Download Lit Up: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-four Books That Can Change Lives. Audiobook

Lit Up: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-four Books That Can Change Lives. Audiobook, by David Denby Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: David Denby Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2016 ISBN: 9781427268082
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A bestselling author and distinguished critic goes back to high school to find out whether books can shape lives

It's no secret that millions of American teenagers, caught up in social media, television, movies, and games, don't read seriously-they associate sustained reading with duty or work, not with pleasure. This indifference has become a grievous loss to our standing as a great nation--and a personal loss, too, for millions of teenagers who may turn into adults with limited understanding of themselves and the world.

Can teenagers be turned on to serious reading? What kind of teachers can do it, and what books? To find out, Denby sat in on a tenth-grade English class in a demanding New York public school for an entire academic year, and made frequent visits to a troubled inner-city public school in New Haven and to a respected public school in Westchester county. He read all the stories, poems, plays, and novels that the kids were reading, and creates an impassioned portrait of charismatic teachers at work, classroom dramas large and small, and fresh and inspiring encounters with the books themselves, including The Scarlet Letter, Brave New World, 1984, Slaughterhouse-Five, Notes From Underground, Long Way Gone and many more. Lit Up is a dramatic narrative that traces awkward and baffled beginnings but also exciting breakthroughs and the emergence of pleasure in reading. In a sea of bad news about education and the fate of the book, Denby reaffirms the power of great teachers and the importance and inspiration of great books.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Definitely a worthy successor to Great Books. The fight against the dumbing down of this country continues with this highly readable book. David Denby really cares about whether American literature has a future. You probably should too.”

    James Patterson

  • “Film critic David Denby goes back to high school to find out if teachers can make a difference in turning students into serious readers, and if so, what books they’re using to make that happen. Christopher Price steps behind the mic to guide listeners through Denby’s year in tenth grade. Price keeps the audiobook engaging with his enthusiasm…Denby’s approach to his subject leaves significant room for pedagogical debate, but Price’s narration is strong enough to keep listeners tuned in for the duration.”


  • “Mr. Denby captures well how teenagers today struggle to grapple with the serious thinkers of the past.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Denby makes an impassioned case for the critical importance of books to the lives of young people.”

    New York Times Book Review

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About the Author

David Denby is a film critic and staff writer at the New Yorker. He has also served as film critic for the Atlantic Monthly, the Boston Phoenix, and New York magazine. His book on re-reading literary and political theory classics, Great Books: My Adventures with Homer, Rousseau, Woolf, and Other Indestructible Writers of the Western World, has been translated into nine languages. He and his wife live in New York City.

About the Narrator

William Dufris attended the University of Southern Maine in Portland-Gorham before pursuing a career in voice work in London and then the United States. He has won more than twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, was voted one of the Best Voices at the End of the Century by AudioFile magazine, and won the prestigious Audie Award in 2012 for best nonfiction narration. He lives with his family in Maine.