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1. The Friend Who Got Away : Twenty
$98.00 $64.00
2. Through the Eyes of a Child: An
$9.76 $7.76 list($13.95)
3. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir
$77.00 $51.95
4. Literature: An Introduction to
$9.71 $7.49 list($12.95)
5. How to Read Literature Like a
$67.00 $41.00
6. An Introduction to Literature,
$61.20 $57.22
7. Writing Fiction (6th Edition)
$69.33 $47.95
8. Literature and the Writing Process
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9. The Three-Martini Playdate: A
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10. The Art of Being Human (7th Edition)
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11. Literature for Composition: Essays,
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12. Book Lust: Recommended Reading
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13. The Jane Austen Book Club
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14. Heath Anthology of American Literature,
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15. Jane Austen: The Complete Novels,
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16. Anthology of American Literature,
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17. Mythology : Timeless Tales of
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18. Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs
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19. The American Enemy : The History
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20. The Norton Anthology of American

1. The Friend Who Got Away : Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or FadedAway
by Jenny Offill, Elissa Schappell
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0385511868
Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 194
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Do be my enemy for friendship's sake."
I felt compelled to read "The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away" because I am a woman who once lost a best friend, and for some reason let her "get away." I have long felt a profound sense of sadness for the tremendous loss - the loss of so much closeness, the mutual trust, and the extraordinary intimacy of being able to confide almost anything in another person. In my lifetime, I have experienced the end of many relationships, some for expediency, others because paths diverged, and some, even for the best. Yet I will never forget this special women and all the wonderful conversations, thoughts and dreams we once shared - and now do not. Those who believe, in general, that romantic relationships are more intense than platonic friendships are in for a surprise. As I read the twenty essays included in this gem of a collection, some of them wonderful, others not, I was amazed at how many resonated with me and reminded me of various and diverse relationships I have had with women over the years. I was struck by the complexity of these friendships, and the variety of reasons they ended.

One friendship broke-up over a loan. Another, because men, sex and dates took priority over women friends. Others ended because of intellectual differences, competition, ambition, and betrayal. A few stories are devastating in nature, one involves the loss of a child. Authors Heather Abel and Emily Chenoweth discuss their mutual college friendship, and its demise, in separate essays. "I've never had a friendship that was that intense," Chenoweth said in a recent interview. "It did make it volatile in the way that a love relationship can be. But the thing is, lovers have a vocabulary for talking about the relationship. I'm not sure that exists for friends." Now, at age 33, both have reconciled.

Contributors Heather Abel, Diana Abu Jaber, Dorothy Allison, Nuar Alsadir, Kate Bernheimer, Emily Chenoweth, Jennifer Gilmore, Beverly Gologorsky, Vivian Gornick, Ann Hood, Nicole Keeter, Patricia Marx, Lydia Millet, Mary Morris, Francine Prose, Katie Roiphe, Helen Schulman, Elizabeth Strout, Emily White, share their well written, unique stories with the reader, which will inevitably evoke a multitude of feelings. Most affected me deeply.

William Blake wrote: "Thy friendship oft has made my heart to ache; do be my enemy for friendship's sake." Appropriate here, I think.
JANA ... Read more

2. Through the Eyes of a Child: An Introduction to Children's Literature (6th Edition)
by Donna E. Norton, Saundra Norton
list price: $98.00
our price: $98.00
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Asin: 013042207X
Catlog: Book (2002-06-03)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 44558
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is a fresh, new edition of one of the most widely-respected sources for introducing future teachers to the wealth of literature available to children. The sixth edition is replete with expanded coverage of key topics, numerous new features, and an enhanced focus on multicultural literature. Its unique two-part genre chapters—one part content, one part methods—once again provide everything instructors need in order to teach the core concepts and knowledge of children's literature content supported by methods to teach it.This book covers what constitutes good use of literature in the classroom and offers readers access to additional material on children's literature and teaching about literature. It covers what to look for in good literature and how to identify the best among what's available.For professionals in the field of teaching or anyoneinterested in children's literature. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thorough course in literature for children
I just got finished using this book for a course in Children's Literature, and it was extremely informative.

Since I am interested in children's literature (to read, and possibly to write), it was great to find out about all the different facets of literature for children, from historical children's lit, to multicultural lit, to award-winning literature.

If you are a teacher and haven't taken a course on children's literature, this book is a must-read (it even includes helps for the classroom at the end of each chapter). If you want to write for children, check this out -- it's a veritable goldmine of information to get your book noticed & published.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great resource for children's literature
This book covers a wide range of genres of children's literature. It is written in an easy to read style, and covers everything a teacher or media specialist would need to begin working with children's literature. It was outstanding! The addition of the CD-ROM gives even more resources. I think it is a wonderful book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The very best teacher's reference for children's literature.
Norton has once again done the impossible-- making her best-selling text on children's literature even better. The newest edition provides concise yet helpful summaries of the finest in children's books, and offers an updated CD-ROM tool to help teachers search and discover just right books. I heartily recommend it to all elementary teachers! ... Read more

3. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
by Azar Nafisi
list price: $13.95
our price: $9.76
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Asin: 081297106X
Catlog: Book (2003-12-30)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 69
Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

We all have dreams—things we fantasize about doing and generally never get around to. This is the story of Azar Nafisi’s dream and of the nightmare that made it come true.

For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail. They were shy and uncomfortable at first, unaccustomed to being asked to speak their minds, but soon they began to open up and to speak more freely, not only about the novels they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments. Their stories intertwined with those they were reading—Pride and Prejudice, Washington Square, Daisy Miller and Lolita—their Lolita, as they imagined her in Tehran.

Nafisi’s account flashes back to the early days of the revolution, when she first started teaching at the University of Tehran amid the swirl of protests and demonstrations. In those frenetic days, the students took control of the university, expelled faculty members and purged the curriculum. When a radical Islamist in Nafisi’s class questioned her decision to teach The Great Gatsby, which he saw as an immoral work that preached falsehoods of “the Great Satan,” she decided to let him put Gatsby on trial and stood as the sole witness for the defense.

Azar Nafisi’s luminous tale offers a fascinating portrait of the Iran-Iraq war viewed from Tehran and gives us a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women’s lives in revolutionary Iran. It is a work of great passion and poetic beauty, written with a startlingly original voice.
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Reviews (112)

4-0 out of 5 stars A literary tour-de-force
Azar Nafisi's memoir, Reading Lolita in Tehran, is the sort of book you should pick up if you want to assure yourself of how well-read you are, or perhaps to remind yourself that you are not well read at all. In the back of Ms. Nafisi's book is a list of recommended reading, some of which deals with Iran, but much of which is the fiction about which she writes in the book.

Having only read some of the novels about which Ms. Nafisi writes, I don't think I can adequately discuss the literary criticism woven throughout the book. The story of the book club itself is often not the main focus, as Ms. Nafisi gives a crash course in Iranian revolutionary history and delves into her personal life as well as that of the women in her book club. The combination of the three is an intriguing and potent conceit; learning how everyday life in Iran affects these women is compelling and evocative. Intertwined with commentary and comparison of some of the great books of western literature makes it even more so.

