The order of the grammar points presented were not what I would consider the most ideal order. Also, a few items (especially conditionals) were not exThe order of the grammar points presented were not what I would consider the most ideal order. Also, a few items (especially conditionals) were not explained in away that would be intuitive to someone learning this for the first time.
Despite these flaws, the book did have a lot of explanations that could help people understand some of the finer points of different grammar patterns. Even the conditionals sections had some explanations of different aspects that could help clarify or reinforce the grammar point to students who already have a fairly solid understanding of conditionals.
I really like the explanation of 'adjectives + prepositions' and 'verbs + prepositions' at the end. They were lots of pages with lists of common preposition patterns and explanations to the meaning of these phrases. I think that this would especially helpful to Korean students since the wide variety of prepositions is not found in their language, and the average Korean learning English is prone to overlook the word when producing a sentence.
A lot of the practice problems were focus on accuracy with most of the activities being finishing the sentence with the correct pattern discussed on the previous page. There were a few activities that had the students describing a picture of situation with the correct grammar. I feel this is a much better form of practice (with a certain answer that can be found in the answer key) since it forces the student to learn to place the grammar pattern onto an appropriate situation.
There were lots of things that I was able to take away from this book and actually start using in my classroom right away. It will definitely be a book that I keep on hand when I need for information to explain a concept to my students....more
A few times in this book, Margaret Cho asks why she isn't asked her opinion and only white men in business suits get to share their ideas on the news.A few times in this book, Margaret Cho asks why she isn't asked her opinion and only white men in business suits get to share their ideas on the news. After reading this book, I have a feeling of why she isn't invited on the news to speak that often. Most of this book was of her spouting off emotional rants that were not backed by an evidence. She was shooting from the gut.
Two of the most obvious display of this lack of refinement in expressing her opinion were of her rant on George W. Bush and a rebuttal to an article written about her. Her Bush monologue was akin to a freshman in college spouting off sound bites that he heard from other "informed" students with no real experience or knowledge of the situation. In rebuke of the article, she admits many times throughout the spiel that she has never read the article but still felt she had to reply.
Despite this negativity, if Margaret Cho wished to express her opinions about minorities, immigrant families, life of as a woman or gay and lesbian issues, I am all ears. She has personal experience and empirical evidence about these situations because of her life.
Cho does say a lot of humorous things and in stand up she has a good delivery. Unfortunately, her speaking and written style parallels a girl fresh out of high school. I personally prefer something a little bit more refined....more
I don't put down a book or a series that I start. While the first two books did peak my interest quite a bit, I was suffering through almost all of thI don't put down a book or a series that I start. While the first two books did peak my interest quite a bit, I was suffering through almost all of the 1,104 pages found in this behemoth of a tale. Maybe I should have read it in two parts as it was released in its corporeal form and taken a break half way through. Instead, I went for the e-book version that doesn't suffer any publication problems when it comes to size.
By the time I was about a third of the way through the book, I was already burnt out. Tad Williams spent a lot of time and effort in the first two books to create his world, but for this last book it seems as if he was trying to finish the story so that it would fit into one book. I think that this book could have easily been written in three large books with plenty of detail and development of the story.
Also, some of Williams' writing in this book seemed sophomoric. I lost count of the number of bad similes that I found, such as, "His eyes were sad like a lizard's." Through out this book, there were quite a few group discussions between the characters about what to do next. After a brief explanation by what would naturally be considered an unreliable source, the leader of the group is quick to declare that they trust this person and will follow their advice. I find this type of logic unrealistic, and it pulls me out of the story. Another time, one of the characters refused to enter a cavern. Instead of sounding like a person deeply troubled by some past experience (which I believe was the author's intent), the person ended up sounding like a pouting teenager. The overall human interaction seemed a bit whitewashed and oversimplified. Many of the characters' actions seemed too idealized.
While there were some interesting ideas presented in this book, I'm glad that it is over. It was an experience for me; I saw some more of the world of fantasy literature, but I'm quite doubtful that I will pick up another Tad Williams book in the future....more
To be honest, I was fascinating by 18th century European navies when I was a high school student. I found the idea of man-of-wars and frigates hittingTo be honest, I was fascinating by 18th century European navies when I was a high school student. I found the idea of man-of-wars and frigates hitting each other with cannon fire at close range while marines storm the deck of the opposing ship absolutely thrilling. My father, upon learning of my peculiar interest, bought this book for me to read. I read the it, appreciated it, but found myself having a difficult time getting the through all of the archaic, obsolete and specific naval terminology, along with a writing style that akin the Victorian style.
