Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Nothing but the Truth

“Which of Hu’s friends do you like the most ? Why ?”

I like “John” the best. Though John is the newest friend for Hu, he is honest, and he feels warmly about Hu. If he didn’t tell the truth to his mother, I don’t know what could have happened to Hu.

How about Hu’s future ? Hu’s dream ? Hu’s situation ?

Actually, I like John’s mother the best in the casts. However she isn’t Hu’s friend. Thus I like John the best in her friends. The reason is John’s mother has confidence and she gets a lot more energy. She is fighter for justice. I think John is influenced by his mother. I want to be like her.

Monday, 26 May 2008

A Puzzle for Logan

After reading 4. Logan is a woman who does what some people think is a man's job. Did this cause her any problems in A Puzzle forLogan?

No, it didn't. Instead, she had so much luck in her investigation because of it.
If she were a man, Angus MacLeod would not talk to her. Since she met him, she could hear an eyewitness report from him and she could get one of the most important piece of a puzzle.

And also, other people in this story look be off their guard for her. It helped her job so much. Then she could complete her puzzle.

The Fruitcake Special

There are five short stories in this book. Each story is very interesting, unrealistic, mystical one. Each story has quite different attraction. It is difficult to select a story that I enjoyed most.

In such situation, I chose most favorite story “The Fruitcake Special”.
Because of the perfume made by accident, all the man (of course the owner of her company includes it) comes to like her. At first, she couldn’t understand why this situation had happened. But she knows the reason, and the attractive perfume can’t make more. How would she have it?

I liked that she did not indulge in this fact. She found way of life of oneself by herself. I recommend this book.

Eye of the Storm

Q. What is the worst weather you have seen ?

I never forget the heavy rain of the summer 2006 which made big damage around Suwa area. Many persons died. Also some rivers flooded and the traffic network were paralyzed. The quantity of water of Togawa-rever, which is near my home, was unusual.

During heavy rain, I helped with fire brigade of my town to make many sandbags that is called “Dono”. After the storm, my wife and I participated to help the dredging to the channels for recovery.

I strongly understood that it is important to help each other and to connect with community.

Masanori Yagasaki

Sunday, 25 May 2008

The Amsterdam Connection

The Amsterdam Connection is a name of a syndicate which manages football betting in Amsterdam. This is a murder story with players and owners of RCFC (Rotterdam City Football Club). Mr. Martijin Christiaans who is a mastermind of the Amsterdam connection is earning a large amount of money by fixed game. Kate’s last message was very impressive for me, “Some things never changed”

Q2. Imagine you are making a film of the book. Which actors would you choose to play the main characters? Would you make any changes to the story?

I put following actor and actress in my film. It seems a bit expensive.

Kate Jensen: a news reporter on the Daily Echo in London. She’s adept at karate.
Actress: Cameron Diaz

Elly van Praage: a policewoman in the Amsterdam police and Kate’s friend
Actress: Jodie Foster

Martijin Christiaans: a Dutch businessman. He is a mastermind of the Amsterdam connection.
Actor: Robert De Niro

I guess this story was made as basing of fixed scandal in Serie A. Then I think I should change the story based on real cases. In this case, the football team should be Real Madrid C.F, and the title maybe “Madrid connection”?


Saturday, 24 May 2008

Berlin - book review

I think it’s fair I share my own book report with readers here, as we teachers ‘bully’ our students to read a lot and to post their reviews here.

I have spent ages reading “Berlin – The Downfall 1945” by Antony Beevor. It took me a long time because it’s a long book, detailing the end of World War II in Europe. It’s a very well researched history, and fascinating in the detail it goes into of not just the battles and traumas of the final months of the war, but also the personalities and motives of the various political and military leaders.

