Monthly Archives: September 2016

Our Top 10 Books to Read This Fall


Another season, another semester which means another list of books to conquer. If you are looking for a place to start, we can help! Check out The English Society’s Top 10 picks to read this semester!

“I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith.


Based in the 1930s, Cassandra and Rose Mortmain are the daughters of a peculiar author suffering from writer’s block. Living in a run-down castle, Cassandra plots to end their financial struggles involving two American men, a slimy photographer, and the dungeon of the castle tower. -Eliza Howard

‘The Latehomecomer’ by Kao Kalia Yang.


The target of genocide in retaliation for aiding the Americans in the Vietnam War, the Hmong are an ethnic group who were violently driven from their homes in the mountains of Laos. In her memoir, Yang recounts her family’s journey from their homeland to multiple refugee camps in Thailand, and finally to a new and unfamiliar life in America. Filled with graceful prose, Hmong folklore, and childhood memories, ‘The Latehomecomer’ is just as beautifully captivating as it is fascinating and informative. -Emma Nymoen

‘These Is My Words’, by Sarah Prine.


It’s a memoir about her life growing up on the western frontier and all of the challenges that she faced. My favorite part is that Sarah’s voice comes through so clearly! I can empathize with her because I feel like I’m there on the range with her. -Shelby Ward

“The Lunar Chronicles”by Marissa Meyer.


It follows the story of a cyborg and her friends (all loosely based on fairytale characters) who get caught up in the middle of tensions between the people of Luna (the moon) and Earth. What I loved most about the series was how well-developed the characters were; as a reader, you become so invested in each of them and their growth, and you aren’t disappointed. -Anika Argyl

“Everything is Illuminated” (and everything else)  by Jonathan Safran Foer


The book really challenges what constitutes a novel as the chapters alternate.The whole thing is a weird mess that I can’t ever seem to put down. The writing is awesome and it captures the spirit of the Old Testament in a lot of ways. -Davis Blout

“Alanna: The First Adventure” by Tamora Pierce.


Alanna, a young girl trades places with her twin brother to become a knight. She overcomes social norms, palace protocols, and the law in this first book of a fantastic new world. -Marissa Brown

“Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris.


I read it a long time ago and recently picked it back up. The reason I love “Me Talk Pretty One Day” is because David Sedaris has perfect command over his writing. His personal anecdotes, while at face value are not particularly interesting or surprising, are made to be clever and unique through creative word choice and sentence structure. It is also a great book to read out loud to family and friends. Every time I read this book, I end up calling my husband or my grandparents to share it because I am in tears from laughing so hard. -Lainey Wardlow

“No Matter the Wreckage” by Sarah Kay


The only poetry book you’ll find in Barnes and Noble published in the last 50 years, No Matter the Wreckage is a brilliant collection by a young poet, Sarah Kay, from New York. Sarah Kay writes beautifully about city life and family and love and loss, and everything you could want from a book of poetry. She’s influenced by her travels and her experience with Spoken Word in a way that brings fresh insight into the same stories we’ve all heard before. -Madelyn Taylor

“A Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway


It’s a good story and the writing style is so weird and different that it might be a nice change. – Deborah Jenson

“The Complete Poetry of Edgar Allen Poe” by Edgar Allan Poe


There’s no better read during the fall season than Edgar Allan Poe. His Annabel Lee is haunting yet beautiful. The Raven is chaotic with a supernatural atmosphere. A great read during the month of October especially, although any time is a good time to read Poe. -Nicole Ratliff

Tell us what you think and share with us the books you think we should add to our NEXT reading list!

The English Major’s Guide to Days Off

bed with book

It’s the second week of school and already we have been blessed with an extra long weekend. Thank you, Labor Day! For those who don’t have plans, and for those that do, here are some new ideas to make your day off full of fun and excitement!

And if you haven’t checked out our other blog posts, click here to see our 3 Part How to Survive the First Week of School for English Majors Series.

Catch Up or Get Ahead


As of last Friday, we have all seen the daunting lists of reading assignments, papers, and presentations that will be completed throughout the semester. Even if you’re the biggest literature lover, syllabi are more than overwhelming, especially when you realize that you’re already behind. Although not the first thing you would think to do on your day off, use this time to get caught up. And even get ahead you overachievers! Your sanity will thank you later.

Get Moving


Has anyone else seen those rad workouts you can do while binge watching your favorite TV show? How about applying that to your favorite book? Add exercise to your reading today! Try this:

     10 Crunches- Anytime the main character says their catch phrase

     15 Jumping Jacks- When your prediction comes true

     10 Squats- Anytime the protagonist resolves a conflict or does something noteworthy

     And finally two laps around your living room- As a way to celebrate finishing another          chapter

Keep count of the workouts and after finishing a chapter get your heart rate up!



Why just read about adventures? Days off give you the perfect opportunity to create your own experiences, and live in your own novel! So tackle that mountain you have always wanted to climb- literally and figuratively. Get a group of friends to come with you or embark on your journey alone. Today is another opportunity to live the life you have been reading about.



