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

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New post 26 May 2009, 01:51
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Refreshing to see advice like this for acing the verbal component of the GMAT, bb. I attribute my strength on the verbal parts of standardized tests almost entirely to my steady diet of good books. :-)

For a real challenge when it comes to English, I'd recommend Vladimir Nabokov (his English novels, not the ones in translation). Great for vocabulary building, and as a good Russian, many of his sentences are grammatically complex and filled with dependent clauses. Good practice for reading comprehension and SC.
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New post 26 May 2009, 01:55
Skitalets wrote:
Refreshing to see advice like this for acing the verbal component of the GMAT, bb. I attribute my strength on the verbal parts of standardized tests almost entirely to my steady diet of good books. :-)

For a real challenge when it comes to English, I'd recommend Vladimir Nabokov (his English novels, not the ones in translation). Great for vocabulary building, and as a good Russian, many of his sentences are grammatically complex and filled with dependent clauses. Good practice for reading comprehension and SC.



Thank you very much! I will include Lolita or do you have a better recommendation?
Reading is a wonderful hobby that I did not really have before the GMAT and now I can't think how I lived without books...

Here is also a great list of pre-MBA books (Non Fiction): mba-books-good-books-to-read-prior-to-mba-merged-74557.html
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New post 26 May 2009, 02:02
bb wrote:
Thank you very much! I will include Lolita or do you have a better recommendation?


Lolita is probably the best start to Nabokov, or maybe Pale Fire. The latter book has a 999-line poem as its center, so it can be a tough slog for non-natives (and ROI for GMAT might be kind of low, as "poetic license" allows one to do crazy things with grammar!).

For a real treat, check out Ada, or Ardor. Full of multi-lingual puns -- lots of playing around with English, French, and Russian. One of these days I'll get my French good enough so I can get all the jokes.
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New post 26 May 2009, 03:52
Skitalets wrote:
Lolita is probably the best start to Nabokov, or maybe Pale Fire. The latter book has a 999-line poem as its center, so it can be a tough slog for non-natives (and ROI for GMAT might be kind of low, as "poetic license" allows one to do crazy things with grammar!).

For a real treat, check out Ada, or Ardor. Full of multi-lingual puns -- lots of playing around with English, French, and Russian. One of these days I'll get my French good enough so I can get all the jokes.


I agree with you -- Lolita is very dense and ripe in literary words. I have this book but have not finished it yet because of convoluted language. Utterly, theme of this book is maverick as Nabokov contoured Humbert's adore with adolescent nymphet Lo-Lee-ta.
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New post 16 Jun 2009, 00:54
Thanks a lot for the list.. :-D.

However, I would like to add 'Zen and the art of Motorcycle maintenance' by Robert M. Pirsig.
The book is meant to be read with concentration and a sound mind (which is very important in papers like GMAT). It is not only psychologically motivating (if understood), but also trains the reader's mind for complex texts.
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New post 16 Jun 2009, 15:50
Thank you - I have added your recommendation to the list - sounds very intriguing!

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (P.S.)



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New post 14 Jul 2009, 11:19
Have another recommendation -

Storm

The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

The Perfect Storm
There has been a movie made based on this book but the book is infinitely better. The best parts about this book for me were:
1. Very interesting insights about storms, boats, etc
2. History of the Fishing industry - a great overview and terrifying reality of the profession (somewhat similar to the Deadliest Catch on Discovery)
3. Even though the books is something in between documentary and fiction, it is very well written and has a great "plot".

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New post 28 Jul 2009, 05:45
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i personally find any fiction/non fiction book helpful...
as much as you can read, it'll be better for your English.. it always has new words, new phrases, plus every writer has his own style, which i find very helpful...

personally i read anything even LOTR..( coz i like reading..:D)
how about the books by Salman Rashdi? has anyone read it?


Edit: Bibliography by Salman Rushdi: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html? ... ive=390957
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New post 29 Jul 2009, 22:50
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Hey bb,

I have just joined the community and am liking it here :)

Thanks for putting in so much effort!

