This 'little history' tackles a very big subject: the glorious span of literature from Greek myth to graphic novels, from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Harry Potter. John Sutherland is perfectly suited to the task, having researched, taught and written on every area of literature. His infectious passion for books and reading has defined his own life. Now he guides young readers and adults on an entertaining journey revealing how literature from across the world can transport us and help us to make sense of what it means to be human. Sutherland introduces great classics in his own irresistible way, enlivening his offerings with humour as well as learning: Beowulf, Shakespeare, Don Quixote, the Romantics, Dickens, Moby Dick, The Waste Land, Woolf, 1984 and dozens of others. He adds to these a less-expected, personal selection of authors and works, including literature usually considered well below 'serious attention' - from the rude jests of Anglo-Saxon runes to The Da Vinci Code. With masterful digressions into various themes - censorship, narrative tricks, self-publishing, taste, creativity and madness - Sutherland demonstrates the full depth and intrigue of reading.