New books in English

The Lost Symbol. Dan Brown. The Random House Group, 2009

The Lost Symbol. Dan Brown. The Random House Group, 2009

Six years in the writing, The Lost Symbol is Dan Brown's extraordinary sequel to his internationally bestselling Robert Langdon thrillers, Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code. Nothing is ever what it first appears in a Dan Brown novel. Set over a breathtaking 12-hour time span, the book's narrative takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through a masterful and unexpected landscape as Professor of Symbology, Robert Langdon, is once again called into action.

Hindoo Holiday. An Indian Journal. J.R. Ackerley. Penguin Group, 2009.

Hindoo Holiday grew out of Ackerley’s stay in India. Knowing almost nothing of India, he discovers Hindu culture, festivals and language, and reveals the fascinating attitudes of the palace staff on women, marriage, the caste system and death. Superbly entertaining and beautifully written, it has received considerable critical acclaim.

A Thousand Splendid Suns. Khaled Hosseini. Bloomsbury, 2007.

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, loss and fate. As they endure the ever-escalating dangers around them they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love that is often the key to survival.

Oxford Living Grammar pre-intermediate. Mark Harrison. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Oxford Living Grammar takes a practical approach to grammar. The four-page units provide clear explanations and information on when the grammar is used, followed by extensive practice. Each level includes an interactive CD-ROM. Modern, upbeat illustrations and exercises that apply grammar to real situations give the series a strong appeal to teenage and adult learners. Elementary and Pre-Intermediate levels help prepare students for the KET exam; Intermediate prepares students for the PET exam.

Oxford English for Careers: Medicine 1. Sam McCarter. Oxford University Press, 2009.

A specialised course for upper-intermediate medical students, doctors and advanced nurses who wish to work in English-speaking countries. Medicine 1 has been designed to help students communicate accurately in English with patients and colleagues. It has a clear focus on developing speaking and listening skills for a range of different situations. The syllabus is based on the communication skills required for the OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination). Interactive exercises on a student’s website revise and repeat language patterns in the book.

Oxford Learner’s Thesaurus. Edited by Diana Lea. Oxford University Press, 2008.

Oxford Learner's Thesaurus, shortlisted for the British Council UK ELT Innovation Award called Description, is a synonyms dictionary written especially for learners. It groups words with similar meanings and explains the differences between them. The thesaurus includes over 17,000 synonyms and opposites from written and spoken English, a CD-ROM with access to the complete thesaurus and over 250 practice exercises, as well as a 9-page thesaurus trainer to provide help in using the thesaurus, 16 study pages focusing on various topics and exam-style questions. Illustrated topic maps, with exercises, help to build vocabulary.

This column is a selection by The Slovak Spectator of English-language books recently released in Slovakia; it does not represent an endorsement of any of the books selected. The column is prepared in cooperation with the Oxford Bookshop Bratislava.

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