On Reading Well

Finding the Good Life through Great Books

by Karen Swallow Prior (Author)KAREN PRIOR (Author)Leland Ryken (Foreword by)
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Read Well. Live Well.

Acclaimed author Karen Swallow Prior takes us on a guided tour through works of great literature, helping us learn to love life, literature, and God through our encounters with great writing.

"Karen Swallow Prior has written several critically acclaimed books, but in my book, her book on books is her best yet. On Reading Well is both a love letter to literature and a handbook on virtue, wisdom, and the good life. Bound to be a classic, it is an engrossing work that will appeal to book nerds and casual readers alike. Read it now, and you'll never take books for granted again."
--Jonathan Merritt, contributor to the Atlantic and author of Learning to Speak God from Scratch

"On Reading Well is an exploration of the formative power of stories and an excavation of the life well lived, and we could scarcely have a better guide than Karen Swallow Prior. She is a person who loves (and has been shaped by) great books and who loves (and has been shaped by) the richness of Scripture, a scholar whose writing exudes both warmth and conviction. This story-saturated engagement with the virtues is pragmatic enough to touch the nitty-gritty of our lives and imaginative enough to inspire."
--Tish Harrison Warren, priest in the Anglican Church of North America; author of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

"It sure seems like virtue is needed now more than ever. And what a treasure trove we have for encountering virtue in literature! Prior is a lovely and wise guide. Take this resplendent tour--read this book! Your life will be better for it."
--Kathryn Jean Lopez, senior fellow and director of the Center for Religion, Culture, and Civil Society, National Review Institute; editor-at-large, National Review

"You might not think yourself to be the kind of person to read a book about reading books. If you are trying to love people, to work well, to find meaning in your life, this book is for you. Prior guides us through the big questions from great books with wisdom, insight, creativity, and compassion. A significant and powerful work that will refocus discussion on the meaning of reading for spiritual formation."
--Russell Moore, president, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

"[A] lively treatise on building character through books. . . . With exquisite writing, [Prior] demonstrates how 'reading literature, more than informing us, forms us.'"--Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Karen Swallow Prior, Author

Karen Swallow Prior (PhD, SUNY Buffalo) is an award-winning professor of English at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. She is the author of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me and Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More--Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist. Prior has written for Christianity Today, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, First Things, Vox, Think Christian, and The Gospel Coalition. She is a research fellow with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, a senior fellow with Liberty University's Center for Apologetics and Cultural Engagement, a senior fellow with the Trinity Forum, and a member of the Faith Advisory Council of the Humane Society of the United States.

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