What is this?

I am currently working on my Ph.D. in English literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. This is a blog I started to help me study for the first qualifying exam that I will take next year. I have to read approximately 90 primary works and 30 secondary works organized under three thematic lists. My primary rationale for starting this blog is that personally, I have found that one of the best ways to learn is through communicating ideas (even if to an imaginary audience). 
If you happen, however, to be amongst the few who made it to this site and are not imaginary (hello!), my hope is that 
you'll find something interesting or helpful here.

There are three main components to the system:
1) Each post is on one text from the reading lists, and each contains three subsections: a publication history, summary/background, and my critical orientation towards the text and maybe a few thoughts on teaching the text. The posts are labeled by reading list.
2) The categories on the side bar are thematic considerations of the same texts.
3) The reading journal is a repository for random thoughts that don't quite fit in the first two categories.