It would be had to say that one does not learn one thing, if not many things, from this book. Certainly it inspires you to read some of the books Ms. Nafisi writes about, if only to re-read the book and access a new level of understanding.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reading Lolita in Tehran : A Memoir in Books
Nafisi details her experiences in Iran from 1979 to 1997, when she taught English literature in Tehran universities and hosted a private seminar on Western literature for female university students. Born and raised in Iran, the author offers readers a personal account of events in the postrevolutionary period that are often generalized by other writers. She was a witness to compulsory veiling, the "cultural revolution" that closed and purged the universities, the Iraq-Iran war (including missile attacks against Tehran), and the Ayatollah Khomeini's death. Nafisi provides readers with a view of Tehran during these tumultuous two decades and describes the ways that individuals resisted and defied the new regime's restrictive policies concerning both women's and men's behavior and dress. Readers interested in Western literature and the ways that key works could be interpreted by those living in different settings and times will find this book fascinating. Specialists on Iran, the Middle East, and Islam will also find the work unique, controversial, and informative. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Most public and academic collections and levels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classical Celebration
<br /> Through turmoil, heartbreak and heartache comes the courageous and celebrated life of women. This will be one of the classics that will be handed down through the generations to come. A beautifully written and prolific book for all to read. <br /> Other reads are: Nightmares Echo by Katlyn Stewart,A Paper Life by Tatum O'Neil <br />

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Style
Excellent style of writing,a story that captures your attention and holds it. I am a fan of Non Fiction works, Particularly that of Memoirs-Autobiographies. This book is meaty and hard to put down. Other Non Fiction works that have caught my attention are- Running With Scissors,One Child and Nightmares Echo

2-0 out of 5 stars didnt like it either
I had a few probs with this book.

1. Nafisi talks at length about the vices of the islamic republic of iran - which i wholly empathize with - however, she fails to give substantial background on the how the country reached this state ie. the radical secularism that plagued the country only a generation before, under the 'shah'. And while this seems like a mere detail, its very significant, as it provides a sociological context for the political ongoings Nafisi writes so much about.
2. she seems a bit whiny to me and kind of passive....
3. maybe its bc i havent read most of the books she mentions, but I found her running commentaries on the books a bit boring and tedious. I felt like i was reading a book report or something.
4. the one thing i expected from this book was a heartwarming narrative of female bonding (think female"dead poets society" or "how to make an american quilt"). instead, i found the relationship nafisi conjurs somewhat empty and unsatisfying. i felt like she was trying to take me somewhere and we never got there.

so i didnt really like this book basically. ... Read more

4. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing, Seventh Edition
by Edgar V. Roberts, Henry E. Jacobs
list price: $77.00
our price: $77.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130485845
Catlog: Book (2003-07-18)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 43499
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Indeed, a good book.
This is a wonderful collection of literature of all kinds. If you're worried about having complete coverage of all aspects of literature in an introductory way, this book is for you.

Assistance on how to write about literature is a great plus. Explication of poetry, essays on prose, and many other kinds of writing is discussed. Examples of writing are also given.

The one complaint that I have is in how the much of the literature is accompanied with perhaps too many notes for the reader. It by no means filters out one's ability to interpret the literature on their own, but sometimes the editor should let the reader think on his/her own!

On the whole, definitely a good book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great teaching book
This book has a companion video series called Literary Visions. That series alsoo includes a study guide. I would highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Is there a teacher's manual with this book?
This is not a review. I am searching for a teacher's manual for this book. Is there one? ... Read more

5. How to Read Literature Like a Professor : A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines
by Thomas C. Foster
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
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Asin: 006000942X
Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
Publisher: Perennial Currents
Sales Rank: 1719
Average Customer Review: 3.85 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey?. Shares a meal? Gets drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface -- a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character -- and there's that sneaking suspicion that the deeper meaning of a literary text keeps escaping you.

In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover a world where a road leads to a quest; a shared meal may signify a communion; and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just rain. Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices, and form, How to Read Literature Like a Professor is the perfect companion for making your reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.

... Read more

Reviews (13)

3-0 out of 5 stars practical guide to reading
Foster tackles Literature from a symbolic metaphorical side, delving into Myths, symbols, and the connectedness of all Literature etc.
In a lively and entertaining manner he shows the reader how to draw parallels between texts and explores poetic metaphors effectively.

The weakness of the book is that the author doesn't really delve deeply enough into other important aspects such as Character development, Plot devices, structure of the novel among other things. He's thematic discussions, too, are at times somewhat shallow,

Nonetheless, it is a worthwhile book that certainly deserves to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare was here.....
I wish I had had access to HOW TO READ LITERATURE LIKE A PROFESSOR for my Freshman English classes. Thomas C. Foster provides the reader with insights into those amazing points college professors and advanced placement English teachers make concerning classical texts such as PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, THE SUN ALSO RISES, BELOVED, and the other standard works assigned to young students. The older reader will also appreciate his insights. You may even finally discover why certain works appeal to you while others don't, or why trashy novels don't fill the gap in your soul "good" books do.

"It was a dark and stormy night..." So begins the never finished novel Snoopy has been developing on the top of his dog house for years. And so began (or similarly began) one of the great classics...WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Foster explains why the weather in a novel is a very important clue. Sunshine and clouds affect mood and the classical writers are adept at using atmospheric pressure to evoke mood.

Foster explains that other literary devices have been used to effect mood, attitude, and feelings of commiseration ever since our forebears sat around the campfires and told each other entertaining tales. Shakespeare may have been original, but he was also a master of understanding what worked for other authors from whom he borrowed much. A number of great works written since Shakespeare use his devices including subtle references to the Bible and the Greek Classics.

One wonders in an age not prone to studying the Bible as literature or Latin in high school, how much is lost. On the other hand, the study of Spanish (a Romance language) could prove quite important to speakers of English deprived of Latin classes. Don Quixote understood the importance of "the quest."

2-0 out of 5 stars One Reader's Futile Quest
I set out on my journey through this book with great trepidation and anticipation - trepidation that I would be forever lost in the mazes of literary notions heretofore only alluded to in the occasional book review, such that I might never be able to read fiction again for the crowds of overarching ideas that would envelop me. Anticipation that I would now be able to spot nuances that had previously flown right over my head like the birds and butterflies in the test case short story at the end of this book.

I needn't have worried my pretty little head. Foster belabors the obvious again and again throughout this book (Spring? Rebirth? Gasp!), while attempting to pepper it with humor that creaks like the bones of a Shakespearean ghost and evidently proud references to popular music from 30 years or more in the past that marks him as rather hopelessly out of date instead of with the coolness he seems to think it evinces. I had to keep referring to the title page to be absolutely certain he didn't write this book (more forgivebly) in 1974. It is to cringe.

This book was a waste of money, even at the used price.

2-0 out of 5 stars An Aptly Named but Disappointing Book
There is a well-known scene in the film "Dead Poets Society" where an English professor instructs his students to rip a bland scholarly essay on poetry from their textbooks. This book is the spiritual heir to those ripped out and discarded pages... what makes this all the more depressing is that the author clearly had the opposite intent in mind.

The book is an acceptable introduction to literary themes and symbolic thinking, well-suited to budding writers and English majors; despite the publisher's claims, however, I find it neither "lively" nor "engaging" enough to gain wide appeal outside those circles. Indeed, Professor Foster seems to have written the book precisely for that audience, as he assumes a broad literary knowledge on the part of the reader, but insists on repeatedly hammering home trivial concepts (like submersion in water being symbolic of baptism) that anyone "well-read" enough to follow him should already know. This tone, and the frequent return to themes and topics already covered in great detail - oh, look, another Toni Morrison reference - make reading this book feel like an assigned task. Since there will be no quiz later, I can not recommend the book.

I really wanted to like this book. Professor Foster seems a charming and intelligent fellow, and I would probably enjoy taking his classes. Nonetheless, I find this dry and repetitive contribution to "the ur-story" lacking... the reader that would benefit the most from it would likely enjoy it least. The praise of the book by English professors shows that the converse is also true.

