Keep an eye on discussions at http://www.channel4.com/culture/microsites/N/novel/index.html. `The Story of the Novel’ was first broadcast on Channel 4 in June 2007. The website promises on-going discussion of the novel, past, present and future. It contains a useful glossary of literary terms and a time-line of developments in the novel form. (Be warned: I shall know if you use its `Bluffer’s Guide’ in essays.)
which is the on-line version of an article published in the Saturday Review section of the Guardian on 23rd June 2007. Well-known novelists describe the memorable novels they have read whilst travelling. You may be able to use these accounts as a model for writing about your own experience of reading, along with those provided by Francis Spufford in The Child the Books Built, and by Alberto Manguel in the first and last chapters of A History of Reading. (See Bibliography.)
Become familiar with various dictionaries and glossaries of literary terms, and dictionaries of social thought and ideas. You will often want to know what a critic or a literary theorist means by `Romanticism’, `point-of-view’, `voice’, `character’ (the list is endless) and I particularly recommend M. H. Abrams’ Glossary f Literary Terms (most recent edition). Some of his definitions have been extracted and are easy to find on-line. The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought is invaluable for defining all manner of modern concept and idea.
Listen to the radio and read the newspapers. Radio 4 broadcasts frequent reviews and discussions of the novel (`Front Row’, `Saturday Review’, `In Our Time’, `A Good Read’, `Radio 4 Bookclub’). The broadsheet Sunday review sections will help you keep up with recent publications. John Mullan’s column, the `Guardian Book Club’ in the Saturday edition of the paper is revealing of how modern readers are `taught’ to read novels. Make it a habit to look through The Times Literary Supplement (weekly) and the London Review of Books (fortnightly) for reviews of novels when you visit the Library.