Fall 2018 Semester Reading List

Welcome to my semester reading list, also known as the reason why posts may be lacking throughout the next three months.  I’m actually reading some relatively interesting books for class this semester, thanks to my Young Adult Lit class, which keeps things a bit easier when I’m jumping around 3-4 books at a time.

Course: Young Adult Literature

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillion

Picking these novels apart and learning how the young adult genre has changed over the years is fascinating.  I was a huge YA reader in middle school and early high school, but gradually grew out of it around my senior year, while I applied for colleges and suffered from a serious identity crisis.  Revisiting the genre in an academic setting has been enlightening and has rekindled my love for YA, especially the older, “classic” coming-of-age stories like The Outsiders.

Course: Writing About Literature

Lying by Lauren Slater
The Marquise of O by Heinrich von Kleist
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Lover by Marguerite Duras
Textbook: Critical Theory Today by Lois Tyson

I just finished reading Lauren Slater’s Lying, and it’s absolutely phenomenal; it proposes a lot of questions and really makes you think about the blurred lines between fact and fiction, specifically regarding memoir.  No spoiler alerts, but the ending blew my mind.  We’re also reading a lot of short stories, recently Raymond Carver’s “Gazebo,” which I loved even after reading about twenty different times.  Hopefully, the rest of these reads and our class discussions will be just as interesting.

Course: Literary Criticism

Billy Budd and Other Stories by Herman Melville
Textbook: Literary Theory: An Anthology

This class will be the death of me.  How many times can one read “Billy Budd” before spontaneously combusting?

Have you read any of these?  Any interesting books on your college reading list, past or present?  Let me know!


19 thoughts on “Fall 2018 Semester Reading List

  1. You’re doing such amazing classes! I’m in my final year of university and I’m studying Science Fiction and Writing the Novel… Some of my books are: The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, The Crystal World by J.G Ballard, Dawn: Xenogenesis by Octavia E. Butler, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, and A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller…

    I do love studying English at uni but there’s always so much reading to do, and I always get sad because I want to read books that are on my actual TBR pile but oh well!

    Good luck at university, and I look forward to seeing what your thoughts are on the books you have to read.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a good list! I feel your pain- I have so much reading to do all the time, and when I finally have some free time to read something off my TBR, I’m so tired and sick of reading that I just want to sleep, haha! Good luck to you in your final year of uni!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Huh. I mean, on the one hand, I definitely see how that’s useful as a teaching tool–Lindsay Ellis has been doing something similar on YouTube with film theory and the Transformers films–but on the other hand, I imagine that analyzing the same work again and again might get rather fatiguing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I completely agree with you- it is useful to read the same text from the points of view of each individual theorist, as that’s the most helpful way to understand their differences, yet it’s exhausting reading and analyzing the same text over and over again (especially a story as dull as “Billy Budd”).

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh, it’s really not that bad, I’m just sick of having to read it so many times… between all the essays I have to write on it, I usually read it 1-2 times per week, while analyzing it differently each time. It doesn’t help that I’m not the biggest fan of Herman Melville and his writing, lol. Have you read it?

      Liked by 1 person

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