How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines
by Thomas C. Foster
An informative resource with the power to change and evolve your reading experience. There is a lot to be learned from this book but be forewarned: you have to be willing to work for that knowledge. Come ready to learn, but also with the patience to sit through lots and lots of literary references that you may not be familiar with.
A bit hard to read but worth it in the end.
Though this was incredibly informational, it wasn’t the most exciting read.
This is a book about books. The cover successfully gets that point across so I would say that it works well. 🙂
I read this entire book in a day.
Yeah. Not a good idea. It was a lot all at once and if you decide to read this book, I highly recommend allotting yourself a larger time frame to be able to really digest this work.
So yeah, my bad.
The sheer volume of information being crammed into my brain in such a short time frame wasn’t the real problem, though. It was the incredible amount of literary references that really made this book, so hard to get through. While Foster was writing and pointing out the literary elements, I was fine, but then he would go off into an example and I would lose interest almost immediately. I understand the reason (and the value) of including examples but I wish there had just been less of them within the text. After the first reference, I understood and the remaining ones felt redundant.
Each of the chapters focused on a certain aspect of literature and the main point could be summed up in a paragraph or two. The remainder of the chapter was usually dedicated to examples, which I found made this book incredibly slow.
Was reading this book a little painful? Yes. But it was worth it.
I had to read this book as part of my AP Literature and Composition summer reading. To be 100% honest, I don’t think that I would have finished reading this book if it wasn’t assigned as they hindsight is 2020 and I could not be more glad that I did.
Foster did a wonderful job of opening my eyes to a world of nuances and hidden meaning that I was missing completely or only picking up on subconsciously. The details that normally would have slipped right under my radar when reading, Foster pointed out and gave meaning to.
Would I say that this book changed my entire perspective on literature? Yes.
Is that a bit dramatic? Also, yes but it is 100% true.
Reading this book might not have been the most thrilling adventure but it was an educational experience.
I didn’t know that I needed this book. Even after finishing it, I didn’t feel that How to Read Literature Like a Professor was all that important.
Until I read my next book.
Suddenly, I was picking up on these hidden symbols and themes that I had never been aware of before. It was like Foster had managed to open my eyes to a whole new world. These things had always been before me and yet until I had read this book, I was unable to see them. It was immensely satisfying to pick up on little details and make connections that I would previously have been unaware of unless a teacher (or some wise literary professor) had pointed them out to me.
The Last Word
I will be honest, I struggled with this book at first for though it was incredibly informational, it just wasn’t the most exciting read. But the end result, seeing things in literature that I have never noticed before, made reading this book worth it.
How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines was wonderfully successful at accomplishing its goal of opening my eyes to the deeper meaning behind literature.
I don’t think I’ll ever read another book the same way…
Age Group: Adult
Related Cause: Education
Summary: Very informational but a bit dense.