I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before on the blog but I am in the process of completing an English Literature and Creative Writing degree with the Open University. I’ve just finished first year and loved my course, but I’m even more excited for this year as it gets a little more specialised.
I’ve just been given my second year reading list and I thought it would be cool to share with you guys!
Being totally honest, I’m not hugely excited by many of these books (mostly because I’ll have to buy them because the library no longer has them) but I’m going to try and stay positive. I’ll have to read them either way and it’ll be easier if I pretend to be a bit more enthusiastic than I actually feel!
Oroonoko by Aphra Behn
So, this book sounds awful! Lovely start!
From what I can gather, this is the story of ‘lovers cast into slavery’, and how their struggle for freedom brings about their own destruction. The synopsis goes on to say:
I really hope the course will be critiquing this work and I can’t say I’m looking forward to it in the slightest.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
This is much more like it. I’m very excited to dive back into Wuthering Heights and get back to Heathcliffe and Catherine. I’m ready for the moors and the cold and… can you hear Kate Bush?
The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
I haven’t read this book and it’s perfect that it’s cropped up on this list because I’ve been wanting to dip back into Sherlock Holmes because I miss the stories and characters. I’m not looking up what this particular Holmes mystery is because I don’t want to get spoiled, but I have a very good feeling that I’m going to enjoy it.
Dancing at Lughnasa
I had no idea at all what this book was about, so I’m going to copy the synopsis down below. I’m cautiously optimistic?
I love closed settings so I may enjoy this one.
Dubliners by James Joyce
Was I naive to believe I would be able to do a literature degree and not have to read James Joyce?
Sigh. Come on, then.
The synopsis doesn’t give much away:
Okay, so there are fifteen stories in a 200 page book, which is making it seem a little more manageable. I think Ulysses gives this guy a bad reputation, but I’ll reserve judgement until I actually read this one.
The Emigrants by W.G. Sebald
I have heard of this one, and I’ve been wanting to read it at some point. It’s never been a priority, just a periphery book, but I feel like that gives it more opportunity to surprise me (hopefully in a good way).
Written with a bone-dry sense of humour and a fascination with the oddness of existence The Emigrants is highly original in its heady mix of fact, memory and fiction and photographs.
Again, I’m cautiously optimistic.
The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon
I’m much more excited for this book as it explores racism from the perspective of a writer who actually experiences it. How quirky! How different and unique!
Not gonna hold back another sigh.
Sam Selvon, thank you for saving this reading list, honestly.
Instead, they have to face the harsh realities of living hand to mouth, of racism, of bone-chilling weather and bleak prospects. Yet friendships flourish among these Lonely Londoners and, in time, they learn to survive.
I hadn’t heard of this book before it appeared on the list, and it’s probably the book I’m most looking forward to reading.
Othello by William Shakespeare
I’ve only read the children’s version of Othello back in school, so it’ll be cool to revisit the story I’m familiar with, but as a big girl now. I’m ready to get back to Shakespeare too, I’ve missed my dramatic boy.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Whoa, I read Frankenstein a long time ago, back when I was maybe eleven? Many of the details have slipped from my brain. I’m actually really hyped to read my spooky gal again.
Candide by Voltaire
Know the title, not a clue about the story. Give me a second.
Can’t relate. I can’t even be entirely optimistic about this list.
The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster
All I know about this story is that it is a revenge tragedy with gore and dark humour, so I’m leaning more onto the side of excitement than dread at this one. It should also be pretty short while having enough to sink my teeth into.
Have you read any of these books? Let me know and we can chat!