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative and Memorable
This is a super introduction to reading literature critically. Foster writes in a relaxed, conversational manner so the reader feels like a participant in the classroom. His book is geared for beginners, so don't look for a huge vocabulary or philosophical overtones. A fun and quick read even for literary masters, because we sometimes lose sight of the basics. Highly recommended. ... Read more

6. An Introduction to Literature, 13th Edition
by Sylvan Barnet, William Burto, William E. Cain
list price: $67.00
our price: $67.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321105702
Catlog: Book (2003-03-27)
Publisher: Longman
Sales Rank: 43904
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A leader in the market for over 30 years, this paperback anthology continues to uphold the traditions that have made it a success - classic and contemporary selections with a range of multicultural voices as well as a non-intrusive apparatus that covers the elements of literature and the writing process while incorporating fresh new material. The new edition features "Writer's at Work", a novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, a new casebook on Hamlet, a 24-page color insert "Poems and Paintings" and more student writing throughout. For anyone interested in literature. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for my Literature Class. . . BUT
I bought this book for my college Literature class, overpaid as usual too. After a semester of use, the cover is falling apart, the pages are thin and rip easily and all of the paper is of a material that is hard to clean pencil marks from.

However, it is a great book. It contains a wealth of poems, stories and advice between the poorly-made pages. And, since the pages are thin, it wasn't as heavy to lug around campus. Very good content though, as I said. The stories are multi-national, there is abstract and realistic, old-fashioned and very modern, some ancient and even the lyrics to 1960's folk songs! One of my favorite lines in the book is "Margaret are you weeping over golden grove unleafing?" I also like the old sailors poem Western Wind "Western wind when wilt though blow? The small rain down can rain. Christ that my love were in my arms and I in my bed again."

Perhaps it helps that my literature professor is top notch and a noted author as well (Kent Meyers "The Work of Wolves") but he really made me love this book! There is gold within these pages, a very good choice for teaching college students to truly appreciate the many genres of literature from around the world and through the ages.

1-0 out of 5 stars Misleading
I ordered the 13th edition and received the 5th edition. The order was clearly placed for the 13th edition; it had the caption, picture and everything, when I ordered. Then When I received the wrong book I e-mailed back to see what happened and they replied that I didn't see their small caption at the bottom that read 5th edition. This captioned was not available when I purchased the book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Helpful for my Lit class. Book VERY POORLY MADE!!!
This book was very useful for my Introduction to Literature class. (Naturally) Contains works from many of the great authors.

I am VERY,VERY disapointed in the overall quality of the book. DON'T BUY THE PAPER BACK EDITION. Get it in hard back if you can. With my copy of this book, as well as, the copies that belonged to several other members of my Lit. class, the binding broke and the book fell apart. Now I can't resell it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Great Anthology Literature
Currently a college student who is currently using this book for the third (last year) quarter of english. This is what i would consider a great anthology filled with many literature. How this differs from other books is that it contains a ton of plays, drama, rather then just short stories found in other anthologies. For mostly short stories divided into major sections, i recommend a book called An Introduction to Literature by author, ABACARION. It has poems, short stories, plays, and essays divided into major topics including "culture and identity, conformity and rebellion, and innocense to experience which are major topics covered in college." ... Read more

7. Writing Fiction (6th Edition)
by Janet Burroway, Susan Weinberg
list price: $61.20
our price: $61.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321117956
Catlog: Book (2002-07-10)
Publisher: Longman
Sales Rank: 50555
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The most widely used and respected book on writing fiction, Writing Fictionguides the writer from first inspiration to final revision.Supported by an abundance exercises, this guide/anthology explores and integrates the elements of fiction while offering practical techniques and concrete examples. A focus on the writing process in its entirety provides a comprehensive guide to writing fiction, approaching distinct elements in separate chapters while building on what has been covered earlier. Topics include free-writing to revision, plot, style, characterization, dialogue, atmosphere, imagery, and point of view. An anthology of diverse and contemporary short stories followed by suggestions for discussion and writing exercises, illustrates concepts while offering variety in pacing and exposure to this increasingly popular form. The book also discusses key issues including writing workshops, using autobiography as a basis for fiction, using action in stories, using dialogue, and maintaining point of view. The sixth edition also features more short short stories than any previous edition and includes quotation boxes that offer advice and inspirational words from established writers on a wide range of topics--such as writing from experience, story structure, openings and endings, and revision.For those interested in developing their creative writing skills. ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny!!!!
If you buy only one writing book in your life, make it Janet Burroway's book. She offers the most sensible and insightful look into creating believable fiction that I've ever come across. I credit her with teaching me the extras that took me from unpublished writer to published author.

I can't even begin to discuss all the issues that this book covers. Burroway's chapters on characterization, metaphors and similes, plot development, and point-of-view are standouts. The writing exercises are for the most part instructive (especially if this book is used as a textbook), and are great for overcoming writer's block.

Burroway's emphasis is unequivocally on literary fiction, but her lessons can be applied to all genres. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about writing fiction. For the hobbyist, you might want to find a how-to book that is not quite as comprehensive and thus less demanding.

5-0 out of 5 stars Practical advice coupled with inspirational examples.
Janet Burroway is the ideal writing teacher. She encourages, cajoles, instructs and gives excellent examples from the best writers in contemporary fiction. This book is an indispensible tool for beginning writers as well as old pros. It covers everything from characterization to setting and plot in a logical, step by step fashion. Each chapter devoted to a topic is illustrated not only with Burroway's own writing, but with examples from the works of contemporary writers. It is the type of book one reads, underlines, and returns to again and again. A "must have" for aspiring ficition writers.

1-0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give it a -5 stars
I am taking a class in Fiction Writing and this was one of the texts for the class. This book was touted as the be all and end all in assistance in the writing process. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. I found it used in the bookstore for $40 (remember, starving college student). I got it home and was astounded by what I read in the second paragraph. We were to read chapter 2 first. Well, let me tell you. I have never been so insulted in my entire life. "'s probable that your impulse to write has little to do with the desire or the skill to work out a plot." (p27) EXCUSE ME?!?!?! It only goes down hill from there. This author is arrogant and leads one to believe that she is the only one capable of writing a story. I've attempted to read chapters 3, 4, 5, and 6 as they have been assigned in the class. It's complete torture to get through them.

I will be selling my copy as soon as I possibly can.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stop Studying, Start Writing
The steep price of this book gives away that it's a college textbook, not a book for the general reader. There are books for the novice out there that answer the same questions this book but cost you a lot less. But this really is better than most books.

Rather than trying to address itself to writing globally or simply act as boosterism to get you busy, this book actually gets into the nuts and bolts of the writing craft. It answers questions about constructing narrative fiction that even experienced writers have from time to time. There's no fiddling business about comma use--there are other books for that--but for narrative structure, beginnings and ends, building tension, and more, this is your book.

Many books of this type are laden with platitudes and aphorisms about writing. They're pretty, but they don't really help you get going. What really sets this book apart is that, after it gives you your standards and rules, it gives you excerpts from other writers' fiction to demonstrate how it works in the real world of published fiction. Now that's truly useful.

All that said, it suffers from the same problem that afflicts all fiction-writing books: it can't really teach you how to write. It's okay to have this book at hand to answer your questions, give you tutorials, and work on fine-tuning, but the only way you'll really get good at writing is to stop studying books and start writing like you mean it.

This book is good within the limitations that surround all fiction-writing books. To really succeed, you need to just knuckle down and write, but as you're doing that, this is the book to have within reach. Now stop reading my stupid review and start writing your fiction!

