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Read any Great Literature lately?

Although I read a few of the great classics of literature as part of my schooling, I've always felt a vague sense of guilt that I've neglected (avoided?) reading other classic literary titles. book cover image If you're on the same 'ship of shame' with me, let me tell you about a great book to guide you on your classic Odyssey (pun intended!).

"Beowulf on the Beach: What to Love and What to Skip in Literature's 50 Greatest Hits" is a very readable tour guide which tosses out cheeky assessments such as claiming that Anna Karenina is a beach read, Dickens is hilarious, the Iliad's battle scenes rival Hollywood's for gore, or that Joyce is at his best when he's talking about booze, sex or organ meats.

More than a Cole's Notes overview, this field guide shows you how to read these classics for pleasure, points out 'What people don't know (but should)', 'The best line', 'What's sexy', and 'Quirky facts' for each title.

But best of all, I think, is that by suggesting 'What to Skip', it gives us permission to read and relish the classics for the pleasure of it, dipping into the parts that will resonate with our lives and skipping the duller parts!  So check out Beowulf on the Beach and start enjoying reading those great works of Western literature.