Literary corner

Wolf Hall. Hilary Mantel. Fourth Estate, 2009.

Wolf Hall. Hilary Mantel. Fourth Estate, 2009.

The winner of the 2009 Booker Prize is a novel set in the environment of the English royal court at the end of the 1520s, during the reign of Henry VIII.

In her book Mantel explores the intersection of individual psychology and wider politics. With a vast array of characters and richly overflowing with incidents, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself with great passion and suffering and courage.

The Other. David Guterson. Bloomsbury, 2009.

Two teenage boys, Neil and John, from very different backgrounds are at the start of an 800-metre race. Their lives collide for the first time and so begins an extraordinary friendship in Seattle in 1972.

As they grow older Neil follows the conventional route of the American dream while John makes radically different choices, moves deep into the woods and enlists Neil to help him disappear completely, drawing him into a web of secrets and tragedy.

The Great Wall. John Man. Bantam, 2009.

John Man travelled the Great Wall of China, one of the world’s most famous sights, from the far western deserts to the Pacific, exploring the grandest sections and many wild ones.

He is the first writer to describe two unknown walls in Mongolia. He covers two millennia of history, from the country’s first unification to the present day.

Nuclear Weapons: A very short introduction. Joseph M. Siracusa. Oxford University Press, 2008.

Exploring topics from the early days of its development in World War II, through the Cold War, to the present-day controversy of over a missile defence system in Europe and the threat of nuclear weapons in terrorism, this is a comprehensive introduction to the most deadly weapon ever invented.

Business one:one. Oxford University Press, 2008.

Business one:one is the first business English course written specifically for teaching and learning one-to-one. Specially-designed materials help teacher and student work together as equal partners. A learner-centred syllabus helps teachers tailor the course to meet each student’s immediate needs. Every lesson provides speaking and listening practice. MultiROM support includes a course planner, listening bank, communicative mazes, a full glossary, and an email-writing framework.

Leading for a Lifetime. Warren G. Bennis and Robert J. Thomas. Harvard Business School Press, 2007.

The authors of this book claim that leadership is not a rare gift granted to a privileged few but rather a matter of experience. Leaders aren’t just born, they develop by building on the lessons of their times. This new theory is illustrated by examples from two generations of American leaders, such as correspondent Mike Wallace and architect Frank Gehry.

Oxford English for Careers: Tourism 3. Robin Walker and Keith Harding. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Tourism 3 is a specialised English course for upper-intermediate students preparing for a career in the tourism industry. The series provides students with the language, information, and skills for three different aspects of the tourism industry: promoting and selling tourism products (Level 1), dealing with tourists on holiday (Level 2), and tourism management (Level 3).

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.

The Oxford Bookshop is now located at Laurinská 9.

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