Cover of book The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Once upon a time one man named Matthew Maule built a small hut. It happened in the town of New England. He was the first man to build a hut in that street. Later the street was named Maule’s Lane. It was rumored Maule practiced magic. Practicing magic was a big crime in those times. Colonel Pyncheon also lived in that town. He had power and always got what he wanted. The biggest Pyncheon’s desire was to owe wizard’s hut. Maule did not agree to sell his house. The colonel decided to act in another way. Pyncheon accused the stubborn man of witchcraft and the community sentenced Maule to death. Maule’s decease was awful. His curse was more terrible, which he pronounced in the last minutes of life. Colonel Pyncheon achieved his goal and built a house on the wizard’s territory. It was the house of the Seven Gables.

Film version: The House of the Seven Gables

Total words: 8592
Unique words: 1126

Words, you might not know:

daguerreotypist, bush, rediscovered, lodger, handprint, daguerreotype, socialized, occult, whilst, goodnight, schoolboy, moustache, respectability, turban, eyesight, hoarse, carefree, witchcraft, townspeople, grinder, shopkeeper, fright, bookcase, haunted, alright, horribly, lovingly, mysteriously, disturbed, further.

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White Death

Level: elementary
Genre:
Length: shortest

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Rating: +23 (from 33 votes)

Cover of book White Death by Tim Vicary

A mother from England arrived in one very hot country. She came to see her daughter arrested at the airport. During their meeting the mother learnt that her daughter was brought to the prison last week. The Police had found some drugs in her toothpaste. The daughter swore that it wasn’t her and she was innocent. The Police also had arrested one man with her. He was a good man and he wasn’t able to commit such a crime. But as mother discovered, her daughter’s previous boyfriend was on the plane during the arrest. Her daughter had gone to this country with him. Something happened two months ago and the girl found another guy. There was something very strange in this story and the mother would try to find the truth to save her child.

Total words: 6145
Unique words: 468

Words, you might not know:

toothpaste, cheaply, handbag, eighty, heroin, loudly, goodbye, excite, policeman, upstairs, courtroom, detective, inspector, boyfriend, dear, girlfriend, dirty, innocent, clock, tube, stomach, round.

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Deadheads

Level: intermediate
Genre:
Length: shortest

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Rating: +11 (from 23 votes)

Cover of book Deadheads by Reginald Hill

This is an unusual detective novel. You won’t be able to predict the end of it. There are a lot of unsolved crime mysteries and much British humor. Patrick Aldermann is in the center of this story. Many deaths regularly occur around him. People die every day. But when these deaths play right into someone’s hand, it becomes very suspicious. When Patrick’s aunt passes away in the rose garden, he inherits her big mansion. When the man comes to work for a new company, he has a great career development. It is not because he is a good specialist. The reason is many people die and Patrick takes their positions. Patrick’s boss starts fearing for his life. So he goes to the inspectors Dalziel and Pascoe. The police become interested in this case.

Total words: 19959
Unique words: 1902

Words, you might not know:

pitying, envied, sneezing, impermanent, edged, deadhead, boasting, sorrowfully, improbability, impermanence, forcing, affecting, buttonhole, regretful, rosebush, overwork, sourly, bandaged, daft, offence, multi, disloyal, imagining, bye, approvingly, expressionless, chairmanship, scratching, informer, unplanned.

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Cover of book Gone with the Wind 2 by Margaret Mitchell

It is a love story, which conquered the whole world and became the benchmark of romance and true feelings. The main character is flirtatious green-eyed Scarlett. She captivated hearts of many men. Her mind, charm, courage and strength of spirit cannot but attract attention. In spite of a huge popularity, she loves only Ashley Wilkes. One day she met a daring and rude, strong, handsome and charming Captain Butler. Scarlett did not like him as he was arrogant and mocked her. Captain Butler fell in love with her at first sight. Later a civil war between the North and the South starts. Scarlett would change and stop thinking only about men and dresses. She would become a strong, powerful woman and take responsibility for her loved ones.

Total words: 15207
Unique words: 1285

Words, you might not know:

overdressed, jewellery, raped, honour, sally, carpetbagger, typhoid, wading, prissy, fatherless, hungrily, unguarded, deathly, unsigned, sawmill, careen, cowardly, fussy, hateful, coolly, lying, blackened, softness, nervousness, cheaply, fright, sweetly, insulting, sadden, hardened.

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Cover of book Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

It is a love story, which conquered the whole world and became the benchmark of romance and true feelings. The main character is flirtatious green-eyed Scarlett. She captivated hearts of many men. Her mind, charm, courage and strength of spirit cannot but attract attention. In spite of a huge popularity, she loves only Ashley Wilkes. One day she met a daring and rude, strong, handsome and charming Captain Butler. Scarlett did not like him as he was arrogant and mocked her. Captain Butler fell in love with her at first sight. Later a civil war between the North and the South starts. Scarlett would change and stop thinking only about men and dresses. She would become a strong, powerful woman and take responsibility for her loved ones.

Total words: 15246
Unique words: 1186

Words, you might not know:

conning, solider, nastily, jewellery, typhoid, neighbourhood, wading, prissy, august, unselfish, milking, strangeness, shelling, careen, moustache, quickness, foolishness, cowardly, punishing, lying, blackened, stiffly, uncomfortably, fright, insulting, lovingly, touring.

