Sunday, September 13, 2009

An invitation to the classics

This morning at church I did a brief book review of An Invitation to the Classics: a guide to books you have always wanted to read, edited by Louise Cowan and Os Guiness. Each chapter is a brief introduction to a classic work of Western literature. Authors covered include Plato, Shakespeare, Goethe, Jane Austen, T.S. Eliot, ....
Each chapter is written from a Christian perspective by an expert, has beautiful pictures from classic art, discussion questions, and recommended translations and editions.
I would be a great basis for a book club.

I wonder whether a more realistic (and cynical) subtitle would be "a guide to the books you always felt you should have read or at least have a passing knowledge of".
Even if you don't end reading the actual books, it does provide a very accessible summary. I have found it quite helpful when I have wanted to engage with my kids on the books they are reading for English at school.

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