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 pr...
|Title||:||On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books|
|Number of Pages||:||267 pages|
On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books Reviews
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
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!
On the one hand are rote worldview tests that strip stories and art down to their "good vs bad" parts. On the other hand is a cottage industry of "engaging culture" that usually translates into consuming whatever we like indiscriminately and calling it a Christian exercise. What I love most about this book is how Prior offers a roadmap for something better: Truly seeing reality along the light beams of great books with the aim of attaining Christian virtue. The sections that discuss virtue itsel ...more
7 out of 5 stars. So incredibly thought-provoking. A book that I hope to read over and over again.
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
As a child, reading was my oasis, but it was not until I grew up, finished college, got married, and started reading aloud to a brood of boys that I began to realize it was not enough simply to read widely. I wanted to read well. In On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books, Karen Swallow Prior offers the insight that to read well, “one must read virtuously.” (15) One does this by reading closely, resisting the urge to skim, and by reading slowly, investing both time and attenti ...more
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
[Disclaimer: I received an Advance Reading Copy from the publisher, but no other remuneration for a review in any manner]
We’ve grown used to quick reads, a couple of swipes up with our finger and we are ready to move on to the next thing. We read for information or for distraction. We’ve taken to speed reading, to listening to audiobooks at double speed, to reading summaries online, in lieu of reading well. Reading slowly has come to be seen as something to be ashamed of. Who has time to read c ...more