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The Waxwork

Level: elementary
Genre:
Length: shortest

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +30 (from 44 votes)

Cover of book The Waxwork by Alfred Burrage

There are many things people are ready to do when they need money. A modest journalist is forced to apply to the head of Marriner’s Waxworks and ask to let him spend a night in this museum. There is a Murderers’ Room. Many waxworks of the most terrific maniacs in the world are gathered there. It is terrifying to spend some time along in this room. A brave man, who agrees to spend a night in the museum, will get a fee. The journalist is going to do this. He also promises the head to write the article about Marriner’s Waxworks into the famous newspaper. It will be a good advertising for attracting the visitors. The deal is easy. Now the journalist has to stay at night in the museum. The most terrible thing is the waxwork of one French maniac. He hypnotized his victims before to wrest their throats. The maniac is said to have died, but his body isn’t found yet.

Total words: 2820
Unique words: 428

Words, you might not know:

waxwork, wrongdoer, jumpy, unmoving, doings, goodnight, moustache, cleanly, undress, armchair, losing, dye, luckily, razor, madame, wax, daytime, closing, murderer, poorly, follower, clever, policeman, killing, hungry, differently, standing, tire.

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Cover of book Macbeth by William Shakespeare

A Scottish knight Macbeth, who got a lot of victories for the glory of King Duncan, receives a prophecy from three witches. According to their words, he was to be a King of Scotland. Macbeth believes them. His wife also desires it, so she encourages him. Macbeth takes everything upon himself and kills Duncan. He accuses Duncan’s heirs of this crime. The young Princes have to escape from the country. The prophecy comes true and Macbeth becomes a King. But it ruins his soul. The throne of the usurper is shaky, and the legal heirs are already preparing a mutiny… The tragedy is partly based on a true biography of Scottish King Macbeth although he was credited with committing crimes and having relationship with evil spirits. The real Macbeth was not involved in such dark attitudes.

Total words: 13553
Unique words: 1181

Words, you might not know:

pricking, queen, thane, armour, kingly, honour, lord, chewed, crowned, lustful, nobly, doubled, strengthened, homeward, fearfully, womanly, wickedly, tormented, devilish, passe, scone, foretell, unharmed, hellish, coronation, cauldron, angelic, admitting, treachery, everlasting.

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Cover of book Emil and the Detectives by Kastner Erich

It’s an exciting story for children from the German author Erich Kastner. He loved children very much and always wanted to become a teacher. But hard times for Germany at the beginning of the XX century changed his plans. He became a children’s author and had a great success. Erich Kastner understood the inner world of a child and reminded the adults, that they were the children too. That’s why his books are so popular. The writer believed in human kindness, honesty and integrity and included all these things into his works. This book is about Emil Fischer. He is a schoolboy and lives with his mother in the village. Once his mother gave him a lot of money for his grandma. She asked him to pass it to granny when he would arrive at the city. It’s Emil’s first trip and he’s nervous. He tried to hide this money in his pocket. After he had woken up, he discovered the absence of the sum. Now he has to get granny’s money back.

Total words: 11282
Unique words: 769

Words, you might not know:

washroom, postman, schoolboy, shelve, tram, doorman, lying, typing, prick, doorbell, ringing, gateway, careless, tidy, losing, wisely, railway, fin, cinema, hopeless, seventy, eighty, fingerprint, rude, grandson, noisy, carriage, sew, reported, sensible.

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Cover of book A Study in Scarlet by Conan Doyle

This book is a debut of Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson. The novel marked the beginning of a new epoch in the crime genre and the world literature in general. In 1881 two gentlemen settled in the same apartment in London. One of them is a retired military surgeon named John H. Watson. We will learn this story from his memoirs. His neighbor is a private detective Sherlock Holmes who was wounded during the war. The detective makes Dr. Watson amazed by his knowledge and by his original methods of solving the crimes. Sherlock complains about the absence of the real criminals in London. It’s the reason why he can’t use his methods in practice. But suddenly he got a lucky opportunity from Scotland Yard. His friend who works there, told him about a strange murder committed in an empty house.

Film version: A Study in Scarlet

Total words: 8577
Unique words: 1074

Words, you might not know:

eagle, capturing, sally, telegraph, practise, cabdriver, august, steamship, contentedly, polygamy, approvingly, scratching, rolled, landlady, strangeness, rubbish, measuring, stammer, lying, alright, telegram, retribution, further, handcuff, thirst, stated.

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Cover of book Alexander the Great by Beddall Fiona

Alexander the Great is the greatest conqueror of all time. His father was king Philip II and his mother was Olympias, the daughter of king Neoptolemus I of Epirus. When Alexander was 13, Aristotle became his tutor. The philosopher awakened the idea of greatness, power and intellectual rigor in his pupil. Aristotle taught him how to demonstrate the force moderately and consciously. Alexander treated his teacher with admiration and respect. He often said that he owed life to his father and a decent life to Aristotle. Achilles – the hero of the Trojan War was the ideal for Alexander. Alexander had no equal rivals in all competitions. When he was a boy, he tamed a wild horse named Bucephalus, who later served him in many battles.

Film version: Alexander the Great

Total words: 14432
Unique words: 1564

Words, you might not know:

rockface, starred, queen, bactrian, hector, armour, theban, scythian, thracian, reconquer, footed, edged, jewellery, gordian, undefended, ptolemaic, phoenician, warhorse, loyally, acropolis, babylonian, sandstorm, athenian, defence, nobleman, communicating, spartan, unguarded, conquered.

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