Book Review: How to Read Literature Like a Professor, by Thomas C. Foster

Want to read better? I don’t mean read faster or read more. And I don’t even mean read better books. I mean just flat out read better. I mean read and know what you’re reading. Well then, you should read like a professor.

And professors – or at least literature professors – do read better than you and me. Because they understand what is going on behind the words. Thomas Foster invites us to go behind those words with him. His book How to Read Literature Like a Professor gives insights that you can only gain by taking several years of deep study classes in the classics.

For instance, did you know that when it rains in a book it may actually be talking about a character purifying herself or her surroundings? And that trip the hero took and encountered all kinds of problems? It’s really a shout out to Homer’s Odyssey. And don’t forget the Bible! Never forget how much literature borrows from the Bible.

Each chapter is rich in examples from literature and even film, and that may be the only time this book bogs down a bit. But otherwise this is a rich reservoir of information for any reader out there. Pick it up and put it in your library!