On the Syllabus: The Best Books I Read at Undergrad and Postgrad

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In a few weeks time I'll be handing in my MA dissertation, the final bit of work for my masters degree (terrifying) and the idea popped into my head to share with you my favourite books off of my undergraduate and postgraduate reading lists over the past four years. There's been a lot of duds, as there always is with assigned reading, but I've also been incredibly fortunate too, hence the ridiculous amount of books I've picked for this post. Choosing such a specified masters degree was such a good choice for me as it meant I could study books that were more suited to my interests, rather than under the broad heading of  'English literature'. You get away from what is considered 'canon' (see: Dickens). Goodbye Chaucer is all I can say to that. None of the things mentioned are what I'm writing my MA dissertation on, but all will be revealed in good time.


The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood - Contemporary module (MA) ****
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride - Contemporary module (MA) ****
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett - Drama module (BA) *****
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel - Contemporary module (MA) (there's a pattern emerging here) *****
Richard III by William Shakespeare - History of English (BA) *****


The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon - Contemporary module (MA) *****
A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore - US fiction module (MA) ****
White Noise by Don DeLillo - Contemporary module (MA) ****
The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter - Contemporary module (MA) ****
Paradise by Toni Morrison - US fiction module (MA) ****


Orlando by Virginia Woolf - Modernism module (MA) *****
Endgame by Samuel Beckett - 20th Century literature module (BA) and BA dissertation *****
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier - BA module on 'the novel' ****
The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot - Modernism module (BA), BA dissertation, Modernism module (MA) *****
Ulysses by James Joyce - Modernism module (BA) and Modernism module (MA) ****
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood - 20th Century literature module ****
No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July - US fiction module (MA) *****

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And here's a few I didn't love quite so much...

Falling Man by Don DeLillo
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe (and yet I loved the BBC adaptation)
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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