Circle Games

15 05 2010

IDIOMA: Inglés  

TÍTULO: Circle Games

AUTOR:  Frank Brennan

EDITORIAL : Cambridge


NIVEL: Básico

RESEÑA: “Circle games” is a collection of short stories told by an anonymous narrator that includes five different and surprising stories. 

The first story is about an old and boring Chinese lion dancer and how his life changes one day. The second story is about a couple who want to buy an old wooden wheel on an English pub wall. The next one is about a poor bicycle taxi driver in Singapore who helps a sick girl on the National Day. And the last one is about an English archaeologist student who finds a strange and very old disc which changes her life for a few weeks. 

The book is entertaining and easy to follow. I would recommend it to start to read books in English in the first months of the course.


Benedicto Fernández  2ºNI

The Fruitcake Special and Other Stories

9 02 2010

Título: The Fruitcake Special and Other Stories

Autor: Fran Brennan

Editorial: Cambridge

Obra adaptada: SI

Nivel: Intermedio

Reseña: ”The Fruitcake Special and Other Stories” was written by Fran Brennan and it was first published in 2000. It is a recollection of five interesting stories about the power of discovery that are set in different countries across the globe.

One of the stories is about a woman who has two children and has lost her husband some years ago. Since her husband’s death, she has always been sad and never goes out. But her life will change on her birthday´s day, when her children give her a present, tickets to go and watch a TV programme.

I think this is an entertaining book that is easy to understand and follow.

Valoración: 4/5

Vanessa García Menéndez  2ºNI

Neu in der Bibliothek: die Geschichte von Herrn Sommer

20 01 2010

Título: die Geschichte von Herrn Sommer

Autor: Patrick Süskind

Editorial: diogenes verlag

Obra adaptada: NO

Nivel: a partir de B1+  

 Patrick Süskind ist vor allem für seinen Erfolgsroman „das Parfüm“ bekannt, er hat aber auch interessante Theaterstücke und Erzählungen geschrieben, wie „die Geschichte von Herrn Sommer“. Das Buch erzählt die Geschichte eines sonderbaren Mannes, Herrn Sommer, der immer unterwegs ist. Herr Sommer ist ein schweigsamer, in sich gekehrter Mann, der nach dem Krieg in die Gegend kam, zu dem der Leser viele Fragen stellt (warum verhält er sich so? Warum hastet er immer umher? Warum spricht er kaum? Wie lebt er?…). 

 Das Buch erzählt auch die Kindheitserlebnisse des Ich-Erzählers: das Leben im Dorf, Familie, Schule, Klavierunterricht, erste Liebe… Es handelt sich um eine wunderbare Alltagsgeschichte mit viel Phantasie, für Jung und Alt gut geeignet. Herrlich sind natürlich die Bilder von Sempé!

Stories of Courage

14 01 2010

Título: Stories of Courage

Autor: Clare Gray

Editorial: Penguin

Obra adaptada: Sí

Nivel: Intermediate



Review: Today’s book is “Stories of Courage” by Clare Gray, first published back in 2004. It is a recollection of short stories with  bravery, determination and fearlessness in facing harsh circumstances as the driving topic.

One of the stories is about Erin Brockovich, an American legal clerk and environmental activist who, despite the lack of a formal law school education, was instrumental in constructing a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California in 1993.

Although the book is supposed to be touching, I did not find it very interesting and maybe a bit boring too.

Valoración: 2/5

Pablo Aller San Juan  2ºNI

The Dream and Other Stories

11 01 2010

Título: The Dream and Other Stories

Autores: D H Lawrence, Daphne Du Maurier, Frank Tilsley, John Collier, W J Lederer, Cyril Hare, E Burdick

Editorial: Longman

Obra adaptada: Sí

Nivel: Intermediate


Review: This book is a very interesting compilation of short tales by different authors, all based on human relationships. It is a thriller where most of the tales have an important component of science-fiction.

“The Birds”, written by Daphne du Maurier, is probably the best story. Here nature revolts against human beings; Nat Hocken, a brave farmer, has to fight against a lot of furious birds in an attempt to protect his family. This story is absolutely thrilling, but the rest of them are interesting and entertaining, too.

I really enjoyed reading this book and I really recommend it to everyone who likes thrillers and good literature.

