Skip to main content.


Welcome to The World's Greatest English Class, where you will find materials, information and guidance to help you succeed in your Language Arts class with Mr. Campbell or Mr. Hannigan, teachers of the World's Greatest English Class.
The contents of this site are © 2006-2014 Tim Campbell and Patrick Hannigan
Write to them

AP Language

Rhetoric by Aristotle

The Forest of Rhetoric

Tropes and Schemes

Schemes and Tropes Flashcards

Language Glossary Flashcards

Multiple Choice Practice

Synthesis Essay Example

Released Free Response Prompts

AP's 2013 Essay Scoring Guidelines

Ethos, Pathos, Logos


Rooting Out Words
Grammar Gorilla
Paint by Idiom
The Plural Girls
Stay Afloat
Math Baseball
Match Up
Match each word in the left column with its synonym on the right. When finished, click Answer to see the results. Good luck!

Word of the Day

Article of the Day

This Day in History

Today's Birthday

In the News

Quotation of the Day

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hannigan's Honors English Two Summer Reading Discussion


Honors students desiring credit for doing their summer reading assignment should leave at least three substantial comments in the comments area below. Two of the comments should be about the book you read and one should be in response to someone else's comment about a book you did not read. The comments should highlight your understanding of the books (through the other reader in the book you did not read) and inspire confidence in the teachers that you did, indeed, read these books. Unconvincing commentary will receive no credit.


Rocket Boys is a memoir by Homer Hickam Jr. After witnessing Sputnik fly over the small company town of Coalwood, Homer and his friends are inspired to create their own rockets. They study physics, and read about the rocket scientist Wernher von Braun. They eventually form the Big Creek Missile Agency. After many failed attempts to launch a rocket, the boys gained a greater understanding of rocket physics and rocket building. When Homer and his friends first started creating rockets, many people of Coalwood doubted that they would ever succeed. However, Homer and his friends didn't let that stop them. As time went by, the boys gained a greater understanding of rocket physics and construction. They improved their rockets, and eventually created rockets that could fly straight into the air with extreme precision. The boys were able to achieve their goals of flying a rocket successfully. This book is great in that it teaches you to follow your dreams no matter what. Homer's father told him that they would never be able to build a successful rocket. Despite what his father said, Homer continued following his goals and eventually created a successful rocket with his friends.

Posted by Ryan Ng at Thursday, September 12, 2013 20:55:18

How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, by Julia Alvarez is about the Garcia family's immigration to the United States from the Dominican Republic. The 4 daughters of the Garcia family were picked on relentlessly as they struggled to conform into American society. The girls become more “Americanized” (hence how they lost their accents). The girls experience some “culture clash.” Being so young, the girls were more susceptible to influences from the American culture (some of which got them in trouble), while their parents were much more steadfast in their Dominican values.

Posted by Ryan Ng at Thursday, September 12, 2013 20:55:29

In response to Anita Diec (Rape of Nanking):

The war crimes committed during the Rape of Nanking sound horrible. What would drive human beings to commit these atrocities against their own species? I also wonder why this event isn't talked about as much as the Holocaust. Do you know whether many Chinese today still hold a grudge against the Japanese for this horrible event?

Posted by Ryan Ng at Thursday, September 12, 2013 20:55:38

In response to Isaac comment on "The Rape of Nanking"

I Agree with you that what the Japanese did was unacceptable and they need to be reminded of their crimes in their textbooks. I was also wondering what you liked about the book? because obviously you didn't like the gruesome stuff... I think there were some thing to like about it though.

Posted by Kevin Nguyen at Thursday, September 12, 2013 21:05:07

In response to Moira Duya's comment about Professor and the Madman, your response about this book caught my attention. When I was looking for my summer reading books, I completely skipped this book as one of my interests. Though right now, you changed my mind and made me want to read this book. The way that the story is about a man who is judged by something he is not caught my attention. People think that since he is disabled, they expect him to not know anything, but in reality, he has an intellectual mind. This story can contribute to many aspects in life. How people treat others in the outside and not the inside. I would definitely take this book into consideration because of the questions I have on this book. How did the way people think he was due to his disability affect him? What persuaded him into sharing his knowledge?

