Cover of book Schindlers List by Thomas Keneally

Oskar Schindler was born in a small industrial city of Zwittau, Czechoslovakia. His father owned a small factory that allowed him to enjoy a pleasant life, which was full of wine and a good tobacco. Lots of his free time he spent in coffee houses. Oskar was fond of different machineries as his father did. He took a great interest in cars and he tried to build his own motorbike. He had a good father, so he encouraged his son and bought him a real sport motorbike. Young Schindler immediately entered professional races and gave up his studying. However, three months later he had left races because of economic crisis and the only his desire was to get marry. In spite of economic crisis, Oskar became a successful sales manager, thanks to his charm and manners. Nevertheless, when the World War II began Nazi Party became interested of his skills of making contacts. /Review by Elena Lukjanchuck/

Film version: Schindlers List (1993)

Total words: 33980
Unique words: 2408

Words, you might not know:

bankrupt, barracks, binoculars, boxcar, chamber, colonel, commandant, crematorium, disinfect, empire, enamelware, extinction, ghetto, hinge, invacde, louse, nation, passion, rabbi, rations, sentence, sociable, swastika, synagogue, tattoo, typhiod.

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Silas Marner

Level: pre-intermediate
Genre:
Length: medium
English: british

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Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)

Cover of book Silas Marner by George Eliot

Silas Marner was a man with a very hard fate. He lived a happy life of a simple weaver. Also he had his best friend William. Besides, he intended to get marry with a young and beautiful girl Sarah, when they save enough money. But William betrayed Silas and declared him as a thief showing false clues. Wrecked Silas had to live his home to escape from people anger and fact, that Sarah and William planned to get marry. Unhappy man had come to village of Raveloe. The only thing, he could do was to weave, so he did it all days long. He lived a lonely live in the country, and all that he had was linen, his loom and money. Finally he became fond of money, he worked hard only for the one goal – to count money at the pot in the evening. One night his house was robbed and money was stolen. Silas felt like a most miserable man in the world, but suddenly God gave him something back… /Review by Elena Lukjanchuck/

Film version: Silas Marner (1985)

Total words: 12809
Unique words: 1343

Words, you might not know:

shrewd, weaver, hummed, quarry, witchcraft, heal gossip, staring, attended, sought, wandering, dandelion, foxglove, slanting, trance, deacon, stern, reproach, spiteful, fellow, gambling, plump, sneering, threatening, fence, flask, gathering, lane, sprinkled, wheelwright, cobbler, soaking, clues, tinder-box, pedlar, mild, bereft, lump, hearth, claim, mingled, parson, smack, brow, dimpled, blushed, trim, drainage, beforehand, shyly, flushed, grasped.

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Cover of book The Call of the Wild by Jack London

It was the time of the Alaskan gold rush in the 1890’s when sled dogs were very in demand. It is a story about a dog named Buck. He grew up with a comfortable life at Shepherd’s ranch. He was always fed and happy.
But from the first day that Buck was stolen he learnt about hunger, thirst, and cruelty. Buck’s life changed. He was harnessed with other dogs to carry the government post. The dog pack had its own laws and Buck had to get used to them. Every evening lying in the snow, Buck constantly looked back on his life at the ranch and from the forest heard howling wolves. Then by day Buck overcame the distance of a thousand miles during a hard frost. Buck decided to become the leader of the pack to survive in such hard circumstances. To do this, he had to eliminate an opponent…

Film version: The Call of the Wild (1997)

Total words: 8106
Unique words: 743

Words, you might not know:

spin, wheel, hum, disinherited, fiercely, furry, crate, growled, hatchet, engine, leash, fang, harness, sled, miners, forces, howl, ancestors, courageously, exhausted, axe, borealis, arid, antlers.

