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  • True! Nervous -- very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am! But why will you say that

  • I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses -- not destroyed -- not dulled them. Above

  • all was the -- oh, hey guys. This is Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson

  • on "What books should I read?!" So very often, students are asking me -- especially at the

  • intermediate and advanced levels -- they say, "Alex, or Teacher, I want to improve my English.

  • I want to improve my vocabulary. Can you give me some suggestions of books and authors to

  • check out? What's easy enough for me, but challenging enough so that I can improve?"

  • Today I'm going to give you a couple of book suggestions. In addition to that, I'm also

  • going to give you ten vocabulary words that I've picked out from the books.

  • So today, to start out, I was reading "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" by famous American

  • author Edgar Allan Poe. And this is actually an excellent, excellent collection of stories.

  • However, it might be a little bit too advanced for intermediate speakers, and even for advanced

  • speakers it poses a challenge. It poses a challenge for native speakers. So what do

  • you do if you're interested in reading Edgar Allan Poe or other classic authors, but you

  • might find the language of the real book to be too challenging or too difficult. Well,

  • thankfully, there are, actually, a couple of companies out there who make graded versions

  • of books such as the Edgar Allan Poe "Tales of Mystery and Imagination", Sherlock Holmes,

  • "To Kill a Mockingbird", "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" -- any number of classics you can think

  • of. And I'm going to show you a couple of those today. So give me one moment.

  • Okay. This is a Penguin Reader. So Penguin Readers are really, really excellent because

  • what they do is they take famous authors, famous books and they make them accessible

  • to an English as a second language learner. So, again, if you're interested in starting

  • out to read English, this is an excellent way of doing that. So today, I'm going to

  • give you two suggestions. And if you're interested in horror, if you're interested in mystery,

  • if you're interested in detective stories, you really can't do much better than Edgar

  • Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle. Now, you might not be familiar with the name Arthur

  • Conan Doyle, but you are probably familiar with the name Sherlock Holmes. And Arthur

  • Conan Doyle is, actually, the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Now, these two books here,

  • "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" by Edgar Allan Poe and "Sherlock Holmes Short Stories" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  • are both short story collections. So if you feel a

  • little bit intimidated by reading a complete novel, another thing that's great about these

  • is a lot of these stories are five pages, six pages. So you can sit down -- you can

  • learn a lot of vocabulary, a lot of grammatical structure just with six pages of reading,

  • and you'll feel that you have read a complete story, okay?

  • So, again, I really, really recommend these, especially if you're into murder mysteries,

  • detective fiction, and you want something that is very short but gives you enough so

  • that you can learn a lot. And what I'm going to do now is, actually, give you guys ten

  • vocabulary words that I have chosen from these two books, and I'll give you the definitions.

  • We'll talk about some examples, and then you can finish the quiz and test your understanding as usual.

  • All right. Let's get to it. Okay, so the first word that we have here

  • is "disturb". Now, "disturb" is a verb which means to interrupt someone or to make someone

  • nervous or a little scared. So for example, if you see a bloody crime, like in a Sherlock

  • Holmes story, that might disturb you; it might make you feel a little weird, a little nervous.

  • Someone can also come in and "disturb" you while you are working.

  • The next word is "horizon". "Horizon" is a noun, and when you think of a picture of the

  • ocean, of the sea, and you think of the sun in the back, the "horizon" is that line; it's

  • the line where the land or the sea seems to meet the sky. Okay? So it's that line in a

  • picture. The next word is "immense". This is an excellent

  • vocabulary word. This is an adjective which just means extremely large. So you can say,

  • "The buildings in New York are immense" -- extremely large.

  • The next word is "mercy", which is a noun. Now, "mercy" is something that you show towards

  • a person or that you have for someone. So "mercy" is "kindness and a willingness to

  • forgive". So for example, if you're fighting with someone and you're beating them and they

  • say, "Stop! Stop! Stop! Have mercy! Show me mercy!" This means, like, "Show sympathy for

  • me! Be kind! Please forgive me! I give up!" Okay? You might see this a lot in, like, war

  • movies and stuff like Gladiator and all that stuff. Okay.

  • "Misery", "misery" is a noun. The adjective is "miserable". So "misery" just means "great

  • unhappiness", so you can live in "misery". And there's actually a book by Stephen King

  • of the same title, so you can check that out if you're into Stephen King and stuff like

  • that. So the next word is "consult". This comes

  • from "consultation", which is the noun form. "Consult" is to ask for advice or information.

  • So in the Sherlock Holmes stories, people with problems come to consult with Sherlock

  • Holmes. If you are having some kind of difficulty, some kind of physical illness, you should

  • probably consult a doctor. The next word is "forge". Now, to "forge"

  • is to illegally copy something. Usually, we talk about "forging money" or "forging a person's

  • signature". So maybe when you were a child and you had to get permission to go somewhere,

  • but you knew your parents would not let you go there, maybe you would forge your parents'

  • signature illegally -- copy it, essentially. Don't do that.

  • "Soil" -- okay. "Soil", we're talking about the noun, which is the top layer of earth

  • where plants grow. So if you want to start a garden in your house, you have to go and

  • buy some soil, okay? "Tremble": This is a verb which means "to

  • shake because of worry or fear or excitement". You can also tremble because you're cold,

  • okay? Very, very useful verb. And finally, a word that most of my students

  • in my life have had a difficult time pronouncing, and it's "thoroughly", "thoroughly". So "thur-oh-ly".

  • Okay? This is an adverb which means "completely" or "wholly". So "I was thoroughly surprised

  • to hear the news" -- completely. "The police searched the room thoroughly", okay?

  • So let's just do a quick listen and repeat with pronunciation of this vocab, guys. So

  • from the top: disturb, horizon, immense, mercy, misery, consult, forge, soil, tremble, thoroughly.

  • Okay, now that you have looked at these vocabulary items, you might be interested to know, "Where

  • can I get the books that Alex is talking about?" Attached to this video, you will find a link

  • to the Amazon website. You will also find a link to a list of authors who are in the

  • public domain. Now, what this means is that there are authors whose works, whose fiction

  • is freely available on the Internet for everyone to read because the copyright is so old. And

  • finally, you will also find a link to the Penguin Readers website, which you can check

  • out if you're interested in finding out which books are available in the Penguin Readers

  • collection. All right, guys. So, as always, you can test

  • your knowledge of this material by doing the quiz on www.engvid.com, and don't forget to

  • subscribe to my YouTube channel. Nevermore!

True! Nervous -- very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am! But why will you say that

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What books should I read to improve my English

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    青云 posted on 2016/04/20
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