On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books | Karen Swallow Prior

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2019: Book #11

Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books is quite possibly one of the top five books I’ve ever read in my entire life.


In her book, Prior takes you on a journey through some of literature’s greatest works and she uncovers Christian principles in those books. You’ll come across The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, characters from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, and so many more.

She redeems the secular.

Great works of literature may not have been written with an explicit Christian worldview; however, that doesn’t mean they don’t contain applicable lessons for Christians. After all, every person is fallen, broken, and in need of a Savior. Approach literature from that perspective, and the pages will come alive for you.

I’m envious of her use of language. She makes words dance across the page.

Here are a few key quotes:

“Visions of the good life presented in the world’s best literature can be agents for cultivating knowledge of and desire for the good and, unlike visions sustained by sentimentality or self-deception, the true.”

“One attains the virtue of temperance when one’s appetites have been shaped such that one’s very desires are in proper order and proportion.”

“…the judgments made by our own limited perspectives must be tempered against the all-seeing eyes of God.”

“Courage requires putting a greater good before a lesser good. Courage is getting your heart in the right place at the right time despite the obstacles.”

“The good life begins and ends with humility.”

Prior’s book makes a great case that there is not sacred and secular.  But there is sacred and profane.  God can use the secular.  He often redeems it. How many of you have found the same in a non-Christian song or even a non-Christian book?

This is the best book I’ve read so far in 2019…and that’s saying something, seeing I’ve read two books about Lincoln so far this year.

This book is full of so much wisdom.

I give the book 5 out of 5 stars.


That’s book #11 for 2019.
41 more to go.

Remember, all leaders are readers.
If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.

Interested in purchasing this book?
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