The Ultimate Reading List for prospective English Literature students!

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kellywellydoodle
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#1
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#1
Just thought that it might be an idea if everyone could suggest good, slightly more advanced books that they might recommend read etc. that people could try and read before they go to uni apologies if this has been done before!

Just read A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, The Time Machine by H.G Wells and A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley which I've actually really enjoyed!

K xxx
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Jamsie_853
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I absolutely love 'A Clockwork Orange', I'm not applying for Literature but what an amazing read.
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redanator
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(Original post by Jamsie_853)
I absolutely love 'A Clockwork Orange', I'm not applying for Literature but what an amazing read.
I agree - so much better than the film
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diamonddust
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'Brave New World Revisited' is brilliant!
'Lolita'- brilliant and a lot of literary allusions that it's fun trying to decode... too bad parts of it are written in French and I'm not cultured enough to understand it!
'Crime and Punishment' by Dosteovsky (no idea if I've spelt it right)
The Complete Works of Shakespeare!
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (it's not advanced as such, just a good read)
Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte
Jane Eyre-Charlotte Bronte
The Stranger-Camus
Nausea- Sartre

I'm not applying for English Lit btw, I just like reading.
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phillypk1
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#5
Paradise Lost, some Dickens novels
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JW
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I'd reccommend the following to anyone with an interest in English lit:

Novels

Austen - P&P, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey
Bronte - Wuthering Heights
Conrad - Nostromo, The Secret Agent, Lord Jim
Dostoevsky - Crime and Punishment
Dickens - Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities
Hardy - Tess, Far From the Madding Crowd, The Mayor of Casterbridge
Shelley - Frankenstein (or try Walpole's Castle of Otranto)
Wilde - Dorian Gray

Poetry

Keats - Odes
Byron - Anything, although I prefer his shorter works.
Milton - Quintessentially a bit of Paradise Lost, but for something more digestable try Samson Agonistes
Shakespeare - Sonnets

Plays

Stoppard - Arcadia, The Real Inspector Hound, Rock 'n' Roll
Wilde - The Importance of Being Earnest
Shakespeare - I'm fond of the tragedies, but whatever you like. He's the man.

The above are all things I've enjoyed reading, but tend to be pre-1900. Obviously pursue personal interest as a priority.
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butterfly_girl_5
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#7
(Original post by JW)
I'd reccommend the following to anyone with an interest in English lit:

Novels

Austen - P&P, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey
Bronte - Wuthering Heights
Conrad - Nostromo, The Secret Agent, Lord Jim
Dostoevsky - Crime and Punishment
Dickens - Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities
Hardy - Tess, Far From the Madding Crowd, The Mayor of Casterbridge
Shelley - Frankenstein (or try Walpole's Castle of Otranto)
Wilde - Dorian Gray

Poetry

Keats - Odes
Byron - Anything, although I prefer his shorter works.
Milton - Quintessentially a bit of Paradise Lost, but for something more digestable try Samson Agonistes
Shakespeare - Sonnets

Plays

Stoppard - Arcadia, The Real Inspector Hound, Rock 'n' Roll
Wilde - The Importance of Being Earnest
Shakespeare - I'm fond of the tragedies, but whatever you like. He's the man.

The above are all things I've enjoyed reading, but tend to be pre-1900. Obviously pursue personal interest as a priority.
I totally agree with this
I would add- Hamlet is the best tragedy
also- Middlemarch by George Eliot! an absolute must for any prospective english student, and worth every one of its 750pages. I found it helped illuminate other, older texts in she includes a quote from another text at the start of each chapter.

also- TS Eliot for poetry- some of the wasteland (or all) and Love Song
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thatkidd
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I'm quite impressed that I've read a fair few of the mentioned books. I'm even reading Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment at the moment - I didn't think it was that well known.
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Funny Face
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1599 - I was dubious as it seemed a bit of a drag but my teacher encouraged us and it is truly the best thing you will ever read for English Lit.
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Nativeenglish
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#10
Virginia Woolf, her complete works. Bought it in Borders yesterday for £10! Amazing.
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pickledjelly
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#11
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#11
Read some essays.