Posted by Aisleen Santos at Thursday, September 12, 2013 21:08:48

Karina Phan
Mr. Hannigan H/English
Period: 6

Book 1: The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang.
Overall this book was very informative about the area of Nanking, and World War 2. Honestly, the book was too descriptive for my taste. It described how the women of Nanking were raped, how people were murdered in such abundant amounts, and much more.

For me, the book was challenging to read. Iris would put a lot of information on one page. The page would be filled with different types of names and dates. In the end, she would make a connection between all the names. I'm wasn't so familiar with that type of writing. As i went along with reading the book, i became more familiar and read it more easily.

Nanking was invaded by Japan. Japan would teach men, from when they were young boys, that they should defend what is theres. Also, to make sacrifices even if it means to be a human bomb, you should be honored. They were very strict and taught them how to be obedient (in the wrong ways, by physically punishing). Many boys and men were recruited for war headed towards China. They were very successful at making China fall apart in certain areas. They needed to conquer one more place, and that was Nanking. Japan had a plan to block off all the ways to escape. They did that. once they got into Nanking, they disrupted the peace in a way no one would imagine. They had not mercy towards the Chinese. They would kill innocent citizens, rape girls and women of all ages, and destroy buildings. They even stole ancient artifacts to keep for themselves. I don't like to go into much detail about how they murdered and raped. It's too disturbing. Japan was truly disrespectful. Japanese soldiers weren't even punished for their wrong doings by their officers and commanders. Although they killed so many people and China seemed hopeless that even Chinese officials fled, China had some foreign help. Germans, and mostly Americans tried their best to protect Chinese people and even soldiers. All the people who helped where mentally drained because they would have to work so hard to protect. Some were even abused by the officers. After America bombed Japan, Japan withdrew from Nanking. They tried their best to cover up what they had done. They spread a propaganda that their people believed. If i didn't read this book, i would've never knew that all this happened between the two countries.

I learned that the topic of China(Nanking) having a war against Japan, was not so popular to media and such. I have never even heard of Nanking until i read the book. I didn't even know that Japan raided China during WWII. I wonder why this topic hasn't been taught in school. In the book, Iris talks about this. She even did research on why it wasn't being covered. The United States doesn't cover it because it can "create problems" with their alliances. In China, they do cover it, but since they forgave Japan, they don't go into depth about it. Japan, their textbooks literally has about 2 lines of the Rape of Nanking. In Japan, they didn't want to show their students the horrifying things they did to China. Also, since Japan surrendered, they showed "weakness". Basically, they do not want themselves to look bad. Who would?

Posted by Karina Phan at Thursday, September 12, 2013 22:11:03

Book 2: Things Fall Apart
Overall, i enjoyed this book. It wasn't too difficult of a read. The names are somewhat complicated and close to each other so remembering the characters took longer. The man character though, is Okonkwo. He was a successful farmer. He grew the king crop, yams. He was a well respected man through out his village. He was a strong warrior who took pride in everything he did. Okonkwo was everything his father wasn't. Okonkwo's father, Unoka, was a man who lived for music in his younger years. Unoka owed many people money and was largely in debt. As he was dying, he was taken to perish in the wilderness because of his swelling. Since Unoka wasn't a wealthy, respected man, Okonkwo despised his father. He became successful during his young years in life. He grew yams and wrestled. Many praised him, even though he was not humble and showed no affection.

