From Shakespeare to Knausgård

66 Classics You Were Supposed to Read but Most Likely Didn’t

Have you ever felt that there are books you really ought to have read? Do you fear that you’ll end up in awkward social situations because there are huge holes in your literary formations? Here is the solution!

Janne Stigen Drangsholt (The Ingrid Winter books) has for many years contributed to the immensely popular Norwegian Broadcasting podcast “Classic Literary Works in 4 Minutes”. Now she has teamed up with cartoonist Therese G. Eide ("All Quiet on the Home Front”) to create a fun, accessible, and incredibly useful introduction to 66 classic literary works. The selection ranges from Homer to Astrid Lindgren, Shakespeare, Knausgård, Neil Gaiman, Woolf and Mantel, and each and every work is presented in a lucid, humorous and compelling manner. You’ll laugh and learn at the same time. Afterwards, you can easily excel with your new-found knowledge in all sorts of social gatherings, and no one will be able to reveal that you haven’t read any of the literary works.

Full score for easy to read list over the classics… Here you get an entertaining book that makes you wiser than other books and thus a little smarter, and makes you smile.


A shortcut to edification […] To introduce literary canons is a potentially volatile exercise. But I capitulate and enjoy Drangsholt’s creative approach. […] Drangsholt’s book is not only useful for those who wish to bluff their way to success. There is also a lot to gain here for avid readers who would like a little more insight into literary theory.


…intellectual playfulness that makes this book a joy to read.

Stavanger Aftenblad

A shortcut to the classics. Stigen Drangsholt gives you all the help you need by extracting the essence from the classics. The introductory miniature portraits of the authors done by Eide in the vignettes are no less than impressive.