Now 15 some odd years later, I found this series in the eBook format, so I decided to give them another try. This time around I am older, a bit wiser, and have much more reading experience under my belt. I was able to enjoy the stories and even remember some of the scenes from the first time I read the book as a teenager. The language and writing style didn't hinder me as much as before, but it still wasn't smooth sailing (sorry for the nautical pun in this review). This isn't a book that an average modern American reader can just sit back and enjoy on a lazy afternoon. Instead, one must dedicate a fair amount of brain processing power to navigate (sorry!) the text written in the early 19th century British style in a world that revolved around naval battles. One drowsy evening after a long day at work, the large amount of words to describe naval vessels became confusing and I lost track which English boat the Spanish galley sunk. The next morning after a refreshing night's sleep, I was able to quickly sort out which boat was which and finished the story fully understanding what had happened in the naval engagement.
I really did enjoy reading all of the different adventures of Mr. Hornblower. Even though each story was in chronological order, it didn't follow a uniformed pattern. Chapters could be separated by a couple of months or a plethora. Even within one of the stories, over two years passed from beginning to ending. One story in particular aroused a juvenile excitement in me while I read about the military discipline and martial exploits of British regulars in the skirmishes against French soldiers. In addition to this, it was nice to read about a protagonist that was a cut above everybody else but still made mistakes. This wasn't a story about a uebermensch that does everything perfectly....more
I really enjoyed I, Robot and wanted to continue reading Asimov. After a bit of research on the internet, I found that this book was recommended to reI really enjoyed I, Robot and wanted to continue reading Asimov. After a bit of research on the internet, I found that this book was recommended to read next.
Asimov's imagination of what the earth would be like long into the future was interesting, but the themes and predictions were definitely of an early generation of science fiction writers. It's interesting to look back and see how people saw the world in bygone times, and the ideas, hopes, and dreads seem quite similar to other science fiction from the 50s to 70s.
There were quite a few interesting and creative ideas in this book. I like the label Asimov used for a world of humans and robots coexisting together which was C/FE (pronounced 'See-Fee') and stands for Carbon-Iron. The conflict between Technophobes (known as Medievalists) and Technophiles was a major theme of the entire book and was done pretty well. I really enjoy reading about how societies would react to events or technologies that would have a giant impact.
Writing this book as a mystery novel was a nice idea. The deduction and logical steps the main characters were interesting. However, the details of the plot and the interaction between different human characters felt a bit awkward and artificial. Human-Robot interactions seem better thought out and appealed to me much more.
I've heard rave reviews about the Foundation series and look forward to reading it down the road. While this book might not be my exact cup of tea when it comes to Sci-Fi, I do plan to finish all the major works of Asimov....more
Finding books in English for high school students to read here in Korea is extremely tricky. There is a fine balance between interest, familiarity, anFinding books in English for high school students to read here in Korea is extremely tricky. There is a fine balance between interest, familiarity, and appropriateness. There are a lot of novels that I read in high school that wouldn't work here. Books like Lord of the Flies are deep, but the language and symbolism would probably be too complicated for an average ESL student. I enjoyed Slaughterhouse Five, but I think some of the sexual content would probably upset quiet a few parents. Of course, one could always play it safe and find a book for middle school students, but some of the themes and subjects are bit too juvenile for the high school students.
With that being said, Okay for Now lands perfectly in the middle of the requirements for a book for high school ESL students here in Korea. The overall language and writing isn't bogged down with excessive poetic description, though there is some vernacular that would present an appropriate challenge to the students. The subject matter is about a student in a dysfunctional family and the hardships that he must face. Quite a few of the events that happen are mildly disturbing, but nothing so severe as to offend an average Korean parent.
There are quite a few interesting things in the book. Late 1960's America is one of my favorite time periods for a book to take place in and the theme of symbolism throughout the book based on the aviary pictures of John James Audubon is a nice addition that wouldn't be too overly complicated for an ESL reader.
My only major gripe (without giving away spoilers) is that some of the developments of characters near the end of the book are unexpected and a bit of a sharp left turn. It did add a dramatic flare, but it just felt like these developments were added at the last minute....more
When I was in high school, quite a few books made me laugh out loud. As I got older, something changed and I noticed myself laughing quietly on the inWhen I was in high school, quite a few books made me laugh out loud. As I got older, something changed and I noticed myself laughing quietly on the inside when reading a humorous book. Even when I reread books that had me in stitches when I was younger, they don't seem to do that much for me today. This book is the exception.
