Alice in Wonderland

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: 0 (from 4 votes)

Cover of book Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The world-famous fairy tale was written by an English writer and mathematician in 1865. This book is one of the best examples of nonsense literature. In the fairy tale, the reader can see dozens of complicated philosophical, mathematical and linguistic jokes. In this story, we can find many interesting hidden meanings. The girl Alice spends her time on the river bank. She is bored. Suddenly she sees a strange white rabbit. The small animal has a big pocket watch in his paws and he is in a hurry. Alice follows the rabbit and falls into a hole. The curious girl finds herself in a phantasmagoric world inhabited by many anthropomorphic creatures. And this is only the beginning of her unusual, strange and surprising adventures.

Total words: 7377
Unique words: 595

Words, you might not know:

queen, hatter, knave, schoolbook, duchess, hungrily, teacup, madam, hare, caterpillar, fifteenth, unimportant, fourteenth, centimeter, sixteenth, caucus, sleepy, bored, loudly, goodbye, fireplace, polite, grind, sixteen, clever, sunny, pat, rabbit, mushroom.

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Beowulf

Level: pre-intermediate
Genre:

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Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)

Cover of book Beowulf by Robert Hill

This is an ancient epic poem, which was written at the end of the seventh century. The text first saw the world in 1815. This is a rare case when the text written in pre-Christian times has survived until the present time. A horrible monster named Grendel has pursued King Hrodgar for over 12 years. The monster kills his strongest and bravest warriors. Beowulf decides to help the king and gathers his warriors for a significant battle. He is a famous warlord and he is able to defeat any beast. Beowulf kills Grendel in a one-on-one battle. But Grendel’s mother rises from the sea bottom to punish the killer of her son. Beowulf battles her in a den under the water. In the second part of the text, Beowulf himself becomes king. He fights a dragon and is badly wounded. The hero dies after living a decent life. This is an honorable end for any warrior.

Total words: 7180
Unique words: 1089

Words, you might not know:

queen, challengingly, armour, feasting, lord, dirge, cheerfulness, bedchamber, pyre, armory, jeweled, wickedness, frost, dissolved, minstrel, whilst, enmity, hilt, cowardice, enraged, goblet, avenge, lying, forbidding, fright, recital, threatened, disturbed, further, inland.

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Bad Company

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)

Cover of book Bad Company by Richard MacAndrew

The police officer Helen Shepherd woke up from a telephone call. A new sergeant was calling her with a message. They found a body of a young woman on the beach near the Grand Hotel. The officer arrived at the crime scene. She started teaching her new colleague how to collect all possible clues and question the witnesses. According to the expert’s words, the woman was killed from a blow to the head by a blunt object several hours ago. First 24 hours are the most important for the police when they solve crimes. After this time, it is very difficult to learn the truth and find the murderer. The boss of the victim makes some clarity. They had dinner yesterday in the evening at the hotel restaurant. The boss noticed a strange man who left the restaurant after seeing the girl. The boss was very concerned. He did not want their company to appear in the news about their colleague’s death.

Total words: 8952
Unique words: 787

Words, you might not know:

questioningly, barman, constable, madam, raincoat, uncomfortably, seaside, receptionist, unanswered, cupboard, shepherd, blonde, sergeant, blouse, bacon, lounge, accountant, laptop, cafe, closing, shave, waiter, murderer, sixteen, autumn, sometime, headache, eleven, reception, envelope, detective.

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Halloween Horror

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: +8 (from 10 votes)

Cover of book Halloween Horror by Clemen D. B. Gina

The story is set in Salem, Massachusetts. The town is known for the witch hangings in 1692. That’s why it’s often called the “Witch City”. Megan and Kelly have recently moved here with their parents. Now it is late October and Halloween is approaching. Megan, Kelly and their classmates are very excited. They prepare costumes and decorations. Then they look for a place to celebrate. The children decide to visit one of the Salem Witch Museums for inspiration. In the museum something strange happens. Megan sees a scary old lady, even though the museum attendant assures her that the children are the only visitors. In the end the friends find an abandoned house near the cemetery and decide to have a Halloween party there. But the party turns out to be much scarier than they could ever imagine.

Total words: 3962
Unique words: 642

Words, you might not know:

bush, spooky, tombstone, detergent, haunted, mysteriously, jack, waking, tablecloth, cloudy, ringing, broom, cupboard, coma, popcorn, wig, thunder, torch, vampire, skeleton, abandoned, pumpkin, terrify, confused, goodbye.

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Cover of book A Twentieth-century Malady by Foreman Peter

Reg and his wife Janet live in a house outside a village. They have a new neighbour – a young, quiet man. His name is Richard, he lives a solitary life and often behaves in a really strange way. He hates TV and loud music, prefers walking and keeps to a vegetarian diet. Besides, he always looks sad and even lonely. Naturally, the couple feels sorry for him. They try to help Richard whenever it is possible. But each time he refuses their help. Eventually, however, Janet manages to invite him to a party. But after the party something unexpected happens – the man falls gravely ill. Janet takes care of Richard and makes sure that he eats and behaves just like everybody else. But when the mystery behind the young man’s malady is finally solved, it is too late to save him.

Total words: 2574
Unique words: 618

Words, you might not know:

goodnight, schoolwork, fatten, malady, tenderly, rubbish, zombie, naughty, detached, ringing, armchair, coma, vegetarian, quiz, dizzy, thriller, pudding, heartbeat, cassette, alcoholic, kindness, allergy, pity, overweight, noisy, lazy, toast, amazed.

