After two years of careful consideration, Robert McCrum has reached a conclusion on his selection of the 100 greatest novels written in English. Take a look at a few in his list:

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Banyan (1678)

A story of a man in search of truth told with the simple clarity and beauty of Bunyan’s prose makes this an English classic.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1719)

By the end of the 19th century, no book in English literary history had enjoyed more editions and translations. This world-famous novel is a complex literature that one cannot resist.

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726)

A great work that’s been repeatedly printed, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels comes third in our list of the best novels written in English.

Clarissa by Samuel Richardson (1748)

Clarissa is a tragic heroine, pressured by her dishonorable family to marry a wealthy man she dislikes, in the book that Samuel Johnson described as “the first book in the world that shows the knowledge about the human heart”.

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (1749)

Tom Jones is a classic English novel that gets the spirit of its age and whose characters are well-known since they have come to represent the society at that time.

Emma by Jane Austen (1816)

Jane Austen’s Emma is her most outstanding work, mixing the best parts of her early books with a deep sense of feelings.

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe (1838)

Edgar Allan Poe’s only novel—a classic adventure story with supernatural elements—has fascinated and influenced generations of writers.

1.Which English book has got the most translations before the 20th century?

A. Robinson Crusoe. B. Gulliver’s Travels.

C. Tom Jones. D. Emma.

2.What does Samuel Johnson think we can learn about from the book Clarissa?

A. A love story. B. Quarrels in a family.

C. The human heart. D. The spirits of the lime.

3.What makes the characters in Tom Jones famous?

A. Their classic lifestyles.

B. Their different nationalities.

C. Their typical spirits of the age.

D. Their representation of the society.

Lakshmi grew up in India in the first half of the twentieth century, seeing many people around her who did not get enough food, were often sick and died young.

In the 1960s, was asked to help manage a program to improve nutrition in her country. At that time, most advice on nutrition came from North American and European countries. Nutritionists suggested foods that were common and worked well for people who lived in these nations.

For example, they told poor Indian women to eat more meal and eggs and drink more orange juice. But Lakshmi knew this advice was useless in a country like India. People there didn’t eat such foods. They weren’t easy to find. And for the poor, such foods were too expensive.

Lakshmi knew that for the program to work, it had to fit Indian culture. So she decided to adjust the nutrition program. She first found out what healthy middle-class people in India ate. She took note of the nutrients (营养物)available in those foods. Then she looked for cheap, easy-to-find foods that would provide the same nutrients.

She created a balanced diet of locally grown fruits, vegetables, and grains. These foods were cheap and could be cooked with simple equipment. Her ideas were thought unusual in the 1960s. For example, she insisted that a diet without meal could provide all major nutrients. Now we know she was right. But it took her continuous efforts to get others to finally accept her diet about 50 years ago. Because of Lakshmi’s program, Indian children almost doubled their food intake. And many children who would have been hungry and ill grew healthy and strong.

1.Why did Lakshmi think European nutritionists’ advice was useless?

A. It worked well for European people.

B. It suggested too many foods for Indians.

C. It was not practical in India at that time.

D. It included foods that didn’t exist in India.

2.Lakshmi studied healthy middle-class people’s diet in order to .

A. know about their eating habits B. learn about Indian culture

C. find out nutrients in their food D. write a report on food nutrients

3.Lakshmi’s balanced diet was considered unusual because people thought .

A. those foods were too cheap B. it should include some meat

C. it provided all major nutrients D. it enabled kids to grow healthy

4.What can we infer about Lakshmi?

A. She came from a rich family.

B. She disliked middle-class people.

C. She worked with European nutritionists.

D. She was a determined scientist.

The times are changing. On Thursday October 13th, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, marking the first time the highly-eyed-on literary award has gone to someone who is mainly seen as a musician, and giving rise to heated discussions.

The 75-year-old won the prize “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”, the Swedish Academy said.

“For 54 years he has been at it, reinventing himself,” said Sara Danius, the academy’s permanent secretary. “Bob Dylan writes poetry for the car. But it’s perfectly fine to read his works as poetry.”

And while many Dylan’s fans have found great delight at the news, others online and in the literary community are cross with the Committee, saying the award has skipped over fiction writers for the second year.

New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul said it was good news but pointed out how many “deserving” novelists there are.

Director Martin Scorsese put out a statement saying he was “overjoyed” that Dylan was awarded the prize.

“Dylan’s poetry, his musical genius, has meant so much to me personally and to generations of people around the world,” Scorsese said. “His work has influenced and shaped culture, and he has never stopped exploring and growing as an artist. The Nobel Committee has given Dylan a form of recognition that fits his role in our culture—in world culture.”

Dylan won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for his “great influence on popular music and American culture”. He’s the first American to win the literary Nobel since Toni Morrison in 1993.

1.Why does Bob Dylan’s winning the Nobel Prize cause healed discussions?

A. He created poetic expressions. B. He is known as a musician.

C. He reinvents himself. D. He is 75 years old.

2.Which is closest in meaning to the underlined part in Paragraph 4?

