Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

language Books Reviews

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Whether you are trying to learn a new language, brush up on what you already learned or to add to the knowledge that you already have, there is a book that is able to help you along. There are several different categories for Languages which includes key stages 1-4, GCSE, A & AS Level, Parent Participation, Grammar dictionaries & phrasebooks, Audio Titles, English as a Foreign Language, By Language and General AAS. Of course, each one of these categories has individual categories as well. For example, Parent Participation also includes Bilingual and Multicultural. English as a Foreign Language has categories such as by level, literacy, listening skills, grammar & vocabulary, exams, audiovisual and reading & writing skills.

  • What other categories are there that I can learn from?
  • Are there many different authors that I can choose from?
  • Will I be able to take any type of practice exam for a test?

What Authors Are Available to Me?
There are many authors that you can choose from when it comes to your selection of reading. Some examples are Raymond Murphy, Jeremy Harmer, Susan M. Lloyd, Michael Swan and Pie Corbett. Of course, it all depends on which category you are looking for a book in and on what level. There are books for the young children that are just starting out in a foreign language and there are adults that are just starting to learn a new language or brush up and add to what they already know. Keeping this in mind, the type of book and the author will vary. Regardless of what you are shopping for, there are many different options that are available to you.

Is there a variety of titles available?
There are plenty of titles that you can choose from in each category and their sub-categories as well. In the Key Stages category, you can choose from great titles such as Pasos 1: Student Book: A First Course in Spanish, KS3 French: The Study Guide, Revised Latin Primer, La Grammaire en Claire: With Answer Key, Collins Easy Learning Italian Grammar and First Thousands Words in Russian. Regardless of the language you are learning, there is a book for you.

If you are looking in the Parent Participation category, you will find titles to choose from such as Special Educational Needs, Inclusion and Diversity, Propaganda, Schooling and Equality: Fact, Concept and Policy (Creating success), A Parents and Teachers Guide to Bilingualism (Parents and Teachers Guides), Celebrity (FOCI) and Culture and Pedagogy: International Comparisons in Primary Education. Again, there is a great selection here as well to pick from.

Learning Abilities

  • Will I be able to teach my children with these books?
  • Are they easy to follow and learn from?
  • Have others been able to learn a new language from scratch easily with these books?

These are all important questions that you may be asking yourself if you are new to learning a language. Asking these questions and others can be very helpful in making your decision on which book and on the type of book as well that you will want to look for. There are a lot of variables that you will need to take into consideration. These things would include if you are a beginner learner, are you going to be teaching someone else maybe a child a new language or if you are wanting to learn new facets to a language that you already know.

Trying to learn a new language can be frustrating at first. If you have the right book it can make the learning process a lot smoother without all of the frustration. Many of the books that you can get have practice activities to help you learn how to pronounce a word and to learn how to spell them as well. For many, knowing how to spell a word can really help with the learning of how to say it.

Getting The Input that You Need
One great way to be able to get the answers to your questions is to join in on a group discussion. This gives you the opportunity to speak with others that have or are reading the same books that you are. You can also learn about the books that they have read and find that you may be interested in something that have talked about and that it may help you in furthering your education as well. It is also a chance to be able to ask questions about what you have read if you do not understand something and to give your opinion as well on a book that someone is reading.

A group discussion is also a great way to be able to make friends. You can make it a part of your routine whether it is on a weekly basis or if it is a monthly book club discussion, this is something that you can look forward to. Being able to talk with others about the language you are learning is a great way to hear how they pronounce certain words so that you can hear how it is said by someone else. This can be a great stepping stone in your learning ability with a strange new language.

Learning a new language such a Spanish, French, Russian, Italian or even German can be for many different reasons. Maybe you are going on a trip, your child needs to learn for school or you are just wanting to broaden your horizons. Whatever your reasons are, finding the right books and having others to talk to about them is a great way to be able to learn your new language without needing to attend a class at school or take a class in your home. The right book can help you learn everything that you need in order to grow and progress quickly in your new endeavor. So there is no time like the present to find that right book for you and get started.

