Hey guys, so as I've (very, very slowly) been unpacking my stuff from college and putting it away, I came across my little collection of publishing/editing/writing books and thought I'd share them with you. Honestly, I have not had much use for most of them just yet but hopefully they will come in handy in future endeavors. Maybe this post will help some of you out who have been thinking about purchasing any of these. Enjoy!
I'll start out with books I own solely because of school, and do another follow-up post about books I've purchased on my own.
1. How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
This book was required reading for my high school AP Literature class senior year. It was definitely one of the more interesting things we had to read that year. As I flip through it while I'm typing this, I stop at the passages I highlighed and skim over a few of the sections. I remember thinking this book was pretty helpful; the author talks about irony, metaphors, symbolism, politics, sex, food, biblical references, and even vampires. He helps you identify what certain elements or passages of a story might mean or might be alluding to. For example, he says dinner scenes or scenes including food are never just simply about eating; they always signify something much more important taking place. Personally, I think this book is great not just for reading and interpreting passages, but also for helping develop your writing skills. And if you're in high school like I was and are preparing for AP exams and English tests, this might be helpful as well; as a very unreligious person that is expected to recognzie biblical references in a poem or story, this book came in handy for me and might for you too.
I rated this book a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.
Here's the review I wrote for it on the site:
Had to read this for my AP Lit class, and, I'll admit, I merely skimmed it after the first couple of chapters or so. The author would ramble on and on about examples from works of literature that I have never heard of.. therefore, I got bored pretty quickly. Granted, they did back up his claims.. but I didn't need so MANY backups. One would have sufficed. Some of the topics discussed in this book were pretty helpful though. Most of it seemed really obvious, except that I needed the way that Foster worded it in order for me to comprehend it. It was a quick read that, I'm hoping, will help me to understand and possibly even enjoy (doubtful) the classics that I am regrettably forced to read in school. Sigh.
2. Writing Analytically by David Rosenwasser and Jill Stephen
This one was required for my introductory college writing course. There is probably some useful information in this book – if you feel like digging through every page, that is. It's very wordy and oftentimes ends up being a lot of things you already know. If you have trouble with anaylsis, which I admittedly do, it might be worth it to pick this one up.
3. The DK Handbook by Anne Francis Wysocki and Dennis A. Lynch
This is another one I had to read for that introductory writing course and I have much the same opinion on it. I would not say this was a "handbook," and by that I mean I could definitely live without having to consult it. A lot of the content was self-explanatory and thus boring, and the authors sometimes made claims about writing that I did not agree with. Bottom line: if your teacher makes you buy this, do it. Otherwise, don't bother picking this one up.