Saying that the 'God Father' series is good in its language would be an understatement. It is a classic and offers abundant philosophical and psychological thought to the reader. Not to mention being an absolute unputdownable book :)

Also, I would like to recommend some classics for the list:

- Moon and Six Pence ( Somerset Maughm)
- Women in Love ( D.H.Lawrence)
- Mayor of Casterbridge (Thomas Hardy)

These offer excellent English in terms of both vocabulary and reasoning.

Do give these a try.
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New post 30 Jul 2009, 00:05
Welcome and thank you for the suggestions.
I look forward to reading these myself. Will add them to the list shortly.

P.S. Mayor of .... only has 1!!! review on Amazon. Never heard of this book but would think Thomas Hardy would be more popular than that.... link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/048643 ... 0486437493



rookieR wrote:
Hey bb,

I have just joined the community and am liking it here :)

Thanks for putting in so much effort!

Saying that the 'God Father' series is good in its language would be an understatement. It is a classic and offers abundant philosophical and psychological thought to the reader. Not to mention being an absolute unputdownable book :)

Also, I would like to recommend some classics for the list:

- Moon and Six Pence ( Somerset Maughm)
- Women in Love ( D.H.Lawrence)
- Mayor of Casterbridge (Thomas Hardy)

These offer excellent English in terms of both vocabulary and reasoning.

Do give these a try.

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New post 30 Jul 2009, 00:36
Oh..thats surprising!!!!

I guess more people read works such as "Jude","Tess of the d'Urbervilles","Far from the Madding Crowd" etc by Thomas Hardy....

Do give this one a try though - you would enjoy it m sure!
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New post 04 Aug 2009, 18:42
I like your compilations....I have trouble with RC and am looking for ways to improve my verbal for my second GMAT journey. I see you included Sidartha....great book. I love Herman Hesse and I read it in German. My best friend bought it for me when I really nedded it most in life.....

I guess, I should try to read the English version!

Thanks for the great postings...

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New post 15 Aug 2009, 05:44
Harry potter series by j.k.rowling
the Lord of the rings by J.R.R Tolkien

Harry potter is specially for those who dont like reading or dont read ..for them it is great start ...i never use to read books before reading hp ...but now i am book worm
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New post 16 Aug 2009, 23:02
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I guess many among us have read these books; however, who have not yet can give them a try.

To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee - this story grew with and around single family in small city Monroeville, which said to be Herper Lee's hometown. Herper Lee delineated each character through the eyes of Jean Louise who was a girl between 7-8 yrs. This story helps identify each character based on its vicinity and consequences.
&
Men without women by Earnest Hemingway - compilation of fourteen short stories so good reading guide for them who think that reading novel could waste precious preparation time. Stories are distinct and readers have enough room to juxtapose their thoughts with those of author.
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New post 17 Aug 2009, 11:22
priyankur_saha@ml.com wrote:
I guess many among us have read these books; however, who have not yet can give them a try.

To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee - this story grew with and around single family in small city Monroeville, which said to be Herper Lee's hometown. Herper Lee delineated each character through the eyes of Jean Louise who was a girl between 7-8 yrs. This story helps identify each character based on its vicinity and consequences.
&
Men without women by Earnest Hemingway - compilation of fourteen short stories so good reading guide for them who think that reading novel could waste precious preparation time. Stories are distinct and readers have enough room to juxtapose their thoughts with those of author.



Thank you! I liked the "To Kill a Mockingbird". I am not sure it has spectacular English, but 5 stars on Amazon means something :wink:
I am adding them to the list.
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New post 23 Aug 2009, 00:16
visiting the thread after long time..
i started The Economist(print edn) recently. As a subscriber, audio edition(word by word) comes free

i feel i will get back the tempo i was lacking for months

specially in RC(quick reading) and CR where I am always lazy :)


Also short stories (with good command of english) are better than Novels

thx
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New post 24 Aug 2009, 03:22
Hi mates,

during these summer days, I'm reading National Geographic magazine since I feel unconfortable with texts regarding nature on the RC section...

Regards
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New post 26 Aug 2009, 22:01
Thanks a lot for the list. Please keep updating.
Time to get started again ..

PS: I won't recommend 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck to any one.
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New post 19 Sep 2009, 13:17
Good post. Thanks for all the book recommendation.
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