After Mbaino, killed Ogbuefi Udo's wife, instead of going to war, they had to sacrifice a virgin and a young boy. THe young boy was Ikemefuna, who end up living with Okonkwo for 3 years. Ikemefuna bonded with the family and was treated like one. He saw them as his own family as well. Nwoye, Okonkwo's eldest son, saw Ikemefuna as a wise brother. Ikemefuna helped Nwoye developed int a young man, Okonkwo was pleased. But after 3 years, the leaders if Umuofia decided that Ikemefuna will be killed. Okonkwo didn't want to look like a coward so he obliged. After Ikemefuna died, Okonkwo felt great sorrow, but he didn't know why. This for-shadows that Oknonkwo will loose a son/ son figure.

When Ogbuefi Ndulue died, he had a great funeral. Shots(guns) were saluted to him. During the last shot, people were dancing, but in the middle there was a horrifying cry. Okonkwo had accidentally shot Exeudo's 16 year old son. It was a law that Okonkwo would have to flee form the land for 7 years because he killed a clansman. Okonkwo's crime was considered "female" because he didn't do it intentionally.

Oknonkwo and his family moved to his motherland in Mbanta. Uchenclu, Okonkwo's dead mother's kinsman took care of Okwonkwo. As Oknonkwo was there, white men came to villages. They were missionaries and tried to convert people to Christianity. Some people joined including Nwoye. Okonkwo disapproved, and relied on his other children to make him happy.The white men built their churches and would have conflicts with the clan. They also brought in government with them and built a court house and jail.

Since the church and clan had many conflicts, Okonkwo wanted them out of the village. The masked spirits went to the church and destroyed it. The villagers came back to the clan, and Okonkwo was pleased. MR Brown, a leader if the missionaries, called a "meeting" for the 6 leaders of Umuofia to meet in his headquarters. The leaders end up being handcuffed, brought to the guardroom, had their heads shaved, teased, and were punished/tortured. Mr. Brown demanded 250 cowries for each man to be bailed/ released. Once they were released the leaders called a meeting. At the meeting, a messenger from Mr.Brown was decapitated by two hacks fro Okonkwo and his machete.

Mr.Brown was furious and was out to look for Okonkwo. The leaders led Mr. Brown and his men to Okonkwo. It turns out that Okonkwo had hung himself on a tree. The leaders couldn't take down the body because it is now evil. Mr. Brown's men took down Okonkwo. He had committed suicide, who thought he would? I don't understand exactly why Okonkwo took that action.

Posted by Karina Phan at Thursday, September 12, 2013 22:11:33

In response to Kajol Shankar: Wow, it sounds like a very interesting book the way you described it. I agree with you that it's very sad to know that the book was non-fiction, and the story was so tragic. It seems like you fully comprehend with the book and since you even gave a review on the ending of the book it proves that you read it. Great job for giving a summary of the main events in the book! I just bought the book from Amazon, can't wait to read it!... Even though it sounds like all tragedies....

Posted by Karina Phan at Thursday, September 12, 2013 22:12:12

Gericho Tamayo
Period 7

Comment #1: Things Fall Apart

The people in this world are extremely diverse. People who don't travel will never be able to explore the many cultures of this world. Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, depicts the world of African tribe life and the core emotions of humans. Okonkwo, the main protagonist, is a village leader who came from a lazy, unworthy father. Because of that, Okonkwo decides to surpass his father and become a great man with a huge compound. This reflects the human nature of embarrassment and resentment to his father. He can't understand his father's way of easy living and laziness. His dislike for his father fuels his desire to become the best man in Umuofia. This shows that everyone lives their own lives. People shouldn't complain about other people's lifestyle, but to work toward making their own better.
Okonkwo also doesn't show feelings deemed "unmanly" on the outside. He, instead, turns to coldness. He is unkind to his own son even if he did something good. Men in the tribe are afraid that showing affection is womanly. Okonkwo clearly shows that. In the book, Christians move into African tribes to preach their religion. Their beliefs clashed with the tribe's beliefs. Because they didn't understand each other, conflict arose. Okonkwo certainly did not like the idea of change and of things unknown. He commits suicide after killing a messanger for "white men." He probably felt tired of his unfair life and the changes going on. Was he justified for his action? He was banished, lost his crops and house, and was forced to watch his hometown get poisoned by the foreigners. Okonkwo was just tired. He didn't feel the world needed him. In the end, he couldn't change anything.

