Gems of Wisdom: resenha do excelente livro de Jack Scholes

Tempo de leitura: 4 minutos

Gems of Wisdom
Inspirational Messages to Enhance the Quality of Your Life and Improve Your English
Jack Scholes – Disal Editora, 2007.


Gems of Wisdom

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Gems of Wisdom – Review 1

Gems of Wisdom is a collection of inspirational messages to enhance the quality of your life. You can dip into it at any time. There is no fixed sequence or order. The page you open at any time is probably the message you most need to read at that particular moment. When you read a message, stop for a few minutes to reflect carefully on the meaning and moral of each one. All the quotations have a very profound significance. Some of them are quite humorous, and truth and humour are a very potent combination.

The authors of the quotations come from an amazingly wide range of countries. Many come from the United States and Britain, but others come from such diverse countries as Germany, France, Switzerland, India, Vietnam, Lebanon, Persia, Colombia and Brazil. They also represent the whole gamut of creative human activity – authors, poets, actors, business people, singers, musicians, song writers, artists, historians, soldiers, inventors, entrepreneurs, theologians, cartoonists, critics, psychologists, psychiatrists, inventors, Buddhist monks, comedians, orators, aviators, spiritual and political leaders, peace activists, and there are even quotes from a juggler, a modern-day rapper and a Hollywood sex symbol. Some of the authors are still alive, but many of them lived in previous centuries, some as far back as the thirteenth century. What they had to say then is just as relevant to today’s world as it was to theirs. An Appendix at the back of the book gives short biographical information about all of the authors.

But Gems of Wisdom is much more than just a collection of inspirational messages. It is also an unusual, ingenious and enjoyable way to improve your English. An item of language in the message is taken as the starting point and springboard for further information about the English language, and the culture and customs of English-speaking countries. An incredible wealth of subjects and topics are dealt with. For example:

  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Usage
  • Culture
  • Customs
  • Pronunciation
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Collocations
  • Functions
  • Popular sayings
  • Proverbs
  • Opposites
  • Synonyms
  • Colloquialisms
  • Prefixes
  • Suffixes
  • Confusable words
  • Common mistakes
  • False friends
  • Slang
  • Conversational gambits
  • Word origins
  • Gestures
  • Curiosities
  • Phrasal verbs
  • Word families
  • Binomial phrases
  • Fixed expressions
  • Idiomatic expressions
  • Humorous expressions
  • Multi-word expressions
  • Polite and impolite words and expressions
  • Taboo words and expressions
  • Spoken and written English
  • Formal and informal English
  • Business English
  • Legal English
  • Australian English
  • British and American English

Each item has simple explanations or easy definitions and in many cases example sentences are given to show exactly how to use a word or expression. Gems of Wisdom is absolutely unique. It offers you the chance to find information and transformation. Information about the English language and culture and transformation from the messages that give you more elevation and perspective to help you realize your highest potential. Gems of Wisdom is a book for anyone who wants to learn more about the English language and also more about themselves and to have some fun while doing this.

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Gems of Wisdom – Review 2

Gems of Wisdom is an assortment of thought-provoking messages taken from sources as diverse as the philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche to the rapper, Ice Cube. This little book is full of opportunities. Inspiring, challenging or just plain funny; each carefully chosen quotation or saying is interesting enough on its own. And any reader can enjoy picking up the book and letting it fall open onto a page that is sure to provide something, be it a motivating idea, a piece of comfort, or a smile.

But for English learners and teachers Gems of Wisdom offers even more. An element of each message is extracted and its function and use in the English language, explored. The book gives examples of individual word use (especially within common or interesting fixed English expressions), vocabulary exploration (word families, synonyms and antonyms, common collocations) and cultural notes, among many other things.

For teachers, the possibilities for classroom use are endless. Many of the messages could be used as a starting point for discussion. You could also use any of the messages as a motivational way to start investigation into a particular grammar or vocabulary topic. To develop creativity and language ownership, students could write their own messages, or a text giving their opinion of the ideas presented in the message. For homework they can research expressions, culture, or the author.

The possibilities really are endless. To sum up, Gems of Wisdom is an enjoyable and interesting “little gem” whatever way it may be used.

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The reviewers

Review 1

Jack Scholes was born and raised in England and has over 35 years of experience in the field of English Language Teaching in many different countries. He is a freelance writer, trainer and ELT specialist.

Review 2

Lia Ponton has the CELTA (A) and a first class honours degree in Theatre from Leeds University. She has taught English in Europe, Asia and Brazil. She is Content Development Supervisor at iLang.