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Invitation to the Classics: A Guide to Books You've Always Wanted to Read

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Practically a classic itself, Invitation to the Classics is a popular guide to those great works of literature that you always meant to read. Full color and engaging, this book is a gateway to the fulfilling pursuit of understanding our culture by exploring its most enduring writings. "These sparkling essays remind us of the deep pleasures of literature and its power to Practically a classic itself, Invitation to the Classics is a popular guide to those great works of literature that you always meant to read. Full color and engaging, this book is a gateway to the fulfilling pursuit of understanding our culture by exploring its most enduring writings. "These sparkling essays remind us of the deep pleasures of literature and its power to instruct and delight."--Publishers Weekly "A magnificent resource, an urgently needed publication in an era when politically correct higher education is trying to deconstruct Western civilization. Wonderful!"--Charles Colson "This important publication should be in every library and out on the table in every Christian home."--Dallas Willard "Immerses us in the wisdom of the ages, those noble thoughts that enrich society's values and guide our youth along positive paths toward fruitful lives."--President Jimmy Carter


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Practically a classic itself, Invitation to the Classics is a popular guide to those great works of literature that you always meant to read. Full color and engaging, this book is a gateway to the fulfilling pursuit of understanding our culture by exploring its most enduring writings. "These sparkling essays remind us of the deep pleasures of literature and its power to Practically a classic itself, Invitation to the Classics is a popular guide to those great works of literature that you always meant to read. Full color and engaging, this book is a gateway to the fulfilling pursuit of understanding our culture by exploring its most enduring writings. "These sparkling essays remind us of the deep pleasures of literature and its power to instruct and delight."--Publishers Weekly "A magnificent resource, an urgently needed publication in an era when politically correct higher education is trying to deconstruct Western civilization. Wonderful!"--Charles Colson "This important publication should be in every library and out on the table in every Christian home."--Dallas Willard "Immerses us in the wisdom of the ages, those noble thoughts that enrich society's values and guide our youth along positive paths toward fruitful lives."--President Jimmy Carter

30 review for Invitation to the Classics: A Guide to Books You've Always Wanted to Read

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    In no hurry, I took about 2 years to read this book! I know a little more about many different classic authors and works now, and my list of books "to read" has grown massively. It also serves as a history of literature, taking all the essays together.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tom Mobley

    So, it has taken me longer than I ever imagined to finish this book. What I liked about it is its brief I introductions to the various great classics of mostly Western Literature. As I read this book I used my Goodreads app to help search for and catalog either the specific books or biographies on the authors that interested me the most. So now what I will call my literary journey to self awareness is about to begin. I have marked just over 70 books to read. Im sure Ill add more to this list as So, it has taken me longer than I ever imagined to finish this book. What I liked about it is it’s brief I introductions to the various great classics of mostly Western Literature. As I read this book I used my Goodreads app to help search for and catalog either the specific books or biographies on the authors that interested me the most. So now what I will call my “literary journey to self awareness” is about to begin. I have marked just over 70 books to read. I’m sure I’ll add more to this list as I go. I’m excited to get started as there are several books on my list that are on Joel’s reading list for school next year. While reading these I will not be giving up my Clancy/Cussler reading (I still have at least 10 books of theirs to read), along with my goal of reading a biography of each President. Add to this my academic/business reading, and interest in China/Asia and well, I’ll set a goal to have this done before I retire. I’ll post my initial reading list for those who might be interested.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    Two things I didn't like about this book. One was how they would tell the end of the story, I understand they were writing a book giving summaries of classic stories, but telling the end of one is unforgivable. And then the second thing was they way they had to Christianize everything. Those objections aside, it was a good book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Stahl

    Good selection of historical works with synopses. Christian slant. Great recommendations for further study and discussion questions.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ben Smitthimedhin

    Took me over a year to finish this! Cowan's Invitation to the Classics was the perfect cheat sheet for grad school, especially as an introduction to the famous authors in the Western Canon. It looks to me like the book was put together by folks from the University of Dallas, and I love that the book was written from a Christian perspective. The writers related all the authors and their ideas to the Christian worldview by comparing and contrasting them, so it'll be a helpful reference for the Took me over a year to finish this! Cowan's Invitation to the Classics was the perfect cheat sheet for grad school, especially as an introduction to the famous authors in the Western Canon. It looks to me like the book was put together by folks from the University of Dallas, and I love that the book was written from a Christian perspective. The writers related all the authors and their ideas to the Christian worldview by comparing and contrasting them, so it'll be a helpful reference for the future as I continue to work through the canon.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Simone

    this is a monster of a book -- loaded with information, completely packed full of various classic pieces of literature that everyone should read in their lifetime. i really enjoyed revisiting old favorites and discovering some new books to add to my to-read shelf. it's worth the time it takes to make it through this one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    On a second read of this. This is what I thought of it the first time: Really a decent introduction to the classics. Just the right length and depth for someone who wants to get to know the great works that have provided conversation in the West over the past couple of millennia. Liked it a lot.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Aitken

