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Andriana writes about her favorite books from her classes (so far)!

Andriana writes about her favorite books from her classes (so far)!

Hello hello!

It is Friday, and Fridays are glorious days. They are my lightest day of my week, and a wonderful way to ease into the weekend. This morning, I woke up and prepared for my noon English class. By 1:00, I had finished my only commitment of the day and discussed the ending of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Relaxed, but productive!

As I am in an English-y mood today (okay, every day), and still thinking about books, I will use this post to reflect on some of my favorite reading, in and out of the classroom.

Extracurricular Reading

So… I think I have a bit of a *reading problem.* Perhaps it’s my obsessive need to post book pictures on this blog, in the same way that other people post pictures of their children or their food. Perhaps it’s that my books have become an invasive species, crowding my wall shelves and making them a safety hazard. Perhaps it’s that I have reached an English major milestone, and am only taking English classes this term. Who can say?

Andriana's books
My book babies

I think that there is a big difference between class reading and extracurricular reading. Reading for class exposes me to literature that I might not have found or chosen on my own. I pay attention to how the text works. When I read for myself, though, I return to old favorites and focus on how they make me feel. It’s a different experience!

One of my personal favorites is Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth, a collection of short stories. I will basically read anything that Lahiri writes, but I still think about that particular collection regularly. I always enjoy Jeffrey Eugenides, a fellow Greek American, perhaps best known for Middlesex. I am currently reading his 2011 novel The Marriage Plot.

But enough with my book ramblings. You’re here to read about Carleton!

Class Picks

One of the best parts of my experience with the English major is that I have been exposed to literature from many different times and places. This week alone, I have toggled between reading the Bible and Hemingway. Quite different works (though, coincidentally, we did discuss religion in Hemingway today).

In my three years at Carleton, I have read so many great books; below are some of my favorites.

books 2 pic

The Monk

I read Matthew Lewis’ The Monk for my Gothic literature class freshman year. It was possibly the most disturbing work of fiction that I have ever read. But absolutely incredible! As much as it unsettled me, it was a fascinating exercise in reading horror without all of the guts and gore.

Northanger Abbey

My favorite Jane Austen novel, Northanger Abbey was yet another freshman year read. It was assigned for both the Gothic literature and the Art of Jane Austen classes, so I got to see how two different courses would approach the novel. I find it to be a very fun read—it has the Austen feel, but also satirizes the Gothic genre.

In the Dream House

Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House is a must-read. It was the last book assigned in Latinx Voices in the Age of Trump, and it was a killer way to finish the term. The book details the author’s experience in an abusive relationship through a series of unconventional chapters functioning like vignettes. It’s one of the most creative and beautifully written books I’ve read.

As I Lay Dying

I took Modern American Literature, unsure of what to expect. I had read some classic American literature in high school, and… hadn’t loved it. But I loved the first novel we read for class, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. It requires some patience—it immediately immerses the reader in the the plot, so orientation takes some time. Still, it’s worth the wait; the story offers a deeply introspective portrait of a grieving family.

Happy reading!

Ideally this post has given some idea of what college reading looks like (and how fun it can be!). And maybe it has inspired a little extra reading time this weekend. An English major can hope, right?

Andriana is a native of Richmond, VA, though her love of snow suggests she might be a northerner at heart. She is in her junior year at Carleton, where she is an English major and a Cross-Cultural Studies minor. When Andriana isn’t busy staying warm in the Minnesotan tundra, you can find her binge-reading, playing music, or watching a favorite movie or show for the umpteenth time. Meet the other bloggers!