The Art of Reading : The Great Courses: English Literature

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Timothy Spurgin
  • Series: The Great Courses: English Literature
  • 12 hrs and 36 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Artful reading - the way we read novels and short stories - is less about reading for specific information and more about reading to revel in the literary experience. Learning the skills and techniques of artful reading can improve your life in many ways, whether you're a fiction reader, an aspiring writer, a book club member, or a student.
And the best part: These skills are not difficult or unwieldy; rather, they are well within your reach. This entertaining, 24-lecture course gives you a veritable toolbox of knowledge and methods to approach even the most daunting reading experience with increased confidence.
You'll learn the definitions and characteristics of terms such as authorship, master plot, and genre. While some of these nuts-and-bolts concepts may be familiar to you, Professor Spurgin examines them from multiple angles, revealing hidden meanings that can escape even experienced readers.
Practical tips and techniques will maximize your effectiveness as an artful reader. You'll see why holding an initial reading session will acquaint you with the author's writing style and the characters, making the book easy to return to even if you take a few days off.
You'll also discover the benefits of "pre-reading" - exploring a book's organization and structure - and how to constantly ask questions to become more deeply involved with the characters and their stories.
Throughout the course, a host of literary "case studies" will refine and elaborate on the concepts of artful reading. Literary examples show how you can finally approach works that, in the past, might have seemed intimidating - making your future reading experiences both more engaging and more enlightening.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The art of MISreading

What disappointed you about The Art of Reading?

I'm not inclined to write reviews. In fact this is my first for Audible. But I was so irritated by Timothy Spurgin's reading, I'm making the effort to warn others. In EVERY lesson he stumbles, typically by reading a word or two ahead then having to correct himself. In some lessons, it happened so frequently, that I found myself waiting for the next stumble and lost track of the content.
You may regard the odd stumble as nitpicking, but there are so many here and they occur with such regularity, that their accumulation is elephantine in size.
Perhaps he had the teleprompter moving too fast, but I'm more inclined to think it is a psychological problem. He may be an outstanding lecturer, but he is most certainly not the right person to deliver an audio presentation like this, and it counts as a big black mark against The Great Courses for enabling him to do so. On this evidence, Great Courses is not an organization who pursues excellence or takes pride in its products.
I would also add that the first 9 lessons or so offer nothing of value for anyone who has taken a high school introductory course in literature or creative writing, or has simply read about either.
I purchased this after reading Building Great Sentences, also in the The Great Courses series. It was full of insights and read impeccably. By contrast, this was a major letdown and if there was a way, I would demand my money back.

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- John


The content is good. I don't like the cheap, synthetic applause that opens each lecture. I want to want to listen to this, and as lectures go, it's good. Still, it's a lecture. I could be listening to something more entertaining. If your focus is on writing better, then dive in. And yes, it does help appreciate good writing. But be warned, endurance is required to get through these.
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- C. Sneed

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses