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How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A…
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How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide… (2003)

by Thomas C. Foster

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1,990553,388 (3.87)109
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Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
How to Read Literature Like a Professor is a nice, easy-to-read book on identifying some of the patterns and motifs we come across as readers. It's certainly not a comprehensive list, but gives the budding bibliophile something more to look at than your simple book report topics: plot, setting, characters, and theme. There's a lot more going on in a story, and there's a lot more that an author puts into their works than just rain being rain or a death being a death.

Foster details how to look for some of these patterns in various pieces of literature in an easy to read style. This is not an in-depth look at literature; it's not critical analysis of how to read a book. It's simply: these are certain elements you might find in a story, and you're literary world will be more expansive than ever if you begin to make these connections, begin to read through the eyes of the writer and the time they lived in, and so on. Each book you read is an enlightening experience, in my opinion. So why not enlighten yourself even more by picking up on the cues and clues that writers have left over for their readers to dig through over generations into the future.

The chapters aren't too long, and could be useful for using in a high school English class. ( )
  jms001 | Jun 14, 2015 |
I'm not going to pretend that I needed to read a book that's Literary Symbolism 101. But it was funny, and I'm a sucker for funny. So not only did I get some good laughs, but I can now I can say wholeheartedly: if you, or a student of your acquaintance, needs a book on such a subject, this is the one to start with.

Ever try to write a sex scene? No, seriously. Tell you what: go try. In the interest of good taste, I'll request that you limit yourself to members of the same species and for clarity that you limit yourself to a mere pair of participants, but aside from that, no restrictions. Let 'em do whatever you want. Then when you come back, in a day, in a week, in a month, you'll have found out what most writers already know: describing two human beings engaging in the most intimate of shared acts is very nearly the least rewarding enterprise a writer can undertake.

Review from my blog, This Space Intentionally Left Blank ( )
  emepps | Jan 23, 2015 |
three stars might not sound like a great review, but it's a good read. Nothing earth shatteringly deep here, but a good read. If you read a lot and might like to see what you read from a slightly different perspective, or if you're one of those people who thinks you're missing out in comparison to a trained student of literature (you're not missing out, but whatever) then relieve your pains with this cool read.
( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
three stars might not sound like a great review, but it's a good read. Nothing earth shatteringly deep here, but a good read. If you read a lot and might like to see what you read from a slightly different perspective, or if you're one of those people who thinks you're missing out in comparison to a trained student of literature (you're not missing out, but whatever) then relieve your pains with this cool read.
( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
Eh. In an effort to be light and lively and not overly academic, it came off as simplistic and often trite and/or stilted. I did the archetypes thing in high school lit and I see it alot but some of his rules just turned it into a forced game of "find the Greek myth." Maybe there isn't as much to literary critiscism as I think.
  amyem58 | Jul 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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For my sons, Robert and Nathan
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006000942X, Paperback)

What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey?. Shares a meal? Gets drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface—a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character—and there's that sneaking suspicion that the deeper meaning of a literary text keeps escaping you.

In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover a world where a road leads to a quest; a shared meal may signify a communion; and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just rain. Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices, and form, How to Read Literature Like a Professor is the perfect companion for making your reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:15 -0400)

What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey?. Shares a meal? Gets drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface -- a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character - and there's that sneaking suspicion that the deeper meaning of a literary text keeps escaping you. In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover a world where a road leads to a quest a shared meal may signify a communion and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just rain. Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices, and form, How to Read Literature Like a Professor is the perfect companion for making your reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.… (more)

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