I first remember reading this book when I was in the military and my girlfriend at the time and I would take our lunch in my dormitory so we could read this book on our break. Even with a solid forty-five minutes, we never made much progress because we were rolling around on the floor crying from laughing too hard. Almost fifteen years later I had quite a few laughing out loud moments and giggling fits reading this book. I got a few odd looks from the other Korean passengers on the bus during my commute (I live in Korea.).
Christopher Moore, who is one of my favorite authors, does an amazing job creating an imaginative retelling of the story of Jesus Christ along with his sarcastic friend, Biff. Sure, the author does take a lot of liberties with historical facts, but the way he bends the story that people know of Jesus from the Bible and warps it with his imagination creates an extremely sarcastic but loving story. Moore creates writes a story about a Jesus that upholds the same principles that the biblical Jesus had. His story just takes a lot more unexpected twists and turns and is seen through the lens of modern American absurd humor.
I am sure that quite a few of extremely religious people have gotten their feathers ruffled from this book, but I have never really heard any outcry. It's a wonderful book, and just like the author tells his audience at the beginning, don't take it too seriously....more
This book was a plethora of information and I was able to learn a lot. Luckily, I had been playing quite a bit of Europa Universalis IV, so I was someThis book was a plethora of information and I was able to learn a lot. Luckily, I had been playing quite a bit of Europa Universalis IV, so I was somewhat familiar with some of the locations and historical concepts.
I found the earlier parts of the Ottoman Empire more interesting, learning about how the first few Sultans were able to form their new dynasty. After Sultan #10, the quality and competency of the Sultans were all down hill from there. The book was still chock full of information, but it was a slow decent to the inevitable collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
After the conquest of Constantinople, the majority of the book centered around the European holdings of the Ottomans, especially the Balkans and the Black Sea. Except for a couple of armies to confront the Persians once in a while or European army running around in Egypt, there was much focus on the Middle Eastern section of the Ottoman Empire....more
I enjoyed reading one of Ha Jin's books when I was in high school and another later on in college. While I knew that this work would center around a pI enjoyed reading one of Ha Jin's books when I was in high school and another later on in college. While I knew that this work would center around a part of life in China, I was surprised to learn that this book takes place during the Korean war. As an expat living in Korea, I always hear about this war from the view of the Americans, South Korea and the UN. Seeing the war from the point of view of a Chinese soldier made the book all that much more interesting.
Like the books that I've read before, Ha Jin's literary style is not obtuse at all, making the book an enjoyment, not a chore even though the store overall was quiet depressing. In addition to the other books that I read, the Chinese government isn't shown in a particularly pleasant light. After reading up on his Wikipedia page, I wasn't surprised that he emigrated to America after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
It is clear that he did plenty of research about Korea during the Korean war. A lot of he writes about Korea in this book reflects what I have experiences living here and what I have read in books about Korean history.
It's been awhile since I've read Waiting and the Crazed. I think I need to revisit the books and find more of his other work that I haven't read yet....more
After reading The Guns of August, I needed a light read, and this book definitely hit the spot.
Christopher Moore always does a great job of re-imaginiAfter reading The Guns of August, I needed a light read, and this book definitely hit the spot.
Christopher Moore always does a great job of re-imagining the vampire genre in a modern setting (read: 1990's). A set of quirky characters quickly take the traditional idea of vampires into a different yet humorous direction. Though there are a few cultural references that may be outdated, Moore continues to write absurd prose describing both supernatural and everyday events in a way that kept me smiling during my morning commutes.
While this book may not be anything groundbreaking, it was a refreshing read....more
O Won-chol, the author of this book, was one of the high ranking technocrats under the reign of Park Chung-hee (박정희) in the 1960s and 70s. During hisO Won-chol, the author of this book, was one of the high ranking technocrats under the reign of Park Chung-hee (박정희) in the 1960s and 70s. During his 16 years in office, Park was able to turn the impoverished, agrarian nation of South Korea into developing industrial nation before he was assassinated.
After being shunned from country's politics due to his close association with President Park, Mr. O has written this book along with developing a website that talks about economic policies that he helped create which lead to the rapid improvement of the South Korean economy and the lives of its citizens.
I originally picked up this book to learn more about Park Chung-hee, who is an extremely pivotal person in modern Korean history. While I didn't learn a lot about the man himself, there was quite a bit of information concerning the measures implemented by President Park and his technocrats that greatly changed the nation of South Korea. Mr. O clearly has inside knowledge and understanding of the Korean government, Korean current events and industry under Park's tutelage.
