My new favorite hobby is studying awesome people.
Last summer I discovered the book "Lessons from Great Lives" by Sterling Sill (but if you want it, get the old edition since the "co-author" of the new one took out half the people, though he did add in two, including a chapter on Sterling Sill). For quite some time I've watched for great qualities in people that I want to emulate, but Sill talks about creating his own personal "Hall of Fame" of people with qualities he wanted to build in himself. It's an inspiring read, and it's helped me to see history in a new, more real light. Sill wrote biographies of over 100 people for his own benefit. As he states, "A person who provides a good example has the blessed ability of arousing a desire in others to develop their own talents and aptitudes to their upper limits. The tremendous upward pull that one personality may have upon another might be compared to the attraction that the planets exert as they hold each other in their orbits."
From Sill, I learned about another source on great people. Elbert Hubbard wrote the "Little Journeys into the Homes of Great..." series, which includes great scientists, orators, teachers, women (because they were written a long time ago when we needed our own book), reformers, musicians, etc. Lucky enough, these are in the public domain and free for use. I've only read a few of these, one that I thought was odd because it didn't have nearly enough about the person, and two others that I really enjoyed.
Then a couple months ago we had just walked into Deseret Book when I noticed the book "10 Great Souls I Want to Meet in Heaven" by S. Michael Wilcox. I carried it around the rest of the time we were there telling myself to put it back, but when I didn't, I googled for a coupon and bought it. Very glad I did. Wilcox mentions that when he initially started making his own list of great people, he began with family, then thought of people in the scriptures, historical figures, and even great characters in literature, but for the book he chose historical figures. One quote from the preface that gives me chills (referring to things like Psalms 8:4-5), "Sometimes it is difficult to believe such lofty thoughts are describing us and our fellow human travelers. It is certainly true we have, as a race, often not lived up to these divine potentialities. Yet man was created in the image of God, not only outwardly, but also inwardly, in the qualities of the soul. Humanity was the last act of creation, its crown! We shouldn't be surprised to see evidences of glory and honor in our fellowmen."
I've been able to teach about and discuss some of the great people I've been studying during Vanguard, our homeschool group, but I've decided I need to keep a better record of that for my own Hall of Fame, and maybe to spark the interest of others that might want to learn about some of these greats as well. Stay tuned. (This might actually get me blogging somewhat regularly again.)
P.S. Here's an interesting article I found with a "discussion" between 10 greats.