Introduction

Read the extracts and match them with a cover and a type of book. What helped you identify them?

 

 

poetry              a travel story             an essay           a classical novel

a modern romance (also known as ‘chick lit’)                a cookery book

 

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A.

My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.

I gave Pirrip as my father’s family name, on the authority of his tombstone and my sister- Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith. As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them (for their days were long before the days of photographs), my first fancies regarding what they were like, were unreasonably derived from their tombstones. The shape of the letters on my father’s, gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From the character and turn of the inscription, “Also Georgiana Wife of the Above,” I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly. To five little stone lozenges, each about a foot and a half long, which were arranged in a neat row beside their grave, and were sacred to the memory of five little brothers of mine – who gave up trying to get a living, exceedingly early in that universal struggle- I am indebted for a belief I religiously entertained that they had all been born on their backs with their hands in their trousers-pockets, and had never taken them out in this state of existence.

 

 

 

B.

The road south from Granada towards the Mediterranean rises gently uphill as it rounds the western fringes of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada. As you crest the rise, the sierra swells upwards on the left, a first, dramatic rampart towards the Mulhacén, mainland Spain’s highest peak. This is where the rivers start running south, rushing for the nearby sea. It is, however, the name of this pass –rather than the countryside around it- that impresses. For this, a modest sign indicates, is the ‘Puerto del Suspiro del Moro’, ‘The Pass of the Moor’s Sigh’.

It was here, according to legend, that Boabdil, the last Moorish ruler of Granada, looked back for the final time towards the city. Boabdil, whose Mediterranean kingdom had stretched west to Málaga and east to Almería, was a sentimental man. Standing here on a January day in 1492, the story goes, he wept. It was not just the end of his personal reign, but of 781 years of Muslim kingdoms in Spain. The Granadinos still celebrate the Fiesta de la Reconquista, of the Reconquest, every 2 January. They are not always keen to recognise it, but a century and a half must still pass before this city can claim to have been Christian for longer than it was a place where, principally, Mohammed was revered.

 

 

 

C.

Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherised upon a table;

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,

The muttering retreats

Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels

And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:

Streets that follow like a tedious argument

Of insidious intent

To lead you to an overwhelming question…

Oh, do not ask, ‘What is it?’

Let us go and make our visit.

 

 

D.

How many words are there in English? This apparently simple little question turns out to be surprisingly complicated. Estimates have been given ranging from half a million to over 2 million. It partly depends on what you count as English words, and partly on where you go looking for them.

Consider the problems if someone asked you to count the number of words in English. You would immediately find thousands of cases where you would not be sure whether to count one word or two. In writing, it is often not clear whether something should be written as a single word, as two words, or hyphenated. Is it washing machine or washing-machine? School children or schoolchildren? Flower-pot or flowerpot? Would you count all the items beginning with foster as new words: foster brother, foster care, foster child, foster father, foster home, etc.? Or would you treat them as combinations of old words: foster + brother, care, and so on? This is a big problem for the dictionary-makers, who often reach different conclusions about what should be done.

 

 

 

E.

Help. Monday and most of Tuesday I sort of thought I was pregnant, but knew I wasn’t really –rather like when you’re walking home late at night, and think someone is following you, but know they’re not really. But then they suddenly grab you round the neck and now I’m two days late. Daniel ignored me all day Monday then caught me at 6 p.m. and said, ‘Listen, I’m going to be in Manchester till the end of the week. I’ll see you Saturday night, OK?’ He hasn’t called. Am single mother.

 

 

F.

Crush red chick-peas, well cooked in their own juice and with a bit of rose water. When they are crushed, pass through a sieve into a bowl. Add to this and mix a pound of almonds so ground up that it is no task to pass them through a sieve, two ounces of raisings, three or four figs crushed at the same time, besides an ounce of semipounded pine nuts, as much sugar and rose water as is enough, and the same amount of cinnamon and ginger. When they are mixed, spread in a well-oiled pan with a lower crust. Some add starch or pike eggs so that this pie becomes firmer. When it is almost cooked, you will make it browner by putting fire above it. It should be thin and covered with sugar and rose water.

 

 

 

Think of the following questions and talk about them.

What are your favourite types of book?

Which books have you read recently? Why?

Summarise briefly the plot of one of the books that you have recently read.