September 05, 2003

Assigned Reading

Okay. I've got my list of books that I need for my classes. I'm taking a total of 13 credit hours for my first semester (a lighter load so I don't burn myself out and because ALL my classes are writing intensive--so I'm gonna be writing like a madman). Two of those credit hours are devoted to a special program in the Fiction Writing department that gives me two hours one on one with a tutor to discuss, critique, and improve my writing. Then there's Fiction Writing I. The first of the core workshop classes in the program. I'm also taking one of the four general ed classes that my transfer credits didn't cover--English Composition II. So, more writing, just not fiction. Then there's my specialty writing class--Writing Popular Fiction, taught by author Patricia Pinianski, who writes as Patricia Rosemoor. I'm very excited about this one.

Here's a list of some of the books I'll be reading for class:

Fiction Writing I: Best Short Stories of the Modern Age (there's some good one's in this anthology); The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison; Writing From Start to Finish by John Schultz (the founder of Columbia's Fiction Writing Department); and Hair Trigger 25 (the annual anthology of student work put out by the department).

Writing Popular Fiction: A Darkness More Than Night by Michael Connelly; The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans; Killing Frost by Michael A. Black; Lunatic Café by Laurell K. Hamilton; Skyward by Mary Alice Monroe; Storm Front by Jim Butcher; Two For the Dough by Janet Evanovich; and Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie.

The books listed for the Popular Fiction class are all labeled "optional," so I imagine we'll get to take our pick out of those to read over the course of the class. I don't think we'll have to read them all. So if anyone has read any of these and would like to make a recommendation, feel free. I'm sure I'll read the Connelly and the Michael Black novels since they're both crime novels and I've read and liked Connelly before. I've also read books by Hamilton and Evanovich. What gets me is I'm actually going to receive college credit toward a degree for reading books I probably would have read anyway. And writing, too.

So this is the first glimpse into what the classes will really be like. I've got less than three weeks before I sit in the classroom, so expect an excited and long blog on September 24th.