5-0 out of 5 stars For avid readers, even if not an aspiring writer
I've written non-fiction, but this is a whole 'nother thing. Learning about the intricacies of writing fiction has engendered a new level of respect for those who create anything publishable, to the point where even the notion of any casual reader offering critical opinions about a published book of fiction seems audacious. Point is, this book will help you to read like a writer, so you will appreciate your reading so much more. ... Read more

8. Literature and the Writing Process (7th Edition)
by Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X Day, Robert Funk
list price: $69.33
our price: $69.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0131891022
Catlog: Book (2004-03-05)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 45912
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Blending a complete writing about literature volume, a literature anthology and a handbook into one, this unique volume guides readers through the allied processes of critical reading and writing—illustrating the use of writing as a way of studying literature, and providing readers with all the tools necessary to analyze literature on their own. The book promotes interactive learning by integrating writing instruction with the study of literature.The volume addresses all aspects of literature and the writing process including an overview of composing, writing about short fiction, an extensive anthology of short fiction, writing about poetry, a casebook on love poetry, an extensive anthology of poetry, writing about drama, an anthology of drama and the editing process.For those interested in literature and the writing process. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ideal Textbook for Introduction to Literature
I chose to use McMahan's text because it saves me time as an instructor of English. Composition comprises the most significant portion of a student's grade in a college literature class, and this text teaches students how to write an essay about literature from the beginning of the process to the end. I also like the bonus of a novella, The Awakening, which is often taught at the intro. level but under separate cover. Such a deal. ... Read more

9. The Three-Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting
by Christie Mellor
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811840549
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Sales Rank: 916
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Parents were here first!How did the kids suddenly take control?Sure the world has changed from the days when children were supposed to be seen and not heard -- but things have gotten a little out of hand. What about some quality time for the grownups? Author Christie Mellor's hilarious, personal, refreshing, and actually quite useful advice delightfully rights the balance between parent and child. In dozens of short, wickedly funny chapters, she skewers today's parental absurdities and reminds us how to make child-rearing a kick. With recipes, helpful hints, and illustrations, this high-spirited book is the only book parents will really need -- and enjoy. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and charming
Finally, a grownup view of parenting, delivered with humor and insight. Christie Mellor delivers a subtle message of fairness and balance, envisioning an ideal household where grownups' wishes are given equal time with those of children. This means raising children not only to behave well, but to develop a working sense of justice. As comical as the book is, I think Mellor has given voice to an important set of values that deserve our attention. I hope the issues raised in The Three-Martini Playdate will be discussed in the media.

From a delighted parent.

p.s. As a big fan of Miss Manners (and now Miss Mellor), I was surprised to see the [comparison]. Judith Martin's humor relies on an imperturbably ladylike primness and pedantry; Mellor is far more slapstick, loopy and fun. Buy both, and see for yourself!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!
This book is right on! It's a humerous look at child-rearing. I am eight months pregnant and I work in education. I am constantly exposed to spoiled kids, over-the-top parents, and many of the stereotypes Mellor writes about in the book. I already know what kind of parent I DON'T want to be, and Mellor's book just confirms it. It's a great laugh!

5-0 out of 5 stars Stressed parents need buy.................................
I love this book!!! As a first time parent of a now seven month old baby girl, many people are surprised at my laid back yet firm approach to parenting. This book captures my feel for the way I want to raise my child with so much wit and humor, I find myself laughing out loud while reading it!!! I have reccomended this book to every parent and parent-to-be that I know. Any "uptight" mom and dad should read this!! We were here first!! We get so overwhelmed as parents trying to raise smart, healthy, and safe children we forget to take time for ourselves and RELAX and enjoy our children. We also forget that WE are the PARENTS and WE run the show. Even if you don't have kids this book should be read.

5-0 out of 5 stars So Funny Because it's So True
When I saw the title of this book I was hooked and the contents have not let me down. I have been in so many situations that Mellor writes about (turns out the east coast of Florida is an exact replica of LA).

When I bought this book I was just looking to be entertained but I find myself actually being encouraged to make sensible decisions for my children. The only downside is that my family is sick of me reading excerpts aloud to them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ahhh, the good old days
Christie Mellor provides a wonderfully funny view of life with children then and now. Seeing the reality of the now makes you yearn for the good old days of our youth. She also provides the delightful illustrations on the cover and throughout the book.
She's right on when it comes to the parents of today and hilarious in her reminicences of the child rearing of the past. A great read. Highly recommended to anyone with kids AND a sense of humor. ... Read more

10. The Art of Being Human (7th Edition)
by Richard Paul Janaro, Thelma C. Altshuler
list price: $86.67
our price: $86.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 032109316X
Catlog: Book (2002-08-07)
Publisher: Longman
Sales Rank: 248387
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Art of Being Human introduces readers to the ways in which the humanities can broaden their perspective, enhance their ability to think critically and creatively, and enrich their lives.This highly-respected book has been lauded for its scope of topics, accessibility, and lucid writing style. Chapter topics include myth, literature, art, music, television, cinema, and the theater. Also discussed are provocative issues in the humanities - religion, morality, happiness, death, freedom, and controversies in the arts.The thematic organization of the book allows readers to concentrate on one artistic mode at a time. More than 160 black and white photos and two eight-page full-color photo inserts give readers a visual appreciation of the arts.For those interested in the appreciation of the humanities. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for the Human mind & General Humanities
This book is used at West Ottawa High school for a Humanities class. I have found it very interesting and keeps you reading until you can't read no more. It isn't to hard of reading and gives your information with examples quickly and efficantly.

5-0 out of 5 stars I still own this book and love it!-dlb
Ever human should know the art of Being human. Let's revel in our humanity - Execellent book for promoting this!

1-0 out of 5 stars What review?
The supposed review that is on the web site is about half a sentence long.There is no way to see the rest of the review.You need to fix your web site.

3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading
Apollonian and dyonisus comparisons are grea ... Read more

11. Literature for Composition: Essays, Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (6th Edition)
by Sylvan Barnet, William Burto, William E. Cain, Marcia Stubbs
list price: $68.00
our price: $68.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 032109364X
Catlog: Book (2002-08-19)
Publisher: Longman
Sales Rank: 43555
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Literature for Compositionoffers the finest writing and argument coverage, helpful discussions of the literary elements, compelling case studies, and a diverse array of selections.The book includes complete coverage of the writing process, three chapters devoted to argument, complete chapters on interpretation and evaluation, coverage of the literary elements and the study of visual images, and case studies. The book opens with five chapters devoted to reading, writing, and argument. An entire chapter on critical thinking equips readers with a foundation upon which to study the chapters on the literary forms that follow. An anthology is organized around six engaging themes. Special chapters on visuals and film along with ten case studies offer additional resources.For those interested in the study and composition of literature. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Literature for Dummies
This is by all means a decent anthology of literature for an introductory course, and a fairly respectable stab at a guide to good university writing.

The selections are for the most part diverse, encompassing Native-American, African-American, Canadian, and English writers. Short fiction, poetry, drama, non-fiction and, to a more limited degree, film get a fairly decent treatment here, too, encompassing chronolical - literature from the classical to the contemporary period is treated - and thematic terrain, making this a worthwhile text for students who simply want a brief introduction to all aspects of English.