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Robinson Crusoe

Level: pre-intermediate
Genre:
Length: medium
English: british

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Rating: +12 (from 14 votes)

Cover of book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Robinson Kreutznaer was a son of a German merchant. When the merchant’s family settled in York, England, they changed their name to Crusoe. Despite Robinson’s father wanting his son to study law, young Crusoe dreamed of traveling to distant seas. The father said to his son that God would not bless him if he went to sea. However, in 1651, against his father’s wishes, Crusoe left his home and went on his first sea voyage with a friend. It ends in a shipwreck off the coast of England, but it did not disappoint Crusoe too much, and soon he made several trips on a merchant ship. In one of them, the Barbary pirates captured his ship off the coast of Africa. Crusoe had to spend two years in captivity until he escaped to Brazil. There Robinson settled for the next four years becoming the owner of the plantation. Crusoe’s life would have been peaceful except that he decided to try to become rich very quickly. To make a fortune in a short term Robinson decided to take part in the illegal trading voyage to Africa for black slaves.

Film version: Robinson Crusoe

Total words: 13858
Unique words: 1389

Words, you might not know:

Spaniards, desperate, regretted, discourse, prodigal, pursued, prophesy, liberty, savage, flesh, hatchets, hurricane, withdraw, stravation, hammock, fence, props, tame, branches, shivering, spear, repent, wicked, rebels, amazement, strengthen, skulls, feast, vomited, cautiously, outrageous, hated, contented, fellow, omnipotent, cunning, salvation, bound, pagan, throughout, supervise.

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Cover of book The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe

An unnamed narrator tells the story as he discusses his most amazing investigation with the famous Parisian amateur detective Auguste Dupin. At this point, they are joined by Monsieur G, the Prefect of Police. A secret letter containing incriminating information was stolen from a young lady. The only known fact was that the letter was stolen by a Minister D. The Minister was in the room and when he saw the letter he substituted it with another of no importance. The Prefect was sure that the Minister still had the letter and was hiding it. The Prefect admitted that the police made ​​a search of the Home Minister, but had found nothing. They had even looked behind the wallpaper and under carpets and had inspected chairs with microscopes – but without result. Dupin’s answer was that they had searched, but not carefully.

Total words: 4495
Unique words: 970

Words, you might not know:

odd, utmost, purloined, explicit, exalted, ingenoius, coceal, flatter, meticulous, astute, cavity, excavates, rung, scrutinized, paved, altered, pointless, liberal, incredulous, socket, persevering, marbles, drilling, matlepiece, crumpled, insignia, inscribed.

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Cover of book The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe

The magazines of Paris carried the shocking news of a double murder. Most interesting was that the murders were very mysterious. At three o’clock terrible screams from a locked house on a Rue Morgue street gathered people, yet no one on the outside could help. Neighbors said that only Madame and Mademoiselle L’Espanayes lived there. With the help of police the party broke in and found a mess inside. By the time police reached the fourth floor there were no more screams. Finally they found the room where the screams had been recently heard. The scene in the back room was terrible with parts of bloody hair around the apartment and a huge razor covered in blood lying on the chair. A mother and her daughter were killed in a heartless way by an unknown person with enormous power. Or, it was it a human at all?

Total words: 6017
Unique words: 1054

Words, you might not know:

obscure, frugally, vivid, infinity, soot, bruises, strangulation, multilated, laundress, agony, harsh, shrill, club, appalling, recounting, diligence, intense, profound, well, commissioner, insoluble, renders, atrocity, bizarre, fracture, lightning rod, aiglity, slender, piercing, excessive, ferocity, incoherent, ethology, hesitate, curious, inquisitive.

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Revenge

Level: intermediate
Genre:
Length: long
English: british

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +72 (from 98 votes)

Cover of book Revenge by John Bookworm

When the war began a young little girl named Therese was left by her father who had gone on duty. The soldier’s sister soon became like a mother to young Theresa. Therese’s aunt was a kind and warm woman. Besides her niece, she also looked after her own son who had been ill all his life. If the young boy had had a father then perhaps he would have been a much stronger man with good health. Little Therese lived a quite simple life without troubles but without much happiness. She had many responsibilities and not much free time. All choices in her life were made by her aunt. Because Therese’s cousin was ill she even cannot go to school as did other girls her age. When Therese grew up her aunt decided that her own son should marry his cousin. The poor girl had no choice in the matter. After the wedding all of the family moved to a new city. Now it seemed that a new life had begun – but it had not.

