English teachers, English majors, English minors, and anyone who loves reading will LOVE reading this book by Thomas C. Foster. How to Read Literature Like a Professor truly does tell you “how” to “read” a book, a novel, poetry, anything! I was first introduced to the book by a colleague of mine who decided to use it for her AP English class. I’ve not yet had another English teacher steer me on the wrong course when recommending a book so I decided to give it a try, both by reading it and by assigning it (along with Invisible Man) to my English III class for summer reading.
Foster has written a wonderful (and humorous at times) criticism of literature in general. He tells us that there is “only one story…always…they all take from and in return give to the same story.” However, even though Foster says there is only “one story” to all literature, he brilliantly shows us in a short but thorough 27 chapters that there is more to literature than simply plot, theme, and the basic elements. Foster truly bridges the gap between the reader who reads for pure academics and thought and the reader who reads for pleasure. This is one book ALL readers can enjoy. Verdict: B.
Currently I am reading Foster’s second book, How to Read Novels Like a Professor. Hopefully a review will come soon!