StudioTulsa
4:43 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

"50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven't Touched Since High School"

Sure, you loved "The Catcher in the Rye" at the age of 16...but would you still love it? You appreciated "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Cannery Row" way back when, but would that still be the case today? And on the other hand, if the plays of Ibsen or Shakespeare didn't exactly knock you out during that long-ago sophomore year of college, do you think they'd still miss the mark? Or might they be worth another shot? On this edition of StudioTulsa, with Graduation Day (or at least "school's out!") everywhere in the air, we're thinking back on the classics we first encountered (or at least were first instructed to encounter) in this or that classroom. Our guest is Kevin Smokler, a California-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, and elsewhere; Smokler's new book is "Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven't Touched Since High School." It's an engaging, wide-ranging series of essays that makes compelling arguments as to why we as readers ought to revisit various literary classics. Throughout, Smokler's approach is intelligent yet breezy --- informed yet casual --- as might be suggested by essay titles such as "The Midlife Crisis of Huckleberry Finn," "The Work/Life Balance of Sherlock Holmes," "Albert Camus, the Unsexy Stranger," and "Emily Dickinson's Lessons for Success." (And no, there won't be a quiz.)

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