From the „Peacock Chit-Chat“ podcast on Instagram (October 8th): https://www.instagram.com/peacock_school/
Sinead & I featured good books for enhancing your English skills, as well as phrases & idioms which deal with literature:
Phrases & Idioms :
A closed book: a topic or person about which/whom very little is known.
An open book: a topic or person that/who is easy to understand or about which/whom a lot is known.
Bookworm: a keen reader
By the book: in accordance with the rules
You can’t judge a book by its cover: you can’t go by how someone or something looks. The outer appearance is not a reliable indication of its/their true nature.
Every trick in the book: all available methods of achieving what’s desired.
Off the books: unofficially and usually in secret / off the record
“Read my lips!” : Listen carefully!
To hit the books: to study
To close the books: to put something aside and stop spending time & effort on it
To cook the books: to falsify facts or figures
To have your nose in a book: to be reading intensely
To read between the lines: to search for an implied meaning
To throw a book at somebody: to punish severely
Terms dealing with books & literature:
author (Autor) / writer (Schriftsteller) / poet (Dichter) / playwright (Dramatiker)
novella (short novel)
poem (Gedicht) / sonnet (a one-stanza, 14-line poem, written in iambic pentameter)
Protagonist (leading character)
Antagonist (The antagonist is the principal source of conflict for the protagonist. Often, the antagonist is a bad guy, a villain, but he doesn’t necessarily have to be. Antagonists might be one person, a group, or even an animal)
Synopsis (Summary of the plot)
Recommended Books for Learners of the English language:
‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ by Mark Haddon (Vintage Books) / Easy to read. Simple sentence structure / For Pre-Intermediate (A2) Learners & higher
A murder mystery novel. The detective and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is 15 and has Asperger’s Syndrome . Asperger syndrome (AS), is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication. Christopher knows a great deal about maths and very little about humans. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates being touched and has never gone further than the end of of the road on his own. But when he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered he sets out on an adventurous journey to find the murderer, following the footsteps of his literary hero Sherlock Holmes.
2. ‘The Uncommon Reader’ by Alan Bennett (Cornelsen) For Intermediate (B1) Learners and higher
A delightful, funny novella (short novel) that celebrates the pleasure of reading. When the Queen is running after her wandering corgis, she stumbles upon a mobile library where she borrows a book. Aided by Norman, a young man from the palace kitchen who frequents the library, the Queen is transformed as she discovers the liberating pleasures of the written word, from the Bronte sisters to Jean Genet.
The book is read in grammar schools in Germany (11th & 12th grade). It includes annotations and translation of words & phrases on every page plus additional materials e.g. the Royal family tree, lots of info on the Queen and a poem by Robert Frost „The Road Not Taken“.
3. ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl (Puffin Books). For Pre-Intermediate (A2) & higher
A very popular children’s book, but also popular with adults. Great for learners of the English Language.
‚Matilda‘ is about a very smart girl who is ignored by her parents. Matilda learns she has a special power and uses it to help teachers and students at her school. All fear the headmistress, the Trunchbull, who hates children and treats them very unkindly.
4. LERNKRIMI / KURZKRIMIS Series (Compact Verlag). For all levels (A1 – B2)
Exciting short crime stories, which include grammar exercises & glossary of new words & expressions.