Life Lessons from Literature: Wisdom from 100 Classic Works

Book review by Deane Barker tags: literature, reading, books

This is a very light, fun book that profiles 100 famous works from history and why they matter – what larger life lesson can we draw from them.

Each work is given a quick summary of both the plot and the lesson. For example, here’s Crime and Punishment (a book I did not care for, incidentally):

Synopsis: A penniless former student plans and commits what he regards as a justifiable murder as a means of demonstrating his intellectual and moral superiority over others

Life Lesson: The rationalization of morality and ethics is futile as it does not reflect the complexity of the human mind nor address emotional concepts such as guilt, responsibility, and justice.

This is followed by a few paragraphs of discussion.

Again, this is a light book. It doesn’t go too deep on anything – it has to get through 100 titles, remember. I kept it next to my reading chair, and I read a few entries a day for about a month.

It did expose me to a lot of titles I had heard about, but didn’t know exactly what they involved. It’s best considered as a survey of historic literature.

Also, the book is beautiful. It’s a little hardback with a colorful cover – not a dust jacket; the design is printed on the hardback directly. It would be great small book to put on a coffee table.

(Also, read this instead of the awfully pompous The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written.)

Book Info

Joseph Piercy
  • I have read this book. According to my records, I completed it on .
  • A hardcover copy of this book is currently in my home library.

This is item #33 in a sequence of 768 items.

You can use your left/right arrow keys to navigate