The Glad Game > 2012年5月のアーカイブ

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Introductory Books for Abraham Lincoln

  Before setting out for “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln“, I read two introductory books about A. Lincoln. The first one was “Abraham Lincoln (Dk Biography)” by Tanya Lee Stone. This book, written for young adults, is an abridged version of A. Lincoln’s biography, but is also suitable for English language learners who are interested in American history. One of the great features of this book is that there are plenty of beautiful pictures on all the pages. I liked the picture of Lincoln’s little son wearing the Union army’s uniform and holding a musket. It is said that Lincoln was soft on his naughty little boys, and that they ran around the White House playing pranks on ministers. These episodes made the story more colorful and enjoyable.

  The second book was “Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln (Penguin Young Readers, L4)” by Jean Fritz, also written for children. This book focused on the story of the Gettysburg Address, where the renowned speech with the line, “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” was given. It was funny to read how the president rode to the ceremony. As Lincoln was a tall man, six-feet-four with long legs, his legs almost reached the ground when he rode a short horse. People laughed about the comical situation, and so did I. Another episode I enjoyed was his reply to an autograph seeker. On writing a letter to someone who wanted his autograph, he simply wrote, “Dear Sir, You request an autograph, and here it is. Yours truly A. Lincoln’. I particularly liked this episode because it showed how kind he was. He could have ignored the sender as he must have been extremely busy dealing with more important requests. 

  These books were full of heart warming episodes along with historical events. By reading these books, I came to like Lincoln all the more and I became fully prepared to read more detailed books about Lincoln and the Civil war.


  今回 Team of Rivals を読む前に、リンカーンに関する本を二冊と、アンクルトムの小屋を読みました。リンカーンの自伝は子供用に書かれたものです。初めてリンカーンについて学ぼうとする英語学習者にとってちょうどいいレベルでした。


 Abraham Lincoln (Dk Biography)のほうは、全ページカラーの挿絵や写真が挿入されているので、読んでいてイメージを思い描きやすかったです。19世紀の人々の様子も分かって面白い。リンカーンの小さな息子さんが、小さな軍服を着て銃を持っている写真が可愛いかったです。リンカーンには4人の息子がいて、大統領在職中に2人の小さな息子さんもホワイトハウスに住んでいました。リンカーン一家は子供に甘く、子供達が大騒ぎでホワイトハウスを走り回っても特に注意することもなく、子供達にとっては格好の遊び場だったようです。肖像画で見るリンカーンは厳しいイメージだったので、子供達と触れ合う優しい父親の姿を垣間見ることが出来たことが良かったです。


 二冊目は、Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln (Penguin Young Readers, L4)。こちらは “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” という有名な演説が行われた、Gettysburgの戦いの前後にフォーカスをあてた本です。こちらも子供向けに書かれた本で、子供達がリンカーンに親しみをもてるような楽しいエピソードがいくつかのっていました。リンカーンは190cm強の大男だったので、小さめの馬に乗ると足がほとんど地面に着きそうだったとか、サインを求める手紙に応じて、自筆サインを送ったというエピソードを読んでリンカーンの人柄を知り、ますます好きになりました。子供用の本だけでリンカーンについて詳細に知ることは出来ませんが、本格的にTeam of Rivalsを読む前に基礎知識を仕入れることが出来ました。

My Black Prince is Back!

   I’ve finished reading “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. This book is President Obama’s favorite, and he used Lincoln’s bible in his inauguration ceremony. The book was a little bit challenging for me as the detailed description of politicians and the usage of advanced vocabulary required me to read word by word. I will write a detailed book review within a few days. 


  It took nearly two months to finish the book on my iPad, and I missed my paperback! Ever since my mother gave me a leather book cover for my birthday nearly 20 years ago, I have loved the texture of old leather. I collected several leather book covers along with bookmarks, and they became a part of my reading experience. I especially love my “Black Prince” bookmark, which I bought in Canterbury Cathedral several years ago. When I switched to Kindle and iPad, the proud prince ditched me, and however hard I tried, I couldn’t find him. I searched for him for several months, begging for his forgiveness. Then he came back mysteriously. He was in one of my stacked books where I have no recollection of leaving him . He must have been angry about my fling with the iPad. Now that my Black Prince is back, I’m fully prepared to read paperbacks.


  Using the iPad is extremely helpful when reading a thick book, but I also love to feel the smooth touch of leather while reading.  I have to use both the iPad and paper books to satisfy my reading habit. I hope this will not offend my Black Prince again. Without him, I don’t feel like reading.


  Team of Rivals読み終わりました!読み応えがあって、2ヶ月近くかかってしまいましたが大満足です。何年か前にアメリカでベストセラーになった本で、オバマ大統領の愛読書としても知られているようです。リンカーンとライバル達の物語。とても良かったので、近いうちにちゃんとブックレビューを書こうと思います。









A Touch of Winter from Finland






A Finnish girl sent me this beautiful postcard last September. I like this postcard because the frost on the plants carried the crisp air of the early winter which enabled me to feel the fresh scent of the wood in Finland. It’s simple, but definitely has an excellent quality.


Another reason that this is one of my favorites is I like her blog. After receiving this wonderful postcard, I checked on the sender’s profile and found out that she had a personal blog. There seemed nothing of special interest at first, but the details of a Finnish girl’s ordinary life were interesting enough for me to be a regular reader of her blog to this day. One time she wrote that her readings are 90% English, which I assume makes her writings very natural.


Her blog inspired me to write more in English, believing there might be someone in the world who thinks my ordinary life interesting.

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