A. are thankful to B. are satisfied with

C. are angry with D. are worried about

3.What can we know about Dylan according to Martin Scorsese?

A. Dylan influences Martin a lot.

B. Dylan is happy with the award.

C. Dylan is a poet rather than a musician.

D. Dylan benefits a lot from world culture.

4.What is the passage mainly about?

A. A brief introduction to Bob Dylan.

B. The reason for Bob Dylan’s success.

C. Bob Dylan’s influence on American culture.

D. Different views on Bob Dylan’s winning the Nobel Prize.

Exposed soil isn’t part of nature’s master plan. Good examples where soil is naturally found with no plants growing in are beneath freshly removed trees, or where the ground has been burnt by a land fire. In these situations bare soil isn’t bare for long; within days seedlings (芽) begin to appear and cover the ground. In a few months’ time, the scar is hardly noticeable.

Unlike these natural examples, ploughed (耕犁) fields and freshly dug gardens are obvious examples created by man. But, left to nature, even these bare soils soon turn green with a large number of tiny seedlings. In fields, gardens and on grasslands, roadside and sports fields, along streets and on paths and pavements, we are constantly battling to stop weeds from growing. All we are doing is stop the recovering powers of nature.

Whenever soil is exposed, weeds act like a kind of medicine to reduce the potentially harmful rays of the sun, so the sooner plant growth covers the soil over again, the better.

Weeds also help to improve the fertility (肥沃) of the soil. Their roots get the soil together, improving its structure and creating a more stable environment in which soil life can grow fast. Those weeds with a deep root draw up plant nutrients from deeper in the ground, making them available to plants growing near the soil surface. Above ground, the stems (茎) of weeds help trap fallen leaves which break down into the soil, adding to the fertility of the soil.

As the soil becomes more fertile, different kinds of plants start to replace the “pioneering” weeds. Bushes move in to take the place by gradually shading them out, followed in turn by trees, which eventually push up through the bushes, finally shading them out too. Fallen leaves from the bushes and trees carry on the job of building soil fertility that was begun by those very first weeds that grew on the bare soil. Then, when one of these mature trees is removed in a storm, leaving a wound of bare soil in the earth, the whole process starts again.

1.When will soil be left bare?

A. A land fire has just happened. B. A young tree is planted in.

C. No one ploughs the land. D. No crops are planted in.

2.Which of the following prevents the bare soil from recovering?

A. Seedlings appearing in gardens.

B. Reducing harmful rays of the sun.

C. Removing weeds from pavements.

D. Replacing plants in sports fields.

3.What can weeds do for the soil?

A. They create soil life.

B. They help improve the soil.

C. They get nutrients from the sun.

D. They break down fallen leaves.

4.How can the soil remain fertile after trees move in?

A. By adding more weeds to the soil.

B. By taking out the weeds constantly.

C. By removing the previous bushes.

D. By making use of the fallen leaves.

A Letter to My Dad

Four years ago we found out about the cancer growing inside you. You told me the news that it had already spread and that you didn’t know how long you had ______.

I was still at university. A parent dying was something that happened to ______ people-people older than me. I spent the first few months in ______. For the first time I felt ______. I wished I could just ______ you and take the cancer out. But there was nothing I could do.

We’ve been ______. You reacted well to treatment and you’re still here, though we don’t know for how much ______.

I’ve always wanted to say that I love you, and that I’m ______ for everything you’ve given me. But I can’t. It feels like it is this unwritten ______ in our father-son relationship that ______ it. You’re a man conservative and guarded with your ______. You keep them to yourself and ______ others to do the same.

But I know you ______. I’ve seen your proud looks when I’ve told you about my ______ at work and school over the years. I’ve seen your ______ when things haven’t gone well. I remember all the offers of help.

I wish we could talk about what we ______ to each other. I wish you could tell me you’re ______ and I could tell you I love you. I wish these ______ concepts of masculinity (男子气概) weren’t so deeply ______ in both of us. Maybe we will still see our way to that ______ before you go. But whatever the case, I just need to say it—I love you, and thank you.

1.A. waited B. left C. suffered D. stayed

2.A. any B. few C. other D. all

3.A. doubt B. anger C. vain D. shock

4.A. powerless B. nervous C. lost D. bored

5.A. reach into B. turn to C. stand by D. look into

6.A. confused B. lucky C. active D. hopeless

7.A. better B. deeper C. longer D. further

8.A. eager B. grateful C. regretful D. desperate

9.A. letter B. word C. idea D. rule

10.A. prevents B. changes C. destroys D. transforms

11.A. illnesses B. feelings C. belongings D. opinions

12.A. require B. expect C. allow D. persuade

13.A. lie B. understand C. care D. fear

14.A. achievements B. difficulties C. goals D. experiences

15.A. power B. anger C. curiosity D. concern

16.A. have B. give C. leave D. mean

17.A. conservative B. brave C. proud D. helpful

18.A. absurd B. important C. useful D. popular

19.A. lost B. trapped C. rooted D. covered

20.A. situation B. solution C. achievement D. conversation

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