Still, it is a bit unwieldly, and too often feels less like a solid anthology, and more like an 'English-for-beginners' type deal. You get what you pay for, I guess. ... Read more

12. Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason
by Nancy Pearl
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570613818
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Sasquatch Books
Sales Rank: 1617
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What to read next is every book lover's greatest dilemma. Nancy Pearl comes to the rescue with this wide-ranging and fun guide to the best reading new and old. Pearl, who inspired legions of litterateurs with "What If All (name the city) Read the Same Book," has devised 170 thematic reading lists that cater to every mood, occasion, and personality. These annotated lists cover such topics as mother-daughter relationships, science for nonscientists, mysteries of all stripes, African-American fiction from a female point of view, must-reads for kids, books on bicycling, "chick-lit," and many more. Pearl's enthusiasm and taste shine throughout in this lively and informative illustrated guide. ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you're looking for something new to read
If you love to read, then you'll love this gem of a book by Nancy Pearl. Pearl is the book-loving friend you wish you had. She'd be the one who reads the New York Times Book Review every Sunday and highlights the good finds for you. She's definitely given me some reading suggestions that I've thoroughly enjoyed.

Her book is categorized in interesting chapters that seems to fit reading moods. Categories range from Ecofiction, Presidential Biographies, Civil War Fiction to Great Dogs in Fiction. She even has a section on Elvis. It's actually a fun way to look at books.

In the section on Presidential Biographies, she references David McCollough. She mentions his best-selling books on Truman and John Adams, but what she actually recommends is his book about Teddy Roosevelt, Mornings on Horseback (which I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't know existed).

My only complaint (and it's a really small one) is she really doesn't go into great length or depth about most recommendations. One to three sentences and she's already moved on. Which is fine with me. I'm able to make note of what looks interesting and then go and do a little further research on my own to see if it really looks like a book worth my time and money.

I'd like to thank Pearl for introducing me to the following books:

Sahara: A Natural History
The Beak of the Finch
Measuring America: How an Untamed Wilderness Shaped the United States and Fulfilled the Promise of Democracy

And oh yeah - I'm currently reading Mornings on Horseback and love it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good for expanding your reading horizons
As an avid reader of fiction, I find that I frequently exhaust all the books by a particular author and am left wondering what to read next. Book Lust definitely helped me to identify some new authors and books to try. It is broken down into 175 different categories; rather than be based on mood as the title suggests, the categories are mostly based on very specific genres--eg, African American Fiction (further divided into male and female), Canadian Fiction, Memoirs, etc. (some categories are given particularly amusing names, such as Elvis on My Mind, Gear Up for Gardening, and Take Me Out to the Ballgame). Particular authors are also highlighted various "Too Good to Miss" entries. You will certainly find plenty of reading suggestions, but don't expect much detail about each individual book--at times the books are simply listed. Also, you may be disappointed to find that some of your own favorites do not make the list (no Maeve Bincy under Irish Fiction?). Overall, however, this is a worthwhile read for booklovers like myself.

5-0 out of 5 stars So much fun!
Any list of book recommendations that gives Barbara Pym her own category is likely to rate highly with me. I very much enjoyed reading "Book Lust" and now have a very long list of books that I want to tackle. While some of Pearls suggestions were, in my opinion, duds, that's just part of the fun. On the one hand, Book Lust has led me to read the works of writers I would never have chosen for myself, such as Percival Everett--I enjoyed his novel "Erasure". On the other hand, Book Lust has helped me to find more books in the style that I like most. I particularly enjoyed Elizabeth Taylor's "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont"--before reading Book Lust I had never heard of Elizabeth Taylor. I've recommended Book Lust to several people, prompting someone to present me with the Nancy Pearl action figure (complete with shushing action) as a gift.

2-0 out of 5 stars I was a bit dissappointed
I was a bit dissappointed with this book. I read the great reviews that it but the book let me down.

I didn't enjoy the catergories that the book had. For example the book has a topic of Bomb Makers (makers of the atomic bomb) and lists 8 ( too many) books. She also has a Canadian Fiction section There is a Cat Crazy Section with over 10 books. I felt that her catagoies needed more help. I also didn't like the fact that there really were not any list. You just can't open the book to a page and look at a list of of 10=15 books. You have to read the paragraph. The books are underlined but the author's are not. I didn't like this format. I would of preferred that she write her comments on the Middle East, for example, and then list her 10-15 books. She has 5 sections of Africa in one section and a 6th somewhere else.
The topics are in alpahbetical order so you have Belgium, Montana, Africa in different sections. My own Private DUI is under MY. Passage to India is under P not I.

Anyway, this book wasn't my style. So I wouldn't recommend it to my friends...

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you Nancy Pearl!
_Book Lust_ was so much fun to read! I made a lot of additions to my "To Be Read" list (already long enough!) This book had so much to offer, and so many great categories. They are unlike any other Book Recommendation list. Among the other highlights, I liked her Rule of 50: Give a book 50 pages to prove itself. If you do not want to go on, don't! There are plenty of other books to read!

Thank you Ms. Pearl for sharing your great amount of book knowledge with us! ... Read more

13. The Jane Austen Book Club
by Karen Joy Fowler
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399151613
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Marian Wood Book
Sales Rank: 336
Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A sublime comedy of contemporary manners, this is the novel Jane Austen might well have written had she lived in twenty-first- century California.

Nothing ever moves in a straight line in Karen Joy Fowler's fiction, and in her latest, the complex dance of modern love has never been so devious or so much fun.

Six Californians join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her finely sighted eye for the frailties of human behavior and her finely tuned ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters more appealing. The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships.

Dedicated Austenites will delight in unearthing the echoes of Austen that run through the novel, but most readers will simply enjoy the vision and voice that, despite two centuries of separation, unite two great writers of brilliant social comedy.
... Read more

Reviews (56)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Jane Austen all the time."
Karen Joy Fowler's "The Jane Austen Book Club" is a delightful blend of the old and the new. With smooth and effortless style, the author relates how six people, one man and five women, come together to talk about Jane Austen's books. During the meetings of the book club, not only do the members explore Jane Austen's life and novels, but they also reveal a great deal about themselves.

Jocelyn and Sylvia are in their early fifties and have been friends since they were eleven. Bernadette is sixty-seven and although she has made a career out of being married, she is currently single. Allegra, Sylvia's daughter, is a blunt and beautiful woman, with a quick wit and an acerbic tongue. Sylvia's husband, Daniel, has just asked for a divorce after over thirty years of marriage. She is still bewildered by the changes in her life. Prudie is the only happily married member of the club. She teaches French and has an irritating and pretentious habit of dropping French phrases into the conversation without translating them. Grigg is a man in his early forties who doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the book club, but he does provide a much-needed male perspective.

Fowler is deliciously witty. She pokes fun at and deconstructs, among other things, book clubs, friendship, marriage, and Jane Austen. At the same time, Fowler brings her six protagonists into focus, giving us a peek into their childhoods and providing perspective on how they became who they are now.

Jane Austen's books are worlds unto themselves. Austen cleverly and astutely examined the mores of her time, especially as they related to love and marriage. Fowler does the same. She reveals that each of her characters has suffered disappointments and harbors painful memories and secrets. None of them, however, has given up on life.

