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

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Re: Books to Read (Improve Verbal Score and Enjoy a Good Read)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 May 2010, 21:14
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Something tells me that it has already been mentioned, but George Orwell's Animal Farm is absolutely fantastic. I just picked up a copy and finished it in a few hours.

Overall, I think this would be an entertaining and useful book for anyone wanting to improve their reading skills. Besides, Orwell had a reputation for his thoughts on writing. He wrote a few essays on the topic. Interestingly, his ideas actually played a role in The Economist book, The Style Guide. I haven't read that one in particular, but most of its products are of high-quality.
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Re: Books to Read (Improve Verbal Score and Enjoy a Good Read)  [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2010, 10:25
hi guys. thanks for advises.
are there any free resourses to read? unfortunatelly i cannot buy books now.
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Re: Books to Read (Improve Verbal Score and Enjoy a Good Read)  [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2010, 11:36
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Most of the classics are free. You can use google books or many other websites.
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Re: Books to Read (Improve Verbal Score and Enjoy a Good Read)  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2010, 04:26
great list,

thanks a lot!!!
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New post 19 Jun 2010, 16:42
I already have some of the books and will start tomorrow! just fiction because i don't want to get stressed from technical books. (save energy for the gmat).
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Re: Books to Read (Improve Verbal Score and Enjoy a Good Read)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2010, 01:18
I am in Vietnam and can not buy the fiction books you recommend

Anyone, pls tell me where to download one of the fiction books you recommend.

Thank a lot.
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New post 23 Jun 2010, 09:04
thangvietnam wrote:
I am in Vietnam and can not buy the fiction books you recommend

Anyone, pls tell me where to download one of the fiction books you recommend.

Thank a lot.

You can but them from Amazon or any local ebook websites. You do not need to read exactly the same books either. Just read any well written literature. You can download classics from either google books or Gutenberg project website. Plannet pdf also let you download some books. Most of the books mentioned above are actually freely downloadable.
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Re: Books to Read (Improve Verbal Score and Enjoy a Good Read)  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 24 Jun 2010, 12:12
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just about any book by Neal Stephenson can go into the 500+ behemoths -

1. Cryptonomicon - 2 parallel stories spanning across the globe and multiple timelines, one WW2 era and the other set in present day. superb book covering historical fiction, war fiction AND harcore technical concepts around cryptography [both WW2 era Bletchley Park/ Enigma code breaking as well as currently day cypher building and related stuff], computer hacking, phreaking and information security and general mathematical theory inc. prime numbers and modular mathematics. Probably the only book where a character debates the pros and cons of eating breakfast cereal with warm milk as opposed to cold milk [4 entire pages]

2. Anathem - dense and mostly theoratical book dealing with quantum theory and quantum mechanics, multiple universes and comparison of various philiospohies. rewarding read with a great ending

Not as big, but equally outstanding are

3. Snow Crash - the swashbuckling story of Hiro Protagonist, pizza delivery guy, freelance hacker and the greatest samurai swordfighter in the world who encounters an ancient Sumerian language virus in the virtual reality world he helped build, which puts the users into a coma in the physical world. Explores concepts of language and semantics, religion and mythology, politics, computer science and virtual reality

4. Diamond Age - possibly the greatest fiction book on the possibilities of nanotech. epic tale discussing race and ethnicity, sociology and culture, artificial intelligence and nanotech - all against the backdrop of brilliant and richly detailed exercise of world building

I admit it, I'm a Neal Stephenson fanboy :-D

another great example of a book being information rich while presenting it in essay size bits is John Brunner's angry masterpiece 'Stand on Zanzibar'. written in 1967, it discusses in prescient details the effects of over population, pollution, media saturation, eugenics, future shock and extrapolation of economic, social and technological trends

cannot post links to either books, but you can look them all up on amazon or wiki

As for short, breezy, fluffy reads, nothing can top PG Wodehouse's inimitable Jeeves and Wooster and Psmith series of books

edit to complete sentence

Originally posted by yeahwill on 24 Jun 2010, 11:12.
Last edited by yeahwill on 24 Jun 2010, 12:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Books to Read (Improve Verbal Score and Enjoy a Good Read)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2010, 12:00
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:) Thank you very much for your suggestions!
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New post 26 Jun 2010, 07:38
OK! Just finished about 1000 pages of GMAT fiction in one week. Now it's time to start research on good verbal prep books. Thanks for the great recommendations everyone. :-D
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New post 02 Jul 2010, 22:25
Great list! I'd recommend that all non-native speakers read through most, if not all of these titles. Most native speakers had to read many of them in K-12 schooling

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New post 05 Jul 2010, 12:43
Is there a first book recommendation for a person who have never read a book completely? I got first 4 recommended books. Started with great gatsby and it's hard to proceed beyond 2 pages.
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New post 05 Jul 2010, 13:36
Thanks for this list! :)
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New post 05 Jul 2010, 22:54
ga10 wrote:
Is there a first book recommendation for a person who have never read a book completely? I got first 4 recommended books. Started with great gatsby and it's hard to proceed beyond 2 pages.