Unfortunately, reading this book was almost akin to reading propaganda. Virtually nothing negative was said about Park Chung-hee, while Mr. O was not hesitant at all to criticize Park's successors, Chun Doo-hwan (전두환), Roh Tae-woo (노태우) and Kim Yong-sam (김영삼). Additionally, throughout the book there were passages of overly emotional patriotism and idealism that further destroys the author's objectivity.
If I hadn't valued the information that I had learned from this book, these negative aspects would've brought the book's rating down to 2 stars....more
Since I am creating a reading club for the students at the Foreign Language High School here in Korea that I work at, I decided check out the Top 100Since I am creating a reading club for the students at the Foreign Language High School here in Korea that I work at, I decided check out the Top 100 Middle School Must Reads List here in Goodreads. I needed to make sure that I found some books that wouldn't have any questionable material for the more conservative Korean society. While this book might be a bit too easy for most of the students, the first goal of this club is to get them reading.
The one thing that I really appreciate about this book is that the protagonist is an intelligent and clever little girl. Beyond that, there were quite a few things that made me feel that this book fails young adult readers.
The first thing is that prominent characters are extreme representation of good or bad. The bad characters all do horrible things that are completely exaggerated while the good characters are on the verge of saintliness. In addition to that, some of Matilda's "clever" plans were actually foolish and dangerous. Mixing two chemicals together into one bottle could have catastrophic effects. Furthermore, the book started off with an extraordinary character and moved into the realm of supernatural. The first part of the book, while embellished, doesn't give the sense that this is actually fantasy. Instead, about halfway through the book, impossible phenomenons start to happen practically out of nowhere.
I understand that this book is for young adults and the need to simplify is important. However, I think authors for this age group should be able to create characters that aren't black and white. In addition to that, the appropriate amount foreshadowing and world building should be established....more
From my understanding, the purpose of this book is to help people in American, Korean and Japanese communities learn more about Colonel Young-oak KimFrom my understanding, the purpose of this book is to help people in American, Korean and Japanese communities learn more about Colonel Young-oak Kim and help promote him as a role model especially for those in the Asian-American community. This man is definitely a person to look up to due to his intelligence, dedication and hard work. I know that this book is an introduction to the man, but for the most part it seemed to almost only portray him in a completely positive and perfect light. There were a few points that showed his shortcomings (such as seasickness and allowing a bordello to stay open) but as a modern American reader, I feel that biographies should show the whole person, both their strengths and downfalls. I don't need deep dark hidden secrets, but just a narration that makes me feel that I am reading about human being just like myself but who happens to have exceptional talents.
I was able to listen to a lecture by the translator, Edward T. Chang, before I started reading this book and I have to agree with him that the book does read like a novel. There wasn't any part of the book that I felt that I had to 'get through' in order to read about something interesting.
There are a couple points of the writing that I found a bit irksome but I am not sure if this was due to a writing style choice or the results of translation. One thing was the use of quoted vs reported speech at times. I understand that people in Colonel Kim's generation spoke differently from today, (yo, represent dawg) and that trying remember exactly what was said almost fifty or sixty years ago is difficult. In certain parts of the book, the dialogue seemed unnatural and forced and thus resulting an a bit of awkwardness when reading. I feel that at times like these, reported speech could've been used. Also, using first person in a passage of someone's inner monologue should probably be saved for novel's or autobiographies. Instead, third person reported speech would sound much more natural in a biography for this situation.
Despite my criticism, I did learn a lot about Colonel Kim and a bit of Asian-American history. I was exposed to quite a few new things and hope to learn more about them in the future....more
I've read this book twice in the past as a younger man and enjoyed the book immensely. However, now that I've matured and read a wider scope of literaI've read this book twice in the past as a younger man and enjoyed the book immensely. However, now that I've matured and read a wider scope of literature, I decided to come back to this book and see hows it holds up. Since my new job doesn't require 45 minutes on the subway, I found that audio books are more compatible to my new commute.
Ken Follett did a very interesting job of weaving a story of different people around the building of a cathedral in 12th century England. A lot of real historical events found their way into the book, though at times they seemed a bit forced into the plot. Follett definitely used his writing techniques from his older spy novels to write a story that can leave people itching to turn the page.
With that being said, I feel that book now doesn't live up to the five stars and all the raves that I used to give it. First off, most of the characters seemed to be placed on either side of the line dividing good and evil. The only character that straddled that line and had some semblance of moral complexity was Richard. This is akin to Boromir from the Lord of the Rings being the only character who wasn't painted all good or all evil.