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Cover of book Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Probably there isn’t a person in the world that hasn’t heard of Robert Louis Stevenson. His books are loved by both children and adults. One of the writer’s most unusual works is “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. Mr. Utterson, a kind and serious lawyer learns a shocking story. Once a man hurt a little girl in a busy street of London. Under the pressure of the crowd the criminal agreed to pay compensation to the child’s family. He went inside a dark windowless building and returned with a cheque signed by Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Utterson’s good friend. What can possibly connect this well-known respected man and this offender? The lawyer is determined to search for the evil man and solve this riddle. But when he finally finds him, the story takes an unexpected turn.

Total words: 11825
Unique words: 1334

Words, you might not know:

maddened, companionably, cheque, inwards, bedcover, unashamedly, companionable, postmark, locksmith, knocker, onwards, studious, impure, fortnight, taxicab, fireside, unscientific, churchgoer, indescribable, deathly, postman, ungrateful, unnaturally, wintry, moonlit, unharmed, goodnight, unrecognizable, expressionless, homely, whisky.

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The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: +9 (from 11 votes)

Cover of book The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep by Foreman Peter

Max has been an unusual boy since early childhood. Now, when the boy is a grown up, his case is considered to be really unique. He doesn’t need sleep like other people. In fact, Max can stay awake for about 20 hours every day without feeling tired. But his parents are worried that lack of sleep can influence his health in a bad way. They just want their son to be a normal kid. To their disappointment, the doctor confirms their fears. He says that the condition is serious and the boy can die before he is forty. Max is given a choice: he either takes special drugs to sleep like all the others or he keeps on living the same way at the risk of dying young. The boy decides to enjoy his life as it is and hope for the better. He lives happily until the betrayal of his beloved person changes everything.

Total words: 3044
Unique words: 593

Words, you might not know:

diurnal, etcetera, hyperactive, mum, neurologist, nocturnal, overdose, mutant, stupidity, candlelight, addictive, interviewer, sleepy, daytime, gossip, probable, alpha, noisy, obsessed, darling, packet, renewed, addict, amazed, bored, fascinate, terrify, eternal, furious, frighten.

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Bloody Legacy

Level: upper-intermediate
Genre:

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Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)

Cover of book Bloody Legacy by Michael Bacon

This is a little story in the detective genre, which can make the reader’s evening much more interesting. A smart and talented inspector from Scotland Yard investigates another crime case. Miss Paddington does not stay away. She immediately comes to the aid of him. This curious woman is a big lover of detective novels and she is happy to take part in the investigation. But beyond that, Miss Paddington has another secret goal – she wants the detective to marry an attractive young lady named Elvira Elliot. Whose intellect will prevail – an experienced inspector’s or a housewife’s, who is fascinated by cheap paperback detective novels? The story, despite its small volume, can show a lot of interesting plot twists.

Total words: 11863
Unique words: 2188

Words, you might not know:

carriageway, stubbed, resented, harbored, fumbled, poppet, heightening, pompously, popped, retrieved, potting, ageing, plummy, purring, rattled, winking, vestry, oozing, modulated, timbered, appropriated, murmured, scooped, leering, sterling, bodywork, reproachfully, drily.

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God’s Secret

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: +4 (from 10 votes)

Cover of book God's Secret by Foreman Peter

People often want to know what will happen after they die. They say if a person is good, he or she will definitely go to heaven. So if you are kind and polite, you have nothing to worry about. But what if our afterlife destiny doesn’t depend on our behavior on earth at all? What if God keeps a secret from us? The main character of this story never smoked, drank or gambled during his life. He never hurt anyone in the hope of getting to heaven. But his dream is ruined when the man dies and finds out that his future is just a matter of luck. Will he still be able to get a place in heaven? And most importantly, is heaven as good as it seems? This story challenges our traditional beliefs and offers an alternative vision of what the afterlife is like.

Total words: 1967
Unique words: 522

Words, you might not know:

jewellery, ripper, buzzing, stamped, reflected, lunatic, aromatic, intercom, sarcastic, receptionist, gambler, turbulent, dizzy, bitterly, cloak, eternity, brightness, wink, milky, blonde, paradise, interrogation, relaxed, lottery, lounge, immense, furious.

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Daisy Miller

Level: pre-intermediate
Genre:

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Rating: +6 (from 10 votes)

Cover of book Daisy Miller by James Henry

Winterbourne is a US citizen. The young man has lived in one of the countries of Europe for many years and has become out of touch with his native country. One day he arrives in a small town in Switzerland to visit his aunt. In a local hotel, he accidentally meets the Miller family: the mother, her young son and the daughter. The girl really attracts Winterbourne. She is very beautiful. Her behavior is quite inconsistent, which is unusual. In Europe, you will not meet girls like her. She talks to a stranger without any problems and Winterbourne understands that he falls in love. The girl chatters about her family, travels and plans. When he understands, that she has not yet visited one of the local castles – the young man offers her to show this sight.

Total words: 7734
Unique words: 1007

Words, you might not know:

disrespectfully, marchese, signorina, prettiness, honour, favour, buttonhole, parasol, splendidly, serenely, unsophisticated, vulgarity, delirious, sarcastically, snob, madam, monotonous, audacity, moustache, trembling, irritated, scandalous, perplex, respectability, repeating, sarcasm, courier, agitated, elegantly, respectfully.

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