Instant Classics for the Modern Reader

A wildly ambitious novel, a beyond-brave memoir, and an expansive modern history: We loved them from the first page, and we’d like to re-introduce them to the Aesthetes.
The Iliad by Homer

The Iliad

536 pages; Nabu Press
I wasn't a big reader growing up, but something clicked with The Iliad. It's a war story told in 24 chapters of poetry. Some people are intimidated by the book's reputation, but its language cues you emotionally and intellectually. The rhythm of it helps you absorb the material—the alliteration, the onomatopoeia, the way certain words are set against each other. I remember the way daybreak is described: "Now as the Dawn flung out her golden robe across the earth." Gorgeous.
— Laura Linney