Question 1: What were your favorite books or authors in college?
The author most frequently selected as the favorite among graduates is William Shakespeare, the choice of 7 respondents. Three authors tie for second place: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Toni Morrison, and Walt Whitman, each garnering 6 votes. In third place is Joyce Carol Oates, favorite of 5 respondents. In the earlier survey the top choices were Toni Morrison with 21 votes and William Shakespeare with 16. A total of 67 authors are named in 2008 and 93 in 1999. The results of both surveys show broad reading tastes among English alumni.
Below are authors and titles named in the 2008 survey, with number of respondents who selected them in parentheses and blanks indicating that only one person chose that work or author.
Adams, Douglas, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the
Galaxy Alexie, Sherman Anderson, Sherwood (3), Winesburg, Ohio Atwood, Margaret (2) Austen, Jane Beckett, Samuel Benedict, Pickney Bensen, Robert, Children of the Dragonfly Berryman, John Bierce, Ambrose Bishop, Elizabeth Brönte, Charlotte, Jane Eyre Brönte, Emily, Wuthering Heights Carver, Raymond (3) Chaucer, Geoffrey Cisneros, Sandra (3), The House on Mango
Street Coleridge, Samuel Taylor Collins, Wilkie Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness Cornwell, Patricia Dickens, Charles, Great Expectations Dickinson, Emily (3) Dillard, Annie Dobyns, Stephen Dorsey, Tim Erdrich, Louise, The Antelope Wife Eliot, T.S. Faulkner, William (3) Fitzgerald, F. Scott, The Great Gatsby (3) Frost, Robert Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, The Yellow
Wallpaper Haggard, H. Rider, She Hawthorne, Nathaniel (6) Heinlein, Robert A., Starship Troopers Heller, Joseph, Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest Homer Houston, Pam, Sight Hound Ishiguro, Kazuo, Remains of the Day Kafka, Franz Keats, John Kerouac, Jack Kennedy, William, Ironweed Kidd, Sue Monk, The Secret Life of Bees Kipling, Rudyard Lessing, Doris Lewis, Matthew Gregory, The Monk Lofton, Ramona Lowell, Robert, Day By Day Loy, Mina Melville, Herman (2) Morrison, Toni (6) Nabokov, Vladimir, Pale Fire (2) Oates, Joyce Carol (5) O’Connor, Flannery O’Neill, Eugene Plath, Sylvia Poe, Edgar Allan Pope, Alexander Pratchett, Terry Russo, Richard Salinger, JD, Catcher in the Rye Sartre, Jean-Paul Sedaris, David Sexton, Anne Shakespeare, William Shelley, Percy Byshe Silko, Leslie Marmon Spenser, Edmund Sterne, Laurence, Life and Opinions of Tristram
Shandy, Gentleman Stevens, Wallace (2) Stoker, Bram, Dracula