The Art of Reading is a lectures series from Great Courses. The author is an English professor at Lawrence University.
The series discusses how to get more out of a book. It is divided into two parts, the first half examines different aspects of literature and compares works with different styles. The second half looks at works of literature using the techniques from the first half to offer more insight into the works.
The author discusses styles of narration, descriptions, and the use of plot devices to develop the story. He provides clues to recognize different styles and compares works using these styles. He does the same for plot and characters. He discusses the role of the author and his relationship to the narrator and how to “preread” a book to prepare for the reading.
Most of the second half of the book discusses specific works of fiction and how to analyze them using the provided tools. He also discusses related items such as how a book is translated into a movie and why they differ so much, as well as dialog, the use of irony, and rhythm.
I found the series enjoyable and enlightening. Maybe I can get a little more out of reading in the future.