Total words: 24061
Unique words: 1518

Words, you might not know:

clerk, jealousy, affairs, smugglers, accused, adultery, drapers shop, blotchy, spoilt, selfish, vain, tabby, arcade, paved, lanterns, despair, stiff, lazy, curl, canvas, seduce, twisted, petticoats, desire, deceive, parasol, terrace, fainted, omnibus, confess, matches, disgust, stroke, executed

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Remember

Level: upper-intermediate
Genre:
Length: longer
English: british

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Rating: +65 (from 101 votes)

Cover of book Remember by John Bookworm

Despite being sisters, Jan and Kate had never been too close to each other. From childhood their father given all the love and attention to Kate. And so, as a result Kate got a proper education at Oxford which helped her to escape Lewisham for Marlow where she became a successful lawyer. Kate also had a happy marriage with an investor who gave her two beautiful kids. They lived peacefully in a big, fashionable house with a servant. Meanwhile, Jan had to go work at once after school so she had little education and no skills. Her marriage was a disaster which left her with an uncontrollable daughter. One of the worst things was that she stuck in Lewisham. When Jan and Kates’ father died, his wife started to lose her memory. Gradually she became so helpless that could not be left alone for a minute. Therefore, Jan, as the only daughter who lived near enough to her mother, had soon become responsible for her. This was despite Jan having to work and having to constantly stand the crazy things that her mother did. Jan tried to get help from sister, but it seemed that Kate was too busy and too selfish to share the responsibility of caring for their mother.

Total words: 25549
Unique words: 2223

Words, you might not know:

loosely, idiot, pavement, squeezing, boiling, desperate, benefit

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Robin Hood

Level: elementary
Genre:
Length: shorter
English: british

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +117 (from 153 votes)

Cover of book Robin Hood by Sally M. Stockton

After the cruel sheriff killed Robert’s father and took his lands and property, young Robert decided to live in Sherwood Forest with a couple of his loyal friends. There, in Sherwood Forest, he named himself Robin Hood. John, whose brother was out on a crusade, became an evil King of England. He considered Robin and his company to be outlaws. Robin and friends lived in caves and trained with bows and arrows in the forests of England. All of them became excellent archers, but Robin was the best of the best. Little by little Robin made new friends who were happy to join his band of outlaws. Robin decided to rob the rich and give their possessions to the poor. All of the King’s soldiers were afraid of Robin and his men. However, the sheriff wanted very much to catch Robin, and therefore he rushed to the forest alone, but he soon returned unsuccessful and ashamed. At last the sheriff made an excellent plan to trap Robin Hood.

Film version: Robin Hood (2010)

Total words:
Unique words:

Total words: 3491
Unique words: 638

Words, you might not know:

medieval, ballads, numerous, outlaws, justice, legendary, crusade, greedy, arrogant, brutal, sheriff, loyal, against, harm, caverns, horn, archer, practised, stream, bridge, enormous, staff, merry, company, expert, friar, sniffed, bank, shake, quarrel, abbot, promised, capture, perfectly, wicked, subject, maid, disguised, knight, helmet, married, cowards, disgust, butcher, naked, wildly, silver, competition, discover, peasant, crowd, square, acrobat, target, contest, victory, lyre, baron, similar, bishop, pale, ceremony, pointed, couple, banquet, cross, offer, knelt, lucky, dishonest, excitement, memory

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A Kiss Before Dying

Level: pre-intermediate
Genre: ,
Length: long
English: american

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +106 (from 146 votes)

Cover of book A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin

The young man wanted to become reach using charming girl that studied with him. Her name is Dorothy and she is a daughter of very rich man named Leo Kingship. But suddenly Dorothy became pregnant and her boyfriend realized that his plan can be ruined. He started to make new arrangements for resolving so inconvenient situation. In several days Dorothy found dead. According to suicide note that was send to Ellen, sister of dead girl, and that fact that birth certificate was found at place of dead, police decided that her death was certainly suicide. But Ellen was not so sure, she thought her sister was killed. Ellen went to city where her sister was studying at university. There she started an investigation, almost immediately she founded a man that she thinks killed her sister…

Film version: A Kiss Before Dying (1991)

Total words: 19868
Unique words: 1064

Words, you might not know:

shaft, pregnant, confess, suicide, catwalk, brochures, investigation, disc jockey, pregnant, silly, cruel, increase, lobby, purse.

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