Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If I Taught English Lit 101

Each week The Broke and The Bookish provides a topic for a Top Ten List. This week the theme is a syllabus for a 101 of your choice; this is great timing for me because I’m starting my postgraduate degree in English Literature (something which I haven’t studied before) in October.  Because this is now my actual list, please tell me if you have any recommendations for books (they will be greatly received!!!).

The Handbook to Literary Research – de Sousa Correa & W.R. Owens
This is written specifically for my course, so far it has been very helpful
Understanding Literature and Life: Drama, Poetry and Narrative – Prof. Arnold Weinstein (The Great Courses)
This is helpful for two reasons, first it gives me experience of actually studying English Literature and second, it also acts as background reading for most of my course.
Studying Fiction – Roy Johnson
I found an excerpt of this book and it really helped with the finer details of what to look for and how when doing a close reading of the text.
How to Write Better Essays – Dr Greetham
One of the things that let me down in my philosophy degree was my lack of practice essay writing. I know this is a weakness and so I will be working on my essay writing skills.
How to Read a Book – Adler & Van Doren
This will just be a check for additional ‘know-how’ whilst I work on gaining more experience.
The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms – Baldick
I plan on reading little bits every day so hopefully I can quickly gain more experience of the terms used, what to look out for.
Introduction to Literature, Criticism & Theory – Bennett & Royle
The remaining books are intended to help me with secondary literature, ranging in detail from more general to specific. I will probably read out of order according to what is most relevant.
Critical Terms for Literary Study – Lentricchia & McLaughlin
Intertextuality – Graham Allen
Literary Theory – Terry Eagleton

Other possible authors I am looking at are Freud and Machiavelli.  I am also looking at building up my knowledge of syntax and linguistics.  Again, please comment if you have any recommendations.  I’d love to know what is your 101 and syllabus too so please comment :-)


  1. Wow, sounds like you're going to be busy! My absolute favourite English Lit "classic" is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I did used to enjoy Pride and Prejudice but it was completely ruined for me by having to read, re read and analysis it to death for my English Lit course!

    1. I know, very busy! Ahh Rebecca is on my Classics Club list to read :-) I have to read Jane Eyre for the course, which I really love, so I will soon find out if it ruins the book for me! Thanks for commenting, I enjoyed reading your TTT :-)

  2. Elements of Style by Strunk and E.B. White

    Reading like a Writer (Francine Prose)

    These are two books I enjoy reading!
    I have " How to Read Literaure by Terry Eagleton...but you already have his book on Literary Theory.

    1. Ooo thanks! I have been trying to get a copy of Elements of Style but I didn't realise Prose's book was so in depth, I will have to give it a try. Have you read much of Eagleton? He seems to be a prolific but very knowledgable writer, I think by the end of the MA I will have a whole shelf just of his works!!

  3. I've only read one of Eagleton's books...but I like his casual style combined with a some very good insights. His explanation about the first chapter of E.M. Forster's Passage of India and what one can learn just from the author's panoramic description of a place.

  4. This one looks good too!


  5. I have started to learn more literary devices. Great way to read and discover them in the text:
    Alliteration: not the obvious but skillfully done: " Irish girl, dewy-lipped, smutty-lashed!"
    One of my favorites: metonymy. " the suits" = ( Madison Ave advertising world)
    Good book to have, I'll see if I can find it here: The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms.

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't find alliteration obvious. Yes, metonymy is great. I like litotes too "He's no oil painting." or "She's not bad (looking)". I'm glad you found it useful!! :-)


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