Foster, an English professor at the University of Michigan, writes about literature with an endearing, self-deprecating style, which allows the reader to be entertained while being, if not educated, than at least encouraged in her reading.The main thrust of Foster's book is that the reader should watch for patterns and symbols while reading and that things such as weather, food, sex and violence rarely mean only one thing. In other words, writers are always trying to say more than one thing at a time. Subtext and allegory. Symbol and irony. While he may not bring anything terribly new to the discussion of literature, this is a book I would recommend to any young person who wants to deepen their reading or, for that matter, any reader who wants to graduate from pop fiction to something with a little more meat on its bones.The reader list Foster provides at the end of the book is a fine one.