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Book Recommendations From an English Major

Katie discusses some of her favorite books!

Katie discusses some of her favorite books!

I can’t say being an English major has improved my taste in books (I still love trashy Young Adult romance novels), but, as an English major, I have read a lot of books. Today I want to share some of my favorites with you and give some insight into some of the discussions you might have in an English classroom!


Jane Eyre

Class I read it in: The Victorian Novel

What did we discuss: In class we discussed why the book is considered a feminist work. We looked at how Jane Eyre compares to other novels from its time as well as books from today. We also debated whether Jane and Rochester are a good match (I stand by the fact that she is better without him!).

Why I liked it: Jane Eyre toes the line between reality and magic in a way I don’t see in many books. Ghosts, faeries, and magical visions gently weave their way into the real world in a way I absolutely love! The book also bends genres between horror, drama, and romance creating a great read for any mood.


Class I read it in: Seductive Fictions

What did we discuss:  For Dracula, we discussed the mythology of vampires and how Bram Stoker changed that mythology forever. We also talked about how the vampire story draws in so many people, even today. We also looked at some film adaptations of Dracula and how each one changed the story.

Why I liked it: Dracula is told from many perspectives which keeps the narrative fresh and exciting. I also ashamedly was a huge Twilight fan in middle school, so I was excited to read “the original” vampire book. I also just really loved the plot for its mix of strange morbidity and companionship.


Her Body and Other Parties

Class I read it in: English Critical Methods

What did we discuss: Her Body and Other Parties is a collection of short stories, so in class we discussed how that compares to reading longer works. We also discussed reading through the lens of other critical works we had read in class.

Why I liked it: It was so different form anything else I had read in an English course. There weren’t countless essays written on it so everything we talked about felt fresh and new. The stories were also hauntingly beautiful and wonderfully undecipherable. Reading Her Body and Other Parties felt like I was reading someone’s diary in the way it was so personal and unique.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Class I read it in: Despite being assigned so many readings in class, I actually still have time to read in my free time, so this book was not for any class.

Why I liked it: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing tackles being the chosen one in a modern era where YouTube, Twitter, and celebrity status all exists. The characters are also beautifully flawed in ways that make them believable, but not unlikeable. The plot is new, interesting, and had me finish the book in one sitting. It’s definitely one of my favorites and the sequel was just as good!

There are so many other books I have loved reading both inside and outside the classroom! I have to say though, even the books I didn’t enjoy reading for class were made a lot more interesting through great discussion with my classmates and awesome professors.

Katie is a senior English Major from Chisholm, MN. She is a Resident Assistant (RA) and loves to act in student theatre productions. When she isn’t busy with those you can catch her hanging out with friends in Sayles, drawing in the Arb, reading a cheesy Young Adult novel on the Bald Spot, or spending too much time playing Animal Crossing: New HorizonsMeet the other bloggers!