GE|Adults|Advanced|14. Reading habits

Discuss with your teacher, which of the following factors normally influence you to read a book

I read a book because:

a) a friend of mine recommended it

b) it is a bestseller — everybody is reading it

c) I saw and enjoyed a film based on it

d) I read a good review about it

Try to guess if the following sentences are the first or the last in the books and what book each sentence belongs to.

Match the collocations and idioms to their explanations


Complete the sentences

Answer the following questions


1. Have you read the book or seen one of the film adaptations?

2. Do you know its title in your language?

3. Had you guessed the murderer before the author revealed him?

4. Do you think this information would spoil the pleasure of reading if you had known it in advance?

The story was originally called Ten Little Niggers. It is still called so in Russian. Since the second publishing, the name was changed due to the reasons of political correctness.

The plot in brief: Ten people who don’t know each other are on a small island where they cannot escape from. They die one by one, suspect each other and the reader can’t solve the mystery until the last page.

Whodunit: a detective story, the short spoken form of the question: «Who has done it?»

Read a post from a book blog and say how you understand the highlighted words. If you know the novel, guess the missed word at the end

Warning: If you like to be surprised, stop reading right now. But if you’re curious about this book and its ending, then read on. (Because I’m not completely cruel. I’ve whited out the spoiler).
Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Before reading, discuss the questions with your teacher


1. How, do you think, did the experiment work? What was the outcome?

2. Has anyone ever spoiled a film, a book, a sports match, or anything else for you by telling how it ended? What did you feel?

Read the text, check your answer to question 1 and mark the sentences True or False

Time to rename the spoiler

by Maria Konnikova 🔗

One of my favourite movies is When Harry Met Sally. I can watch it again and again and love it every single time ─ maybe even more than I did before. There’s a scene that will be familiar to any of the movie’s fans: Harry and Sally have just set off on their drive to New York City and Harry starts telling Sally about his dark side. He mentions one thing in particular: whenever he starts a new book, he reads the last page first. That way, in case he dies while reading it, he’ll know how it ends.

Harry will know how it ends, true, but doesn’t that also ruin the book?
If you know the ending, how can you enjoy the story? As it turns out, easily. A study in this month’s issue of Psychological Science comes to a surprising conclusion: spoilers don’t actually spoil anything. In fact, they may even serve to enhance the experience of reading.

Over 800 students from the University of California in San Diego took part in a series of experiments where they read one of three types of short story: a story with an ironic twist (such as Roald Dahl), a mystery (such as Agatha Christie), and a literary story (such as Raymond Carver). For each story, there was a spoiler paragraph that revealed the outcome.

The students read the stories either with or without the spoiler. Time to reconsider, it seems, what we call a spoiler. The so-called ‘spoiled’ stories were actually rated as more enjoyable than those that were ‘unspoiled’, no matter what type of story was being read. Knowing the ending, even when suspense was part of the story’s goal, made the process of reading more, not less, pleasurable.

Why would this be the case? Perhaps, freed from following the plot, we can pay more attention to the quality of the writing and to the subtleties of the story as a whole. Perhaps we’re more likely to spot signs and clues about what might happen, and take pleasure in our ability to identify them.

Whatever the reason, it may not be as urgent as we think it is to avoid spoilers. Harry might have the right idea after all, reading the last page first. In fact, he might be getting at the very thing that lets me watch him meet Sally over and over and over again, and enjoy the process every single time.

This song was originally made famous by American singer-songwriter Vladimir John Ondrasik known by his stage name Five for Fighting, in 2009. For copyright reasons this is a cover version.

