JEFFREY BRENZEL, Philosopher, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University

"Dean Brenzel argues that not only can reading the great classics like Plato's Republic and Dante's Inferno enrich your education, it can actually make your life better. Pointing out that we can't possibly read all of the books in the world, Brenzel makes a case for reading the right books the right way in order to get the most intellectual bang for your reading buck. Which books qualify as the "right" books is one of the most controversial subjects in academia, and Brenzel outlines the five key characteristics that every great book must fulfill in order to make that coveted list."

Addresses permanent & universal human concerns
Influences other great works
Respected by experts
Challenging yet rewarding

The five values of reading the great classics
The value of forgotten ideas
The value of connecting ideas
The value of strangeness [Great literature gives us new perspective]
The value of building intellectual muscle
The value of better judgment