The Eyes of Montezuma

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)

Cover of book The Eyes of Montezuma by Stephen Rabley

The vacation of the couple Conwall is coming to the end. They leave rainy England and go back to their homeland – Madrid. They are travelling by the ship. Aboard the ship, the couple gets acquainted with an American student. It is the first time this student has travelled alone and this is the reason she had bought a yellow Fiat. The Conwalls learn some news: the Countess of Montalban died. She was one of the richest women in Spain. Also, she was the owner of the famous earrings ‘The eyes of Montezuma’. These earrings had the two biggest diamonds in the country. The jewelry had belonged to her family for 200 years since they were brought from Mexico. Shortly before her death, the countess donated them to the museum. The Conwalls arrive and an unpleasant surprise is expecting them. The American student had disappeared and a now stranger drives her car. Somebody steals the Countess’ earrings from the museum.

Total words: 3016
Unique words: 577

Words, you might not know:

petrol, fiat, villa, binoculars, sunglasses, lounge, eighteen, grind, clever, supermarket, eleven, fool, driving, hurry, excuse, shine, rope, continued, borrow, orange, loud, meter.

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Cover of book The Butterworth Mystery by Gillian Larkin

The plot takes place in the village Pendle Lee in Lancashire. This village is so small that all villagers know each other by name. Pendle Lee has an old history with a valuable ancient architecture. The legends say witches used to live there. There are very few crimes in this area. Sergeant Michael Rose has made only five arrests for the last seven years. Basically, the sergeant has to solve problems with some teenagers. Out of such boredom, they often arrange various troubles for him. Sometimes Michael Rose looks for the missing animals. And one day a phone call comes in the police station. The reason is the art gallery robbery. One of the pictures of a local but famous throughout the UK artist Butterworth was stolen.

Total words: 8166
Unique words: 1111

Words, you might not know:

purring, torchlight, rucksack, choking, firstly, thirdly, constable, admiring, allotment, lying, wavy, alibi, teapot, fright, insulting, haunted, polio, candlelight, unpack, ghostly, housekeeper, burglary, seventeenth, graveyard, managed, caretaker, caring, graffiti, respectful.

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The Swiss Family Robinson

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: +11 (from 13 votes)

Cover of book The Swiss Family Robinson by Wyss Johann

The priest created this book two centuries ago. He wrote this work to educate his own children. The book had to instill the family values and explain to them how to treat land. It taught to be conscious and sympathetic. The story begins with one family. They go out on the voyage. The ship is caught in a storm and the family manages to get to an uninhabitable tropical island. The husband, the wife and four sons survive. What should they do now? How will they make a living? What will they eat? The family makes a temporary camp and starts exploring the island. They are searching for some remaining items from the ship that might be useful to them. The findings will facilitate life on the island. The parents have farming and housekeeping skills. Still the family faces the same problem. How long will they have to stay on the island?

Film version: The Swiss Family Robinson

Total words: 12749
Unique words: 937

Words, you might not know:

pearl, sailcloth, nailed, plough, sledge, uncovered, gunpowder, smelly, lying, shellfish, firewood, stormy, mend, donkey, salty, paddle, midday, windy, bamboo, luckily, sunshine, rainy, planting, daytime, gardening, answering, coconut, canoe, seventeen, lazy.

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Cover of book Agatha Christie, Woman of Mystery by John Escott

The name of the detective queen is known to everyone. The fans of the genre read her novels and revise the screen versions, guessing who the real killer is. The main characters of the stories of Christie – Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot are worldwide famous. These characters are different, only united by their brilliant mind. We know them well enough. But what do we know about the writer? This book will tell you the story of Agatha Christie. The growing up of Agatha Miller passes and she starts travelling. You will visit the countries and the continents with the future writer. The world will surprisingly change during the narration. You will be able learn about the personal experiences of Agatha and her first steps in literal creativity. This magnificent woman lived an extraordinary life.

Total words: 5707
Unique words: 854

Words, you might not know:

queen, moorland, tidily, honour, lord, chambermaid, hydro, mousetrap, dispensary, august, moor, moustache, shyly, teller, belgian, typewriter, tidy, vanity, pleasing, archaeology, railway, broadcasting, divorced, published, adversary, gardening, archaeological, publishing.

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Stories from the Five Towns

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)

Cover of book Stories from the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett

This book created by an English writer and journalist was published in 1905. There are four short stories about people from five towns. The stories are filled with irony, satire and easiness. The cycle opens with the ‘News of the Engagement’. This story is about one son who tries to tell his mother about his engagement. He does not know how to do it better as she is a widow and he is her only child. In the story, ‘The Burglary’ the judge arranges a burglary in his own house to get rid of a strange portrait of himself. ‘Beginning the New Year’ is about a man who returned home after 23 years. ‘The Silent Brothers’ is about two brothers who have not spoken to each other for ten years. They make a marriage proposal to the same girl in order to get money by will.

Total words: 5031
Unique words: 743

Words, you might not know:

hessian, potter, bookshop, businesswoman, solicitor, cheaply, quarrel, burglar, magistrate, centimeter, burglary, packing, tidy, comer, stepfather, wonderfully, slate, seventy, pub, pottery, bachelor, bored, castle, loudly, goodbye, supper, downstairs, excite, sixteen.

