Book Discussions & Lists

Feature & Follow {5}: My Atypical English Literature Class

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I joined Feature & Follow again this week hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Each week they pose a question to discuss, bloggers link up and follow each other and the featured blogger that week. Easy enough? Here we go.

If you are visiting me for the first time, Welcome!! I’m Tanya and enjoy reading classics, historical fiction, world fiction, literary fiction, non-fiction…ok well I like most anything.  Please follow me via email or Bloglovin and I will return the favor.  Hope you browse around and share your thoughts with me, I love getting comments and returning the visit.

This week’s question is:

Q: Back to school. Create a reading list for the imaginary English Lit class you’ll be teaching this semester.

adventures sherlock holmestreasure island persuasion room with a view

i capture the castle

christmas carol








Well I would not be a conventional English teacher, you won’t find any Shakespeare or Bronte here. If I’m teaching an English lit class for the summer, it’s gonna be full of books I like or want to read. I picked Sherlock Holmes for the clever and creative ways Doyle comes up with his scenarios and solutions to his mysteries.  Treasure Island for the excitement and for launching a whole pirate genre that is wildly popular today.  Perusasion, my favorite Austen romance, yes even more than Pride & Prejudice, because I related to the story and characters.  Room with a View because I haven’t read it yet but heard it’s a fantastic read.  I Capture the Castle for its charming characters, beautiful descriptions of the English landscape and life in a poor man’s castle. A Christmas Carol, a well loved, classic Christmas story that I have not yet read but plan to for the Classics Club.

I have not read Shakespeare or the Bronte sisters books since I was a kid in school who did not appreciate or enjoy them so did not add them to my class schedule yet, they’d be extra credit.



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What would you teach in your English Lit class? What are your favorite English classics? If you’ve read any of the books I selected, let me know what you thought of them and as always, happy reading!

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  1. I would love your English Lit class! So many of my favourites there, especially Persuasion, which I love for the same reasons as you.

    I would probably have Persuasion, Wuthering Heights, I Capture the Castle, Heroes and Villains by Angela Carter, Parade’s End, The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises. Weird weird mix, I’m not sure what I would be demonstrating other than a general ‘I love these books’ squee.

  2. This is very neat, thank you for introducing the Feature and Follow. I will check them out. I teach, and this year we are asked to do integrated the curriculum much more. Even though I am not a Literature teacher, I would be selecting different thematic books for my kids, so this will be a great exercise!

    I loved the Bronte’s sisters’ books as a child. However, I never read Persuasion. Somebody brought my attention back to it a couple of weeks ago. So now I am waiting to have a little bit more time to read it!

    Thank you for this post!


  3. I can’t help but laugh – I will be back to school in two weeks, but I’m teaching American Lit and Composition this year. Even when I taught the younger grade levels, we did a number of American authors (those are the books the school had when I was hired). So, a twist on your question, here’s what I have taught of English Lit in the past:

    Romeo and Juliet – I’ve found the more often I taught it the better I liked it and the better I’ve become at comprehending Shakespeare’s language.

    Great Expectations – YUCK! I liked the story and Dickens, but his descriptive writing is so hard for every day students. It was so bad, I literally just stopped teaching it after two years. However, I second your idea of a Christmas Carol – students enjoy that one.

    Wuthering Heights – okay I think. Students were like “eh.”

    And there’s been a bunch of short stories too!

  4. I have to admit that I shed a tiny tear to find out that “Pride and Prejudice” was not your favorite Austen (but I’m a person who almost named her daughter Elizabeth…but settled on it as a middle name so there you go). And I LOVED “I Captured the Castle”!! Mostly when I mention it, people look at me blankly. I knew we were meant to be friends! –Lisa

    1. Lol, Sorry Lisa, I warned you I wasn’t your typical reader, not thinking that P&P was my favorite Austen novel. I just had a really hard time getting into it. It look about 3/4s of the book before it really got to the good stuff for me. But once it did, swoon 🙂 Persuasion hooked me from the beginning and I related very much to Anne and her situation. I highlighted passages and laughed out loud at it, there were even some quotes which got my angelic Superhubby into trouble. I thought it was very relatable to my life.

      I read I Capture the Castle as part of my book club that another club member had selected. I had never heard of it before but I did enjoy it. It was very whimsical and charming.

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