http://www.drones.com/pgw.cgi
Mods let me know if it is not ok to post links and I will take it down

Everytime you refresh the page, it displays a new quote by PG Wodehouse. It will give you a taste for sentence building, economy of words, transferred epithets and exquisite metaphors with huge servings of humor on the side. His standalone Jeeves and Wooster/ Psmith books are typically 130-150 pages of lighthearted reading. They are also available in omnibus formats

Of course another way forward would be reading anthologies or collections. They are mostly themed - best of the year, genre specific etc. So you can pick one acc. to your tastes.
Others are career retrospective of a particular author, so you can see how the views of an author have matured/ changed over their lifetime. e.g. Arthur C Clarke's career spanning collection Greetings, Carbon based Bipeds or Philip K Dick's posthomous The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick: Selected Literary and Philosophical Writings which discusses his influences and things that mattered to him

I think I have abused the [url] tag enough :) I'm sure more people will be able to help you out better
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Re: Books to Read (Improve Verbal Score and Enjoy a Good Read)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2010, 09:20
I am also a non-native English speaker and it seems that we have a pretty similar taste in books. Although pretty long, I found the Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy very useful and interesting.
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New post 21 Jul 2010, 12:12
I'm considering reading Mary Shelly's Frankenstein; any opinions as to if it should increase my verbage, and or critical thiking skills, like these other books.

I hear the context and writing is quite challenging, any ideas?
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New post 24 Jul 2010, 06:25
just finished reading " Life of Pi". Its a brilliant read! I could hardly put the book down. I highly recommend this book!
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New post 04 Aug 2010, 20:03
I am adding some of these books to my recreational reading list, if I can find the time. I am definitely going to get Wild Swans, I've never even heard of that book.

A lot of these are american classics, you can't go wrong there. I've read it can help to include a quote from famous books in your AWA essays too, so that can be a side benefit!
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New post 18 Aug 2010, 18:40
The book is dense and idea rich and yet just 385 pages in length.I am struggling with RC too. But I only have 2 months before the test. By the way, where are the starts the forum members used to rate the books?
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Re: Books to Read (Improve Verbal Score and Enjoy a Good Read)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2010, 15:06
OK I'm possibly not the ideal person to comment here being a native speaker but you never know what will help someone.

I've seen a few comments on the site that the science related RC questions are considered particularly tough. Although I've seen comments here to the effect that the GMAC are trying to phase these passages out if you are worrying about understanding them you could do a lot worse that reading some Science Fiction. As a genre it has a few advantages in preparing you for a Science passage:

  • It is one of the few genres where short story collections are readily available – ideal for fitting reading into busy schedules
  • It will get you used to scientific vocabulary/identifying new words from context without having to read formal papers
  • If you like summer blockbuster movies you'll probably quite enjoy them despite what you might think! :)


Unfortunately it does also have some downsides:

  • A lot of the science vocabulary is made up so won’t be in any dictionary – see technobable - making it unsuitable for people who aren't reasonably fluent in normal English
  • As it is based on the level of technology available when the story was written it can date very quickly e.g. books from the 40s have massive room sized computers using valves instead of pocket devices using transistors and integrated circuits.

As with most things there is a large amount of personal preference involved when choosing authors. I don't like Arthur C Clark but he is generally considered to be one of the giants of the genre. If you are looking to dabble I'd just suggest finding an anthology (collection of short stories by multiple authors e.g. The Oxford book of SF or the annual Nebula Awards showcase) and see if any of it grabs your imagination.

Personally I would recommend:

  • Peter F Hamilton's Second Chance at Eden set in the same universe as his Night's Dawn trilogy which gives you 4000 pages of other content to read if you like this!
  • Isaac Asimov’s robot stories, they tend to be big logic puzzles based on his three laws of robotics which fit with the whole GMAT theme :-D try I, Robot or The Complete Robot to start. Mainly written in the 1940s/50s.
  • Philip K Dick – has a five volume set of short stories (1 2 3 4 5) that include at least three that were adapted into blockbuster movies ("Second Variety" – The Terminator (very loosely)/Screamers, "We can remember it for you wholesale" – Total Recall and Minority Report)

If you are looking for novels I highly recommend Peter F Hamilton again (although you may want to start with his Greg Mandel trilogy which are rather more self contained than Night's Dawn), Richard Morgan (Market Forces is fun given it is about corporate execs who gain promotion via duels to the death on the roads but not much use for expanding technical vocab) and Alastair Reynolds

One final note of caution, most stores group Science Fiction with Fantasy but IMHO Fantasy will not be of as much use preparing for science RC passages so be careful what you choose (disclaimer I personally love SF but hate fantasy, Terry Pratchett excepted, so I may be biased).
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Re: Books to Read (Improve Verbal Score and Enjoy a Good Read) &nbs [#permalink] 23 Aug 2010, 15:06

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