Comment #2: The Rape of Nanking

The Holocaust caused by the Nazi's killed six million Jews. We should be aware of that. But there was another mass killing that happened in World War II. The Rape of Nanking, by Iris Change, clearly explains the incident. Most people aren't aware of the massacre that happened in Nanking, China. The Japanese, known for their manners, mercilessly killed 260,000-350,000 people in the city of Nanking. Within a few a weeks the crime was committed. There was much tension between China and Japan at the time. The two countries fought over Korea and China lost. When, Japan invaded China, an atrocity occurred that is beyond words. Instead of simply capturing the city, they pilfered and burned the city down. They killed in ways unthinkable to the normal person. They beheaded the civilians and soldiers alike. They made prisoners clean bodies of the dead before they died themselves. Many were lined up at the river to be mowed down my machine guns. These actions were all done covertly. It's amazing that human beings are able to do things so inhuman. The soldiers behaved like machines. The rape of women is also a controversial topic. Women shouldn't be treated as objects. They were disposed of as though they were by the Japanese. The Japanese trained their students to become unmoral killing machines and yet they deny it. The Germans payed for the crimes against humanity yet the Japanese try to cover it up. I am quite amazed. The Rape of Naking has become the most eye opening book I've ever read.

Comment #3: Response to Bill Peralta

Longitude, by Dava Sobel, doesn't sound like an interesting book. Harrison basically tries to measure longitude but encounters problems. In the end he makes a watch that's accurate enough but he doesn't get the full prize. I don't know much of what his journey was like. It seems like a very monumental task but it just doesn't sound exciting. Where does he travel and who does he meet? Is there conflict with his crew? What troubles does have making H4? I will read this book to find out, but it will be secondary reading material.

*I posted this on the wrong discussion.

Posted by Gericho Tamayo at Thursday, September 12, 2013 22:54:34

For my summer reading, I read American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It is one of my favorite books actually because I love mythology and magical realism, stories that are like real life except with a little something added. Some of my favorite parts of the book was when Gaiman interspersed plot chapters with stories about someone's own Coming to America story and how they brought their beliefs with them. There is a story of a souvenir-peddling Middle Eastern man in New York, disenchanted with life until a djinn who drives taxis switch lives with him. Then there is the woman who transported all of the creatures she believed in into America by honoring them with her old country's traditions. Then, when she died, no one else continued these rituals so her creatures, tthe ones she transported to America, just floated on, barely clinging to existence. These little parts stitched the story together and made the world-building quite sturdy and solid. 

 In particular I loved how regular people's beliefs had brought these powerful, almost-immortal gods to life. They needed people's worship, these immense beings. Their whole existences depended on the whims of humans. Eventually the old gods weaken because their people stop believing in the old wives tales. Their people's children never believe from the start the fairytales and myths and legends of days gone by. After all, they might be good stories but how do they pertain to our life now? No one in America would believe in them at all; they have Christainality, Judiasm, Islam, ect to use. Instead, new gods rise up in our modernity, the gods of automobiles and electronics and planes. Gaimen mentions in an almost casual manner the car gods are powerful and sleek from having human sacrifice dedicated to them on a level unprecented before in history. This is such a fascinating way to think about the world. It makes me think of how old beliefs adapt to a new world, how people devote their time and money to new things, and then how quickly they abandon them for the next. I, of course, highly recommend American Gods. 