This is a part of the war I knew very little about, as it is dominated by events on the Eastern Front where the Russians sought to reach Berlin before the Allies. (Being British, I naturally learned from and of the western perspective when I was young). The book follows the collapsing German resistance to overwhelming Russian advances; some brave, some futile, some callously selfish. While the Germans had wrought devastation upon the Russian motherland in their invasion in 1941 (Operation Barbarossa), with unimaginable cruelty on civilian populations along the way, it seems to me the Russians were equally intent to payback like with like.

What was particularly interesting for me was the clear chronological analysis of what was happening within Hitler’s inner circle of henchmen in his bunker, and of Hitler’s spiraling loss of grip on reality. It is also clear that even in 1945 Stalin was paranoid and playing his generals against each other. He also allowed Churchill and Roosevelt to con themselves that Russia had any intention of allowing Poland to become strong & independent once liberated from the Germans. The Allies could, and in my opinion should, have made haste towards Berlin themselves. Not doing so left Stalin with all the cards he needed for the division of Europe in his image, and the resultant Cold War impasse.

The Russian push towards the capture of Berlin was obviously relentless and brutal. It cost hundreds of thousands of lives, many civilian and with a shocking amount of rape. January to May 1945 is a short period in the history of the last century, but one I am very glad to have been able to learn about with this gripping book.

What am I going to read next? “Momentous…the history of the conflict surpasses all others” says the blurb. I bought this book two years ago and have been looking forward to reading it. ‘1914-1918 The History of the First World War’. Might take a while…

Thursday, 22 May 2008

After reading 2. Do you think The House by the Sea is a good title?
Make up a different title.

Yes. I think this is a good title as thriller, because no one can guess that story from the title easily. If it is changed, I'll prefer to change its title to "Yellow dress and shoes" since they are key items in this story.

9. Here is the blurb from another book at this level: Just Good Friends

It's Stephany and Max's first holiday away together and they want to get to know each other. They go to Italy and stay at Stephany's friend Calro's flat in a Mediterranean village. But Carlo's wife is not very happy to see Stephany - and the two couples find out why, and a lot of other things about each other, in a hot Italian summer.

Do you want to read Just Good Friends?

Yes. But, if it was a mystery book, I would love to read it as soon as possible. Anyway I'll try to read it promptly if it's my turn.

(posted for Hiroaki)

'Anne of Green Gables' an appendix by Minemura

It has been a year since Mathew had gone. Anne and Marilla missed him very much. Marilla was also not well, and she could not read and write well. She had to be careful about her eyes, and was wearing glasses. But she was very happy because Anne was with her. She had been working as a teacher at a school in Avonlea since she graduated from college.
One Saturday afternoon Anne's friend Gilbert visited Anne and Marilla in Avonlea. He was also a teacher and worked in the next village. He had also grown up to be a nice teacher. Marilla was very pleased by him. Anne and Gilbert were talking about the teaching life. Marlla was very happy because they were good friends. While Anne was in the kitchen, Marilla said to Gilbert, who was very tall and goodlooking "You are just like your father and remind me of him when he was younger. Your father John and I were very good friends you know. I am very happy if you like Ann and help her. Gilbert said, "Yes, Ann is nice. I like Ann."
Sometimes Gilbert visited Green Gables and helped Ann and Marilla. Ann thought he was very kind and gentle. One day Ann asked him "Why did you call me Red Hair, Carrot?" He answered "I was sorry to say Carrot, but I liked your red hair. It was prettier and more charming than any other hair."
Ann understood him and they were married next spring.
The apple trees on Green Gables were full of sweet-smelling, snowy-white flowers. Soon they had a pretty baby.
Marilla was glad and became very well. She told the baby about Mathew and Green gables. Ann and Gilbert could continue teaching and kept beautiful Green Gables house. Marilla was very happy and lived her long life until 100 years old.
-The end-

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

After reading "A Matter of Chance"

After reading A Matter of Chance, how important do you think chance has been in your life?

