Dear Literary Purists,
Please do not hate me for posting this link. Today (12/17/12) Amazon.com is offering a free copy of John Milton's Paradise Lost in Plain English. I have wanted to read Paradise Lost for years, but have been extremely intimidated by it. This version finally gave me the courage to get started AND I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH THIS GREAT WORK OF LITERATURE.
The original text is included in short paragraphs, followed by a brief summary "in plain English". Milton is bowling me over with the beauty and power of his prose, but I would only be understanding half of it if I couldn't occasionally look over at the paraphrase. Highly recommended.