The dialogue in this novel is hilarious and poignant. The author includes a summary of Austen's novels at the back, along with a droll, tongue-in-cheek "Reader's Guide" that is the essential element of all modern book clubs. In addition, Fowler adds a lengthy section in which she gives critics of Jane Austen their say. Whether or not you are a lover of Jane Austen or a member of a book club, you will find much to enjoy in this breezy and entertaining novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Jane Austen Book Club
Fowler, a captivating and good-hearted satirist, exuberantly pays homage to and matches wits withane Austen in her most pleasurable novel to date by portraying six irresistible Californians who meet once a month to discuss Austen's six novels. Coyly shifting points of view, Fowler subtly uses her characters' responses to Austen as entree into their poignant and often hilarious life stories. The book club isocelyn's idea, a fiftysomething gal who seems to prefer the company of her show dogs to men. She has known Sylvia since grade school, and even used to date Sylvia's husband, who has abruptly moved out, inspiring their beautiful, accident-prone, lesbian artist daughter, Allegra, to move back in and join the book club along with her mother. Also on board are disheveled and loquacious Bernadette; Prudie, a high-school French teacher; and Grigg, the only man. Fowler shares Austen's fascination with the power of stories, and explores the same timeless aspects of human behavior that Austen so masterfully dramatizes, while capturing with anthropological acuity and electrifying humor the oddities of our harried world. Fellow Austenites will love Fowler's fluency in the great novelist's work; every reader will relish Fowler's own ebullient comedy of manners, and who knows how many book clubs will be inspired by this charming paean to books and readers

1-0 out of 5 stars Warning to Jane Austen fans
WARNING TO ALL JANE AUSTEN FANS! WARNING TO ALL JANE AUSTEN FANS! DO NOT--I REPEAT--DO NOT BUY THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB. It is a ruse. The author is using the popularity of Jane Austen to sell her book but believe me, she is not a true fan. The author obviously understands rudimentary Jane Austen but she lacks the ability to bring Jane's subtle observations into her inane dialog and 2-dimensional characters.

The author makes fun of Jane Austen throughout the book in subtle ways. This is evidenced in one way by a scene in which one of the characters defends the fact that Jane Austen does INDEED HAVE GOOD PLOTS! Of course this author thought she could write a book without a plot--as she "sees Jane Austen doing"--and come out with a best-selling book. I am sad to say that is exactly what has happened, thanks to a "glowing" book review in the New York Times and people loving Jane Austen and being duped. It is not clever or funny or witty in any way. It is slow and plodding and so boring, you wonder why you keep on reading it.

The first few chapters have some promise of linking us to Jane Austen--but that is minimal and then in the following chapters, it peters out to nothing. When I read the author's synopsis of each book discussed by the book club, it was clear to me that the author did not like Jane Austen. "One boring character marries another boring character" is typical of her summaries. This author is duplicitous and would not know good writing if it jumped up and bit her on her butt. Not only does the artistry in her writing suck but her ability to accurately use the English language sucks. She uses the word "effect" when she should have used the word "affect". Minor point--but still--how does someone like this get published and given a good review from the New York Times? AMAZING!!!

2-0 out of 5 stars The Jane Austen WASP club
I've had some extra time this summer to catch up on some reading. I've even been able to explore some of the newer books that are out and with all the reviews I've read here and the ads that are blarin all over the place, surely, I thought this would be a good one. Maybe I'm not exactly up on Austen--I realize this could be the problem--but the story and its characters didn't fulfill. I liked "The Secret Life of Bees" (and that is a bit corny) better only because, at least, the writer aimed to entertain and to give us a story and a bit of the "brown suger". Sorry, but this book pales (pun not intended) next to "Simon Lazarus". It's a totally different book from this, true, but readers will be delighted, fulfilled, and yes, perhaps, enlightened. Now THAT book's a winner. And deserves so much more praise than this--I'm sorry. And as far as that WASP, Alice Sebold--she can eat this all she wants--honey, I read that very WHITE chick's book and after the first 125 pages (which were actually good!)--it was all downhill in a Presbyterian handbasket!

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Time
This may well have been the worst book I ever read. The premise is interesting, and it could have been a great book, but Fowler's writing style is obnoxious. Her incorrect overuse of commas makes the book difficult to read. Her third person/first person game is annoying as well. Did anyone edit this book? The authors who attached their names to the blurbs must have owed Fowler a favor. Quite often the publisher writes the blurbs, and the author's select the one to which their name will be attached. They may have not even read the book, just a synopsis. I think the publisher and the author knew that a book with Jane Austen in the title would sell, and they didn't care much about the quality of the book. ... Read more

14. Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 2
list price: $63.96
our price: $63.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 061810920X
Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Sales Rank: 92873
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This new anthology brings the expansive, inclusive approach of the two-volume Heath to the single-volume format. While other one-volume texts continue to anthologize primarily canonical works, the new Heath Concise offers a fresh perspective for the course, based on the successful hallmarks of the two-volume set.

  • The selected works represent the most culturally diverse table of contents available in a one-volume format.
  • A wealth of historical and cultural context material helps illuminate the literary works.
  • A broad range of literary forms includes sermons, songs, and letters.
  • Engaging Headnotes and Section Introductions provide students with background information.
  • Mini-thematic units—including Literature of the Vietnam Conflict— allow for in-depth study.
  • Unlike many one-volume anthologies, The Heath features fewer excerpts of long works and a rich selection of short works teachable in every classroom.
  • A comprehensive web site offers abundant student and instructor resources, such as author information; an interactive timeline of literature, history, and culture; and an archive of Heath Newsletter articles.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Heath Anthology of American Literature
In purchasing this book, I was expecting to find something similar to the second volume of the Norton Anthology of American Literature.Unfortunately, I found this book to be far inferior.It has works by someof America's most highly commended authors, and has some great shortstories.However, the excerpts from authors' longer works seem to belacking; there should either be longer excerpts or more poingnat scenesshould have been chosen.The anthology spends far too much time describingeras, and not enough in inserting major works.Some of thebreakdowns/characterizations of the peices included are awkward, and tendsto underrate the authors by putting them in sectionss that degrade theirwork. ... Read more

15. Jane Austen: The Complete Novels, Deluxe Edition (Library of Literary Classics)
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517147688
Catlog: Book (1995-09-03)
Publisher: Gramercy
Sales Rank: 11913
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Book Description

One of the great and ever popular masters of the English novel is represented here by every one of her novels. Includes Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and the lesser-known Lady Susan.This Library of Literary Classics edition is bound in padded leather with luxurious gold-stamping on the front and spine, satin ribbon marker and gilded edges. Other titles in this series include: Charlotte & Emily Bronte: The Complete Novels; Edgar Allan Poe: Selected Works; Mark Twain: Selected Works; Charles Dickens: Four Complete Novels;Lewis Carroll: The Complete, Fully Illustrated Works; and William Shakespeare: The Complete Works. ... Read more

16. Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 1, Eighth Edition
by George McMichael, James S. Leonard, Bill Lyne, Anne-Marie Mallon, Verner D. Mitchell, Mae Miller Claxton
list price: $69.33
our price: $61.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0131829548
Catlog: Book (2003-07-21)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 18821
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17. Mythology : Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
by Edith Hamilton
list price: $7.50
our price: $6.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446607258
Catlog: Book (1999-08-01)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 7858
Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Compendium on Greek Mythology
Here is an inexpenive paperback that will give you a wonderful intro to the Greek Myths...the stories are weel presented and Hamilton tries to preserve the flavor of each individual Greek source...thus some stories here are more detailed, even gory; others read more like fairy tales...the author does have a strong bias towards using Roman sources which she finds overblown; thus she always steers the reader in the direction of the aesthetic simplicity of original Greek sources...I believe Bulfinch is a good alternate read if you want some of the Roman versions...but for the majority of us who don't have time to gather all the original but want to broaden our knowledge on Greek mythology, I can think of no better volume than this is also an enjoyable read in of it's own

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Reading Experience!
I have been interested in Mythology for quite some time now, and when one of my teachers mentioned a voluntary summer class on mythology with no credit offerred I was quite interested. She said that our primary book would be MYTHOLOGY by Edith Hamilton, a book I was yet to read. I have now completed this book, twice. It is the most complete volume of mythology, greek, roman, and a little bit of norse, that I have ever read. It starts off with a brief description of each of the gods, titans, etc. It discusses at least one story from each of the gods, and most of the lesser gods. It also talks about the creation of the earth, and many other significant events and at the very end of the book there are several charts describing the ancestry of the gods, titans and heroes. Adequate for a textbook, yet I believe this book is much more like a novel. It reads quite quickly and interestingly, yet is quite educational. I was amazed at all the real-life applications that I was able to make from the stories. I plan on reading it several more times, and I hope you will read it as well. A must to understanding some of the significance of names and especially European cities, not to mention a great read. Also recommended: THE LOSERS CLUB by Richard Perez

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Overview of Greek Mythology
In my opinion, mythology is a very interesting subject that helps us better understand past cultures' lifestyles and many of the stories are extremely enjoyable. Edith Hamilton's Mythology is a great overview of the Greek classics and it describes how the Greeks were the first mass culture to deify in their own image, have gods that acted very human, and could directly interact with their subjects.

