Wider reading for English! Watch

Foreverneek
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I'm curious to know what other people have been reading for English, especially if universities you've applied to, or go to, use interviewing to shortlist applicants Do universities prefer to discuss texts in detail or loads of texts as an overview? I don't want to run out of things to say!
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gleestuck
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Well I'm applying this year for 2014 entry. I've been reading a mixture of classic english authors (Shelley, Conrad, Dickens, the Brontes), but recently I've started reading more post colonial literature. Personally I think it's better to have read fewer books and have loads to say about them, then to have read loads of books and to not really know anything about them.

Had an interview at Queen Mary recently and I spent 20 minutes talking about one really amazing book I read. I've got another one for UCL coming up so we'll have to see how that goes
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Foreverneek
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(Original post by gleestuck)
Well I'm applying this year for 2014 entry. I've been reading a mixture of classic english authors (Shelley, Conrad, Dickens, the Brontes), but recently I've started reading more post colonial literature. Personally I think it's better to have read fewer books and have loads to say about them, then to have read loads of books and to not really know anything about them.

Had an interview at Queen Mary recently and I spent 20 minutes talking about one really amazing book I read. I've got another one for UCL coming up so we'll have to see how that goes
I've been reading Poe, Anglo-Saxon stuff and T.S Eliot I've also started reading post-colonial literature! I'm just finishing Heart of Darkness, Beloved, slave narratives and The Colour Purple. Good luck with your interviews, I've applied to Warwick and Oxford and I'm just waiting to hear from them :')
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gleestuck
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(Original post by Foreverneek)
I've been reading Poe, Anglo-Saxon stuff and T.S Eliot I've also started reading post-colonial literature! I'm just finishing Heart of Darkness, Beloved, slave narratives and The Colour Purple. Good luck with your interviews, I've applied to Warwick and Oxford and I'm just waiting to hear from them :')
Loved Heart of Darkness, and Beloved was the book I talked about in my interview at Queen Mary! I've applied to Oxford as well but I havent heard anything yet though :P

I remember The Colour Purple being amazing as well
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Foreverneek
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(Original post by gleestuck)
Loved Heart of Darkness, and Beloved was the book I talked about in my interview at Queen Mary! I've applied to Oxford as well but I havent heard anything yet though :P

I remember The Colour Purple being amazing as well
Oxford interviews each applicant 3 times, that's what worries me : how are we meant to fill out 3 hours of talking? Could you list the literature you've read so I can compare? I haven't read much, it's mainly poetry and short stories!
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gleestuck
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Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)
The Time Machine (HG Wells)
Dracula (Bram Stoker)
Villette (Charlotte Bronte)
Tess of the D'urbervilles (Thomas Hardy)
Nineteen Eighty Four (George Orwell)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde)
Dubliners (James Joyce)
Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen)
Hard Times (Charles Dickens)
Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
Beloved (Toni Morrison)
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe)
Half of a yellow sun (Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche)

Right now I'm reading A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid and I'm planning to read some more Morrison afterwards. I think with the Oxford interviews they will be more about the text they give you to analyse, so it's less about how much you read and more about what you make of what you have read.
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Foreverneek
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(Original post by gleestuck)
Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)
The Time Machine (HG Wells)
Dracula (Bram Stoker)
Villette (Charlotte Bronte)
Tess of the D'urbervilles (Thomas Hardy)
Nineteen Eighty Four (George Orwell)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde)
Dubliners (James Joyce)
Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen)
Hard Times (Charles Dickens)
Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
Beloved (Toni Morrison)
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe)
Half of a yellow sun (Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche)

Right now I'm reading A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid and I'm planning to read some more Morrison afterwards. I think with the Oxford interviews they will be more about the text they give you to analyse, so it's less about how much you read and more about what you make of what you have read.
That's loads! I've read:
T.S Eliot
The Divine Comedy
Beowulf
Battle of Maldon
Charge of the Light Brigade + other Tennyson poems
Ted Hughes, particularly religious poetry - The Contender etc.
Kafka - Metamorphosis
Slave narratives
Beloved
Heart of darkness
Edgar Allan Poe - three short stories
The Buddha of Suburbia - Hanif Kureishi
Suddenly Last Summer - Tennessee Williams
The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
I'm just starting to read War and Peace and some other Williams stuff now :')
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harleynight
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Read something really different from what you've studied. My Oxford interviewers were really interested in my thoughts on Angela Carter until they realised I studied the Bloody Chamber at a level and looked disappointed even though I spoke to them about three of her other books.

Try and read something really different to what everyone else will say. Things that people always seem to mention from what I've gathered are 1984 (avoid like the plague), The Great Gatsby, The Wasteland (although if you have a good knowledge of it and modernism then go for it)....

If I were reapplying now with less than a term's worth of knowledge, I would have found reading lists for unis and picked something really obscure and deliberately mentioned it. Like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight or Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur. Middle English isn't as difficult as it seems and I think your own research would show your dedication to an interviewer. Even if you hate it and never want to study it again.

Something like Aristotle's Poetics could be a good mention too.
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The Empire Odyssey
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To be honest, I haven't read anything for solely the interviews... If I am required to, I would do so, but as far as I'm concerned I don't. But in general I've read:

Hard Times and Great Expectations, Dickens
Wuthering Heights, Bronte
Dracula, Stoker
Atonement and Enduring Love, McEwan
King Lear, The Merchant of Venice and Othello, Shakespeare
Frankenstein, Shelley
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde
The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger
Pride and Prejudice, Austen
Ruth, Gaskell (mentioned this in PS)
Maurice, Forster (mentioned this in PS).
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Foreverneek
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(Original post by harleynight)
Read something really different from what you've studied. My Oxford interviewers were really interested in my thoughts on Angela Carter until they realised I studied the Bloody Chamber at a level and looked disappointed even though I spoke to them about three of her other books.

Try and read something really different to what everyone else will say. Things that people always seem to mention from what I've gathered are 1984 (avoid like the plague), The Great Gatsby, The Wasteland (although if you have a good knowledge of it and modernism then go for it)....

If I were reapplying now with less than a term's worth of knowledge, I would have found reading lists for unis and picked something really obscure and deliberately mentioned it. Like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight or Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur. Middle English isn't as difficult as it seems and I think your own research would show your dedication to an interviewer. Even if you hate it and never want to study it again.

Something like Aristotle's Poetics could be a good mention too.

I only just saw this! Thanks for the reply I really like Eliot and 'The Hollow Men' which is closely linked with 'The Wasteland' so I think it would be beneficial to read it, it might look worse if I did't read it and they ask me about it. I enjoy Anglo-Saxon poetry and the epics so I think that gives me an edge, its the classics I fall down on. I'm experimenting with Chaucer, so I'll keep Aristotle's poetics in mind for further reading, thank you for your suggestions.
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Foreverneek
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(Original post by Cool_JordH)
To be honest, I haven't read anything for solely the interviews... If I am required to, I would do so, but as far as I'm concerned I don't. But in general I've read:

Hard Times and Great Expectations, Dickens
Wuthering Heights, Bronte
Dracula, Stoker
Atonement and Enduring Love, McEwan
King Lear, The Merchant of Venice and Othello, Shakespeare
Frankenstein, Shelley
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde
The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger
Pride and Prejudice, Austen
Ruth, Gaskell (mentioned this in PS)
Maurice, Forster (mentioned this in PS).
I didn't read anything particularly for the interview either and it worries me. I'm just analysing the stuff I have read in extreme detail in the hopes that if I get an interview, I can drag it out a bit :')
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DeuteriumPie
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Harry Potter
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lucas13
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shakespeare
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