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Aspects of the Novel
E. M. Forster

Sponsored by Trinity College of the University of Cambridge, The Clark Lectures have a long and distinguished history and have featured remarks by some of England's most important literary minds: Leslie Stephen, T. S. Eliot, F. R. Leavis, William Epsom, and I. A. Richards. All have given celebrated and widely influential talks as featured keynote speakers.

n important milestone came in 1927 when, for the first time, a novelist was invited to speak: E.M. Forster had recently

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What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World
Robert Hass

An evocative and captivating collection of essays on writers, place, poetry, and photography—with accompanying photos throughout—from Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Robert Hass

Renowned for his magisterial verse, Robert Hass is also a brilliant essayist. the New York Times hailed him as a writer who "is so intelligent that to read his poetry or prose, or to hear him speak, gives one an almost visceral pleasure." Now, with What Light Can Do,

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How to Read Literature Like a Professor
Thomas C. Foster

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

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How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One
Stanley Fish

Some appreciate fine art; others appreciate fine wines. Stanley Fish appreciates fine sentences. The New York Times columnist and world-class professor has long been an aficionado of language. Like a seasoned sportscaster, Fish marvels at the adeptness of finely crafted sentences and breaks them down into digestible morsels, giving readers an instant play-by-play.

In this entertaining and erudite gem, Fish offers both sentence craft and sentence pleasure, skills invaluable to

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Read This Next: 500 of the Best Books You'll Ever Read
Howard Mittelmark, Sandra Newman

Ever been betrayed by a pretty cover and a pair of alluring blurbs?

Rest assured: Read This Next will never hurt you. The 500 book recommendations contained within these pages have all been carefully vetted and approved by two literary professionals with discerning taste and witty wit. Arranged into delightful thematic lists, these suggestions cover the best of literature high and low, from page-turning classics to mind-expanding fluff; from murder mysteries and

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Judging a Book By Its Lover
Lauren Leto

Want to impress the hot stranger at the bar who asks for your take on Infinite Jest? Dying to shut up the blowhard in front of you who’s pontificating on Cormac McCarthy’s “recurring road narratives”? Having difficulty keeping Francine Prose and Annie Proulx straight?

For all those overwhelmed readers who need to get a firm grip on the relentless onslaught of must-read books to stay on top of the inevitable conversations that swirl around them,

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Twenty-five Books That Shaped America: How White Whales, Green Lights, and Restless Spirits Forged Our National Identity
Thomas C. Foster

From the author of the New York Times bestselling How to Read Literature Like a Professor comes a highly entertaining and informative new book on the twenty-five 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

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The Story of Ain't: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published
David Skinner

Created by the most respected American publisher of dictionaries and supervised by the editor Philip Gove, Webster's Third broke with tradition, adding thousands of new words and eliminating "artificial notions of correctness," basing proper usage on how language was actually spoken. The dictionary's revolutionary style sparked what David Foster Wallace called "the Fort Sumter of the Usage Wars." Editors and scholars howled for Gove's blood, calling him an enemy of clear thinking, a

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When I Was a Child I Read Books
Marilynne Robinson

Since the 1981 publication of Marilynne Robinson’ s novel Housekeeping— a stunning debut that was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize— she has built a reputation not only as a writer of sharp, subtly moving prose, but also as a rigorous thinker and incisive essayist. Her compelling and demanding collection The Death of Adam— in which she reflected on her Presbyterian upbringing, investigated the roots of Midwestern abolitionism and mounted a

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