I love Peter Read! Fantastic lecturer, one of the best I've had. He manages to be opinionated and respectful of students' opinions at the same time. You don't need to go to class to do well in the course, but I actually wanted to go... Be forewarned, his tests are pretty nitpicky, but if you're good at multiple-choice, matching, and fill-in-the-blank exams that require some memorization, you'll do fine. My class gave him a rousing ovation on the last day of class. He deserved it absolutely. How many professors have you had that you would clap for?