Fiction books reviews

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Where there used to be a strict and clear delineation between fiction and non-fiction, nowadays this demarcation appears to be less distinct. Invariably, authors write about history from the perspective of fiction whilst imaginary plots are written from the point of view of real, rather than imaginary events. Within the world of fiction, however, the genre covers a wide range of reading matter that is likely to appeal across a wide variety of parameters, survive and remain popular across the generations. Some sub-genres within the realm of fiction tend to be anthologies; biography; contemporary fiction; 20th century classics; 1970 onwards; film tie-ins; historical; short stories; women writers; and more global fiction loosely referred to as the ‘world’.

Women Writers and Fiction
It is widely acknowledged that the largest sector of book purchasing is done by women and, to engage women’s attention and maintain their interest, women’s fiction needs to capture their emotions in a way that impacts on their place in society today, their secret fantasies and the images women dream of in their perfect relationship. Novels that have more appeal for women than men invariably tend to be written by women and cover romantic fiction, historical fiction and women’s fiction whose taxonomy tends to be within the mainstream of the novel category. Romantic fiction is often regarded as being fundamental to women’s fiction.

Chick-Lit and Romance
It is a huge market and brings with it equally large revenue, much of it written within the genre of serious, meaty fiction rather than focusing on the more light-hearted, flighty ‘chick-lit’ market as it has come to be known. Since Chick-lit made its entrance onto the UK market in 1996 with the appearance of ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ it seems to have carved out a sub-genre all of its own – and people tend to either love it or hate it, with equal passion! Those who profess to hate it dismiss this sub-genre as frivolous, despite the fact that it is read by a huge market of women whose own place within the professional world requires them to find effective ways to ‘switch-off’ during their few leisure hours: a good read with this much-maligned chick-lit offers these women a chance to throw off their responsibilities for a short while and lose themselves within the pages of a book that makes no demands on their intellect.

20th Century Classics
Rather topical at the moment following the release of the film ‘A Picture of Dorian Gray’, the book originally written by Oscar Wilde has been described as ‘one of the modern classics of Western literature’ – even though it probably led to his social downfall! Oscar Wilde was one of the celebrities of the Victorian era. He was born in 1854 in Dublin and became a successful playwright and writer of short stories. He also wrote one book which was used extensively during his trial on the grounds of homosexuality for which he was imprisoned.

During his trial his book ‘A Picture of Dorian Gray’ was drawn on time after time to ‘prove’ Oscar Wilde’s dubious sexuality. Following his period of imprisonment he spent the rest of his life in Europe where he died in November 1900. Despite the notoriety surrounding the life of Oscar Wilde, he was a brilliant wit in his lifetime, leaving us with a plethora of quotes, plays and short stories that are as applicable today as they were when he wrote them.

Pure Literature
Meanwhile, Margaret Atwood is a prolific poet, author and critic – as well as social campaigner and renowned feminist. On one occasion she was recipient of the Booker Prize and has been nominated for it a further 4 times; and has won the Governer General’s Award twice and been nominated a further 5 times. She has also been awarded the Prince of Asturias award for Literature as well as winning the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Margaret Atwood is best known as a novelist although she has also had 15 books of poetry, many based on fairy tales and myths, published as well.

She was born in Canada in 1939 – Ottawa, Ontario and later studied English, Philosophy and French at Victoria University, part of the University of Toronto. Margaret Atwood published her first book privately in 1961 – this was a book of poetry for which she was awarded the EJ Pratt medal. However, before her writing career began in earnest, Margaret Atwood enrolled at Radcliffe College on a Woodrow Wilson fellowship, graduating with a master’s degree in 1962. For the next few years she followed a teaching career as a university lecturer, alternating teaching with writing and culminating at New York University as Berg Professor of English.

Sex in Literature
So, who better qualified to write some of the 20th century classics than Margaret Atwood? Amongst her many books, the Handmaid’s Tale has been described by The Daily Telegraph as being ‘compulsively readable’. This book is about S-E-X! The story is set in a theocratic state run along totalitarian lines, called the Republic of Gilead. This Republic is the future of what was previously the USA. Dangerously low reproduction rates have necessitated the need for handmaids to bear children. This story revolves around restrictions on the movements of the handmaids – and you will have to read the rest to find out what happens: I would hate to spoil it for you!

Retrospective Fiction
This book is written in ‘flashback’ style that reconstructs the events that led up to the Republic of Gilead: it refers to women’s rights, military coups, pornography, prostitution – even an assassinated president and members of Congress are woven into the fabric of the story. As the story evolves an underground resistance organisation comes to light: in fact, there are more threads to unravel than in an old jersey! The story closes in 2195 with an epilogue in the form of a lecture given by a Professor. That is all I am saying about the book – if you want to know more, I suggest you contact our web page and buy the book which is available in the Fiction section, under 20th Century Classics. It’s an amazing book that you will find difficult to put down – so, get your chores out of the way before you start reading!

