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     Volume 5 Issue 122 | December 1, 2006 |

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Mixed Bag

Tuesdays with Morrie
Mitch Albom
Knopf Publishing Group; December 2005

Most of us, at some point in our schooling, have had a teacher who had a major impact on our thinking and the way we've lived our lives. What a treat would it be now, all these years later, to reacquaint ourselves with that treasure advisor, to learn again those lessons he or she shared when we were young. Mitch Albom was given that opportunity. He spent several months regularly visiting his college professor, Morrie Schwartz, during the elder man's final year of life. Tuesdays with Morrie is Albom's best-selling tribute to the man who gave him so much. A must read.

Flags of Our Fathers
James Bradley
Bantam Books; August 2006

James Bradley's classic work of American military history fully captures the story behind the most famous photograph taken during World War II: the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima. Bradley, the son of one of the flag raisers, exhaustively researched the lives of the six Easy Company soldiers who participated in the event and discovered that the adulation the heroes received on their return home was not always welcome.


The Life and Times of Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir
Bill Bryson
Broadway Books; October 2006

From one of the most beloved and bestselling authors in the English language, a vivid, nostalgic and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the middle of the United States in the middle of the last century. A book that delivers on the promise that it is "laugh-out-loud funny." Some say that the first hints that Bill Bryson was not of Planet Earth came from his discovery, at the age of six, of a woolen jersey of rare fineness. Across the moth-holed chest was a golden thunderbolt. It may have looked like an old college football sweater, but young Bryson knew better. It was obviously the Sacred Jersey of Zap, and proved that he had been placed with this innocuous family in the middle of America to fly, become invisible, shoot guns out of people's hands from a distance, and wear his underpants over his jeans in the manner of Superman. Bill Bryson's first travel book opened with the immortal line, "I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to." In this hilarious new memoir, he travels back to explore the kid he once was and the weird and wonderful world of 1950s America. He modestly claims that this is a book about not very much: about being small and getting much larger slowly. But for the rest of us, it is a laugh-out-loud book that will speak volumes, especially to anyone who has ever been young.

A Reference Book of English Grammar
Barin Bhowmik
Edited by Muhammad Mahbubul Huq
Nabajuga Prokashani; pp 240; Tk 100

The good thing about Barin Bhowmik's book is that some of it is written in Bangla, making it easier for common people to understand and hone their English skills. After the demise of Ershadul Bari, the country's English-language learners have felt the need for a good grammar book, and A Reference Book of English Grammar will surely quench that thirst. The writer in fact, has used the Bangla for parts of speech like Shorbonam and Karok, so that his readers grasp their English equivalent quick. What deserves a special mention is the way the writer has actually written all the titbits of English, making it more interesting for the readers. This book will surely come handy for those who want to improve their English but find it difficult to manage the time. A must-buy for any would-be adult learner of English.


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