While this is a modern story that is written for a modern audience, some of the language and writing used seemed to pull me out of the story. One instance is the word mumbo jumbo, which was used a few times in the story. This is a word from the 18th century that is based the masks of the Mandingo people of West Africa. While I don't expect every word and grammar pattern to be on par with 12th century England (that would be almost impossible for me to read), a bit of consideration of words that absolutely don't belong in that time or place is needed. In addition to that, characters in this 60 some odd year span kept coming up with revolutionary business, farming, or engineering practices in the small town of Kingsbridge. While it was interesting to see some new innovations that could be found in that time period, the fact they independently arose from the characters in the same place detracted from the story.
The last criticism that I have is one that I had for Thomas Becket while another major character single handedly started Becket's martyrdom.
Overall, Ken Follett's books are an entertaining read, but the older I get and more I read, the less his books appeal to me. ...more
Robert Fisk provides a view of modern Middle Eastern history through the perspective of his life as a journalist in this region. This point of view ofRobert Fisk provides a view of modern Middle Eastern history through the perspective of his life as a journalist in this region. This point of view of history provides the reader with a much more personal (and often disturbing) understanding of what has happened in the last thirty years. Instead of a pure broad view of these events, we can see how the people, many of them being average citizens, suffered during the tumultuous times. While there is plenty of academic historical information throughout the book, a lot of the examples that he uses are quite anecdotal.
It becomes very obvious very quickly that the outlook Mr. Fisk has is completely one-sided. I think it is absolutely great that he is sharing the perspectives of many of the Muslims that are living in this part of the world, a perspective that many in the Western world are not familiar with. However, these opinions are not balanced with opposing point of views. Instead, Israel, America, and the West in general seem to be constantly demonized throughout the book, especially during the sections on Palestine and Iraq.
This book was very informative about the different parts of the world that Robert Fisk has reported in, which included Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel-Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria. Overall, all of the chapters were placed in a chronological order based on when the major events happened in that area. The amount of conflict that has occurred here over the last thirty years is deeply disturbing....more
After reading A Korean History for International Readers, this book is a nice next step for those of you who want learn more about the history of KoreAfter reading A Korean History for International Readers, this book is a nice next step for those of you who want learn more about the history of Korea. While A Korean History for International Readers covers virtually all of Korean history, Volume 1 of this series focuses on prehistoric times up 1392 AD, the fall of the Kingdom of Goryeo (고려). I was able to learn quite a bit more about Korean history without being overwhelmed since this book covers a shorter time period while going into more detail. This would be a nice stepping stone towards a book like Historical Origins of Korean Politics which is akin to a college textbook.
I was a little bit worried about the translation when I was reading the introduction because of all of the errors. However, after reading the first chapter, I realized that the main translator (probably) didn't translate the introduction. Overall, the book was easy to understand from a translation standpoint though the writing could be a bit formulaic at times.
Compare to Historical Origins of Korean Politics (which was extremely critical of Korean history), most everything was portrayed in a positive light. While I didn't feel like I was reading an elementary school history textbook, I do feel that it could have been written with a bit more objectivity from time to time. One underlying theme (that wasn't overly prominent) was how Korea influenced Japanese culture. I'm pretty sure this stems from some the remaining amnesty towards Japan in modern Korea from the living memory of Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula. While it is important to know this information, the discussion could have been more of a two way street....more
As an ex-pat and a history buff living in Korea, I found this book absolutely fascinating. The Imjin War was a piece of history that I knew little ofAs an ex-pat and a history buff living in Korea, I found this book absolutely fascinating. The Imjin War was a piece of history that I knew little of that concerns my host country.
Samuel Hawley did an amazing job writing this book. The author was able to set up the situation of 16th century Eastern Asia very clearly. I knew next to nothing about Japanese history (other than the basic ideas of samurais), but after the first chapter, I understood the background of a unified Japan and its leader Hideyoshi so that I was able to continue on with the rest of the book without any confusion.
Hawley wrote in a style that made me feel many times that I was reading a novel. The depth of his information was deep enough that I felt I was learning a lot without being bogged down by a plethora of minute and obscure details.
It is pretty clear that this book was written from more of a Korean-centric perspective. In my personal opinion, I am glad the story is focusing on Korea which often gets overshadowed by the two most recognizable countries in Eastern Asia. I find the author does try to remain objective. Many times he provides insight into actions and thoughts of historical figures, especially the ones that have been vilified by the passing of time (e.g. Won Gyun)....more
I finally finished this tome of grammatical knowledge after almost two months of reading 10 pages a day.
In no way does reading this book cover to covI finally finished this tome of grammatical knowledge after almost two months of reading 10 pages a day.
In no way does reading this book cover to cover make me an expert on grammar, but I did learn a lot of little tidbits of information to help explain better certain errors that I've corrected my students on.
