old book collection

anonymous asked:

Hi! I hope you're doing well :) in a previous ask you said that "I only buy language learning books from there" (talking about Amazon) and I was wondering if you could recommend some good ones? Sorry if you've been asked this before! Thanks in advance!

I have recommended some books before, but those were my favorite books. I think I should just list all the books I have liked/used instead to give you a broader view. I categorized the books by the CEFR guidelines/ Test of Russian as a Foreign Language so the advanced books won’t be as useful until you’ve had at least three years of Russian in college (except for the dictionaries and roots vocab). I put a * by my favorites since this is a lot.

For Beginners (A1 Level or complete beginners)

  • The New Penguin Russian Course* : I used to own this before giving it away, but it was very beginner friendly. I think this is the best book to start learning Russian since it is not expensive, it does a good job at explaining grammar, and includes exercises with answers.
  • Golosa: A Basic Course in Russian Book 1: This was the textbook I used to learn Russian in college. While I liked it and found the tables really helpful,it is very expensive and not worth it for self-studying.
  • Oxford Pocket Russian Dictionary: This is a nice beginner dictionary that I still use. It is small and great for quick reference. It is not as exhaustive, however, since it is small.
  • Russian Grammar Quickstudy Sheet: Not a book, but it is great as a reference sheet.

For A2 Level (You know cases and verb tenses)

  • Schaum’s Outlines of Russian Grammar* : It explains the grammar you need to pass the A2 level without going beyond the details you need. It is very well organized and has exercises. 10/10 would use again.
  • A Comprehensive Russian Grammar: A great grammar book that people love. I only prefer Schaum to this because I like the format of the former better, but you can’t go wrong with it.
  • Big Silver Book of Russian Verbs: A great book for learning how to conjugate verbs. This includes exercises and how to use the verbs.
  • Schaum’s Outlines of Russian Vocabulary: A great vocab book. It doesn’t have stress marks, which makes it a bit difficult to learn pronunciation, but you will learn so much from it. It teaches you through themes and exercises.

For Intermediate: B1-B2

  • Ultimate Russian Advanced: The title says advanced but it is really B1-B2 grammar. It does a good job at presenting you with texts to learn from, as well as providing phrases and their meaning and usage in everyday language.
  • Making Progress in Russian* : This is the textbook I used (buy the 1st edition because it is much cheaper). I love the in-depth explanations of grammar, but the vocabulary can be quite outdated.
  • Russian Verbs of Motion (Stilman)* : At 78 pages, it is very handy when learning the verbs of motion. It provides how to form them, their prefix usage, charts to remember them by, as well as colloquial usage of the verbs.
  • Russian Stories: A Dual-Language Book* : You should definitely use it not only to improve your reading comprehension but also because it introduces you to some great Russian writers. It includes notes, stress marks, reading questions, and a glossary. While an intermediate student will not understand everything, I highly suggest it.
  • Short Stories of the 20th Century: A Dual Language Book: Similar to the above, but with different stories. I had to include it since I adore Russian 20th Century literature and this introduces you to great authors that are not as known as in the previous book.

For Advanced & Graduate Students

  • Using Russian: A Guide to Contemporary Usage* : Goes very in depth with the grammar and when you should use certain constructions, as well as how they would be translated.
  • Roots of the Russian Language: I am currently using this book to improve my vocabulary. By learning roots, it is easier to infer what the words mean in Russian, especially when dealing with verbs.
  • Introduction to Russian-English Translation: This book is for translators that want to correctly express terms from Russian to English and English to Russian. It outlines problems that occur in translation and how to correct them, along with exercises.
  • Russian Translation: Theory & Practice* : This goes more in-depth than the above. Definitely for academics/ graduate students.
  • Dictionary of Russian Slang & Colloquial Expressions: One of the better slang books out there. As with such things, it is not as up to date, but still does a good job at presenting you with when the words are used
  • TORFL C1 Level - Grammar: PDF file with tests and exercises for the TORFL. This is more for those that want to take the test, than for those learning for fun.
  • Novels in Russian! Honestly, this is the best way to continually improve. I suggest starting with authors like Хармс and Гоголь and working your way up to Булгаков, Пелевин, and other modern writers.

The links to the books are either on Amazon or PDF files. I suggest you buy a copy of the books since it makes it easier to learn from.

Written in the 16th century by Peter Apian (1495-1552), Cosmographia provided instruction in astronomy, geography, cartography, navigation, and instrument-making and was based on the writings of Ptolemy. 

The most surprising feature of the book, given the time as which it was created, is the use of three-dimension, interactive additions to the text that are offered for the reader to use as reference, referred to as volvelle, or the Apian wheel. Star charts like these consist of multiple layers of cut and shaped paper fastened together with string, that can be rotated to find information about stars at different times.  

There is also an exquisitely drawn fold-out map of the various winds, depicted as Gods.

It’s no surprise that this book remained in use for hundreds of years, and continues to be used even today. At Special Collections, you can find the 1553 edition.

-Written by Katharine Pigliacelli, graduate student employee

Apian, Peter. Cosmographia. Antverpiae: Ex officina Arnoldi Coninx, 1584.


Manuscript Monday

For this week’s Manuscript Monday we have an example of Anglo-Norman devotional literature. Robert de Gretham’s Miroir, also known as the Évangiles des domnées, is a devotional poem of some 19,000 lines. The work is structured as a series of verse sermons, each commenting on and explaining the gospel for a particular Sunday in the Christian calendar.

Of Robert de Gretham himself almost nothing is known beyond his name, which he gives at two points in the poem.

On the verso of our leaf can be seen the red text, or rubric, that marks the beginning of one of the Sunday sermons. The rubric is followed by the text of the gospel in Latin and the sermon itself in Anglo-Norman French.

- Tim