Synopses & Reviews
Unleash your literary side--one great book at a time!
Like taking a private class with an engaging literature professor, Book Smart is your ticket for literary enlightenment all year long and for the rest of your life. Whether you're a passionate turner of pages or you aspire to be better-read, Book Smart expands your knowledge and enjoyment with a month-by-month plan that tackles 120 of the most compelling books of all time.
Throughout the year, each book comes alive with historical notes, highlights on key themes and characters, and advice on how to approach reading. Here is a sampling of what you can expect:
- January: Make a fresh start with classics like Beowulf and Dante's Inferno
- April: Welcome spring in the company of strong women like Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina, and Vanity Fair's Becky Sharpe
- August: Bring a breath of fresh air to summer's heat with comedic works from Kingsley Amis and Oscar Wilde
- October: Get back to school with young people struggling to grow up in classics like Little Women and recent bestsellers such as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
- December: Celebrate year's end with big prizewinners such as The Remains of the Day and Leaves of Grass
This intelligent, engaging guide leads you down the path of literary enlightenment
In "Book Smart," literature expert Jane Mallison outlines a month-by-month reading plan that tackles the most compelling books of all time. The diverse reading list includes such important classics as "The Odyssey" and "Beowulf"; great 18th century works such as "Tristam Shandy" and "Gulliver's Travels"; battlefield literature like "The Red Badge of Courage" and "A Farewell to Arms"; and novels with strong women such as "Anna Karenina" and "Vanity Fair,"
Each book comes alive with Mallison's insightful highlights on key themes and characters, advice on how to approach reading, and historical notes that provide valuable context.
About the Author
Jane Mallison is a longtime reader and a teacher at New York's Trinity School, where she was the English department head from 1982 to 2004. She lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
JAN: Because They Are There: Towering Works to Read in TranslationFEB: Footprints on the Sands of Time: Notable BiographiesMAR: The Good Life: Young Men on a QuestAPRIL: Top Girls: Strong Women, Admirarbly So and OtherwiseMAY: Jury Duty: Crimes of Various SortsJUNE: Expand Your Horizons: Books with Varied VenuesJULY: Stranger in a Strange Land: Unaccustomed Places, Real and FanciedAUG: Lighten Up: A Good Belly LaughSEPT: Back in the Day: Some Great 18th Century WorksOCT: Growing Up: the Pains and PleasuresNOV: War and Peace: On the Battlefield and Back HomeDEC: The Glittering Prizes: Winners of Major Awards