I was fun to read this story. In some chapters I couldn’t stop reading. Question is about chance in my life. I’ve never think about chance I had before. I mean that the chance is a very good opportunity to do something or to change the direction which I want to head. About 20 years ago, I had chance to take my post in Amsterdam but I didn’t. In about 1986, my colleague invited me to go paragliding. I got the chance to start paragliding. If I hadn’t the chance, I wouldn’t injure my legs. In some senses, these were all matters of chance and its influence was serious in my life. However I don’t think that chance is everything. It is only an opportunity. I believe that depends on how we look at it in the end.

The Beast

Here is a local newspaper headline: THE BEAST OF BRYNMAWR RETURNS.
Write the story for the newspaper.

Before dawn May 20, two of Tom Lloyd's sheep that killed by someone was found.And May 19, a carcass of sheep was found in a gate of Charlie Blackm's villa.
There is opinion that criminal is a fox or a dog.
However, there was no hemorrhage though each sheep had the injury. Some person in local says "THE BEAST OF BRYNMAWR RETURNS." and is frightened from that.

"THE BEAST OF BRYNMAWR" is a name of the monster of this region's legend. It is known as a monster that sucks blood.

The local police says "We have no comment yet" about this matter.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

The House by the Sea

Imagine five years have passed. What do you think is happening in Carl and Linda's lives now?

Linda lives happily with Bill at the house by the sea.
One day she received a letter.
Dear Linda,
I still love you and you should live with me.
I will pick you up soon.

It was the letter from Carl and it seemd like he has become a madman, since he never accepted that theri marriage was over.
After reading the letter, Linda shook with fear.
It was the start of the next story...

Saturday, 17 May 2008

The Ironing man

Dear Jim-san,

I finished to read "The Ironing man". I reply 2 questions to "After reading".

Tom: Because he really love Marina even if she cannot do housework and she would fall in love with the Ironing man

Marina: Please continue to love Tom, because he is a very good man.

Best regards, Yoichi

Friday, 16 May 2008

After reading 2: Campbell was sent to prison for fifteen years. How long do you think Baxter should stay in prison?

I think Baxter should stay in prison more than fifteen years. Because Baxter
killed two people on purpose and destroyed evidence on the murder case.

10. Here is the blurb from another book at this level.
A married couple, Carl and Linda Anderson, buy a house by the sea to spend
their weekends. But one weekend Linda does not arrive at the house and Carl begins to worry. What has happened to her? Who is the taxi driver that follows Carl? And how much do the people in the village really know?

Do you want to read The House by the Sea?
Yes, I do. Since I wanted to know about it in a little more detail, I looked for the information on the Internet. After I ran throw the catalogue web page, I'd really like to read it.

Posted for Hiroaki

Double Bass Mystery

The Double Bass Mystery is poor Simon's story.

He killed Frank who was a Orchestra manager only for money.He didn't know what was the most important things for life. He believed a lot of money,but I don't think so at all. Of course we need a money to live for our life. A money can't make us happy.

We can be happy when we are talking,having a meal,playing something with our family or friends and doing something which we like. We don't need so much money for our life.

I think that enjoying our life is very important.

posted for Shin

Thursday, 15 May 2008

The Big Picture

I read a book "The Big Picture". This book was very fun!

After reading Q7: What do you think Ken does after the end of the story?

Ken started live in the country, Nagano-Ken. Sachiko and Tetsuro very very happy every day. Because they had big house, big garden and beautiful landscape. But Ken wasn't happy. He lost a work. He went to "Hello Work" every day, but he didn't seek a job yet.
He reopened take photos. Not take famous people, only take a beautiful landscape. He think my best work is landscape photographer, this is very healthy work!

He didn't like the country life before. But he started live in the country six month, gradually like now.


Postcard from Iguassa Falls, Brazil

Dear Jim,

There is a spectacle view in front of my eyes. It's IGUASSU Falls.
I'm staying a hotel in a national park. I've never seen this kind of magnificent view.

I have worked really hard this week to take a holiday on this weekend. I'll show you my lots of photos include my reading book.

