How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines

How to read LitHow to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines
Author: Thomas C. Foster
Course: AP Literature
*Required Text

While many books can be enjoyed for their basic stories, there are often deeper literary meanings interwoven in these texts. How to Read Literature Like a Professor helps us to discover those hidden truths by looking at literature with the eyes—and the literary codes-of the ultimate professional reader, the college professor.

What does it mean when a literary hero is traveling along a dusty road? When he hands a drink to his companion? When he’s drenched in a sudden rain shower?

Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices and form, Thomas C. Foster provides us with a broad overview of literature—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 a shower-and shows us how to make our reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.

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The Lovely Bones

lovely bonesThe Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Course: AP Literature

When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn’t happen. In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief, her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor and begin the difficult process of healing. In the hands of a brilliant novelist, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching story about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.

Pages: 368

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The Essential Guide to Rhetoric

rhetoric.jpgThe Essential Guide to Rhetoric (Second Edition)
Authors: William M. Keith and Christian O. Lundberg
Course: AP Language
*Required Text

Gaining an understanding of rhetorical theory and its practical applications is a critical component to effective and competent communication. The Essential Guide to Rhetoric provides an accessible and balanced overview of the core historical and contemporary theories. It uses concrete, relevant examples and jargon-free language to bring these concepts to life. The guide helps students move from concept to action with discussions of invention, the traditions of trope, argument and speech, among others. This handy guide is an excellent addition to the public speaking class, extending and deepening crucial concepts, and an indispensable supplement to the rhetorical theory class.

*Note: The publisher released the second edition of this text in 2017. Use the links below to find copies of the updated edition.

Pages: 96

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Freshwater

freshwater.jpgFreshwater
Author: Akwaeke Emezi
Course: AP Language
Genre: Fiction

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.” Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities.

Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves: Asụghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves―now protective, now hedonistic―move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction.

Narrated from the perspective of the various selves within Ada, and based in the author’s realities, Freshwater explores the metaphysics of identity and mental health, plunging the reader into the mystery of being and self. Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice.

Pages: 240

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