In response to Moira's comment about "The Professor and the Madmen": I find the last few sentences ignorant and ableistic. Being mentally disabled does not equal being insane and neither does it connotate to being stupid. It is false to assume being mentally disabled automatically means someone is slow or unintelligent. Minor should not be used as an example of how, supposedly, disabled people can be intelligent too. He committed murder for heaven's sake! Why would you use him as a shining example of 'oh, being mentally disabled doesn't mean someone's stupid'? People were right to distrust him because he had killed someone. Having a mental disorder (which begs the question if he even had one or not and if he did how can we even trust that fact if it was diagnosed in the 1900s) does not predispose someone to murder! Having a mental illness does not ever mean someone is insane or 'crazy'. Don't make these kinds of assumptions.

Posted by Alena Wang at Thursday, September 12, 2013 22:58:30

Comment #1: The Rape of Nanking, by Iris Chang, was a very informational book but also very gruesome. In this book, Iris goes back to WWII and the invasion in China by the Japanese. The Japanese take over a certain city named Nanking, and were given orders to do nothing but kill. The massacre that happened in Nanking was one of the biggest massacres in the world. Over 350,000 people were tortured to death. Dead bodies pilled up on the beach and rivers were read with blood as soldiers turned murder into a sport. The training for the soldiers was just meant to harden their harts and make murder a soft thing in their hearts. One group of soldiers were assigned 3 Chinese people each and they were told to kill them in the most creative way they could think of. They did decapitations with a smile on their faces. Then they would take those heads, and line them up on posts and put cigarettes in between their lips as a joke. They would burry the Chinese people half way, and let German Shepards rip them to pieces. They would burry people alive, lit them on fire alive, or just put them in groups and light them up with a machine gun. In one of the visual aids towards the middle of the book, they show a Chinese man strapped to pole and. Japanese man stabbing him with his knife. She said that the Japanese used the Chinese as practice targets, and they would repeat the stabbing even after the victim is dead. The women, are a whole other story. All women were raped or tortured In some disgusting way. Most women were strapped to chairs of repeated attack from the men. Once the 20 or more Japanese men were done with their business, they'd kill the women, and throw her in the pile with the other corpses. Some women were forced into doing pornographic poses. Many women were removed of their clothing, tortured, and then killed to remove the proof. In this book, Iris goes into deep detail of what tortures were used against the Chinese and just shows how tragic of a time this was. One of the hardest parts about reading this book, was that you were reading it. The visual aids don't show up till about the middle of the book, but until then, your mind gets to create it's own picture of what happened. This factor, just adds to the difficulty of reading this book, but it was very informational and interesting. I hooked the whole time and I couldn't stop reading. It was a wonderful read.

Comment #2: In response to Kristina Pimentel: I like the idea of the book, but it doesn't sound like there really is any plot twists or climax. It sounds more like a documentary to me. The setting of the book and the tone sounds like it could have gone in so many different ways. Why would the author just let Frank grow up and move? I understand that he had to take up the position of "the man of the house" but why couldn't he have accomplished even more? I was very surprised to read how the book started great and hooked me, but had such a terrible ending.

Note: I'm really sorry that I posted it past midnight! I am doing this from my tablet amd when I clicked "Add Comment", it gave me a loading screen for about 25 mins and finally failed so I had to retype the whole thing.

Posted by Arjun Bhagat at Thursday, September 12, 2013 23:26:38

Bill Peralta
Period 7

First comment:

Guns, Germs, and Steel. Quite a fascinating book by Jarod Diamond, but at times, quite boring as well. I read this book because it was supposed to help me somewhat with AP World History. Indeed, it did. The book begin's with Yali, a person from New Guinea that asks a question similar to, "How were Europeans able to conquer so many places, while other humans weren't?" The title of the book comes into play. The answer is through guns (weapons), germs (foreign diseases), and steel (advanced technology). Spanish conquistadors invading Peru were an example. Their weapons were superior in battle, they brought diseases such as smallpox, and they had the technology to sail all the way from Spain to South America. A good portion of the book describes the innovations of agriculture and food production, both of which are very important in human living. Further in the book, explanations of earlier societies are shown. Diamond explains the differences between a tribe and a state, the rise of China, and the reasons why Europeans wanted to expand out to the Americas. While the "white" people were constantly advancing their technologies, other places stayed somewhat primal. The epilogue gives the true answer to Yali's question. The Eurasian "white" people were able to conquer much more because of their geography. They simply had better conditions in the places they lived in. They domesticated animals and plants, migrated quickly due to favorable conditions for travel and agriculture, and had more stuff to start with. Basically, the Eurasians were lucky. That gave them a jump start on technology, evolving into a jump start on the rest of the world.