The book is set-up very well with sections on the Olympian gods, lesser gods, classic tales of heroes and villains, and much more. Hamilton is a great writer and she really makes you "relive" many of the stories. I also appreciated how Hamilton gave adequate background on historians such as Homer, Ovid, Virgil, etc.

Many of the stories contained here most people have heard of, but not in the way that Hamilton tells them. Hercules, Theseus, the Trojan War, even the Calydonian Boar Hunt, are retold in a maserful and enjoyable manner. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the great classics that have remained a part of our culture for many many centuries. My only gripe with the book is that it does not contain much on other mythologies such as the Egyptian, Sumerian, and Norse (Roman myth is heavily related to Greek and is discussed), but there are plenty of works on those.

4-0 out of 5 stars napa high millionwordproject
Mythology by Edith Hamilton is a wonderful book for anyone who loves the stories of gods and heroes as much as I do. After not studying the Greek and Roman myths for about two years in school, I thought I had lost my love for the stories. But, when I read this book about the stories of myth and ledged, my mind is once again filled with awe and wonder. Reading about how people in ancient Greece and Rome explained how things happened, such as with Hera and Argus and how the peacock got it's eyes, and with Demeter and Hades and how the seasons began, is a truly wonderful reading experience. However, there are so many different stories in this book, it starts to become hard to tell one from the other. That is one thing I disliked about the book Mythology. True, they were separated and placed into categories, but I felt like there were to many stories/legends crammed into one book. However, over all it was a truly wonderful book.

4-0 out of 5 stars NAPAHIGH STUDENT million word report
Mythology by Edith Hamilton is a wonderful book for anyone who loves the stories of gods and heroes as much as I do. After not studying the Greek and Roman myths for about two years in school, I thought I had lost my love for the stories. But, when I read this book about the stories of myth and ledged, my mind is once again filled with awe and wonder. Reading about how people in ancient Greece and Rome explained how things happened, such as with Hera and Argus and how the peacock got it's eyes, and with Demeter and Hades and how the seasons began, is a truly wonderful reading experience. However, there are so many different stories in this book, it starts to become hard to tell one from the other. That is one thing I disliked about the book Mythology. True, they were separated and placed into categories, but I felt like there were to many stories/legends crammed into one book. However, over all it was a truly wonderful book. ... Read more

18. Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare
by Clare Asquith
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586483161
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Sales Rank: 35088
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A revelatory new look at how Shakespeare secretly addressed the most profound political issues of his day, and how his plays embody a hidden history of England

In 16th century England many loyal subjects to the crown were asked to make a terrible choice: to follow their monarch or their God. The era was one of unprecedented authoritarianism: England, it seemed, had become a police state, fearful of threats from abroad and plotters at home. This age of terror was also the era of the greatest creative genius the world has ever known: William Shakespeare. How, then, could such a remarkable man born into such violently volatile times apparently make no comment about the state of England in his work?He did. But it was hidden. Revealing Shakespeare's sophisticated version of a forgotten code developed by 16th-century dissidents, Clare Asquith shows how he was both a genius for all time and utterly a creature of his own era: a writer who was supported by dissident Catholic aristocrats, who agonized about the fate of England's spiritual and political life and who used the stage to attack and expose a regime which he believed had seized illegal control of the country he loved.Shakespeare's plays offer an acute insight into the politics and personalities of his era. And Clare Asquith's decoding of them offers answers to several mysteries surrounding Shakespeare's own life, including most notably why he stopped writing while still at the height of his powers. An utterly compelling combination of literary detection and political revelation, Shadowplay is the definitive expose of how Shakespeare lived through and understood the agonies of his time, and what he had to say about them. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Even If It Has Lots of Speculative Ideas
This is an entertaining book if nothing else.... and I am not trying to be negative in any way. For someone new to Shakespeare, this book is a bit complicated and that particular reader will fail to grasp some the arguments. I found it slightly hard to challenge all of her ideas and conclusion since she draws on a wealth of knowledge. I have attempted to learn something about Shakespeare and started by reading three popular biographies by three well known authors: Burgess, Kermode, and Greenblatt. Plus I have scanned or read a number of other books - see my Listmania list on Shakspeare. Eventually I bought Asimov's guide to Shakespeare, which is just a joy to read, and The Norton Shakespeare, the 3500 page monster that is the best single book - as a general reference on the works and times. Today one can enjoy most of Shakespeare's works on DVD and there are thousands of books, magazines, and journal articles available on the subject.

Writing a biography or an analysis about Shakespeare - putting it mildly - is a challenge, especially if the aim is to present and discuss new information as we have here. The idea that one might find new ideas about a 450 year old Shakespeare is virtually impossible. Thus, all the Shakespeare biographers and writers including Asquith are dependent on Shakespeare's works themselves, plus those books that immediately followed Shakespeare's life such as John Aubrey's book Brief Lives (1626 to 1697), and the various civic records from London and Stratford, along with court records, land transfer documents, and wills, etc. He left no notes nor did he write a biography.

All these books - including the present book - are not about new information. They are about presenting a coherent picture of Shakespeare and his environment: political, socio-economic, historic, sources of myths, religious ideas, other writers, etc. In reviewing the books the differences one sees in the books are in the styles, depth of knowledge, amount of speculation, facts, writing skill, holding the reader, etc.

The present book attempts to bring us an analysis based on the "hidden meanings" or code words and phrases, or simply a deeper understanding of his works, so we can find clues in his writings. This concept is not new since Shakespeare left no diaries and all we have are his writings and those writings of his contemporaries. There have been thousands of books and articles on Shakespeare, but as I wrote above, none by him, and most are centuries after he died.

In trying to judge her arguments - and I am not an expert - I looked fairly carefully at Chapter 15 or "Silenced" where she puts forward the theory that the Tempest was a sort of final personal tour de force for Shakespeare and that he was forced to retire - since he had a Catholic bias in childhood or some Catholic tendencies - and he had to leave London. We will never really know the real story unless we suddenly discover Shakespeare's secret diary after 400 years, but to me this seems like mostly speculation. Around this time he bought property at the Blackfriars in London so clearly he was not completely cutting his ties with London and the theatre. For myself, I suspect that he was simply getting tired after 20 years of writing and had accumulated enough money to retire, and in fact he lived only a few more years. That is the generally accepted view. It is generally thought that his father was a secret Catholic who had suppressed his public views in the mid 15th century as a town bailiff and alderman under the rule of Elizabeth. William Shakespeare the son seemed more neutral and had always lived with the continuous anti-Catholic intimidation factor of heads stuck on spikes, including many Catholic martyrs, as he walked back and forth across the bridge to London from the south bank, so I see nothing really dramatic here to cause a sudden change forcing him out of the theatre. Also, that chapter has just a few references beyond Ben Johnson.

