By Kevin Smokler
Prometheus Books, $18.00, 300 pages
It’s always sad when people say that they won’t use what they learn in school in real life. Practical Classics is about how 50 books you read in high school can affect your life now. The books are separated into sections, each dealing with different topics, allowing for a certain ability to browse through books with similar themes. As the books are set into themes that may not necessarily match what you were taught in high school it makes for some interesting reading.
Smokler assumes that readers have a basic idea of what the book is about and goes right into why the book is important now. This makes the chapters a little easier to read, especially for books whose summary would be longer than the rest of the chapter. The writing is conversational; it’s easy to see him bending over as he tells you why the book is so important. Although it can be off-putting sometimes, overall the effect is nice and makes the lesson more important. For those who like to look back to what they may have missed, or how the books will be important later on, this makes a great gift.
Reviewed by Jamais Jochim