I am of the opinion that the Graduate Record Examination is not an accurate judge as to the quality of one’s thought.

Nevertheless, checklist for grad school applications:

1. GRE literature (November)
2. Senior thesis (November-December)
3. Personal Statement (First draft by September)
4. Recommendation letters (all lined up, to be finished in December)

The good thing? I did get a fair amount of reading done.

1. The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross
2. Discovering Modernism: T.S. Eliot and his Context by Louis Menand
3. Professing Literature by Gerald Graff
4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (see here)
5. Passages in B.C. Southam’s A Guide to the Selected Poems of T.S. Eliot
6. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

And am in the process of reading

1. Words Alone by Denis Donoghue
2. Literary Theory: An Introduction by Terry Eagleton
3. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

That doesn’t count all the other fiction I’ve been reading, or rereading on the side:

1. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (I first read this book when I was 8, and it had such a big effect on me that I remembered it years later).
2. The entire The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. Such a good, good series.
3. Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
4. Last two books of the six book series Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (I loved these books maybe four years ago, but I think I outgrew them. She’s a good writer but there was just enough teenage angst and melodrama for me to feel rather old).
5. The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope (read. it.)

Notice any patterns here? I quite like fantasy, and all of this “incidental” reading fits underneath that umbrella. I think it goes with my preoccupation with mythology? The Dresden Files and Vampire Academy (even though I didn’t end up quite enjoying the latter) are both paranormal fantasy series. The Hero and the Crown is a kind of sword and sorcery fantasy, and very well done (IMO). The Perilous Gard is based on myth, and The Dark is Rising sequence alludes directly to the Arthurian legends as well as elements of Welsh and Norse folklore.

I also ordered a bunch of books for Senior Thesis (Barthes makes an appearances! As does a lot of Daniel Albright and some John Xiros Cooper) and I’m pretty excited to get into them.

By the way, if you have a Goodreads account, I’d love to be friends. I’m always looking for new reads, so if you have anything you’d think I’d love to read, please let me know, or to hit me up if you want to talk about books.

*Can you see how much I like lists?

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