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3. Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag
Before your teen arrives at college and takes her first English class only to discover that the days of writing book reports are long gone as she must now analyze a 19th century novel like she would a bug under a microscope, give her Sontag’s tour de force. A commentary on the nature of art, a dialogue with her contemporaries, indeed a manual for the scholarly observer of fine arts, music, and literature, Sontag’s collection of essays (including her seminal work on the nature of camp) is a great introduction to literary theory and philosophy of language.