Book on the Great Books
A few days ago I finished the very good "Great Books" book by David Denby. He spent a year reading the works assigned to undergrad Columbia students as part of their core curriculum and wrote about how these Western classics impacted him. In particular, I enjoyed hearing his impressions of both the Old and New Testaments (he's a secular Jew), Hume (the Scottish philosopher), Montaigne (French essayist from Bordeaux), Boccaccio (wild Italian guy) and Dante (another Italian who of course wrote the disturbing and brilliant "Inferno").
I've been spurred on to read more of both the Old and New Testaments and also read something from the ones I've never read before: Montaigne, Boccaccio and Dante.