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Describe a book you have recently read

IELTS Cue Card Question 83 With Model Answer:

Describe a book you have recently read.

You should say:
  • what the book is
  • who recommended it to you
  • what you think about the book
And explain whether you enjoyed it or not.  

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
With the hefty duties in my office and at home, I hardly can manage time to read books but have completed reading ‘Things Fall Apart’ after lots of struggle (for managing time).

Things Fall Apart is a wonderful creation of Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian writer and the entire story is set on the post-colonial background. The book was composed in 1958 and is also considered as one of the pioneer novels for modern African literature in the English language. The book is one of the mandatory books across Africa and in some other countries too for its historical perspective and story background. The plot of the book is about the life and living of Okonkwo, the male protagonist of the novel and his protest to leave his own cultures, customs of his own Igbo society. He prefers killing himself instead of adopting a different religious belief and customs.

I heard it from my younger brother who is a graduate student and has to study English literature as one of his compulsory courses. Sometimes, he comes to me with his academic troubles and I solve those if I could manage time. I noticed a book of red cover and I inquired him about that specific book. He brought the book to me and I found it was the ‘Things Fall Apart’. Hence, I was introduced to the book and its author. The interest to read the book grew more when he told the story in brief to me. It appeared that if I miss reading the book, it will be a great intellectual loss for me. So, I started carrying the book with me and read three to four pages a day.

 In the beginning, it appeared that the book might be some sort of novel related with romance as the name suggested but my concept was changed when I heard the story in brief from my brother and also read the book. All the events described in the book taught me to discover things in different ways and there are numerous things to learn about the ancient culture and society of the Africans. Usually the modern people term Africans as slow-witted people, but in reality, they are advanced in many special ways than the modern people. They have their own cultures and societal norms to follow which is absent among the modern people of the current days.

After reading the book, I realised that this is an extraordinary story of a man struggling with the post-colonial force to survive with his own customs. He tried his best to make the customs useful and also wanted that the people should continue exercising the rules of their ancestors. He could not adjust to the events of transferring religion or religious beliefs and converting to Christianity. He was in troubles for opposing the missionaries and thus he had to commit suicide. It was his silent protest against the post-colonial power. His sacrifice for the sake of his belief is the most important thing that shocked me throughout the book.



Your ability to talk about this topic will enable you to answer the following IELTS cue card topics also:
  • Describe your favourite book. 
  • Describe an interesting book you have read. 
  • Describe a book or news story you have recently read. 
  • Describe a story or book you remember well. 
  • Describe a famous book in your country. 
  • Talk about a story that impressed you. 
  • Describe a book you would recommend others to read. 

Sample Answer 2:
Reading books is not my passion at all but I read books to pass my leisure hours. I am also selective in reading books. Before reading a book, I try to gather some information about it and then read it. Recently I have read The Godfather. It was a highly interesting book and I loved reading it. Thank you for the question and I will describe the book for next few minutes.

The Godfather is a popular crime novel. It was written by Mario Puzo, an Italian-American writer. The book was published first in 1969 and since then has gained massive popularity among the readers worldwide. The book plot is about a fictional Mafia family and its inner events. The Mafia family was based in New York. Don Vito Corleone was the head of the family who came to the state from Italy. The story mostly describes a decade (from 1945 to 1955) and the events that the Mafia family had to deal with.

The Godfather was recommended by Robert, one of my intimate friends in the college. He asked me to read the book if I could get a chance. In fact, he praised the book highly and recommended it as a must for me. Robert also told me that a movie has also been made based on the book plot. So, I wanted to watch the movie first. But being unable to manage the movie, I read the book. The starting of the book was a bit different than the other crime thrillers. Gradually I came to know about the characters and their stories. The writer has skillfully developed the characters and their inner stories. It is really outstanding to know about the characters and how they react to any situations. Vito Corleone was a man with cool head and took decisions based on credible logic. I am in love with this character. I have thanked a ton to my friend for recommending the book to me.

This is a personal expression of thoughts. So, it is wise not to take the thought so seriously. I believe that something is needed that may protest against the usual anarchies in the society. But that should follow some strict rules and regulations. Often the law cannot provide protection to the people and the guilty people can exploit the laws in their favour. But the system that is followed by Mafia society is completely opposite. They punish the criminals once the crimes are proved. Besides, they have a strong network which they use to complete their tasks. The book also provides a clear indication how strong the Mafias are, and it also provides the knowledge to be in a good relationship with the families. Besides, the book is written in a matured language and there are no exaggerations of any events. It appeared that the events were right before my eyes and it only happened to the skilled writing style.

Yes, I have enjoyed the book to the last line. In fact, it was one of the wonderful books I have read so far. The events and plot of the books were special to me. In fact, I started believing the plot as a real one for the writing style of Mario Puzo. I have come to know about few of the special Italian criminal terms. Though it was a crime novel, I do not think that the characters of the novel were criminals. Rather, they were following their own rules for survival which created a new insight on me. So, for all such reasons, I enjoyed the book very much.

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