martes, 23 de abril de 2013

Saint George's Day is World Book Day

23rd April is special: it's a holiday, we're well into the spring, many people have a picnic at Saint George's Knoll in Huesca. As in the rest of Spain, libraries have stalls in the street and it is customary to buy a book. UNESCO chose this date to celebrate World Book (and Copyright) Day, as it is the date when both Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare died. This coincidence is not strictly correct, though. Accoding to the Wikipedia,
Cervantes died on 22 April and was buried on 23 April according the Gregorian calendar; however, at this time England still used the Julian calendar. Whilst Shakespeare died on 23 April by the Julian calendar in use in his own country at the time, he actually died eleven days after Cervantes because of the discrepancy between the two date systems.
Visit UNESCO' webpage to read an institutional message on the occasion.

In the UK, World Book Day is celebrated on the first Thrusday in March, with a focus on schoolchildren. Their colourful webpage includes videos of different authors giving tips on creating brilliant stories.

Saint George is a very popular saint in the world, patron of Aragón, Catalonia, England and Georgia, also venerated in many other countries including Ethiopia, India and Iraq. George was a soldier in the Roman imperial guard. When Diocletian issued an edict that all christian soldiers should be arrested, George didn't want to renounce his faith and was finally executed.

Saint George is most popular due to the legend of he and the dragon. Here's a cute version of the story:

Happy Saint George's Day!

domingo, 14 de abril de 2013

Books Podcast


As you know, podcasts are an excellent way to improve your English. You can subscribe free to a weekly podcast for author interviews, readings and discussions - plus a full recording of a monthly book club. The newspaper 'The Guardian', makes it easy for you.

Remember 'The more you read the more you learn!'  

viernes, 12 de abril de 2013


John le Carré is back to what he does best in his 23rd novel: portraying troubled MI6 officers as they wrestle with their uniquely British consciences and dodgy foreign policies often forged in Washington. 
Many of his novels have been made into films to great acclaim, the latest of which "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" came out in 2011. You can also listen to his novels on audiobooks and "Our Kind Of Traitor" from 2010 can be borrowed from our library.

Ahead of its publication on April 25, John le Carré reads from his new novel.

Extract from the audiobook

jueves, 11 de abril de 2013


As you all possibly know by now, Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady, has passed away .
No other politician has provoked such polarised opinions of hatred and devotion as Margaret Thatcher, whose legacy will continue to divide opinion for generations.
The Iron Lady’s death this week has prompted yet more reflection on a premiership spanning eleven years which stimulated economic and social reforms which continue to be felt today.
The neo-conservatism policies of the Thatcher regime secured three election victories as the woman dubbed ‘TINA’ – there is no alternative – remained a Downing Street resident for eleven years.
Lost of books have been written about her life, I would like to share with you an interview held about  one of them, The Downing Street Years. Enjoy it!

martes, 9 de abril de 2013

SUSANNA TAMARO, un’amante della natura e della letteratura...

Ho già letto tanti libri suoi, ma fa lo stesso, leggerò anche quello appena uscito “Ogni angelo è tremendo”.
Mi piace andare alla scoperta di questioni riguardanti l’anima umana e al suo rapporto con la madre natura. Risuonano ancora gli uccelli dei libri della Tamaro nella mia mente. E sento le peccore velare. Ciò nonostante questo sfondo serva a descrivere  la natura umana.
Infatti, c’è sempre qualcosa di metaforico che collega noi uomini con le meraviglie della natura.
Fra i suoi personaggi, c’è sempre qualcuno che soffre, uno come tanti noi a cui capita spesso di venirsi a  trovare  a un punto morto, di una cupezza scoraggiante e dalla quale non si sa come fare per venirne fuori.
Ma dopo un po’ accade.
Il contatto con la natura e con quello che fummo una volta, la lingua delle piante o degli animali dei boschi, tutto ciò è sempre stato ma poche volte l’abbiamo capito. È sono loro a rincuorare i suoi  personaggi disperati.
Il ritmo lento e implacabile della vita naturale li fa rinascere in un mondo ne così cupo ne così dolce come credevano. In prattica, li  riporta nel mondo stesso, nel solito posto che, inteso im profondità, mantiene il segreto per farli guarire dai suoi malesseri.
Ecco il mondo della Tamaro, storie che ci trascinano nell’unica parte vera che c’è, quella che sottostà alle regole di tutti gli altri esseri vivi,  ma non la vediamo con chiarezza finché non ci vengono incontro le amarezze della vita.
Il suo racconto è così dolce, ma certo allo stesso momento, che convince e innamora contemporáneamente.
Ecco il video per il suo ultimo libro, uscito da poco,  ma che rispecchia il suo percorso come scrittrice.
Buon divertimento a tutti!

martes, 2 de abril de 2013

William Shakespeare, money lender and tax evader

It's all over the media in Britain and across the world: Shakespeare was not only a brilliant writer, but also a cunning businessman with a talent to make money by playing dirty. According to Dr Jayne Archer, a lecturer in medieval and renaissance literature at Aberystwyth University, over a 15-year period, Shakespeare bought and stored grain, malt and barley for resale at inflated prices to his neighbours and local tradesmen. He was pursued by authorities for tax evasion, and in 1598 he was prosecuted for hoarding grain during a time of shortage.

Shakespeare "pursued those who could not (or would not) pay him in full for these staples and used the profits to further his own money-lending activities.'' “By combining both illegal and legal activities, Shakespeare was able to retire in 1613 as the largest property owner in his hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon. His profits — minus a few fines for illegal hoarding and tax evasion — meant he had a working life of just 24 years.”

Read the news as covered by the BBC and the Los Angeles Times.

lunes, 1 de abril de 2013



In welcher Sprache kann man am schönsten „Ich liebe Dich“ sagen? Wer ist der bedeutendste europäische Künstler? Polen, Malta oder etwa Deutschland: In welchem Land Europas würden Sie gerne mehr Zeit verbringen als nur einen All-Inclusive Urlaub?
Die EUROPA-LISTE. Eine Bestenliste unseres kulturellen und gelebten Europas.
Die EUROPA-LISTE beschäftigt sich mit den Fragen: Was hält uns zusammen? Welche sind die bedeutendsten kulturellen Errungenschaften? Besonders interessiert uns dabei, welchen Blick unsere Nachbarn von Casablanca bis Beirut auf Europa haben.
Die Ergebnisse werden nach Abschluss der Befragung veröffentlicht und können ab Juni von jedem Europa-Interessierten kommentiert werden. Mehr ...