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Books to Read (Improve Verbal Score and Enjoy a Good Read)

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New post 08 Nov 2011, 05:37
While preparing for gmat i came across lot of passages on feminist movement and feminism in America. Now i think i know more about Women's right than my own. :lol:

I am reading Too Big to Fail. Interesting read.
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New post 13 Dec 2011, 06:48
OK, I just noticed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on the list. I've been trying to understand this book for the last 10 years. It was assigned in English class during my junior year in high school by a teacher whom I believe was crazy. I remember my friends and I spending long hours almost everyday for nearly 6 months trying to figure out what on earth ZATMM is about. If one of you actually has, please PM me. Seriously, after 10 years of being flummoxed by a book that is supposedly about fixing a bike while pondering about life, I'd love some closure.
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New post 18 Dec 2011, 06:10
I would recommend to everyone that he or she should read in front of the computer/smartphone etc. I think that hunting down words in a dictionary (book version) can be very exhausting and time consuming. When I started studying in English, I simply used Google to help me with translation. I did not use Google Translate because it often can create biased meaning. I think it is best to learn English in English than to learn English in another language. However, that requires a certain dose of pre-knowledge of English. So if you have a long way to go, consider the latter option first.

Simply write "define: [i.e] vivacious" and look up the definition. I recommend Merriam-Webster dictionary because it is one of the first to pop up and is very credible. Using online dictionary is easy, convenient and will save you a lot of time.
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New post 08 Jan 2012, 08:23
A book that I just finished that will absolutely sharpen you as a reader is Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. It's a lot of work, but if you can get through it not only will it make you a more acute and perceptive reader, but most likely will change the way you view the world around you, especially if you are living in the United States.
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New post Updated on: 15 Jan 2012, 04:11
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Edit: Realized my error on why I wasn't seeing my own post. Deleted double post.

Not sure about any others here but I'm a fan of Goodreads. I use their site regularly to organize books I've read, and they're a great resource for keeping track of books you want to read. Adding books to your personal library is easy.

Anyhow, I went ahead and placed all of the books from the GMAT Fiction list into a list. It's friendlier than Amazon IMO, and there are plenty of ratings from well-read individuals.

--You can find the link for the recommended GMAT Fiction reading here.

Additionally, there are literally 1,000's of other types of lists, from "The best books of all time", "Best Books of 1990's", "Best Science Fiction Books", and even specifics like "Dealbreakers: If You Like This Book, We Won't Get Along."

Without getting too far off topic, there's only one more list on the site related to GMAT titled, "Vocab Building Great Fiction for GRE/GMAT/ACT Prep."

The books listed there are:
1. "Brightness Falls", by Jay McInerney
2. "The Reluctant Heiress", by Eva Ibbotson
3. "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything", by Christopher Hitchens
4. "Orlando: A Biography" by Virginia Woolf
5. "A Countess Below Stairs", by Eva Ibbotson
6. "The Grandmothers: A Family Portrait", by Glenway Wescott
7. "Sophie's Choice", by William Styron
8. "Cannery Row", by John Steinbeck (looks familiar..)
9. "The City & The City", by China Miéville

Cheers! Hope this helps someone.

Originally posted by rdevorse on 14 Jan 2012, 04:01.
Last edited by rdevorse on 15 Jan 2012, 04:11, edited 2 times in total.
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New post 14 Jan 2012, 13:28
Recently read Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics by Levitt & Dubner.

Fun read and some serious input for putting economics into practise - really enjoyed them.

Good idea & like for the thread! Will certainly start to tackle some of the suggested books.
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New post 18 Jan 2012, 10:03
a fine balance by rohinton mistry is, in my opinion, very well written (and extremely interesting to boot)
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New post 19 Jan 2012, 12:40
So do you guys believe that reading fiction will not help your SC score but also CR and RC scores?
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New post 08 Feb 2012, 00:57
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For those who are interested, they can go to:

http://www.gutenberg.org/

and download free e-books. This is not an illegal website, it does not violate US copyrights law. The reason is because all of those copyrights have expired in the US. If you are not from the US, make sure you check your own country's copyright laws to make sure it is legal to download.

There are over 100,000 books that you can get for free. If you don't mind reading on your computer, check it out. You will not find any new books here but at least the books available are free :lol:
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New post 06 Mar 2012, 06:28
I would add The Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David S. Landes.
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New post 07 Mar 2012, 08:13
I LOVE A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry; it's huge but I finished it in one day (albeit with a sprained ankle and unable to move).

