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Literature: Recommended Resources

Best Bet Databases for Literary Research

BC3 Library Catalog

You will often find entire books of criticism related to an author, a specific text, a genre, or a theme. Search the BC3 Library catalog for print books as well as ebooks. 


Additional Databases - Beyond BC3 Library

document delivery icon Interlibrary Loan. Moving beyond the BC3 Library subscriptions, the following databases are excellent resources for literary research. However, since we do not subscribe to them, you will need to request articles you find through the BC3 Library's free Request an Article service.
Google Scholar Search

Featured E-Books

Icons of African American Literature

Icons of African American Literature: The Black Literary World examines 24 of the most popular and culturally significant topics within African American literature's long and immensely fascinating history. Each piece provide substantial, in-depth information--much more than a typical encyclopedia entry--while remaining accessible and appealing to general and younger readers. Written by expert contributors, the essays discuss the enduring significance of these topics in American history and popular culture. Each entry also provides sidebars that highlight interesting information and suggestions for further reading.

The Hunger Games and Philosophy

This book draws on some of history's most engaging philosophical thinkers to take you deeper into the story and its themes, such as sacrifice, altruism, moral choice, and gender. Gives you new insights into the Hunger Games series and its key characters, plot lines, and ideas Examines important themes such as the state of nature, war, celebrity, authenticity, and social class 

The Language of Jane Austen (Routledge Revivals)

First published in 1972, Norman Page's seminal study of The Language of Jane Austen seeks to demonstrate both the exceptional nature and the degree of subtlety of Jane Austen's use of language. 

Getting Inside Your Head

Getting Inside Your Head uses research in theory of mind to look at movies, musicals, novels, classic Chinese opera, stand-up comedy, mock-documentaries, photography, and reality television. It follows Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Darcy as he tries to conceal his anger, Tyler Durden as he lectures a stranger at gunpoint in Fight Club, and Ingrid Bergman as she fakes interest in horse races in Notorious. This engaging book exemplifies the new interdisciplinary field of cognitive cultural studies, demonstrating that collaboration between cognitive science and cultural studies is both exciting and productive.


Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of the most widely read novels of all time. Its two central characters, the scientist Victor Frankenstein and the being he creates, have gained mythic status in their own right. This study includes: an introductory overview of the novel, including a brief account of its historical and literary contexts; its reception history; discussion of the major themes and narrative structure; detailed analysis of, the representation of main characters.

A Historical Guide to Henry David Thoreau

As an essayist, philosopher, ex-pencil manufacturer, notorious hermit, tax protester, and all-around original thinker, Thoreau led so singular a life that he is in some ways a perfect candidate for the historical and biographical treatments made possible by the Historical Guides to American Authors series format. 

The Routledge Concise History of World Literature

This remarkably broad and informative book offers an introduction to and overview of World Literature. This book is the ideal guide to an increasingly popular and important term in literary studies. It is accessible and engaging and will be invaluable to students of world literature, comparative literature, translation and postcolonial studies and anyone with an interest in these or related topics.

A Companion to the Victorian Novel

The Companion to the Victorian Novel provides contextual and critical information about the entire range of British fiction published between 1837 and 1901. Explains issues such as Victorian religions, class structure, and Darwinism to those who are unfamiliar with them. Comprises original, accessible chapters written by renowned and emerging scholars in the field of Victorian studies. 

Mesmerists, Monsters, and Machines

A cultural history of science and science fiction Using key canonical science fiction narratives, Mesmerists, Monsters, and Machines examines the intersection of the literary and scientific cultures of the nineteenth century. In this original and refreshing approach to the study of early science fiction, author Martin Willis maintains that science fiction was just as important in defining the culture of the nineteenth century as other critics maintain it was in shaping the twentieth century. 

The Imagination of Evil

From its growth in Europe in the nineteenth century, detective fiction has developed into one of the most popular genres of literature and popular culture more widely. In this monograph, Mary Evans examines detective fiction and its complex relationship to the modern and to modernity. She focuses on two key themes: the moral relationship of detection (and the detective) to a particular social world and the attempt to restore and even improve the social world that has been threatened and fractured by a crime, usually that of murder. 

The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature

Latino/a literature is one of the fastest developing fields in the discipline of literary studies. It represents an identity that is characterized by fluidity and diversity, often explored through divisions formed by language, race, gender, sexuality, and immigration. The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature presents over forty essays by leading and emerging international scholars of Latino/a literature and analyses.

Summary and Analysis of the Handmaid's Tale

Gripping, disturbing, and so relevant today, The Handmaid’s Tale is a brilliant novel and a chilling warning about what can happen when extreme ideas are taken to their logical conclusions. The summary and analysis in this ebook are intended to complement your reading experience and bring you closer to a great work of fiction.

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Locating Books in the BC3 Library

BC3 Library Catalog

The BC3 Library has both print and electronic books for literary research. Print books and some of the ebooks are listed in the BC3 Library Catalog where you will find call numbers to locate books on the shelves and links to connect you to e-books. Fiction books are located on the upper level of the library, non-fiction books, including biographies and literary criticism, are located on the lower level of the library and are shelved using Dewey Decimal numbers. In the Dewey system, literature books are numbered between 800-899. Here are some of the categories:

  • 810-819 American or Canadian Literature
    • 811 Poetry
    • 812 Drama
    • 813 Fiction
  • 820-829 English Literature
  • 880-888 Classical Greek Literature

Subject Contact

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Jean Shumway
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