Category Archives: American Literature

Books

A main aspect of my existence as an English major are, of course, books. The acquisition of new books, however, is problematic.

During the school year, I don’t have a lot of time for fun reading–doesn’t stop me from having at least two books I’m starting on at a time though–and therefore multitude of collected books on the ever present “to read” list piles up.

Added a few new babies to that collection yesterday at our University’s Friends of the Library Booksale. Patrons can donate books and the library goes through their collection and pulls out-of-date or old materials for selling.

Some golden finds were the entire VHS collection of “Upstairs, Downstairs,” which I’ve been dying to see for ages, a few Norton Anthologies (sadly, I already have all of the ones I needed although I might go back to purchase any of the modern ones…books on half.com don’t sell themselves!), and a John Updike novel that I almost purchased because we just finished studying him.

However, I feel happy with my selections:

A combination of work and pleasure...

Longman Anthology of World Literature by Women: I am quite excited about this, I’m sure that this will get a lot of use. I frequently choose female authors for my various research grants, breaks up the monotony of the “dead white guys” club.

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging: This came out in 2001. I read half of it whenever I was in the 6th or 7th grade and my mom freaked out and turned it in to the library. It is pretty raunchy for young adult literature, but I think more than ten years separation is enough time. I always wanted to read the sequels too, so here’s my silly-lit for the summer.

A Short History of Literary Criticism: A lot of used book places don’t have a lot of literary criticism books. I have one on my Kindle and the one I used for my Lit Crit class. Best class I’ve ever had as an undergraduate.

Understanding Clinical Nutrition: I’ve been looking for a reliable nutrition source for ages and this textbook came out in 2006. I think the current students at my school are only using the 2009-2010 edition now, so it isn’t really that out of date. As someone who lifts, I want to know why the body works and what could make mine work better.

Of course, these books are in addition to this:

Summer reading....shelf.

I should not add any more books to my ever growing reading list. But I do anyway. I love my paper friends.

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Filed under American Literature, Books, British Literature, English, Purchases, School

Separated

Coffee

via Ben Cumming

 Richard had forgotten why as he packed the last vestiges of his books and papers into the trunk of the car. He continued to forget why as he slept in Angela’s embrace, the closest thing to a free man he had ever been. He had tasted the bold taste of the new and fresh, like the cup of coffee he poured himself as he signed the final paper. He tried not to be reminded of Joann as Angela rummaged around in the refrigerator for the orange juice.

The coffee was hot and bitter.

A/N: This is a continuance of the short story “Separating” by John Updike.

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Filed under American Literature, English, Fiction, Writing

Cranking my Anxiety

I wish I could get this tattooed across my brain.

via Pinterest

Let’s start off with defining some key terms. Pay attention now, there’s going to be a pop quiz later.

Cranking my anxiety v. The act of or initiation of additional anxiety or stressful situations that superceeds any rational thoughts and feelings. Think of a kickstart motorized bicycle.

My counselor told me to journal anytime I feel this way, so here goes.

Part of learning how to make myself a generally healthy person is that I see a shrink once a week through my school counseling center. Boy are we going to have a lot to talk about today.

It’s only 10:00 in the morning, and already my anxiety is through the roof. All of the things that are triggers for me are things that to normal people, with normal thought processes, are just life. To my anxiety, it’s like someone put me on a treadmill after injecting coffee in my veins.

To start off with, remember that paper-pushy job  I told you about? Well, turns out I misinterpreted an email and started rescheduling appointments. Turns out, the coworker whose appointments I’ve been rescheduling has already done so and I got my dates mixed up. I haven’t gone into the office yet (merely emailed my boss my mistake), so I have no idea what kind of turmoil I’ve caused in the office today already. That was at 7:00 this morning.

Second, I just got out of my American Lit class with my favorite professor. Normally, this isn’t cause for duress, but this time (due to my professor winning an award) we had a film crew in the class.

Despite being really good at English and school, I have this irrational fear of being that guy. Oh, don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s that kid, not necessarily the teacher’s pet, who always thinks he (or she, because there are she “that guys”) is right or that what they have to say is worth everyone listening to it.

I already feel like the actual teacher’s pet in this class anyway, so it doesn’t make it any better whenever a film crew is singling me out as “Target #1”. And, to top it all off, I had performance anxiety. In between not being able to say anything at all, I also got all the questions I tried to take a stab at wrong. Of course, now it is going to be documented that I am a huge dumb ass. At the same time, I was afraid of saying anything at all, any extra insights that I normally would have come up with, becasue I didn’t want to look like I was showing off or anything.

I need to lift so badly right now. I need to squat some really heavy weights and just not care about anyone right now. Not even care about me. Just take a vacation out of my own head.

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Filed under American Literature, English, Mental Health

British Literature as a Foundation for the Americans

This is the wrap-up week for my British Literature online class. I cannot believe that the eighth week of school is upon us and midterms are already here. My block one class will now transition into block two and I will continue to blog as part of my class requirements.

That being said, I would like to conclude this facet of blogging for British literature with some thoughts over what I learned.

Namely the fact that I am irredeemably an Americanist in regard to literature. I had thought that due to my rabid Anglophilia stemming from an early age that I would absolutely detest American literature. I have to admit when I have never been more wrong.

British literature is wonderful. There are things that are authored by the people on this tiny island that cannot possibly be replicated anywhere else–due to class conflicts, cultural norms, and having lots and lots of female rulers.

However, American literature takes the basis of what British literature does and builds on it. It removes all the things that make it inherently stodgy and stale, and add a breath of life to it. There is a refreshed enthusiasm for the craft of words seen in most American literature–the Puritans being the exception not the rule–that is seldom witnessed in British literature. Maybe from my minuscule sampling of this field, I just haven’t found it yet.

-a.b.

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Filed under American Literature, British Literature, English, School