See you soon - Koa

Running Dictation

This team only just beat their opponents, with one point to spare. The object of the game was to remember as many words as possible and make a list, with extra points being awarded for spelling. Picture cards were placed behind a screen and the 'runner' and 'writer' together had to compile a list of the given items. Neck and neck the whole way, this game relied on both speed and accuracy. Well done to both teams! Jolly well played.

Postcard from the Red Sea

How are you guys?

I'm in a passenger ship which is cruising on the Red Sea. the sea is beautiful deep blue! Everything of this voyage is like a dream! So romantic!

I can enjoy lots of culture class and fitness programs in the ship. The ship is going to call at Port Safaga in Egypt tomorrow morning. I'm going to visit Luxor. After that the ship is going to Greece.

Teruki on the Red Sea

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The Ironing Man

(Q2) Which character do you like the most? Why?

Phil impressed me favorably.
He is a typical detective in a comic film. He behaves as if he is Sherlock Holmes or James Bond. Although he was a careless person in reality. He looks stupid.
But he was also kind man. When he looked Tom became sad from his 'incorrect' report, he could not tell Tom about his investigation anymore. He noticed later it was his misunderstanding. If anything, he was happy when he knew the fact. He gave a comical element to this serious(?) story.

How I Met Myself

After reading Q1. "What did you learn about Hungary’s history?"

I learned two points about this Hungary's story.

First point is that the inquiring mind is very important.
It is important that you keep examining unsearchable things even if people around you abort examining.

Second point is that the love of one's family is very important.
If you think a great deal of the love of one's family, unexpected help might happen.

But...if I talk frankly, I don't think there is Doppelganger... :-p

Monday, 12 May 2008

Different Worlds

This story is sentimental love story. Sam of the heroine was a young deaf girl. Her ears weren't doing work when she was born. But she can lip-read, she use sign language talking with mum and best friend.

She liked young man. His name is Jim. They were in love. However, she felt different worlds. Becouse she was deaf and he wasn't.
I think jim was charmed her a pure heart.

Within High Fences

The character whom I like is Harriet of the friend of Nancy and Nancy. Harriet is good adviser of Nancy. However, I did not like Nancy first. She lived together with Tom for money at the start.

But, she met George and changed. She met George in the asylum seeker.He had a lot of problems. She became very wonderful by being in love with George. They believe in each other and I think that they find happiness.


Wild Country

Because I imaged "Nature", "Heal", and so on from the title, I chose "the wild country". However, I noticed that my prejudice was a mistake when I began to read some pages.

Although I was first time to read a English book which is over 60 pages and there were many words that I couldn't understand, I could read this story at a burst.

Because I was not reading it so carefully, I noticed that Tess is a woman for the first time where I passed 50 pages.I felt comfortable when I finished to read. This story was described well the human psychology. I recommend you to read this story.

Masanori Yagasaki

Happy Birthday Blog!

Hard to believe but our blog is already a year old! I was really surprised when I realised at the end of last week, and have been having a look at some of the statistics.

I added a counter to the blog in November; in the last six months we've had 4047 hits. That is an average of about 20 a day. Exactly half of all visitors are 'unique' or first time.

The map shows us in some detail where visitors are checking us out from. "Luna" is Spanish for moon, so I am not surprised we get a lot of traffic from South America & southern Europe. However, why we are popular in Iraq, India or western Africa is a mystery (must be all the good writing!). We have been read from South Africa to Iceland, Hawaii to New Zealand.

Our blog is busiest on Mondays; the busiest time of day is 5am. (I think this can't be local time! Maybe US time zone?). There are 124 authors registered, and there have been 212 posts. Another 40 or so people have been invited but have not yet signed up (shy?!).

