59 seconds. Richard Wiseman. Macmillan, 2009.
Want to improve your relationships, make better decisions, or simply be happier? Success is now only seconds away... In 59 Seconds, psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman presents a fresh approach to change that helps people achieve their aims and ambitions in minutes, not months. From mood to memory, persuasion to procrastination, and resilience to relationships, Wiseman outlines the research supporting this new science of rapid change and describes how these quick and quirky techniques can be incorporated into everyday life.
Desert Flower. Waris Dirie. Virago Press, reissued 2009.
Waris Dirie (meaning: ‘desert flower’) lives a double life. By day she is a famous model, and a UN spokeswoman on women's rights in Africa; by night she dreams of her native Somalia. Waris, one of 12 children, was born into a traditional family of desert nomads in East Africa. She remembers her early childhood as being carefree – racing camels and moving on with her family to the next grazing spot – until it came to her turn to meet the old woman who administered the ancient custom imposed on most Somali girls: circumcision. Her story is one of true inspiration; an extraordinary self-portrait of a remarkable woman.
Teaching Business English. Mark Ellis and Christine Johnson. Oxford University Press, 2009.
This book is for teachers, trainers and course organisers in the field of Business English, or those considering a move into it. It provides a background to the business learner's world and strategies for approaching the training task, focusing on the learner's professional knowledge and experience.
Oxford Collocations Dictionary for Students of English. Oxford University Press, 2010.
The Oxford Collocations Dictionary improves students' accuracy by showing them the words that work together in both British and American English. Using the dictionary develops a better awareness of which words occur together and helps students to sound more natural. Students can look up a word they know to discover which words are commonly used with it. Each entry is organised around a word and its collocates. Collocates are grouped by part of speech – i.e. verbs that collocate with the entry are listed together. Students can also look up the meaning of any unfamiliar words on the CD-ROM.
Oxford Learner's Pocket Thesaurus, Oxford University Press, 2010.
No two words are exactly the same – this pocket-size thesaurus, aimed for upper-intermediate to advanced English speakers, explains the differences. It contains essential information about 30,000 synonyms and opposites in a handy book. Based on the Oxford Learner's Thesaurus which was shortlisted for the British Council ELTon 2009 awards, it provides up to 2 synonyms for each of the 5,000 key words and meanings. British/American, formal/informal, approving/ disapproving terms are clearly marked. Hundreds of notes identify the exact differences between pairs of synonyms. Patterns and collocations help learners use the synonyms in context.
The Morville Hours. Katherine Swift. Bloomsbury, 2008.
In 1988 Katherine Swift arrived at the Dower House at Morville to create a garden of her own. This beautifully written, utterly absorbing book is the history of the many people who have lived in the same Shropshire house, tending the same soil, passing down stories over the generations. Spanning thousands of years, The Morville Hours takes the form of a medieval Book of Hours. It is a meditative journey through the seasons, but also a journey of self-exploration. It is a book about finding one’s place in the world and putting down roots.
Lustrum. Robert Harris. Hutchinson, 2009.
Rome, 63 BC. In a city on the brink of acquiring a vast empire, seven men are struggling for power. Cicero is consul, Caesar his ruthless young rival, Pompey the republic’s greatest general, Crassus its richest man, Cato a political fanatic, Catilina a psychopath, Clodius an ambitious playboy. The stories of these real historical figures – their alliances and betrayals, their cruelties and seductions, their brilliance and their crimes – are all interleaved to form this epic novel. Its narrator is Tiro, a slave who serves as confidential secretary to the wily, humane, complex Cicero. He knows all his master’s secrets – a dangerous position to be in.
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, located at Laurinská 9.
25. Oct 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff