Cover art for How to Read Literature Like a Professor

How to Read Literature Like a Professor

5 ratings

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. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2003 Thomas C. Foster (P)2012 HarperCollins Pubishers

Available on Audible
Cover art for Reading the Silver Screen

Reading the Silver Screen

1 rating

Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor comes an indispensable analysis of our most celebrated medium: film. No art form is as instantly and continuously gratifying as film. When the houselights go down and the lion roars, we settle in to be shocked, frightened, elated, moved, and thrilled. We expect magic. While we're being exhilarated and terrified, our minds are also processing data of all sorts - visual, linguistic, auditory, spatial - to collaborate in the construction of meaning. Thomas C. Foster's Reading the Silver Screen will show movie buffs, students of film, and even aspiring screenwriters and directors how to transition from merely being viewers to becoming accomplished readers of this great medium. Beginning with the grammar of film, Foster demonstrates how every art form has a grammar, a set of practices and if-then propositions that amount to rules. He goes on to explain how the language of film enables movies to communicate the purpose behind their stories and the messages they are striving to convey to audiences by following and occasionally breaking these rules. Using the investigative approach listeners loved in How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Foster examines this grammar of film through various classic and current movies both foreign and domestic, with special recourse to the "AFI 100 Years...100 Movies" lists. The categories are idiosyncratic yet revealing. In Reading the Silver Screen, listeners will gain the expertise and confidence to glean all they can from the movies they love.

©2016 Thomas C. Foster (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

Narrator: Sean Pratt
Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Twenty-Five Books That Shaped America

Twenty-Five Books That Shaped America

Summary

From the author of the New York Times best-selling How to Read Literature Like a Professor comes a highly entertaining and informative new book on the 25 works of literature that have most shaped the American character. Foster applies his much-loved combination of wit, know-how, and analysis to explain how each work has shaped our very existence as readers, students, teachers, and Americans. Foster illuminates how books such as The Last of the Mohicans, Moby-Dick, My Antonia, The Great Gatsby, The Maltese Falcon, Their Eyes Were Watching God, On the Road, The Crying of Lot 49, and others captured an American moment, how they influenced our perception of nationhood and citizenship, and what about them endures in the American character. Twenty-Five Books That Shaped America is a fun and enriching guide to America through its literature.

©2011 Thomas C. Foster (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

Narrator: Sean Pratt
Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
Available on Audible
Cover art for How to Read Novels Like a Professor

How to Read Novels Like a Professor

Summary

Of all the literary forms, the novel is arguably the most discussed...and fretted over. From Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote to the works of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and today's masters, the novel has grown with and adapted to changing societies and technologies, mixing tradition and innovation in every age throughout history.  Thomas C. Foster - the sage and scholar who ingeniously led audiences through the fascinating symbolic codes of great literature in his first book, How to Read Literature Like a Professor - now examines the grammar of the popular novel. Exploring how authors' choices about structure - point of view, narrative voice, first page, chapter construction, character emblems, and narrative (dis)continuity - create meaning and a special literary language, How to Read Novels Like a Professor shares the keys to this language with audiences who want to get more insight, more understanding, and more pleasure from their reading.

©2008 Thomas C. Foster (P)2019 Tantor

Narrator: David de Vries
Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for How to Read Nonfiction Like a Professor

How to Read Nonfiction Like a Professor

Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor uses the same skills to teach how to access accurate information in a rapidly changing 24/7 news cycle and become better readers, thinkers, and consumers of media.  We live in an information age, but it is increasingly difficult to know which information to trust. Fake news is rampant in mass media, stoked by foreign powers wishing to disrupt a democratic society. We need to be more perceptive, more critical, and more judicious readers. The future of our republic may depend on it. How to Read Nonfiction Like a Professor is more careful, more attentive, more aware reading.  On bookstore shelves, one book looks as authoritative as the next. Online, posts and memes don’t announce their relative veracity. It is up to readers to establish how accurate, how thorough, how fair material may be.  After laying out general principles of reading nonfiction, How to Read Nonfiction Like a Professor offers advice for specific reading strategies in various genres from histories and biographies to science and technology to social media. Throughout, the emphasis will be on understanding writers’ biases, interrogating claims, analyzing arguments, remaining wary of broad assertions and easy answers, and thinking critically about the written and spoken materials readers encounter. We can become better citizens through better reading, and the time for that is now.  Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.  PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2020 Thomas C. Foster (P)2020 HarperAudio

Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
Available on Audible