Valoración: 5/5

 Fernando Garcia Osorio 2ºNI

Cries from the Heart

11 01 2010

Título: Cries from the Heart

Autor: Jennifer Bassett

Editorial: Oxford

Obra adaptada: Sí

Nivel: Básico

Reseña: This book has eight stories which are written by eight different authors from eight different countries, but all of them were retold by Jennifer Bassett. The eight stories were selected from the twenty-six winning stories in the 2004 Commonwealth Short Story Competition. These moving stories show us that the human heart is the same in every place.

In my opinion they are absolutely marvellous. All of them show us strong feelings, like fear and pain or happiness and sadness. The book is highly recommendable to understand that everyone is the same in the world, it doesn´t matter where they were born or where they live.

Valoración: 5/5

 Isabel Iglesias Santamarina  2ºNI

A Christmas Carol

6 05 2009

Título: A Christmas Carol

Autor: Charles Dickens

Obra adaptada: NO

Nivel: Avanzado


Dickens is probably the best known and loved author of the Victorian era. He wrote many memorable tales.

A Christmas Carol may be the most popular one. At the age of 12, some sources say that Charles Dickens worked for 12 hours a day, six days a week in a boot factory finishing the bottles of boot polish. On the seventh day he visited his family at the Marshalsea debtors’ prison. This lasted for two years (a traumatic time for young Dickens). He never forgot it, yet, he used his pain to create memorable characters like Scrooge and Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit’s disabled little boy.

The reader can almost see young Dickens chained by poverty to his polish pots as little Tiny Tim is invisibly linked to his crutch. The descriptions and dialogues are rich. The characters are striking and memorable. The imagery is colourful, despite the bleakness of the winter months.

The story told in this book is to apply to most of us. Even in our old age it is not too late to change. In Dickens’ tale Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser, bitter and resentful man is shown his past, his present, and his future by three ghosts. The first ghost reminds him of how he once enjoyed life’s pleasures. The second ghost shows Scrooge his current deplorable state. The final ghost foretells the likely outcome of his way.

This book it is not so much a Christmas story as a New Year’s story. For those of us who want to change the course of our life, for those of us who want this year’s resolutions to actually mean something, we need to go through an Ebenezer-like process. Whether your life is a bad life or an abused life or a flat life, you can use the ideas from this simple story.

 Valoración: 5/5

Alberto R. Ayala   2ºNA

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” on line

2 03 2009

Read the story by F. Scott Fitzgerald on line. The story was published in the collection Tales of the Jazz Age. Click here to read Benjamin Button.

Have you seen the film? Send us a comment if you know both the story and the film and tell us what you think of them.

Watch the official plot synopsis:

New Arrivals: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

16 02 2009

Título: The Curious Case of  Benjamin Button

Autor: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Obra adaptada: NO

The curious tale of a man who begins his life as an apparent septuagenarian and grows younger every year - much to the bewilderment and consternation of he and his family.

Now a major motion picture in the running for the Oscars!

Taste and Other Tales

9 02 2009

Título: Taste and other Tales

Autor: Roald Dahl

Editorial: Penguin Readers

Obra adaptada: Sí - Nivel Intermedio

This book is divided in eight short stories very different from each other, but where the characters are all ordinary people in the surface with a dark or strange side hidden in their personality. Moreover, they are involved in swindles and lies, always with an unexpected ending.
Amongst others, there is a man who believes that he can hear plants screaming, a woman who kills her husband with a frozen leg of lamb and another woman with a terrible fear of being late, cruelly used by her husband.
In my opinion, this is a very entertaining book and quite easy to read. You can’t get bored because all the stories develop very fast and they are extremely scheming, so if you don’t like open endings, maybe you won’t like some of these tales.
So, for all the people who enjoy atypical mystery stories: this is your book!
Valoración: 4/5

Ana Fernández-Cervera Blanco  2ºNI

The Creative Impulse and Other Stories

16 04 2008

thecreativeimpulse.jpgTítulo: The Creative Impulse and Other Stories

Autor: W. Somerset Maugham

Editorial: Heinemann

Obra adaptada: SI

Nivel: Intermedio

Reseña: In this book we can find three different stories. The first story is about how a woman had the creative impulse to write her best-selling book, after writing many books without very much success. The second story is about a woman who goes to a small seaside town, where she meets a stranger with whom she achieves her lifetime ambition. And finally the third story is about how Jane’s life changes after she marries a younger man.

Valoración: 3/5

Paula Casares Martínez