Remember reading Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby in high school? How about Slaughterhouse-Five and Pride and Prejudice? Would you read them again now that no oneís grading you, just for your own enjoyment?
Practical Classics helps you do just that. Kevin Smokler guides you through fifty books commonly assigned in high school English class and shows you why youíd probably enjoy rereading the same books as an adult. Smoklerís essays on the classics -- witty, down-to-earth, appreciative, and insightful -- are divided into ten sections, each covering an archetypical stage of life, from youth and first love to family, loss, and the future. He not only reminds us of the essential features of each great book but gives us a practical, real-world reason why revisiting it in adulthood is not only enjoyable but useful. Thatís right: enjoyable and useful!
Can The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn help you cope with aging? What does To Kill a Mockingbird have to say about being a parent? How about Fahrenheit 451 on not getting stuck in a crappy job? We canít wait to find out, all over again!
Kevin Smokler is the editor of Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times, a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book of 2005. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Fast Company, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Believer. Heís also a Booksmith neighbor, and youíre invited to join us in raising a celebratory glass to him this evening.