Posted by Alana T.
In a previous post, I started a list of books to help the general reader find a path through classic literature. There are many approaches, and the list continues with the two books described below:
The Western Lit Survival Kit: An Irreverent Guide to the Classics, From Homer to Faulkner by Sandra Newman. The provides very brief and breezy descriptions of classic authors and their works. Each is rated by Importance, Accessibility and Fun (a very modern American approach). The writing is very casual (often funny) and may be just what you need to gently guide you into classic literature. While describing books and authors, Newman takes numerous detours through history, politics and social science to help the reader understand why the classics are so great - an often, so funny.