Category Archives: Books

Here is where we will share information about books we have read or authors we particularly like.

Memory Rhymes

Memory Rhymes can be a good way to improve pronunciation and pick up new words. Some are easy, as they are addressed to children, but some can be challenging for a non native speaker!

This is an example of an easy memory rhyme.

monday_alone_rhme

Jason Webster

I met this writer in Rana Books a couple of weeks ago. He is an American writer of crime novels who lives in Valencia. From his speech, I could see that he loves Spain and its history, which is reflected in his novels in some ways. I think he combines thriller with a vision of Spain that makes it interesting as he deals with touchy or sensitive topics for us such as bullfighting, civil war…

In this video you can see the launch of his book “Or The Bull Kills You” with a presentation of Valencia city. And there is already a sequel “A Death in Valencia”.

If you want to find out more about him and his books visit his webpage: http://www.jasonwebster.net/

By the way, if you live in Valencia and haven’t been to Rana Bookshop yet, I recommend it to you. You’ll find many books and material related to English and it offers the possibility of enjoying a good cuppa and- why not- a good English book.

http://www.ranabooks.es/

Lisa Jewell

A link to an interview with Lisa Jewell, one of the most popular writers in the UK (and one of my favourites!)

http://bookendspodcast.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/book-ends-episode-2-lisa-jewell/

Anna Ferrer “Un pacto de amor”

Anna Ferrer is Vicente Ferrer’s wife. She has recently published a book talking about her experiences in India together with her husband Vicente Ferrer, who passed away a few months ago. I have read the book and I highly recommend you to read it. It helps you see life from a different perspective, not that of the money and wealth and properties but of humanity and dedication to others. This book is really a good lesson of Love.

My Grammar and I (or should that be ‘Me’)?

As I told you in class, this is a wonderful book because it covers many aspects of the English grammar.  Here you are, for example, the answer to the title of this post.

1- The English rule is to use ‘I’ for the subject of a sentence (that means the person who does the action) and ‘Me’ for the object of the sentence (that means the person the verb is acting upon).  Thus, it is not correct to say ‘Me met Mary’ but ‘I met Mary’ or ‘Peter saw I‘ but ‘Peter saw me’

This rule is exactly the same in compound subjects or compound objects, that is, a subject or an object that consists of more than one noun or pronoun. So, ‘Peter and I went to the cinema’ is correct, because Peter and I are the subject, the ones performing the action. And ‘Martha has invited my husband and me for dinner’ is correct, as my husband and me are the object, the persons receiving the action of the verb, the invitation.

2- And what happens with the verb ‘to be’? What would you say here: ‘It is I’ or ‘It is me’? ‘It wasn’t I who said it’ or ‘It wasn’t me who said it’?

Traditionally, the first option should be the correct one, because following the Latin rules, the complement found after the verb ‘to be’ has a subject function. However, nowadays the second option is becoming acceptable and the first option is becoming old-fashioned.

In comparatives, these structures are accepted: ‘He isn’t as fast as me (or I)’ and ‘He isn’t as fast as I am’

3- Remember that after prepositions, the rule is always to use an object pronoun, thus: ‘between you and me’ (not I) or ‘she never meant anything to me’ (not to I).

4- The book also highlights the fact that these rules do not apply to songwriters. So, don’t try to learn grammar from lyrics, as you will commonly find expressions like: ‘Me and Mrs Jones, we’ve got a thing going on…’

(explanations adapted from ‘My Grammar and I (or should that be ‘Me’?)’ by Caroline Taggart and J.A. Wines)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Why don’t you include this book in your plans for the summer?

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon is a murder mystery novel. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen years old and has Asperger’s, a form of autism. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. The chapters are counted with prime numbers, jokes are only comprehended in their literal meanings, and social interactions are a struggle. In his pursuit to discover the truth about the death of her neighbour’s dog, Christopher allows the reader a fascinating look at life from his perspective.

Very easy to read, very difficult to forget.

Aesop’s Fables

It is known very little about Aesop’s life. It is believed that he was born in Thrace (Greece) in the 6th Century and died about 564 BC. He was probably a slave who was later freed by his master, and was said to be very clever and witty.

He lived afterwards at the court of King Croesus, who sent him on a journey to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. There he made the Delphians so angry that they pushed him over a steep cliff to his death.

Aesop didn’t write his fables. He told many people the stories and so they were remembered. It was nearly two hundred years later before all the stories were collected together and published.

The fables were published in English in the 15th Century, and since then they have been read by people all over the world. The most interesting thing is that their moral lessons are as true today as they were when Aesop was alive.

Apart from the fables you can read in the slides below, there are many others like: The shepherd boy and the wolf, The crow and the fox, The lion and the hare, The fox and the grapes, The fox and the lion or The goose that laid golden eggs, that you may well know.

(source: A first book of Aesop’s Fables. Ladybird books Ltd.)