Second Comment:

For my second book. I read Longitude by Dava Sobel. The version I read was the illustrated one that included pictures of texts, notebooks, important people, and instruments. The aim of the book was to describe the journey of finding a reliable way to calculate longitude. A monetary prize was offered to the man that can solve the problem. Many times have people been lost at sea because of the lack of navigation, so King Charles II built an observatory to solve the problem of finding longitude at sea. The mariners at the time were able to use latitude, because it's simply a set of measurements going from North to South. Sobel stresses the issue with longitude. The Earth is constantly spinning. Measurements are variable. Methods like astronomical positioning proved to be ineffective. Those measurements are to become what we now know as longitude. John Harrison was up to the challenge of solving this. He hypothesized that a person can calculate longitude by knowing two factors: the current time on the seafaring vessel, and the current time of the ship's home port. Harrison's accomplishments weren't in the measurements. They were in the timekeeping. He created a series of maritime watches that had to be extremely accurate regardless of circumstances like movement, altitude, atmospheric pressure, etc. Harrison spent 19 years making the third edition to this series, but the watch still proved inaccurate. He finally cape up with the H4, a watch that was accurate enough to exceed the longitude standard. He exceeded it by three times the required accuracy. The people at the board of longitude still weren't convinced, so Harrison didn't get the full prize, only a small portion. His clocks were used to find longitude at the Royal Observatory. That building in Greenwich now has a bright neon light running through it, which officially marks the coordinate of 0 degrees longitude.

Reply To Henry Fong on the book October Sky:

My favorite thing about your explanation of the book was probably the reason for the BCMA's formation. A bunch of teenage boys were inspired by an international space race, so they followed their dreams and did what they loved. Even though other people laughed at their creations, they still kept creating rockets. Unfortunately, Sonny's father didn't agree with this idea, and he wanted his son to be a miner instead. I'm surprised that Sonny's mother allowed him. Usually, it's the mother that prevents the child from doing dangerous things. Also, I like how the mining town's name is Coalwood. It seems very appropriate. By your description, I see that the book has the typical "good ending" that everyone wants. Although Sonny didn't become a miner, he became the first person in Coalwood to get to college. That is a much more honorable feat than being another member in a whole family of miners.

I accidentally posted this on Mr. Campbell's discussion page yesterday instead of yours, Mr. Hannigan.

Posted by Bill Peralta (period 7) at Friday, September 13, 2013 05:11:47

In the fictional book called Memoirs of a Geisha, an elderly woman named Sayuri retells her life of becoming a geisha and all the hardships she must face to accomplish her goal. The story then begins at the place of her childhood where she and her older sister Satsu are sold to Mr. Tanaka for money to help their mother's health. Though later Mr.Tanaka gives them away to a geisha dresser named Mr.Bekku. Who then separates the two sisters by leaving Satsu in a in prostitute house and then leaves Sayuri in okiya in care of the geishas. Sayuri then must defend for herself and adjust to the new lifestyle of becoming a geisha apprentice with a little help from her friends and mentors along the way. Where she must give up love to survive in the world were men spend thousands of dollars on gaining the virginity and owning their own personal geisha. Arthur Golden is able to invite you into a world that is filled with lust, jealously, love, hardships, and courage. Where falling in love is the worst thing you could do to yourself and where there is no limit to how you seduce a man.
Reading this book opened my eyes to a new world where your body becomes an item to gain money and where the word no is not to be used lightly. The characters just don't become words on pen but living beings that breath, think, and talk like you do. Simply words on pages are able to become living people who you are easily able to connect to and feel emotion for. The characters become someone precious to you that you just can't bear to part with or see to get hurt. This book has becoming one of personal favorites an allowed me to be extremely grateful for the lifestyle I live. This book was not only able to make me adore it but also educate me on how looking at the past makes you see all the things we take for granted.

