Required Reading Haul Again!

It’s been almost two years since my first Required Reading haul and here I am again! I found a great deal from a fellow student wanting to declutter and thought, since I’m always interested in what books other universities study, that this might be interesting to do again.

The module I’ve decided on is Literature in Transition: from 1800 to the Present and I started last week which is why it’s been a bit quiet on the blog!

The ‘Realities’ texts are: Bleak House by Charles Dickens, which I already had. London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew which my mother is really excited for me to read. I know nothing about Henry Thoreau’s Walden so that’ll be fun. And Mill on the Floss by George Eliot which I’ve actually already read and absolutely adored. I love looking at the contexts within a book is written so I’m really looking forward to learning more about one of my favourite books!

‘Movements’ includes: the play Playboy of the Western World by J.M. SyngeShort Stories by Katherine MansfieldThe Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford which I have since found two copies I already owned on my shelves, the poems Four Quartets by T. S. EliotBetween the Acts by Virginia Woolf and Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys.

And finally ‘Futures’, which collects books published in the last 80 or so years. This includes: Under Milk Wood by Dylan ThomasThe Complete Cosmicomics by Italo CalivinoOranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson which I read on audiobook and unfortunately didn’t get along with, Season of Migration to the North by Tayib SalehStuff Happens by David Hare and Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Have you read any of these? Anything I should be looking forward to?
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Required Reading Haul!

You know what’s great about being an English Literature and Creative Writing student? The books you have to buy for your module don’t count towards your self-imposed book ban. Right? Also, education and all of that great stuff. Anyway, I’m always interested in books that other universities set for required reading so I thought I would show the nine books I’ve bought for my next Open University module; A230 – Reading and Studying Literature!

The first few months of the module is looking at The Renaissance and the Long Eighteenth Century. So I might finally learn how to spell Renaissance without autocorrect! The books for this are Othello by William Shakespeare and The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster, looking at the treatment of love and death in tragedies. I haven’t read Shakespeare since school so I’m a little nervous about that, but I love a good tragedy.

Oroonoko by Aphra Behn and Candide, or Optimism by Francois Voltaire

Then we’ll move onto Oroonoko by Aphra Behn and Candide, or Optimism by Francois Voltaire, along with an autobiography of an ex-slave and accounts of mutinies. This is all about journeys and I’m really hyped for it. Does anyone else remember that scene in The Princess Diaries where Lily goes; “Voltaire, hair. I would personally like to learn about Voltaire.” Now I finally get to!

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

After that is Romantics and Victorians where the coursebook has a lot of the materials; poems by Wordsworth and Shelley, short stories by E. T. A. Hoffman and Robert Louis Stevenson. This is also when the chunky Victorian novels I’m really excited about come into play; mainly Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The other books I’m to read are The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which I’ve coincidentally already read this year! And Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, which I have several copies of because it was one of my A-level texts and I’ve struggled to read it for fun since then.

The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon, Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel and The Emigrants by W. G. Sebald.

And if I get through all that, it’s into The Twentieth Century. The focus starts with Cities, there’ll be a bunch of New York based poems along with Dubliners by James Joyce. I actually mentioned this in Books I Want to Buy and Why #10. My university actually recommended this copy but I’m a sucker for the Penguin English Library covers and they had the same contents.

Then it shifts to Migration and Memory which just sounds fascinating! Especially with the time period; the wars and decolonisation. The books I bought are The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon, Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel (I forgot to photograph this) and The Emigrants by W. G. Sebald but I’ll also be studying poetry by Elizabeth Bishop and James Berry’s Windrush Songs.

Overall, it’s a really interesting bunch of books and I’m going to (hopefully) read most of them in advance before my module starts in October because I hate getting behind on set reading as a mood reader. I hope this was interesting!

What do you think of my haul? What was your favourite book you were required to read?
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