In summary, this is a quick and entertaining read about Shakespeare with some speculation, and it merits at least 4 stars. I enjoyed the book but was not totally convinced. She needs more specific references to back up her points - in my opinion. Still it is a good 4 star read.
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19. The American Enemy : The History of French Anti-Americanism
by Philippe Roger
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226723682
Catlog: Book (2005-04-22)
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 19631
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Book Description

Georges-Louis Buffon, an eighteenth-century French scientist, was the first to promote the widespread idea that nature in the New World was deficient; in America, which he had never visited, dogs don't bark, birds don't sing, and--by extension--humans are weaker, less intelligent, and less potent. Thomas Jefferson, infuriated by these claims, brought a seven-foot-tall carcass of a moose from America to the entry hall of his Parisian hotel, but the five-foot-tall Buffon remained unimpressed and refused to change his views on America's inferiority.

Buffon, as Philippe Roger demonstrates here, was just one of the first in a long line of Frenchmen who have built a history of anti-Americanism in that country, a progressive history that is alternately ludicrous and trenchant. The American Enemy is Roger's bestselling and widely acclaimed history of French anti-Americanism, presented here in English translation for the first time.

With elegance and good humor, Roger goes back 200 years to unearth the deep roots of this anti-Americanism and trace its changing nature, from the belittling, as Buffon did, of the "savage American" to France's resigned dependency on America for goods and commerce and finally to the fear of America's global domination in light of France's thwarted imperial ambitions. Roger sees French anti-Americanism as barely acquainted with actual fact; rather, anti-Americanism is a cultural pillar for the French, America an idea that the country and its culture have long defined themselves against.

Sharon Bowman's fine translation of this magisterial work brings French anti-Americanism into the broad light of day, offering fascinating reading for Americans who care about our image abroad and how it came about.

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20. The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Package 1: Volumes A-B, Sixth Edition
by Nina Baym
list price: $66.75
our price: $62.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393977935
Catlog: Book (2002-07)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 212569
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Now available in a portable multi-volume format, The Norton Anthology of American Literature is the classic survey of American literature from its sixteenth-century origins to its flourishing present.

The Sixth Edition offers the work of 242 writers—30 newly included—representing the extraordinary wealth and diversity of American literature. Among the many major works included in their entirety are Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Thoreau's Walden, Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Clemens's Huckleberry Finn, Chopin's The Awakening, Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, Larsen's Quicksand, Ginsberg's "Howl," Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, and Parks's The America Play. Informative introductions, headnotes, footnotes, and bibliographies accompany the texts.

Package 1, "Literature to 1865," contains two slipcased volumes: "Literature to 1820" (Volume A) and "1820-1865" (Volume B). ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not revisionism, breadth
The reviewer who complains about the great authors being excluded in favour of the mediocre is missing the point. For me, to study American literature is not just to study the great works. Instead, it's to study American literature. That includes slave songs, native American chants, and anything else that was produced with a commitment to art and expression rather than simple commerce. We can't, of course, read everything but have to limit ourselves to reading representitive samples. And those representitive samples will include the great works which should, rightly, dominate. But to exclude the rest of the American works that those great works grew out of is to give, I think, a perverse view of what "American literature" means. Do you read only the flowers or view the field as a whole and see the flowers as they fit into the ecology? Is it a study of American literature or a study of selected great works? Lately, the Norton anthologies have been moving towards the broader view. It may not be what you want to do but to disparage it as unworthy is wrong.

3-0 out of 5 stars More Mathers Please
Is this all the Mathers you get? What about Jerry and Marshall. And we all know that early American lit is more boring than the late stuff. This anthology would really benefit from some Chuck Palaniak.

My favorite novel included is Mary Rowlandson's Captivity Narrative. I can't imagine how hard it must have been to go without church for all that time. She really had strength.

NOTE ON THE TEXT: If you really love American Lit, you'll find the puritan stuff much more engaging than the 19th Century. I keep a copy of Volume A by my bedside.

5-0 out of 5 stars as Norton understands, all authors endure revisionism
the reviewer from los angeles is evaluating what he calls a university trend, not these marvelous and comprehensive anthologies. moreover, of the three authors to whom he accords canonical status, cooper (whom twain absolutely reviled) and poe both remain controversial. a teacher of literature myself, i find cooper remarkably unimaginative and intolerably inefficient. His Rivenoak speaks that condescending white-guy version of "plain-ole-injun-talk", praising Natty Bumpo's decency 8 or 10 times in a single numb paragraph. we read cooper because of his influence, not his raw merits. further, cooper, like the astounding melville, was a 1930's revisionist canon re-admission; in fact, joseph conrad was asked to write an introduction to a melville volume and refused, writing back that he saw nothing of value in his writing. meanwhile, countless novels that (in their day) sold many, many times more than any of these folks are simply not read any more. so we've completely revised the canon that way too, judging as disposable most of the literature that real american readers of former times couldn't get enough of. who were the successful authors? hawthorne called them "that damn tribe of scribbling women," which accounts--in the words of a canon fixture himself (and one i utterly venerate)--for what we now ignorantly call "gender studies," and the concommitant revision of antholgies. as for native amnerican authors, we can at least say that cooper would be nowhere without them, and having read them on their own merits we can say much more, and with deep appreciation.

at any rate, norton is expanding their antholgies in size as they add these "other" writers, so that their additions do not come at the expense of the conservative canon. norton offers us the familiar and the recovered side-by side, so we needn't get anxious. their anthology is a thoroughgoing record and celebration of the complete american literary tradition, as it was advanced and read by living americans.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Revisionist's Anthology
I looked over the Norton Sixth Edition the other day...

Approximately a decade has passed since I used the Fourth Edition Norton Anthology during my undergraduate studies. At that time I sensed that there were two types of English professor: the traditionalist, who was committed to teaching the traditionally accepted great American writers; and, the revisionist, whose mission was to infuse female and minority writers at whatever cost. It seemed to me that the revisionist had been behind the Fourth Edition, given that there were many apparent changes to the American literary canon for what I believed to be for the purposes of political correctness and social change. My suspicions were later confirmed when a visiting Berkley professor, my American Lit professor's friend, admitted that this in fact was not only the goal but "a great responsiblility".

Of course, there is nothing wrong in introducing new writers, who during the preceding decades, because of there gender, race or ethnic background, had been overlooked and not read or studied. However, because there is finite number of pages in a given work, when a new writer is introduced it is at the expense of the older, traditional writer who ends up giving away his pages. In fact, in that course, entitled American Literature, which was a required course for all English Lit majors, we did not read any Twain, no Fennimore Cooper, and no Poe. Instead we were assigned Native American chants, slave writings, and various female authors. Just to reiterate, there is nothing wrong with studying Native American chants, slave writings, and female writers, but we must ask ourselves is it worth pushing some of the traditionally accepted fathers of American literature aside?

Since then I have looked over the Fifth and now Sixth editions and have seen the revisionist's grip tighten. It seems that with every edition there are more decisions made based on politics rather than merit. The canon is being revised and the good folks at Norton believe that it is their duty to do so.

Nevertheless, although it is clear that I am not a disciple of the revisionist, I nevertheless recommend the Norton Anthologies because although they contain plenty of mediocre works, they are nevertheless interwoven among the works of American masters, and it is difficult not to see who is who, regardless of what Professor Stillahippy says. ... Read more

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