I'd like to recommend two personal favorites by Dostoevsky that I'm rereading right now: Crime & Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. Again, relatively long, but super interesting.
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New post 16 Apr 2012, 16:41
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the great gatsby is avaialble as ebook on following link

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/f/fitzger ... index.html


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New post 21 Apr 2012, 04:29
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Another book I love recommending to my students is 'A short history of nearly everything' by Bill Bryson.

To give a background, I will quote a reader 'Sarah' who has given a very accurate review, in my opinion:

Bryson's dead serious: this is a history of pretty much everything there is -- the planet, the solar system, the universe -- as well as a history of how we've come to know as much as we do. A book on science written by a non-scientist, this a perfect bridge between the humanities and the natural sciences. A course in the history of science should be mandatory for every teenager, and this should be the textbook.

Yes, it's a big, chunky book. No, it can't be trimmed down any further: when you're addressing cosmology, earth science, ecology and zoology, with healthy doses of chemistry and physics, plus the historical development of each, you're going to end up with a doorstop of a text, no matter how smoothly written. The wonder of Bryson's writing is that the reader doesn't get lost in these sweeping surveys. When name-dropping, Bryson always gives a short description of the person in question; if mentioned earlier in the book, he drops in a quick reminder to the reader. This is fabulously effective at giving the names some context, not to mention a little personality.

And indeed, isn't that what science education needs most: more humanity and less intimidation? Those science-phobes out there who freely admit their near-complete ignorance of the subject should do themselves a favor and buy a copy of this book. No, don't get it from your library. There's so much here you'll want to have a copy on hand to refer to later.

To those nerds in the audience -- myself included -- don't think your degrees mean you can pass this one over. As hyper-specialized as science has become, it's refreshing as hell to step back and take a look at things with new eyes. While there's not a lot here I haven't encountered before, there's a lot of information about how our current theories were developed that I didn't know.

(Also? It's heartening to read about the social ineptitude, blind spots, and how utterly incompetent many of these scientist were in other aspects of life. Makes me feel better about never finishing that PhD -- at least I have a life.)

Thorough, humorous, engaging, and educational: what's not to like?
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New post 27 Apr 2012, 18:54
Subscriptions of magazines is a good proposal....
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New post 16 May 2012, 11:02
I recently finished to kill a mockingbird- loved it.
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New post 11 Jun 2012, 21:07
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recommend :

Learn to Earn: A Beginner's Guide to the Basics of Investing and Business

Very good, by Peter Lynch. Basic, introductory investing.
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New post 19 Jun 2012, 05:32
For the Indians out there (or actually for anyone), I highly reccommend any book by Rohinton Mistry and Salman Rushdie. Two of my favorites:

1. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (Shortlisted for a Booker Prize and part of Oprah's Book Club)
2. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (this one won the "Booker of Bookers in 1993)

Both books are fine specimens of english literature that focus on the south asian diaspora.
If you really want to go all out and especially take RC to the next level read:
1. Ulysses by James Joyce
Although I warn you that this book is fairly dense.
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New post 27 Jun 2012, 09:53
I agree that reading should help, but my concern is the sentences like following:

The towers of Zenith aspired above the morning mist; austere towers of steel and cement and limestone, sturdy as cliffs and delicate as silver rods.

The sentence is the first sentence of Babbit, a Nobel Prize winning novel. In GMAT, however the sentence would be incorrect (what follows the semi colon should be able to stand on its own).

If you are used with these kind of sentences, shouldn't it hurt rather than help?
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New post 27 Jun 2012, 17:38
bellcurve wrote:
I agree that reading should help, but my concern is the sentences like following:

The towers of Zenith aspired above the morning mist; austere towers of steel and cement and limestone, sturdy as cliffs and delicate as silver rods.

The sentence is the first sentence of Babbit, a Nobel Prize winning novel. In GMAT, however the sentence would be incorrect (what follows the semi colon should be able to stand on its own).

If you are used with these kind of sentences, shouldn't it hurt rather than help?


I wouldn't read to improve my SC skills but I definitely would to improve my RC skills as well as my general cognitive skills. In fact I read a little everyday. This week I've been reading some short stories by H.H Munro (Saki).
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New post 29 Jun 2012, 08:06
is Mein kemph good?
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Re: Books to Read (Improve Verbal Score and Enjoy a Good Read)   [#permalink] 29 Jun 2012, 08:06

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