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How To Read Literature Like A Professor – Thomas C. Foster: Book Review

Summary:

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.

Review:

Rating: 5/5 stars

Thomas C. Foster is your friend and favorite professor rolled into one. How To Read Literature Like A Professor solved a lot of my problems, and I can assure you, it will do the same for you, provided you are reading it for the right reasons.

Firstly, I’d like to mention that this book is used in a lot of colleges/high schools as a legit recommended reading. (LUCKY YOU). In my opinion, every English class in high school or an undergraduate year should use this book to make lives easier. I am not even exaggerating.

I am an English major in my 2nd year of college as an undergraduate, and this book helped A LOT (understatement). But that shouldn’t be a surprise, the book seems to have been written exclusively for English majors. Right? Wrong.

How To Read Literature Like A Professor isn’t only for us poor fellows doomed with a lifetime of overanalyzing. We learn all this in class anyway, albeit not in such a clear and fun way. This book is for anyone who reads. Any bibliophile who would like to really understand a book. You don’t need to be studying Literature to know a book, to read a book properly. This guide book of sorts gives you a completely new and enriched insight to literature.

If you are a student of literature, doing your masters or PhD, this might not be very useful to you. Foster mainly explains key concepts and tricks that help you read literature, and fill in the gaps your high school English teacher or college professor should have filled (They never do. They’ll expect you to know all this magically).

Foster uses a lot of examples in this book, but it shouldn’t be a problem, because (a) the examples are from pretty common books and (b) whenever he mentions a book, he explains the plot and other details so that you can understand the context.

Conclusion:

I highly recommend this book to all book lovers who need a little help to get to know books better. Not only is Foster’s writing witty and fresh, it also motivates you to go and read some books and really understand them.

Happy Reading!

~Sreepurna 💖

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Rau (The Great Love Story Of Bajirao Mastani): Review 

RAU

N.S. INAMDAR

The novel that inspired the award-winning film 


‘My eyes, they rain all the time 
My eyes, they rain all the time 
Till I see him in mine’ 

When Shrimant Bajirao Peshwa, feared by even the mighty Mughals, hears the exquisite Mastani sing, the passion that sparks between them grows quickly into a raging fire. 

The Peshwa defies his orthodox Brahmin heritage, declaring his love openly for the half-Muslim dancer, in the face of fierce opposition. A man way ahead of his time, Bajirao causes outrage when he marries Mastani, bringing her into his home as his second wife. 

N. S. Inamdar’s timeless tale, that has inspired both film and television, brings alive the romance, intrigue and valour of the eighteenth-century Maratha empire. This irresistible novel is one of India’s favourite love stories.



RATING: 3 stars

REVIEW:

I am left with mixed feelings about this book.

Firstly, I’d like to say, anyone who liked the movie Bajirao Mastani should read this book. It’s a more enriched version of the movie (albeit, without Deepika or Ranveer, so you’ll miss them probably 😂😂). But if you liked the movie, there’s a high chance you’ll love the book.

It has action, romance and lots of drama.

But.

There were things I really didn’t like.

No. 1, the writing. Somehow, the writing or perhaps the translation (because the original is in Marathi) fell flat. The words were mechanical, and somewhat forced. Also; this book needs a glossary in the end, to explain the meanings of some Marathi words, which weren’t possible to translate. Being an Indian, I know bits and pieces of Hindi, and that’s the only reason I could still guess the meanings of some words. But I think a glossary would be great.

I hated the characters of this book. Literally loathed them. They are all historical characters, I don’t know how much of the story is authentic, but according to this book, the characters sucked. Big time. I found nothing romantic and tragic about Rau and Mastani’s “love”. Its all shown as something very very superficial.

But the fact remains that this book made me feel a lot of things — anger, hatred, sorrow and sympathy (towards Kashibai, actually). And that’s why I think this book is worty of reading. Because rarely does a book make you ponder so long these days.

To buy the book on Amazon, click here.

~ Sripurna

Enchanted

Feet agile. Long steps to the carnival tent. Step up on the magic carpet. Get away.

Strong hands. Callused palms. Shuffling a deck of cards. I can only choose one.

Brown hair. Specks of fairy dust I showered on you.

Full lips. Uttering spells and charms.

Entrapping, mystifying. Strange unknown languages, yet so familiar.

Mismatched eyes. One green, one grey.Carefully watching everyone. Carefully watching me.

But you are a trickster. I am your audience. Sometimes I feel like your show is only for me. Other times, I am just another in a crowd of people captivated by your tricks.

I don’t know what’s real and what’s not.
Because your words are lies. Illusions. For some reason I don’t mind.

With the click of your fingers, you disappear. Evanescence.

Were you even there to begin with?