Reading great literature well has the power to cultivate virtue. Great literature increases knowledge of and desire for the good life by showing readers what virtue looks like and where vice leads. It is not just what one reads but how one reads that cultivates virtue. Reading good literature well requires one to practice numerous virtues, such as patience, diligence, and prudence. And learning to judge wisely a character in a book, in turn, forms the reader's own character.Acclaimed author Karen Swallow Prior takes readers on a guided tour through works of great literature both ancient and modern, exploring twelve virtues that philosophers and theologians throughout history have identified as most essential for good character and the good life. In reintroducing ancient virtues that are as relevant and essential today as ever, Prior draws on the best classical and Christian thinkers, including Aristotle, Aquinas, and Augustine. Covering authors from Henry Fielding to Cormac McCarthy, J...
|Title||:||On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books|
|Number of Pages||:||272 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books Reviews
An incredible read. The author gives amazing descriptions of classic and important literature that has shaped our culture and explains why, puts them in historical context, as well as which Christian virtues the books reveal. I read it in one day!
I deeply respect Karen and have loved everything I've ever read by her. On Reading Well was no exception. She found a way to talk about Christian virtue (which is often a sorely needed conversation in our current cultural moment) in the context of literature. I'm grateful that she was able to examine being formed in Christ-likeness, while simultaneously calling the reader through her own experiences in the printed word. Where Evangelicalism has often neglected the life of the mind, Karen's work ...more
Since there’s a lot of ink out there lately about how literature encourages empathy, it’s refreshing to see someone take the discussion in a different direction. I’m sure the author of On Reading Well wouldn’t disagree that good fiction strengthens empathy, but she sets her sights further and higher. She sees a lack of virtues in our current culture that were historically valued in Christianity, and she believes that well-written short stories, allegories, and novels can help point the way back. ...more
This was an excellent book—it had great insights into classic works of literature and inspired me to want to read several great books that I have never gotten around to picking up. And, of course, I like the artwork on the cover and at the opening of each chapter...
I received this book from a Good reads giveaway. I have opted not to give this book a star rating in order to be fair. This book just wasn't for me. Also, while the writing is well done, I felt that the Forward was real poorly done.
My wife and I had a math teacher in middle school who sent kids to high school thoroughly prepared for algebra. But when we talk about him, it’s always about how he taught us so much more about life. Karen Swallow Prior is nominally a literature professor, but you will learn so much more than about good books. On the downside, after reading two of her books, my to be read list has grown immensely. My previous reading plan has been interrupted with consuming the books discussed in her works.
On Re ...more
Summary: Makes a case that the reading of great literature may help us live well through cultivating the desire in us to live virtuously and to understand why we are doing so.
Karen Swallow Prior wants us to heed John Milton's advice to "read promiscuously" great works of literature because they may help the reader distinguish between vice and virtue, and hopefully choose the latter. In doing so, Prior advances an argument contrary to most of contemporary literary criticism that argues against th ...more
As always, Karen presents us with a deeply insightful and moving analysis of great literature and how it applies to our emotional, moral, and spiritual lives. Although "A Tale of Two Cities" is my favorite novel and I loved her chapter on that one (which I got to help with a little bit! :-) ), what brought me to tears was her chapter on "Tenth of December," a book I haven't even read yet. Which just goes to show how good Karen is at bringing these stories home to us and bringing out their beauty ...more