This book was a good overview, but didn't go into too much detail. There were some points that I was able to understand quite easily after reading the example sentences that I feel a non-native speaker would have quite a bit of trouble understand without a more thorough explanation.
During my CELTA course, when I was first using this book, I found this book was good to use first when looking up certain grammar points. This book gave a nice overview and basic understand of the point being made. Afterwards, I would consult other grammar books for more in depth details and be able to understand it better....more
I used this book to go back and review my Korean after taking a long break. While it was nice that I was able to review and drill the grammatical pattI used this book to go back and review my Korean after taking a long break. While it was nice that I was able to review and drill the grammatical patterns that were covered in this book, I believe that it would be a hard book to use to learn Korean.
On the positive side, the book seemed to be based around trying to use Korean and the appropriate grammatical phrases in situations that people living in Korea might experience. For the most part, the vocabulary was all right, and there were some good sections that focused on how some prominent words and rejoinders. In addition to that, the book did a good job of trying to recycle and review previous grammatical patterns.
Despite these positive notes, a lot of the explanations were limited and I found myself referring to Korean Grammar in Use to double check the explanations of certain patterns. For the ㄴ/은/는데 pattern, the Seoul National University book only gave the explanation that it was used for showing background information. However, another use for this pattern is contrast. During the practice exercises, both the meanings of background and contrasts were practiced.
In addition to weak explanation, there weren't a lot of exercises that required students to actively use the language for communicative purposes. There were a couple of open ended questions that forced the students to be creative and show that they know what they sentence and grammar means. For creative and non rote learning, that was about the extent of it in this book. I think the material in this book is a good foundation in language development to help master the patterns, but it lacks in practical use. Maybe the teachers that use this book have communicative activities they use in the classroom.
My last beef with this book was that none of the CDs were sold with the book. Maybe there is a website that I could go to, but I don't know if that exists. Even the bookstore that I bought these books from didn't appear to sell the CDs....more
To premise my review, I am a person who is living and working in Korea and studies Korean by myself in my free time. I don't take after work classes sTo premise my review, I am a person who is living and working in Korea and studies Korean by myself in my free time. I don't take after work classes since I haven't found a school near me that teaches Korean in the communicative method.
That being said, the reason that I am giving this book 5 stars is the explanation of the different grammar points are extremely clear. I have found that most text books (even those from the major universities) are extremely lacking when it comes to explanations of grammatical points. This book, however, gives clear explanations in natural English (no poorly translated Konglish phrases). The people who wrote these explanations seem to have English speakers in mind. In addition to this, there are quite a few sections within the book that gives wonderful comparisons about different grammatical patterns that are very similar (such as 이/가 vs. 은/는 or 아/어서 vs. (으)니까). Even though I have studied Korean for quite a long time, there were a lot of 'Ah ha!' moments for me in this book.
I wouldn't use this book solely to learn Korean. Once you get a strong enough base in the language, I would keep this book around to supplement what you are learning in other textbooks. Any time you get to a new grammar point and the book or your teacher does a poor job explaining, this is the book for you.
The weakest aspect of this book is that the practice is mostly fill in the blank exercises. There aren't any activities to help you practice the language in real world situations. Despite this shortcoming, the clear explanations of Korean grammar is what really makes me love this book....more
In my experience of teaching English here in Korea, I come from the teaching philosophy that is based more on the communicative approach. Grammar is iIn my experience of teaching English here in Korea, I come from the teaching philosophy that is based more on the communicative approach. Grammar is important and a strong foundation can make communication much easier. However, a big issue here in Korea is that most of English education is based off of the grammar-translation method which leads to many students not being able use the English language to communicate and produce English sentences based on Korean grammar. This preamble should help frame my review of this book.
As for this book, there is a lot of information that explains simple basic grammar patterns and some aspects of pronunciation (-s, -es, -ed). Information was organized into charts that made the information easier to follow. There were quite a few “Aha!” moments as I discovered an easy way to explain certain grammar points. I have been able to apply some of the knowledge to my classroom.
However, most of the exercises in the book consisted of fill in the blank activities that focused mostly on the form. Teaching in a country where English is treated as a multiple choice test, I tend to view these types of activities as a hindrance instead of a foundation. There were some speaking activities in the book, but a lot of them seemed to be teacher centered and a verbal form of drilling.
