Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel January 6, 2014 - 10:58pm

I attend Towson University. I'm taking a course this Spring semester called English 373: Themes in Literature: Literary Monsters. I asked my teacher to teach Chuck's Invisible Monster for the course. She agreed. So fucking excited.

Have any of you had any amazingly awesome books taught in school? Let's hear about your experiences.

MattF's picture
MattF from Tokyo is reading Borges' Collected Fictions January 7, 2014 - 1:24am

Sounds cool to have a teacher that flexible.

My favorite teacher (who I'm still in touch with and started me writing), taught a Vietnam in film and lit class with The Things They Carried, Larry Brown's Dirty Work, the plays of Dave Rabe, Full Metal Jacket, etc. He also did a class devoted to Flannery O'Connor and Raymond Carver, and introduced me to Louise Erdrich, Don Dellilo and others in various classes.

Will warn you though, 10+ years out and the classes I'm most grateful for were from the grumpy old-school-scholars. Russian Literature with 5 other students reading Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Lermontov, Isaac Babel, a Shakespeare class with a Shakespeare authority--basically all the stuff I'm not picking up at the bookstore on my own.

Though it's fun, you'll read and get Chuck anyway, but being led by the hand through Paradise Lost is where you'll get your money's worth.


Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer January 7, 2014 - 8:15am

The best English teacher I had was in high school "College Prep." He introduced me to a bunch of books (mostly banned) outside of class. He even loaned me the ones that the library didn't keep on hand.

I had some good teachers in college, but he was the most influential to the reader and writer I have become.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal January 7, 2014 - 8:59am

I can honestly say that throughout my education I can't remember one book I was ever made to read that left any impression on me other than to not like reading.

I did greatly enjoy studying Hamlet, however, and watching Mel Gibson's version of it.  And Othello.

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore January 7, 2014 - 10:54am

My favorite college prof (though not the "best"; I think his hardass colleague was better), whom I had for Screenwriting among other TV/radio courses, was that guy who made national news in the fall for making a joke about climbing the clock tower with a high-powered rifle. They found a weed-growing operation when they searched his home, larger than could be for personal use. He used to be a script reader for a studio or something, and would tell us amusing tales about them, none of which I can recall.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel January 7, 2014 - 11:31am

My last semester we had a teacher let us work on Raymond Carver and Alice Munro. But prior to that was James Joyce, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf. Most of my classes stick to the "classics" and help me understand why they survived. A lot of luck and also a lot of brilliant writing. 

For some reason though, my school does offer a lot of classes where the professors get to choose what they teach. We have our core classes, like Shakespeare, two courses of Brit Lit, American Lit, but what is taught in each of those is relatively oppen to the preference of the professor. 

I think I just lucked out and found a school that's a perfect fit for me. At least in regards to Philosophy and English.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like January 7, 2014 - 2:26pm

During my short time in college, the only book which stood out as particularly remarkable (and something I'd never heard of on my own) was The Search for Order.

Probably the most awesome moment in general was getting an empty Pepsi bottle thrown at me by a professor, who was (it so happens) the same guy who assigned the above-mentioned book.

Dharz's picture
Dharz January 20, 2014 - 12:43am

Books have lots of learning. College students everywhere have felt the horrible sting of the bookstore markup on textbooks. They could be egregious, but there are methods around it, say renting one's textbooks. Amazon used to only do that for the Kindle, but currently Amazon textbook rental reaches hardcopies. Get more data here.

Tim Johnson's picture
Tim Johnson from Rockville, MD is reading Notes From a Necrophobe by T.C. Armstrong January 20, 2014 - 11:55am

I took a film and lit class that I thoroughly enjoyed, and we got to read books like The Graduate, MASH, and The Exorcist. I also went on to do an independent study with that teacher on disturbing film and lit. Most of my other reading was traditional classics and creative writing textbooks.

justwords's picture
justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby February 14, 2014 - 11:33pm

Matt F: you've had a great teacher; there's much to learn from all those writers.

War is a tough subject--not sure if either of your parents were involved in any wars, but they usually won't talk about it. In many cases they've seen more than anyone should see about human endurance and suffering. You're right about Milton's masterpiece, but Donald Sutherland (in "Animal House") was also right when he said Milton could be boring. 

I would advise all college students each to keep an open mind, don't cut class w/o just cause, and Ask Questions!!! Good teachers welcome that; all teachers should.



Carly Berg's picture
Carly Berg from USA is reading Story Prompts That Work by Carly Berg is now available at Amazon February 14, 2014 - 11:58pm

Well, I remember when we were studying Chaucer and the professor lectured on "The Miller's Tale" and I laughed so hard throughout that I could hardly breathe. It was so embarrassing.