Posted by Elise Yap at Friday, September 13, 2013 20:43:59

In the novel, American Gods By Neil Gaiman, a convict, named Shadow, gets released from prison after his wife is purposely killed in a car accident in order to get Shadow out of jail earlier so that his father, who is a god, can set his master plan in motion. His father, Odin planned, along with Loki, the leader of the new gods, to start a war between the two groups of gods without them even knowing that they were set up, so that Loki and Odin would gain power from the battle itself. Shadow figuring all this out, was able to stop them war from raging before it was too late. I though this was a great work of imagination. First, I want to talk about Shadow. I really liked how he accepted everything with no questioning the credibility of the existence of gods because I found it to be a little humorous too. I also enjoyed the ending, when he found out all about who he is and his part in all this as if he achieved enlightenment. Also, in my opinion, the thought of new gods and old gods was unique and entrancing. The book heavily emphasized that America was a bad place for gods due to the lack of ancient history and wavering beliefs/religion, proven by gods either being new or old. Overall, this novel was a great read and expanded my imagination in terms of mythology and gods.

Posted by Jesus Alarcon at Friday, September 13, 2013 21:17:52

In response to Bill Peralta's comment on Guns, Germs, and Steel. This book sounded like something I could read to help me understand my AP world history a little better. In addition to this I would also more knowledge to rely on. There probably could have been information on there that isn't in the book of AP world history. I like how the title basically answered the questions: "How were Europeans able to conquer so many places, while other humans couldn't?" This proves that the book is a reliable book that I would benefit from greatly. I might pick it up sometime in the future.

Posted by Jesus Alarcon at Friday, September 13, 2013 21:25:35

The other book I read was the non-fiction book, Longitude by Dava Sabal. This emphasizes the importance of longitude and how it relied on so heavily in order to actually tell where they are going. Many ships have been lost at seas attempting to figure out how to find the mysterious concept of longitude. I never knew how important longitude was until I read this book. A major factor to telling longitude was the clock, and the clock can become inaccurate by other natural phenomena that you would never expect to effect it, such as: weather. Any slight miscalculation, and you would end up lost at sea! I learned a lot from this book in terms of what you need to calculate longitude, how to calculate longitude, and what factors can effect this process. It was an intriguing read.

Posted by Quentin Monasterial at Friday, September 13, 2013 21:38:07

In the book rape of nanking by iris Chang i found it quite horrifying. First of all what the japanese did to the chinese was well unexpected. MY opinion i thought the chinese and japanese were like best friends but in this book they are like villains and the chinese are like dogs. They beat the chinese for fun. They even did it with dogs... What were the japanese people thinking. I am glad i read the book over all and it informed me much about what i haven't learned yet. Also it was totally unnecessary for then to kill so many people. They trained their men to become killing animals and treated woman like toys just tossing them aside after they were done with them

The second book i read was longitude by daivd sobel
The book in my perspective, was alright. It was pretty much just about a dude that wants to find out how to measure longitude. Many people were trying to solve the problem by building machines that could calculate the longitude At first it seemed impossible until someone named John Harrison created some machines that would calculate the longitude accurately. There were some people that were jealous and tried to make copy cats of the machines, but he won most of the prize money. That's mostly what the book was about, and to me the book was really boring as well.