Using this book to teach beginning adults only in English will probably be overwhelming. Young learners who already have a foundation in the English language will probably find this book helpful in reviewing English grammar through the English way of thinking....more
I first heard about this book when I watched Apocalypse Now which was one of my favorite films in in high school. I never got around to reading it, deI first heard about this book when I watched Apocalypse Now which was one of my favorite films in in high school. I never got around to reading it, despite being listed a literary classic. While reading King Leopold's Ghost, there was an entire chapter dedicated to Joseph Conrad and his experiences in Congo in relation to the story of Heart of Darkness. This gave me a lot of context of what I reading when I finally decided to read Heart of Darkness.
While this is an important piece of work which reflects Belgium colonialism in Africa, I had hard time reading the book on the bus on my way to and from work. So many times the rambling form of speech because obtuse and hard to follow. I would suddenly find myself starting out the window or people watching. When I did return my attention to the book, it would take awhile to find my place again. Also, transitions between time and places were almost non existent, making the flow of the story difficult to follow.
I understand this is historically an important book with a profound message, but reading it was a chore, not a pleasure. Luckily it was only a novella and not a full fledged novel....more
I bought this graphic novel a long time ago and just finally got around to reading it. I am a big fan of The Wheel of Time series and thought that itI bought this graphic novel a long time ago and just finally got around to reading it. I am a big fan of The Wheel of Time series and thought that it was a neat idea that they brought the story to this medium.
Movie directors have to make a lot of hard decisions when they adapt the book into a movie. The authors of this book had to do the same thing. As someone who has read all of the books, I was able to follow the story quite well. If I, however, had never heard of the Wheel of Time series before picking up this book, I think I would have a hard time trying to following the story line.
The illustrators in this book made artistic choices based on their artistic abilities and interpretation of the book. For many things in the book, I appreciate the way the artist brought the world to life. In other aspects, their choices just went totally against how I saw this world in my mind when I was reading. One key example is the White Tower. Instead of a stout, round tower that would be stereotypical of medieval Europe found in this book, I imagined a sleek, tall tower with sweeping curves that made the building look fragile.
Different artists have different styles of drawing. However, the sudden shift in style interrupted to flow of the story when I started chapter seven. Moraine looked so different in the last part of the book when a new artist took over, it took me a little while to realize that she wasn’t a new character.
I understand that there is a lot of pressure to complete a comic book on time, especially those that are done in full color. However, I felt that level of drawing in this book wasn’t as good as what I’ve seen in other graphic novels.
I have no plans to buy the rest of the books in the series. However, if I notice that one of my friends have the books on their bookshelf, I would be incline to borrow and read them. ...more
The thing that I enjoy most about reading a book by Malcolm Gladwell is that the subjects are deep while the language is approachable. There really isThe thing that I enjoy most about reading a book by Malcolm Gladwell is that the subjects are deep while the language is approachable. There really isn't any overly complicated or obtuse academic jargon in this book. Most people with a decent background of education and a willingness to learn could pick up this book, understand the material, and enjoy what they are reading.
In this book, Gladwell talks about how epidemics (not just the deadly disease kind) can occur and what causes them to really take off. Most of the information in this book seems pretty anecdotal in his presentation. I don't believe that Gladwell has really "proved" anything. However, when he brings up some extremely interesting ideas that many people may not think about or realize, he give lots of explanation of why he thinks these things, and gives examples of where these ideas originate from. I'm sure that there are a lot of other studies out there talking about what can cause an epidemic can to explode with their own research and examples.
The one thing that I will really take away from this book though is the idea that we people and their personalities are not clear cut. Our personalities are based off the context of different situations. It seems too many times that we see a person only one way and not how they are in different scenarios....more
I was looking for books to start an ESL book club for some of my students, and I was recommended this book by a coworker who was much older than me anI was looking for books to start an ESL book club for some of my students, and I was recommended this book by a coworker who was much older than me and extremely critical and jaded about almost everything in life. A mild comment of "I really enjoyed it," is huge hype coming from that particular coworker.
After reading this book, I can definitely see why my coworker enjoyed this book. The overall plot was told in the first person by a teenager during the 50's or 60's in America who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and hangs out with the wrong type of people. Throughout the story, there are quite a few characters who are introduced and fleshed out extremely well. While there are many trials and tribulations for the main character, the majority of the story is focused on the characters and how they develop.
While the writing is not that complicated (other than a few old timey words and phrases), the overall themes are much deeper. This young adult book isn't just about the main character overcome adversity or discovering themselves, it's about why do certain people behave they way they do....more
I have continued my revisit of one of my favorite book series that I devoured when I was in high school. An older (and hopefully wiser) me can now appI have continued my revisit of one of my favorite book series that I devoured when I was in high school. An older (and hopefully wiser) me can now appreciate the jokes created by the zany brain of Douglas Adams even more than before.