Sometimes during the semester it seems like your social life is falling to the wayside as you fill up your time with work, classes, studying, and the millions of responsibilities that seem to grow exponentially in the next few weeks. Take this time to catch up with friends you haven’t seen the entire summer, get to know your neighbors and new roommates, and you could even take this time to create that book club you’ve always wanted. Get together with friends, people from your classes, and anyone else who wants to join the fun and create lasting friendships through your love of literature!



If those other options weren’t what you were looking for, don’t worry! We have the thing for you! How about try relaxing? Curl up with your favorite book, blanket, or human and dive back into the summer read you are dying to finish. Or watch the movie interpretation of your favorite novel… Because we all know that you’ll never say no to a Harry Potter Movie Marathon. Take this time to relax from the stresses of the first week of college and rejuvenate so that you’re ready for the rest of the semester!

We hope that you enjoyed our Guide to Days Off for English Majors! Let us know what you do on your days off and enjoy the rest of your long weekend!


Tonight is the night! Check out the first poetry slam of the FALL 2016 Semester! Hang out with your friends, watch amazing performances, and learn how you too can get involved in the event. It’s the hottest topic on the streets!

Poetry Slam

So come have fun and kick off the school year right with the BYU Saturday Night Slam Series!

How to Survive the First Week of School for English Majors (Part 3): Relaxation


As part of the BYU English Society’s 3-Part “How to Survive the First Week of School for English Majors” Series- we have covered tips for success and necessary items for your survival! The last thing that is needed to get you through this week is our top 5 ways to de-stress and get ready for the rest of the semester!

See below: How to Survive the First Week of School for English Majors (Part Three)! And you can find part one and two here!

Grab Your Favorite Book!


What better way to de-stress than picking up your favorite read? Whether it’s a novel, short story, or even magazine article, this will immediately remind you of why you chose to be an English Major. Go to your quiet place as previously mentioned in Part 1 and see the stress disappear right before your eyes!

Book Club, Anyone?


Talk about it, talk about it, talk about it! You have just started diving into your course reading lists, finished your summer books, and let me guess- you can’t wait to share you new insights and favorites with everyone around you? Why not try creating a book club? You’ll have fun getting to know new people while talking about the things you love the most!



Some people doodle. Some people workout. Why not try writing? Put your skills to the test! After all who hasn’t been dreaming since birth about publishing a novel? Write a poem, or flesh out some ideas for writing projects you want to start! Working on your own goals and dreams will help you get motivated and excited again about the future!

Join the English Society


BYU’s English Society is the perfect way to de-stress and make friends. Be apart of a community of people who love English as much as you do! With activities, daily blog and social media posts, and so many other opportunities for fun- you’ll be de-stressed before you know it. Plus the English Society is the BEST society on campus (completely unbiased- promise). Write your email in the comments below to get updates about upcoming activities and follow us on our social media accounts to stay involved!

Stop and Smell the Books?


Most people would say, “Stop, and smell the roses.” But we are more original than that! So stop and smell the books! Take a moment to remember why you love English and literature! Look at all of the awesome things around you:

You attend the best university out there #BYUrocks

You are an English Major

and… You just survived your first week at BYU!


We hope that you enjoyed our 3 Part Series on How to Survive the First Week of School for English Majors and would love to hear your feedback! Tell us all about your first week at BYU and share any of your survival tips. You could be featured in our next post!


Click here to get to our other blog posts! And check out Part One and Part Two!


Have a Great Semester!

Everything You Need to Know: Poetry Slam Edition

Poetry Slam 4

So you’ve successfully made it through most of your first week of the Fall 2016 semester without blowing anything up. Congrats! But before you buckle down for another challenging semester, why don’t you take the time to start the year off right with a Back to School Poetry Slam?


Last year, BYU poets rocked the wall with some killer performances, and the best part of the slams?They aren’t dominated by just English majors. In rare form, kids from all lengths of campus join the Saturday Night Slam Series once a month for some literary good times. Seniors, Freshman, Engineers and Linguists, all frequent the Wall to enjoy hearing their classmates share original raps, poems, soliloquy, rants, and the occasional bouts of unexpected wisdom in the boisterous atmosphere new ideas are often introduced into.

Poetry Slam 1


Slams are where conversations are happening! The history of spoken word poetry is rooted in civil rights and literary innovation, influenced by speech-writing and classic poetry alike. The ultimate goal of poetry slams is to provide an open space for everyone’s voice to matter and be heard, in a fun, competitive environment.


Poetry Slam 2

Everyone’s stories are different. Getting to know BYU means getting to know those stories. Even better, some of those stories are the same as yours. You’re not alone in your frustrations! Who knew?


“You, your roommates, your significant other, his or her little sister, that one guy with a mustache from your Tuesday 10 a.m. class and everyone else on the planet are invited to compete in this epic poetry slam for fame, glory, and phone numbers. All are invited to come prepared with a three-minute poem to present to a panel of distinguished and randomly selected judges and a crowd of adoring fans. This is the event that your children’s children will be asking you about for years to come.” -Saturday Night Slam Series Facebook page.
Poetry Slam 3

The Back to School Slam is This Saturday, Sept. 3, 5:00-7:00

Join us for the fun!