    I found this book to be a training manual for the renewal of Western Civilization. Our Culture, heritage, and way of life must not become extinct. Cowan and Guinness have done the church a remarkable service for the Church by compiling these essays. Each essay is about 4 to 6 pages in length, supplemented by photos/pics, quotes, and questions for application at the end of the chapter. Like many works associated woth OS Guinness and the Trinity Forum, this book can challenge deeply held notions I found this book to be a training manual for the renewal of Western Civilization. Our Culture, heritage, and way of life must not become extinct. Cowan and Guinness have done the church a remarkable service for the Church by compiling these essays. Each essay is about 4 to 6 pages in length, supplemented by photos/pics, quotes, and questions for application at the end of the chapter. Like many works associated woth OS Guinness and the Trinity Forum, this book can challenge deeply held notions and force one to rethink them. The breadth of authors covered is immense: the Greeks to the Latins to the Reformers to Modern Day. Also interspersed are esssays about classics by non Christians. The Book stresses that the classics are not canonicl but complementary. The need for reading--studying--old books can not be overstated. C S Lewis said that for every new book one reads, one should next read to books from another century for obvious reasons: those books have been tested over time.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeremiah

    A great reading guide for high school students, or anyone for that matter. This book will walk with the reader through the what the authors consider to be the best in Western literature with a slant towards Christian influences. The commentary and pictures are good and this would be a great start for anyone wanting to learn about a lot that has been written about and thought over the last 2000 years in the West.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    This book is a Christian guide to the great classics of Western literature. It provides an introduction to each work, as well as a list of discussion questions, centered on how Christians should respond to the work. It is on a somewhat introductory level, so those with a strong background in western culture/literature will probably find this a review, but it is a good introduction to the uninitiated. It would likely be useful in a homeschooling setting as well.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Russell Hayes

    This is a great introduction to classic literature. Each selection has a short background of the author and work, summary, and exposition. The books are analyzed from a Christian perspective, so that we can see what themes underlie each work. Introduction to the Classics is a good way to determine which books to read for yourself, and to more cogently discuss the books with others who are familiar with them.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laura Rogers

    I enjoyed this overview of the classics as well as the brief biographical information included for each book. The book also included comments on interpreting the works from a christian perspective - some of which I could agree with, and some which I did not. This is a fine collection of suggested reads.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ray

    I used to buy copies of this for every college-bound teen at our church. It features articles by a very eclectic mix of Christian literary critics (though evangelical Reformed/Presbyterians and Roman Catholics predominate). It is fair and balanced in its treatment of works that are often very hostile to the faith. Beautifully illustrated.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Timmons

    One of my favorites, for sure. If I ever become stranded on a desert island, I'll grab this book over the Boy Scout's Pioneering Guide. My copy of Invitation is underlined, tabbed, dog-eared, and marked up everywhere. It was my first voluntary introduction to classic literature, and I've never looked back. In fact, it has inspired me to push forward, and it still does...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Angelyn

    This is a book with short descriptions of most of the classics. I enjoyed it because now I know what I do and don't want to read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Caleb

    Great series of essays coming from a Christian perspective. Guidelines for translations, questions and themes to focus on, and secondary sources.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kenady Toombs

    SO HELPFUL. Even if I attended a secular university, the literary analysis and background information is phenomenal if you need quick-fix essay help.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Palas

    Great resource, but surprised at some classics not included.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maria Vargason

    I love this book. I have glaring holes in my education! I'm using this book to try to fill some of those holes. Never to late....

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dlp

    A good list, but not all I expected to be on a list of classics.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Ludwig

    It was a good introduction to many of the classics I have never read and the authors did a good job of interpreting some of the works with a Christian worldview

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I love this book, it helps me focus.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    I use this reference book often.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    A synopsis of classics. Not a book I've read cover to cover. I use it as a reference.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Charity

    Fun, a really fun sampler.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mark Murray

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Evans

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michael Peterson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katy

  30. 4 out of 5

    N. M. Robinette

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