I had ever known. Ibsen, Dostoevsky, Balzac, Jane Austen, Maupassant, Rattigan, Sinclair Lewis – all have helped me to see, in the words of English professor Mark Edmundson, “that life is bigger, sweeter, more tragic and intense—more alive with meaning than I had thought.” I derive profound personal joy from literature, and I have a knack for helping others do the same.

That is why I started Read With Me. I know so many people – thoughtful, intelligent, motivated people – who avoid reading the classics. And for understandable reasons: they’re busy, they don’t know what to read, they’ve never been taught how to enjoy it, they have unpleasant memories of tedious discussions in high school English…

If you are intimidated, uninitiated, jaded, disillusioned or just plain busy – read with me. Let me show you what reading can be.

What’s New

Version 2.6.2

Fixed facebook links!

Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

dsdxp01 ,

It’s never too late

I generally do not like to read books. I read so very slow, and often end up needing to re-read sentences at times, that it takes forever to get through a decent novel. I would like to read, however, if I were able to get through the book at a reasonable speed and understand what I’m reading. This dilemma lead me to audio books. In general, they’re fine. I can sit and listen to one and understand what’s going on, but it always seems like something is missing. Once I started participating in Read With Me, I immediately realized what it was. Lisa has created a very unique experience with Read With Me. Not only can you listen to the book (and read along with your own copy if you choose), but you actually feel what the characters feel in the way she reads the book. In addition to this, you have access to a community of other readers to read and analyze the book with you. Lisa’s commentary and break-down of each chapter helps reveal every detail you would most likely have missed by reading alone. I highly recommend Read With Me whether you are an avid reader, someone like me, or anywhere in between. It’s never too late to get started.

Also, this app is really great 😁

EllenLeeK ,

Outstanding and so enjoyable!

Lisa’s Read With Me program is one of my gifts to myself. I am on the edge of my seat when I listen to her readings of Arrowsmith, Victor Hugo’s 93 and Notre Dame de Paris, and currently, Crime and Punishment. I had not read these works. She brings the characters to life and she is so easy to listen to! Her focused summaries of each chapter give more depth to her readings and they help me focus on details I otherwise might have missed. She is deeply passionate about the personal value of classical literature and has given me that joy. I like that her program is self-paced. You can start anytime.

Bulleit123 ,

Do yourself a favor and get this app!

Expand your universe with these guided readings of the classics of world literature. The readings are heartfelt and beautifully produced, and the app itself works very well. Each chapter or section is accompanied by a summary and commentary. I know that without this app I would never have gotten through these classics by giants of literature Hugo, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and others. I’m always eagerly waiting to see what we’ll be reading next!


Joseph Tabenkin
24.1 MB

Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating
Rated 9+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
Copyright © 2017 Lisa VanDamme. All rights reserved.


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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