Summer Coursework - How To Read Literature Like A Professor

NOTE: Read this entire page BEFORE reading the excerpt.


Here is a description of this book from the publisher:

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.

You wanted a college experience? You got it!

Mr. Foster is a professor at the University of Michigan. His book is written in a very light-hearted, conversational tone, but the subject matter is the real deal. What he writes is exactly what you would hear in a college English class. Will some of what he writes go over your head? Yes, definitely. Just hang with him. If you get totally lost in what he writes, come back and read the blue description (above). 

You will be reading the introduction, chapter 1, and chapter 12. The excerpt is only thirteen pages long. If you find it difficult to read on a computer screen, I would recommend printing it.


    1) Buy the book at a bookstore. (How To Read Literature Like A Professor, by Thomas C. Foster - ISBN 978-0060009427)
    2) Read the text as a .pdf online.
                         Click here to go to read the novel on your computer screen. Alternatively, right-click here, and hit "save link as", to save it to your computer.

   3) Read the text on your Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or other e-reader.
                         Click here to download the file to put on your Kindle.
                         Click here to download the file to put on any other e-reader.

Note regarding the use of Kindle, Nook, Kobo and other e-readers: We intend to make all of the texts which we cover this year available for Kindle and others. If you are considering buying one, this might be a good reason. You may, of course, use them during class. IPads are a different story. The jury is still out.

If you like what he writes (and it wouldn't surprise us if you did), then click on a file format below to download the entire book to read at your leisure on your computer.

Formats:       .pdf        Kindle       other e-reader