Reviews by Miranda

Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases

by Grenville Kleiser

This book is very badly organized. It has the potential to be very useful, but the author failed in his mission. The phrases, the longest being only about five words, are organized by their grammatical structure. It would be much more helpful to have them organized by topic.

In his introduction he writes that we learn to improve our vocabulary through reading, and he suggests that one read a few pages of his book every day to expand vocabulary. The essence of his theory is sound, but the execution is lacking.

Do not waste your time with this book. You can improve your vocabulary, your spoken and written skills, much more efficiently by reading any book, even if it is not very well written. This list of monotonous literary terms is boring, and useless for the expansion of vocabulary as it contains no context.

Reviewed on 2008.07.29

Martin Chuzzlewit

by Charles Dickens

Young Martin Chuzzlewitt falls in love with his wealthy grandfather's youthful caretaker. Old Martin subsequently disowns him, and Young Martin travels to America to prove his independence and make his fortune so that he can marry his lover. The story also follows the rest of Old Martin's family as they plot and scheme to win Old Martin's favor and his money.

This is the best novel that I have ever read by Dickens. It is also one of the longest.

Far better than "A Christmas Carol", more poignant than "Great Expectations", happier than "Oliver Twist"; it is comparable to "A Tale of Two Cities" in mood. Martin Chuzzlewitt, however, is also quite humorous.

I love this book! It is well worth the time to read it.

Reviewed on 2008.07.28

The Story of My Life

by Helen Keller

The first section of the book is a autobiography written by Helen when she was still in college. It is extremely well-written with amazing visual and aural imagery for a woman who was deaf and blind. It was very touching when she described her discovery of language.

The second section of the book contains letters that Helen has written in her youth. These show her development as a writer. I found these somewhat boring after the first few.

I have not gotten to the last section yet, where Annie Sullivan writes. However, the first section is definitely a worthwhile read!

Reviewed on 2008.07.24

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