A book is great if it speaks to the essential themes and questions of human life. The problem with what are usually taken to be “the great books” is that they are sometimes dry and often intimidating to first time readers.  This blog attempts to break down some of those barriers by revealing in a light hearted way how some of the classics (new and old) can be relevant, even essential, to living a happy life.  My tone may sometimes be irreverent, but don’t misunderstand, I think a great book can have the power to change your life.

Sara MacDonald is an award-winning professor at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, Canada where she helped found a Great Books program in 2002 that she directed until 2015 and in which she continues to teach. Known for a teaching style that promotes lively, penetrating discussions through a blend of intellectual rigor, Socratic humility and a quirky sense of humor, Sara’s courses generally focus on the ways in which great works of philosophy and literature can help illuminate perennial themes and questions of human life. In addition to her teaching, Sara researches and writes about political philosophy, with an emphasis on ethics, freedom and human rights. Sara received her graduate education in political science at Fordham University and her undergraduate education at St. Thomas University. She is a contributing blogger at http://www.thriveglobal.com.  She also participates in on-line discussion classes about great books at http://www.greatdiscourses.com