Nate's Reviews > How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines

How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
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's review
Jan 06, 10

Read in January, 2010

As someone who hasn't taken an English class in years, this book was a nice refresher on thinking below the surface when reading literature. Some of the material was obvious, such as interpreting a rainstorm based off the context. Is it a life-giving rain or a cold and deadly rain and what does that tell you about the story? Other material reminded me about how much I have lost over the years. For instance, many stories draw parallels to classical mythology or Shakespeare, which I hardly remember.

Everything was presented in a light and fun tone, and Foster deliberately wanted it to feel like a conversation. Chapters were short, and each covered a different topic. Numerous examples were drawn from a broad range of literature to help make each point and illustrate to the reader how the ideas can be used.

It takes a lot of time (and reading) for the ideas presented in this book to mature in the mind of a reader. As such, this book is meant to put someone on that path. It is an entry-level view into the world of interpreting literature, and it can be used as a complete introduction or, in my case, a refresher. Those who read and interpret literature on a regular basis probably won't find much here.
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