@Elise yap: Memoirs of a Geisha seems pretty interesting but idk about the prostitute house think that really isn't my cup of tea. Plus why would he separte the 2 sisters? it seems to rated R and how did themom get ick in the first place? Also i agree with you i never know that there was such a time period in asian that that happened where men owned women just for pleasure. Im glad that change

Posted by Antoinette Loya at Friday, September 13, 2013 22:32:33

The first book, The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester, was mainly about the contributors of the Oxford English Dictionary. The two main contributors that were talked about the most were James Murray, the professor and the editor of the OED(Oxford English Dictionary), and William Chester Minor, a surgeon and war veteran who has turned mad. Dr. Minor lives in a asylum because he killed a father on his way to work thinking he was an Irish man attacking him. Since Dr. Minor is locked up he decides to be part of the many contributors of the OED. Minor stands out in particular because he is able to send so many slips of paper with words that need to be in the dictionary. Murray and Minor develop a great friendship and write to each other, but they never meet face to face. Murray finally becomes curious about Dr. Minor because he never shows up to any events that Murray invites him to, so he decides to visit him at the asylum. Murray realized that the letters were being sent from an asylum but he thought Minor, having the title of a doctor, worked there. Once he figures out he is a patient, it does not effect there friendship and they remain close friends until old age. I, personally, found the book a bit boring until Dr. Murray goes completely insane and cuts off his male organ.

The second novel, Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe, was following a woman's life and all of her struggles. Originally not having the name, Moll Flanders was born in Europe to a mother who had stolen and was being convicted. Having being with child, she was bailed until Moll was born and then taken to American. Moll spent her childhood with a widow who is a mother to Moll and teaches her things like chores and manners. Moll always said at a young age that she wanted to be a women that could take care of herself and make her own money, Moll was also very beautiful and grew into a beautiful teen. When the widow died, a family who had taken a liking to Moll, let her stay with them. They had two girls and two boys around the same age as Moll. The brothers fall in love with Moll and she has an affair with the older brother, secretly. Then the younger brother proclaims his love for Moll to the whole family and wishes to marry her. The family looks down upon Moll because, although she is beautiful, she has no money. After the older brother leaves Moll, she is decides to marry his brother, who soon dies after the marriage. After, she marries a man who's a draper and leaves the country because he is a fugitive. Then, she meets a man whom she moves out to American with and has a child with. She finds out that they share the same mother and goes back to England utterly disgusted, leaving her husband/half-brother, child, and mother. Once she returns, she befriends a lady who is a widow. The widow marries a shipman and leaves Moll realizing that she isn't going to get a husband because she has absolutely nothing. She becomes a mistress for a while, but then the man doesn't want to see her anymore because he got sick and had a religious epiphany. Moll wants to marry a banker whose ahs a wife who is cheating on him, but want to wait for the divorce. While she is waiting, she meets a woman who fixes her up with a man who says he is rich, thinking that Moll is also rich, despite her not saying anything. He turns out to be a fraud and they go their separate ways. When Moll returns to the banker, he is divorced and ready to get married. Once married, Moll has another husband who has died. Lonely and poor, Moll meets a women and they result to stealing. They succeed for a long time but Moll is eventually caught, goes to jail and is sentenced to death. Moll is afraid of jail and dying but she meets her draper husband in jail and they get their sentences reduced and moved to Virginia. Moll sees her abandoned son in Virginia and learns that her half-bother is blind and mad. Everyone believes that his wife has died. Her son finds out that Moll is his mother and they form a relationship. She moves back to England with her husband at an old age, and they live the rest of their living looking back at all the mischief they got into. I really enjoyed this book because Moll wasn't the typical type of women at that time, as in rich and beneficial to her husband, but she did what she had to do. I also found it interesting how women who men married did not have to be beautiful and that the pretty ones were made into mistresses. Despite all the men Moll was with and all the mistakes she made, she ended up happy. I feel Moll had a very eventful, exciting life that taught her a lot.

In response to Jessica Leung: I read a book very similar to How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. It had the same theme of moving to America and having to become Americanized, but very different morals. I like how both our fiction books dealt with girls who guys like but there is always someone who disapproves.

Posted by Jovanna Brinck at Saturday, September 14, 2013 21:22:26