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Destination Unknown

Level: upper-intermediate
Genre:

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Rating: +8 (from 12 votes)

Cover of book Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie

A number of leading scientists disappear without a trace. There is a huge possibility of kidnapping. Probably the scientists are being blackmailed so they are hiding. Enormous concern is growing in the ranks of the international intelligence community. Only one woman has the key to this mystery. Unfortunately, Mrs. Betterton lies on the hospital bed, dying from injuries sustained in the Moroccan plane crash. At the same time, Hilary Craven is preparing to end her own life in a hotel room in Casablanca. Her husband left her and her child passed away. There is no reason to live anymore. An overdose of sleeping pills and everything will come to the end. One stranger interrupts this desperate suicide attempt. Since there is nothing more to lose, this man offers Hilary a more exciting way to die.

Total words: 24689
Unique words: 2048

Words, you might not know:

pearl, colouring, detected, seine, aerodrome, frenchwoman, uplifted, underclothes, honour, lord, memorized, establishing, aeroplane, carol, speeder, craven, scornfully, skinned, spiteful, bandaged, adapted, august, leprosy, shirtsleeve, imagining, radioactivity, shapeless, fission.

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Cover of book The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax by Conan Doyle

This is one of the stories of the English writer about the well-known detective Sherlock Holmes. One elderly governess seeks help from him. She asks Mr. Holmes to find her ward Lady Frances. Every two weeks the governess used to get letters from Lady Frances Carfax. But she got no letters for the last five weeks. The fortune of Lady Frances is modest. Still she inherited some rarest jewels. She always carries them with her. Sherlock Holmes is very busy so he lets his best friend Dr. Watson investigate this case. The doctor goes to Switzerland. He arrives at the hotel where Lady Frances usually stops at. Dr. Watson does not find her. Watson finds out that she had suddenly left in an unknown direction. Before that, a man with a beard visited Lady Frances. The truth is that this stranger haunted her.

Total words: 2860
Unique words: 663

Words, you might not know:

jewellery, honour, anaesthetic, cheque, chloroform, undertaker, fiancee, telegram, impatiently, baker, losing, ninety, luggage, mistress, sergeant, matching, necklace, carriage, disappearance, disadvantage, unusually, coffin, bald, maid, warrant, cafe, loudly, confused, turkish, poison.

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Cover of book Lord Arthur Savile's Crime by Oscar Wilde

It is a satirical book about the Victorian era. The author elegantly mocks Victorian sense of duty and the aristocracy as a model of social morality. Lady Windermere has the last party at her estate before Easter. Lots of people from the aristocratic circles are invited. Mr. Podgers entertains the guests at the party. Being the personal chiromancer of Lady Windermere, he reads fortune on the palms of those who wish to learn their future. When Arthur Savile’s turn comes, the chiromancer suddenly gets pale and pauses. Gradually he recovers and predicts a journey and death of one of the relatives. Lord Arthur Savile notices the embarrassment of the fortune teller. The lord demands the truth and proposes a considerable reward. The chiromancer tells the lord what he had really seen on his palm.

Total words: 4783
Unique words: 1052

Words, you might not know:

destined, dressmaking, cheque, lord, indiscreet, postponed, mantelpiece, chessboard, duchess, impostor, regards, postponement, indigestion, rabies, solicitor, gunpowder, sender, sunburn, irritated, painless, expressed, agitation, irritating, telegram, dynamite, affectionate, obituary, dreamer, beggar, grace, timid.

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A Pocket Full of Rye

Level: upper-intermediate
Genre:

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Rating: +12 (from 18 votes)

Cover of book A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

A businessman dies while having a cup of traditional morning tea in his office. The results of the medical examination clearly indicate that he had been poisoned. Such kind of poison does not work right away, so according to the time of death the victim was poisoned at home during breakfast. The police found some rye grains in his pockets. The relatives did not love the businessman, so his death was beneficial to almost every member of this large family. The first suspect is his young wife. She is the main heiress of the fortune. The elder son recently quarreled with his father. His daughter-in-law could not stand him. The late businessman forbade his daughter to marry. And all at once, the youngest son arrives. Long time ago he broke the relationship with the father and lived in Africa with his wife. The youngest son says his father sent an unexpected letter with the intention of making peace.

Film version: A Pocket Full of Rye

Total words: 24401
Unique words: 2079

Words, you might not know:

poisoner, queen, dressmaking, overexcited, ruby, sixpence, pinewood, enclosing, comfortingly, pocketful, cheque, lord, teatime, delightedly, housemaid, possessed, luxuriously, sanatorium, encouragingly, laying, kitty, neighbourhood, unfashionable, unpunished, inquest, remarriage, schoolmaster, marmalade, yew, typist.

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The Year of Sharing

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: +15 (from 17 votes)

Cover of book The Year of Sharing by Gilbert Harry

Have you ever wondered what will be with our planet in five hundred years? How will the infrastructure develop? What will happen to the nature? Richard lives in the world, which is significantly different from ours. They live in villages instead of cities. They use bicycles as transport. In the forests, there are only wild animals. Every inhabitant of this world must bring his Year of Sharing when he reaches the age of twelve. It means the child will go to the wild forest to live alone. This term lasts for a whole year. They do it for learning to share the world with the animals. This way every person finds a new family in the wild. Tomorrow Richard is going somewhere deep into the forest. He cannot even imagine how many dangers are waiting for him there.

Total words: 5910
Unique words: 658

Words, you might not know:

catapult, oops, unimportant, stony, sharing, losing, howl, specially, moonlight, climbing, answering, recorder, bored, underneath, goodbye, rocky, grind, excite, clever, boring, crowded, bicycle, wolf, lonely, hurry, drinking, killing, twelve, hungry, asleep.

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