Listen to the song and write the words in the brackets in the correct grammar form. Then listen again and check

Story of Your Life

At 17 she left Long Island bound for Hollywood Another story like the ones you’ve heard before He left her broken like you figured, like you knew he would She shut her heart after his ring rang off the door It’s the story of your life You’re tearing out the page New chapter underway


The story of your life You live it every day You can run, you run But you won’t get away I don’t know what’s coming up Where will you go now? It’s the story of your life She hit the ground She built a fine career Every weekend walked her dog beside the sea In the salt she met a man who knew at once, but wait Is he the one we need him to be? In the story of your life You’re moving down the page As the words begin to change


The story of your life You live it every day You can run, you run But you won’t get away I don’t know what’s coming up Where will you go now? It’s the story of your life Look around, look around and the world will find you Look around, look around and the world will find you Look around, look around and the world will find you There’s a reason that we live so far from Hollywood In the country looking hard to find a home We’re nothing perfect All considered But we’re so damned good In the story of your life You’re moving down the page And you know you’re on your way


In the story of your life You’re moving down the page You can run, you run But you won’t get away I don’t know what’s coming up Where will you go now? It’s the story of your life It’s your story It’s the story of your life

Choose the best word


Read the grammar rules

Participle Clauses


Participle clauses are another tool which can be used to shorten sentences


Despite having had a stressful week, Mr Sparky decided to throw a party. Not wanting to seem inhospitable, he ordered a lot of delivery food. Having prepared his home, Mr Sparky checked his phone and found out that half of the people invited to the party couldn’t come. Knowing his friends, Mr Sparky chose to hold two get-togethers so that everybody could unwind.


Grammar rules1_L14|GE|Adv

*Having + V3 is similar in meaning to After + Ving.

Having called her mum, she went to bed. = After calling her mum, she went to bed. (= After she had called her mum, she went to bed.)


Participle clauses

Grammar rules2_L14|GE|Adv

  • Remember some typical phrases:

Generally speaking, participle clauses are used to make language more concise.

Judging from his comment, Pete wasn’t aware of the problem.

All things considered, she’d rather stay at home.

We should be tolerant of cultural differences. Having said that/That being said, our company policy applies to all the employees.


Rewrite the sentences, making the highlighted phrases more concise by using participle clauses

Read the rest of the review and cross out the wrong word. Explain how you understand the highlighted idiom in the text

The first half of the book is told in the first person, alternately by Nick, and then by Amy, through extracts from her journal. The two stories are totally different: Nick describes Amy as stubborn and antisocial, whereas she makes him out to be aggressive and difficult. As a result, the reader is left guessing whether Nick is guilty or not. In the second half, however, the reader realizes that neither Nick nor Amy have been telling the truth in their account of the marriage. The resulting situation has unexpected consequences for Nick, Amy, and the reader.

The great strength of this book is how the characters of Nick and Amy unfold. In spite of having typical devices common to thrillers, for example, several possible suspects and plenty of red herrings, the novel is also a psychological analysis of the effect on personalities of failure and disappointed dreams. My own criticism would be that the first half goes too long and perhaps could be slightly cut down.

Not only is this an absolutely gripping novel, but it also tackles real problems in society, such as the unhappiness that is caused by problems with the economy and the effect of the media on a crime investigation. For all lovers of psychological thrillers, Gone Girl is a must.

Read again, if necessary, and find the following

1. An example of inversion.

2. An example of how the author gives some negative information.

3. The author’s opinion.

Choose the topic you would like to discuss. Use the following words and expressions from the lesson.



1. whodunit

2. spoiler

3. enhance

4. twist

Useful language

1. to gobsmack

2. to know like a book


  • intricate plot
  • subordinate plot (subplot)
  • threadbare plot
  • unravelling of the plot


1. flick through

2. red herring

1. What is your favourite genre? What do you like most about it?

2. What kind of literature do you read most often? Would you like to change it?

3. Do you have a favourite writer who you trust like a friend?

4. Does anybody from your family or friends have the same preferences in reading as you do?

1. What is your favourite time and place to read?

2. What is more important for you: the unravelling of the plot or the beauty of the language?

3. Do you sometimes discuss books on Facebook or other social media?

4. Do you think you can write a good book review to make a lot of people intrigued?

1. What makes reading unattractive for you?

2. Do you agree that the most important thing in any book is the information it gives?

3. Do you like watching films?

4. Do you read film reviews before going to the cinema?

If you open the lesson plan you will be able to assign separate pages as homework or all the homework pages at once.

Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • Discuss a book like a pro!
  • Detective stories
  • Time to rename the spoiler
  • Song
  • Emotional reviews
  • Grammar: Participle Clauses
  • Grammar practice
  • Good example
  • Personalization
  • Homework