This book is a good read – in fact, it is immensely readable. In fact, if you delve into the Fiction section of our website, you will be amazed and delighted at the enormous range of fiction we have available – enough to keep you reading for many years to come!

Books in Audio CDs

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

There are many different reasons as to why someone may want to listen to an audio CD. It can give you the opportunity to have free hands to do something else while you are listening, you may not be that great of a reader and prefer to listen instead or maybe you are planning a long distance drive and you can listen to a good novel while you are on your way. Whatever your reason, there are many different types of audio CD’s that you can listen to.

Options to Choose From
No matter what your preference is, there is something for everyone to listen to. There are biographies & memoirs, children’s books, horror, comedy, music, languages and even business, finance and law. As you can see, there is a great variety of the different types of audio CD’s that you can choose from. There are titles that you can choose from such as Easy Learning Spanish (Collins Easy Learning Audio Course), Just So Stories, Harry Potter and even “Doctor Who”: The Day of the Troll. Other great titles include The Wolves in the Walls, Tudor, The Secret Angel Therapy Meditations and Twilight.

  • Do authors make all of their books available for CD?
  • What horror books are available on audio CD?
  • Are they easy to follow?
  • Is an audio read from the book word for word?

If you have never purchased a book on audio CD before, you may have a lot of questions on whether or not it would be of benefit to you. It can be very beneficial if you have children and you are going for a long drive with them in the car. The audio CD can help to keep them occupied so they are not asking where you are going or are we there yet every ten minutes. And what if you are taking a business course and you are having trouble fitting in reading because your schedule is so busy. An audio CD could perfect for you to listen to when you are on your way to work and on your way home in the evening. This way you don’t have to worry about being able to sit down after a long day at the office. There are evening learning books such as Effective Birth Preparation (Hospital or Birth Center): A Self Hypnosis.

Reasons Why Audio CD is Great

  • Why would I want to listen to a book instead of read it?
  • Can I pause the CD while I am listening to it?
  • What benefit will I get from a CD instead of a book?

These are all questions that you may be asking yourself if you are considering this option. One of the great things is that you can multi-task while you are listening to your book. If you know someone that is blind than it can be a great gift to them so that they don’t have to miss out on the newest books from their favorite authors. Some of the great books on audio CD that you could give as a gift are Spine Chillers, The Woman in Black, The Skulduggery Pleasant series, which are all great horror stories. If you have a friend that is a romantic than you could look more along the lines of The Return Journey or The Jane Austen Collection which includes Sense and Sensibility.

Categories to Pick From
Another category that you can choose from is travel. These CD’s give you the opportunity to learn about other countries that you may be thinking about visiting or a story that takes place somewhere far away that you have never been. There are crime stories, thrillers that can put you on the edge of your seat and even a great mystery that will keep you guessing till you get to the end. If you are a history buff than you can listen to stories about the past and gain insight to things that you may not understand about the present.

One of the great options that you have to choose from is the music audio CD’s. Not only can you hear about the lessons that you need to learn in order to play your instrument but you also get the benefit of being able to hear samples of music on how things should sound. That is a benefit that you cannot get from just reading a book.

Making Your Decision
In the end, the decision is yours if you want to get a audio cd or just read a book the old fashioned way. You will find that there are many benefits to choosing the option of being able to listen to your stories and studies as opposed to reading that you may decide that it is the only way that you want to read a book ever again.

  • Is listening to a audio CD better for me than reading?
  • How long does it take to get a audio CD?
  • Do I have to be put on a waiting list in order to get the one?

These are all very valid questions, especially if you have never gotten one before. You will find that you can also join in on discussion groups to talk about a specific audio CD that you and others have listened to. It gives you the opportunity to be able to share your opinion with others while hearing what someone else has to say as well. Being able to share your point of views can make for a great debate and also give you insight to a part of the CD that you had not thought about.

Joining in on a discussion group also give you the opportunity to be able to ask questions about a part that you did not understand or maybe you thought was a little confusing. Getting the help from others can help you to enjoy the audio cd more than you thought you would in the beginning.