如何选择英文读物
文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2016-07-08 08:31 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
(单词翻译:双击或拖选)
To cultivate one's taste in English prose, the most effective way is to read English books extensively. Yet one may be at a loss to choose the appropriate books, especially as a beginner. I would like to share some of my experience. 
 
My first English novel was Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, recommended by many English teachers and professors as an ideal book for English learners. But my experience was somewhat disastrous1. Stumbling along the lines, I had great difficulty in understanding the novel, let alone enjoying it. It's not the vocabulary that troubled me, but rather the way Austen constructs sentences, and her way of thinking, which seemed too remote to me at that time. My fading enthusiasm was much recovered after reading Hemingway's novel Farewell to Arms. No long and complicated sentences. And I particularly liked his concise2 and straightforward3 style. So my first suggestion is, as a beginner, you'd better choose contemporary novels instead of classical ones. You can easily engage yourself in reading, get fun out of it, and gradually build up confidence. I do not mean to exclude classical novels for ever. Actually, the second reading of Pride and Prejudice greatly pleased me (probably the result of my improved English comprehension). It is only that classical novels are less accessible to beginners due to their language styles and social background. I'd like to recommend three contemporary novelists to you-Ursula Le Guin, Ernest Hemingway, and Doris Lessing. 
 
However, reading novels is not the only way to improve your English. In fact, if you restrict yourself to novels you will miss a lot of treasures. English essays can at once inform you, entertain you, and refine your taste in English. The best example is Bertrand Russell's work. Its language is plain, yet you cannot help feeling the elegance4 and the peculiar5 sense of humor. His simple language enables his philosophy within the reach of ordinary people. The same is true of George Orwell's work. Here comes my second suggestion-essays are indispensable. 
 
My last advice is never follow others' recommendations and opinions blindly, however famous or influential6 the person might be. Some days ago, I listened to the audiobook of Somerset Maugham's autobiography7 The Summing Up. In a chapter he regards Edward Gibbon and Samuel Johnson's style as pompous8. Though I admire Maugham's prose, I cannot agree with his view. Probably one can label Johnson's work as pretentious9, but definitely not Gibbon's. In fact, his lucid10 style makes his works highly readable, and you can hardly believe they were written over 200 years ago. Therefore, we should be open to various ideas, but always think and determine for ourselves. As a saying goes, one man's meat is another man's poison. With that in mind, we are bound to find out our favorite writers through reading and develop our fine taste in English.


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1 disastrous 2ujx0     
adj.灾难性的,造成灾害的;极坏的,很糟的
参考例句:
  • The heavy rainstorm caused a disastrous flood.暴雨成灾。
  • Her investment had disastrous consequences.She lost everything she owned.她的投资结果很惨,血本无归。
2 concise dY5yx     
adj.简洁的,简明的
参考例句:
  • The explanation in this dictionary is concise and to the point.这部词典里的释义简明扼要。
  • I gave a concise answer about this.我对于此事给了一个简要的答复。
3 straightforward fFfyA     
adj.正直的,坦率的;易懂的,简单的
参考例句:
  • A straightforward talk is better than a flowery speech.巧言不如直说。
  • I must insist on your giving me a straightforward answer.我一定要你给我一个直截了当的回答。
4 elegance QjPzj     
n.优雅;优美,雅致;精致,巧妙
参考例句:
  • The furnishings in the room imparted an air of elegance.这个房间的家具带给这房间一种优雅的气氛。
  • John has been known for his sartorial elegance.约翰因为衣着讲究而出名。
5 peculiar cinyo     
adj.古怪的,异常的;特殊的,特有的
参考例句:
  • He walks in a peculiar fashion.他走路的样子很奇特。
  • He looked at me with a very peculiar expression.他用一种很奇怪的表情看着我。
6 influential l7oxK     
adj.有影响的,有权势的
参考例句:
  • He always tries to get in with the most influential people.他总是试图巴结最有影响的人物。
  • He is a very influential man in the government.他在政府中是个很有影响的人物。
7 autobiography ZOOyX     
n.自传
参考例句:
  • He published his autobiography last autumn.他去年秋天出版了自己的自传。
  • His life story is recounted in two fascinating volumes of autobiography.这两卷引人入胜的自传小说详述了他的生平。
8 pompous 416zv     
adj.傲慢的,自大的;夸大的;豪华的
参考例句:
  • He was somewhat pompous and had a high opinion of his own capabilities.他有点自大,自视甚高。
  • He is a good man underneath his pompous appearance. 他的外表虽傲慢,其实是个好人。
9 pretentious lSrz3     
adj.自命不凡的,自负的,炫耀的
参考例句:
  • He is a talented but pretentious writer.他是一个有才华但自命不凡的作家。
  • Speaking well of yourself would only make you appear conceited and pretentious.自夸只会使你显得自负和虚伪。
10 lucid B8Zz8     
adj.明白易懂的,清晰的,头脑清楚的
参考例句:
  • His explanation was lucid and to the point.他的解释扼要易懂。
  • He wasn't very lucid,he didn't quite know where he was.他神志不是很清醒,不太知道自己在哪里。
TAG标签: English books learners
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