We have also added a lot of useful content on the right-hand margin; links to sites for learners, weather forecast & dictionary to name a few. We have also had very popular photo contest and a number of polls. If you keep missing stuff, subscribe! Get the latest posts straight to your mail box.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed in the last twelve months. I think we have got off to a great start, with a lot of interesting work, opinions and reviews. Keep it up, and remember to tell your friends too! This time next year, Manchester United will be defending their European title....

Circle Games

1.Which of the stories is about....
a. a 'difficult' boy in the USA? Special Clay
b. a clever boy in Singapore? The Trishaw Man
c. American tourists in England? The Wheel on the Wall
d. an archaeology student in the UK? Beautiful Thing
e. a story-teller in a cafe? Quick Man Tan

4.Which story did you like best, and why?
'Special Clay' is.
I read the story while feeling excited.
How does Emilio recover from 'Difficult'? What action does Emilio do after the car collides? How does Emilio help Mrs McFee?
I was impressed though he respected her very much.

8.Do you prefer reading several short stories or one longer one? Why/ why not?
I prefer reading several short stories to one longer story. A short story can be easily read.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Eye of the Storm

I had read this book,Which was very interesting.

What is the worst weather you have seen? (Q2.)

There was a heavy snowfall in the Matsumoto and Shiojiri in Jan 1998. There was the snow of about 70 cm in a day. The next day, my company became a special holiday. This snow was record in the Matsumoto district meteorological observatory. It is the first case for me. It was a snow shoveling even if my company became the holiday. The kerosene of a heater was gone and I went shopping on foot to the petrol station. It was very heavy. It was a serious special holiday.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

House by the Sea

At the end of the story, John says he had kept the bag 'So that I never forget how easy it is to lose the things you love'.Do you keep any objects or remind you of someone or something? (After reading Q1.)

I keep a photo of my family. That photo is in my schedule notebook that I am carrying anytime and anywhere.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Postcard from Kyoto

Dear Ms Tana,

I'm in Kyoto! I went to the Emperor's palace with my friends called Noam and ? The name of the Palace is called Gosho. The picture on the back is of women called Maiko Sann. In the next lesson I will tell you.


Wednesday, 7 May 2008

A Puzzle for Logan

This story is about a woman who is inspector in the Edinburgh Police. Her name is Jenny Logan. She is brilliant inspector. In this book, she solved a case of two murder.

Q (Have you seen a film or read any other stories where someone was sent to prison for something they hadn’t done? )

What I first thought of was a movie "The Fugitive", acted by Harrison Ford. That story is about a man who was arrested as murderer. He was supposed to have killed his wife, but he hasn't. He escaped from a prison van, then tried to find true murderer while he was running away. Finally he realized it has been a entrapment by his close friend. He exposed that, and his innocence was proved.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Forrest Gump

This was a story of a man.
He was called Gump. People thinked that he was foolish. However, he was very obedience and gentle man.He met many people, and some of them help him.One girl, who is Jenny, often help him in his life. He had many experienced in this story.He was a soldier, a wrestler, a actor, a chess player.Sometime, he met embarrassing things and sad thing, but his life had many happy things.

Death in the Dojo

I found this book was not a puzzler or howdunit I had expected by "death" in the title. In fact, Japanese flavor especially in the beginning was not interesting to me, a Japanese reader, and the murderer without any surprise was disappointing. But the book still didn't allow me to close it halfway after starting reading. The plot and characters were made very effectively.

Works (after reading)
1. Which character do you like the most? Why?

Brendan Murphy. Because he had behaved gentle, in his letters, to the related people in such a hopeless situation.

2. Think about the relationship between Kate Jensen and her father, Tony Jensen. What has been Kate learnt from her father?

Tony's approach to his daughter, was permissive. He has only advised her and left her to do what she liked if it was something risky. I think she has learnt from him how to decide her matters on her own.
The relationship between them has been very good and her choice of job was likely affected by her respect for father.

5. Do you think the punishment for murder should be death?

Under conditions like this story, I don't think so. But I am not abolitionary to the death punishments. There are someone certainly deserved it.