It’s Not Officially Summer

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My Cinco de Mayo celebration after class. Yes I’m using a clothes basket as a table.

Are you thinking… Well Duh? I would be but I know why I titled that that way… neener neener neener. Oh fine I’ll share…

Last night was my last night of classes for the semester. Booyah! Now technically I have a final to turn in and a final project to turn in due by 10am on Friday but otherwise… no more classes for the spring semester. I’m doing a happy dance if you can’t tell.

But my summer isn’t going to be all butterflies and kittens. Nope Nope Nope. Instead I get to read 50+ish books. So I’m going to show you my reading list so you can keep me accountable, deal?

First round of comps come this fall. I’m scared!


COLONIAL (Beginnings to 1820)




Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Part 1




Anne Bradstreet: “The Prologue,” “The Author to Her Book,” “Contemplations,” “A Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment,” “Here Follows Some Verses Upon the Burning of Our House”
ROMANTIC (1820-1865)




Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter, “Young Goodman Brown,” “The Birth-Mark”




Henry David Thoreau: Walden, “Resistance to Civil Government”




Walt Whitman: “Song of Myself,” “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking,” “The Wound-Dresser”



REALISTIC (1865-1914)




Mark Twain: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


Kate Chopin: The Awakening




Frederick Douglass: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass




Emily Dickinson (grouped by theme) 


  • #207 (#214): I taste a liquor never brewed –
  • #320 (#258): There’s a certain Slant of Light
  • #359 (#328): A Bird came down the Walk –
  • #905 (#861): Split the Lark – and you’ll find the Music 

Death, Immortality, Religion:

  • #124 (#216): Safe in their Alabaster Chambers –
  • #236 (#324): Some keep the Sabbath going to Church
  • #202 (#185): “Faith” is a fine invention

Mind, Soul, and Self:

  • #620 (#435): Much Madness is divinest Sense –
  • #339 (#241): I like a look of Agony,
  • #598 (#632): The Brain – is wider than the Sky –
  • #312 (#252): I can wade Grief –

MODERN (1914-1950)




William Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury


Zora Neale Hurston: Their Eyes Were Watching God




T.S. Eliot: The Waste Land, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”


Langston Hughes: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “I, Too,” “Dream Boogie,” “Cross,” “Mulatto,” “Christ in Alabama,” “Mother to Son,” “Homecoming,” “Green Memory,” “Silhouette,” “Let America Be America Again,” “Harlem [Dream Deferred],” “Theme for English B,” “Song for a Dark Girl”


Robert Frost: “Design,” “Out, Out―,” “Birches,” “After Apple-Picking,” “The Road Not Taken,” “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” “Desert Places,” “Mending Wall,” “Home-Burial,” “Acquainted with the Night,” “Directive”




Tennessee Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire



POST WW II (1950-Present)




Toni Morrison: Beloved


Flannery O’Connor: “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” “Good Country People,” “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” “Revelation.”





Gwendolyn Brooks: “The Bean Eaters,” “We Real Cool,” “The Near-Johannesburg Boy,” “An Aspect of  Love, Alive in the Ice and Fire: La Bohem Brown,” “the mother,” “kitchenette,” “the children of the poor” (1-5), “A Lovely Love,” “To Those of My Sisters Who Kept Their Naturals,” “The Chicago Picasso, 1986”


Allen Ginsberg: “Howl,” “America,” “A Supermarket in California,” “Sunflower Sutra”




David Henry Hwang: M. Butterfly

British Literature: Core List

1.     Beowulf, “Deor,” “The Dream of the Rood,” “The Wanderer”
2.     Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
3.     Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: “The General Prologue,” “The Miller’s Prologue and Tale,” “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale,” “The Clerk’s Tale,” “The Franklin’s Tale,” “The Pardoner’s Prologue & Tale,” “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale” (may be read in translation)
4.     Sidney, An Apology for Poetry
5.     Shakespeare, Hamlet
6.     Shakespeare, MacBeth
7.     Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
8.     Milton, Paradise Lost (Books 1, 2, 4, & 9)
9.     Pope, The Rape of the Lock
10.  Fielding, Joseph Andrews
11.  Austen, Pride and Prejudice
12.  Wordsworth, “Preface” to Lyrical Ballads, “Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,” “Intimations of Immortality,” The Prelude (Books 1, 9, 10, 13, & 14)
13.  Brontë, Wuthering Heights
14.  Dickens, Little Dorrit
15.  Tennyson, In Memoriam
16.  Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
17.  Woolf, To the Lighthouse
18.  Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
19.  WWI, Yeats, and Auden bundle: Brooke, “The Soldier”; Owen, “Dulce et decorum est,” “Anthem for Doomed Youth”; Sassoon, “Glory of Women,” “Repression of War Experience,” “They”; Rosenberg, “Break of Day in the Trenches”; “; Graves, “The Next War”; Yeats, “The Wild Swans at Coole,” “The Second Coming,” “Sailing to Byzantium,” “Byzantium,” “Easter 1916,” “Leda and the Swan,” “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death,” “Under Ben Bulben,” ; Auden, “In Memory of WB Yeats,” “The Shield of Achilles,” “Musee des beaux arts,” “September 1, 1939,” “In Memory of Sigmund Freud,” “Ode to Terminus”
20. Smith, White Teeth

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