However, the newer me has become more critical of literature and one's overall ability to write a cohesive story, and with that, I find that the overall 'story' that Adams has told is quite lacking. I'm not sure if planned the plot to follow this path, or if he just forced the it to go in certain directions so that his jokes could fit into the story. Sometimes you arrive at a scene and there is just a giant tangent of jokes lined up about a wide array of topics that are (somewhat) connected to that point of the story.
I am really glad I am listening to the audio book version because I've noticed as an adult that I am unable to create sarcastic and humorous voices and tones in my head that I was once able to do while reading comical books. I was a bit shocked at first when they switched the reader from Stephen Fry to Martin Freeman. Freeman has a lovely and soothing voice and does a good job at some of the character voices and sound effects. However, there were a few character voices that just rubbed me the wrong way. The entire time Zaphod Beeblebrox sounded like George Costanza.
I was planning to give this book two stars, but as I got closer to the end of the book, I remember how much I enjoyed the intelligent humor of Douglas Adams. In one scene, Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect were being threaten by a man with a Kill-O-Zap Gun and given the command, "Out." The next line of the book was, "People who can supply that amount of fire power don't need to supply verbs as well."...more
This books picks up from the moment that The Girl Who Played with Fire left off. After all of the dramatic events that had happened, Lisbeth SalanderThis books picks up from the moment that The Girl Who Played with Fire left off. After all of the dramatic events that had happened, Lisbeth Salander has to deal with the legal repercussions.
I found myself enjoying this book more and more as the story progressed, eager to find out how Salander would fare in the Swedish court system. As per usual in the first book, expect lots of computer hacking and great investigative journalism to play a major role. I am not sure about US or Swedish law, but the phrase "I cannot reveal my source," seemed to come up a lot in this book.
It's ashamed that Stieg Larsson was only able to complete three of of his books for the Millennium series before his untimely death. A succinct trilogy might have been better than a drawn out ten book series. However, I am going to miss reading more about the further trails and tribulations of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander....more
Bill Bryson reviews life in America in the 1950's and 60's through the eyes of a child growing up in Des Moines, Iowa. While there is quite a bit of iBill Bryson reviews life in America in the 1950's and 60's through the eyes of a child growing up in Des Moines, Iowa. While there is quite a bit of information from research in this book, a lot of stories presented are anecdotal yet humorous accounts from the author's life. Many of Bryson's experiences are told through the lens of a child and greatly differ from reality. It's best just to take these stories with a grain of salt and enjoy the differences between how adults and children perceive the same thing.
I read this book quite a few years ago, and despite this I still found myself laughing out loud all throughout the book. I learned the hard way that this isn't a good book to pass the time while proctoring an essay test. You will spend much of your energy trying to stifle your laughter in order not to disturb the students.
Overall, I wouldn't use this book as a source in an essay. It's just a fun book to sit down and read to learn about life in America during an older time....more
This book is the companion to the 한국어 1 course book. The benefits of using this book is that you are able to practice the grammatical patterns to helpThis book is the companion to the 한국어 1 course book. The benefits of using this book is that you are able to practice the grammatical patterns to help improve your accuracy. However, there are very few activities that help student to use the language.
Most of the activities were drills where the students are prompted with a few words or a question, and they have to write down the best sentence using the grammatical pattern or vocabulary learned in the main book. Also, there were quite a few dialogue practice, where the students would have to do practice a pre-made dialogue and replace key words with a list of provided words. While this is a good start for conversation, it doesn't prepare the student that much to use Korean in real everyday situations.
In the review sections, there were some decent open reading and writing activities, along with a lot of fill in the blank questions. There were lots of listening activities in the review sections too, but this book wasn't sold with the audio CDs and it isn't really clear where you can buy the CDs or listen to the audio online....more
It was a bit sad to get to the end of this book so quickly. As I was approaching the last pages of the book, I thought that C.S. Forester was settingIt was a bit sad to get to the end of this book so quickly. As I was approaching the last pages of the book, I thought that C.S. Forester was setting the story up for book number five. Instead, it turns out that he died before he completed writing this book. At the end of my copy, a brief summary based on Forester’s notes was given to describe the remainder of the story.
Even though this is only book number four in the chronological order of the Hornblower series, it was the last book written. Forester must have done a great job of planning the entire Hornblower story arch since the first four books do a nice job of building upon each other.
I found this book quite easy to read compared to other Hornblower books. I am not sure the exact reason behind this. Maybe I have become use to Forester’s style of writing and use of naval terminology. Or perhaps seeing that this is Forester’s last book, he might have matured in his writing. Either way, I look forward to finishing the series....more