Orwell - Why I Write is a good starting point, it makes you think about the way texts are written.
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Donitz
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harry potter and anything by louise rennison!! ^^
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BunnyS:)
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(Original post by pickledjelly)
Read some essays.

Orwell - Why I Write is a good starting point, it makes you think about the way texts are written.
Seconded!
By the way, were you a tad bemused when at the end he was very opposed to foreign words (if I remember correctly!)?
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BunnyS:)
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(Original post by Donitz)
harry potter and anything by louise rennison!! ^^
Haha they are great books but I have never met a boy who has read Louise Rennison!
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Nativeenglish
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(Original post by pickledjelly)
Read some essays.

Orwell - Why I Write is a good starting point, it makes you think about the way texts are written.
Indeed, I have the whole collection of Penguin's "Great Ideas".

The collection is as thus;
- Seneca; On the Shortness of Life.
- Marcus Aurelius; Meditations.
- St Augustine; Confessions of a Sinner.
- Thomas a Kempis; The Inner Life.
- Niccolo Machiavelli; The Prince.
- Michel de Montaigne; On Friendship.
-Jonathan Swift- A Tale of a Tub.
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau; The Social Construct.
- Edward Gibbo; The Christians and the Fall of Rome.
- Thomas Paine; Common sense.
- Mary Wollstonecraft; A Vindication of the Rights of Women.
- William Hazlitt; On the Pleasure of Hating.
- Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels; The Communist Manifesto (sidenote: ew).
(Gap, it's taking far too long to type tham all out).
- Virginia Woolf; A Room of One's Own (a personal favourite of mine).
- Sigmund Freud; Civilisation and Its Discontents.
- George Orwell; Why I write.

Great collection.
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Funny Face
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I was wondering afterall the hype I've endured surrounding A Clockwork Orange do you think I will still enjoy it?

At the moment I'm defiantly not reading it because I don't believe it can possibly be as good as everyone harps on and would turn out to be a huge let down. Do you think I should cast this off and read it anyway?
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The Harlequinn Mask
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(Original post by Funny Face)
I was wondering afterall the hype I've endured surrounding A Clockwork Orange do you think I will still enjoy it?

At the moment I'm defiantly not reading it because I don't believe it can possibly be as good as everyone harps on and would turn out to be a huge let down. Do you think I should cast this off and read it anyway?
It's like George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four (amazing read too) because it is innovative in terms of language and social developments.

Even if you think the plot is bland of these two (even though I loved them I won't say everyone will) maybe you can atleast hook yourself onto the various things that popular culture have ripped off and the innovative use of language.

I liked the use of Russianisms in Clockwork Orange as Burgess didn't realise that Black culture would influence the language of the youth instead. Also in Nineteen Eighty Four, the idea of reducing lexical choice reduces thought. I think that the abbreviated forms of words are very similiar to txtese now, anyone think the same?

Sorry I am a prospective English Literature student, but my English Language roots often spread into my studies too!
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The Harlequinn Mask
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(Original post by pickledjelly)
Read some essays.

Orwell - Why I Write is a good starting point, it makes you think about the way texts are written.

Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal (essay) is freaking amazing! It's pure Roman Satire at its best! In a nutshell it's a "modest proposal" about how to control the influx of Irish people, by eating their babies!

You can actually read it online here:

http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html
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Donitz
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#19
(Original post by BunnyS:))
Haha they are great books but I have never met a boy who has read Louise Rennison!
LOL I was joking! I can't stand either. But nothing wrong with people who do.
well actually people who like them are morons but w/e
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Divinitywolf
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Even though its already been suggested, Shelley's Frankenstein is brilliant

I reccomend reading Tennysonn's "In Memoriam" for some quality poetry.
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