My Favourite Books
Jo Usmar is a writer for Cosmopolitan and co-author of the This Book Will series（系列）of lifestyle books. Here she picks her top reads.
I once wrote a paper on the influence of fairy tales on Roald Dahl's writing and it gave me a new appreciation for his strange and delightful words. Matilda's battles with her cruel parents and the bossy headmistress, Miss Trunchbull，are equally fumy and frightening, but they're also aspirational.
It’s about two sisters — Eri, a model who either won’t or can’t stop sleeping, and Mari, a young student. In trying to connect to her sister, Mari starts changing her life and discovers a world of diverse "night people" who are hiding secrets.
There was a bit of me that didn't want to love this when everyone else on the planet did, but the horror story is brilliant. There's tension and anxiety from the beginning as Nick and Amy battle for your trust. It's a real whodunit and the frustration when you realise what's going on is horribly enjoyable.
This is an excellent fantasy novel from one of the best storytellers around. After a serious flu outbreak wipes out 99.4% of the world's population, a battle unfolds between good and evil among those left. Randall Flagg is one of the scariest characters ever.
21. Who does "I" refer to in the text?
22. Which of the following tells about Mari and Eri?
23. What kind of book is Gone Girl?
"You can use me as a last resort（选择）, and if nobody else volunteers, then I will do it." This was an actual reply from a parent after I put out a request for volunteers for my kids' lacrosse（长曲棍球）club.
I guess that there's probably some demanding work schedule, or social anxiety around stepping up to help for an unknown sport. She may just need a little persuading. So I try again and tug at the heartstrings. I mention the single parent with four kids running the show and I talk about the dad coaching a team that his kids aren’t even on… At this point the unwilling parent speaks up, "Alright. Yes, I’ll do it."
I’m secretly relieved because I know there’s real power in sharing volunteer responsibilities among many. The unwilling parent organizes the meal schedule, sends out emails, and collects money for end-of-season gifts. Somewhere along the way, the same parent ends up becoming an invaluable member of the team. The coach is able to focus on the kids while the other parents are relieved to be off the hook for another season. Handing out sliced oranges to bloodthirsty kids can be as exciting as watching your own kid score a goal.
Still, most of us volunteers breathe a sigh of relief when the season comes to a close. That relief is coupled with a deep understanding of why the same people keep coming back for more: Connecting to the community（社区）as you freely give your time, money, skills, or services provides a real joy. Volunteering just feels so good.
In that sense, I’m pretty sure volunteering is more of a selfish act than I’d freely like to admit. However, if others benefit in the process, and I get some reward too, does it really matter where my motivation lies?
24. What can we infer about the parent from her reply in paragraph l?
25. What does the underlined phrase "tug at the heartstrings" in paragraph 2 mean?
26. What can we learn about the parent from paragraph 3?
27. Why does the author like doing volunteer work?
Marian Bechtel sits at West Palm Beach’s Bar Louie counter by herself, quietly reading her e-book as she waits for her salad. What is she reading? None of your business! Lunch is Bechtel’s "me" time. And like more Americans, she’s not alone.
A new report found 46 percent of meals are eaten alone in America. More than half（53 percent）have breakfast alone and nearly half（46 percent）have lunch by themselves. Only at dinnertime are we eating together anymore, 74 percent, according to statistics from the report.
"I prefer to go out and be out. Alone, but together, you know?" Bechtel said, looking up from her book. Bechtel, who works in downtown West Palm Beach, has lunch with coworkers sometimes, but like many of us, too often works through lunch at her desk. A lunchtime escape allows her to keep a boss from tapping her on the shoulder. She returns to work feeling energized. "Today, I just wanted some time to myself," she said.
Just two seats over, Andrew Mazoleny, a local videographer, is finishing his lunch at the bar. He likes that he can sit and check his phone in peace or chat up the barkeeper with whom he's on a first-name basis if he wants to have a little interaction（交流）. "I reflect on how my day's gone and think about the rest of the week," he said. "It's a chance for self-reflection, You return to work recharged and with a plan."
That freedom to choose is one reason more people like to eat alone. There was a time when people may have felt awkward about asking for a table for one, but those days are over. Now, we have our smartphones to keep us company at the table. "It doesn't feel as alone as it may have before all the advances in technology," said Laurie Demeritt, whose company provided the statistics for the report.
28. What are the statistics in paragraph 2 about?
29. Why does Bechtel prefer to go out for lunch?
30. What do we know about Mazoleny?
31. What is the text mainly about?
Bacteria are an annoying problem for astronauts. The microorganisms（微生物） from our bodies grow uncontrollably on surfaces of the International Space Station, so astronauts spend hours cleaning them up each week. How is NASA overcoming this very tiny big problem? It’s turning to a bunch of high school kids. But not just any kids. It depending on NASA HUNCH high school classrooms, like the one science teachers Gene Gordon and Donna Himmelberg lead at Fairport High School in Fairport, New York.
HUNCH is designed to connect high school classrooms with NASA engineers. For the past two years, Gordon’s students have been studying ways to kill bacteria in zero gravity, and they think they’re close to a solution（解决方案）. “We don’t give the students any breaks. They have to do it just like NASA engineers,” says Florence Gold, a project manager.
"There are no tests," Gordon says. "There is no graded homework. There almost are no grades, other than 'Are you working towards your goal?' Basically, it’s 'I’ve got to produce this product and then, at the end of year, present it to NASA.' Engineers come and really do an in-person review, and... it’s not a very nice thing at times. It’s a hard business review of your product."
Gordon says the HUNCH program has an impact（影响） on college admissions and practical life skills. "These kids are so absorbed in their studies that I just sit back. I don’t teach." And that annoying bacteria? Gordon says his students are emailing daily with NASA engineers about the problem, readying a workable solution to test in space.
32. What do we know about the bacteria in the International Space Station?
33. What is the purpose of the HUNCH program?
34. What do the NASA engineers do for the students in the program?
35. What is the best title for the text?
Imagine a child standing on a diving board fourfeet high and asking himself the question: "Should I jump? " This is what motivation or the lack of it can do.Motivation and goal setting are the two sides of the same coin. 36 Like the child on the diving board, you will stayundecided.
37 More than that, how should you stay motivatedto achieve the goal? First, you need to evaluate yourself, your values your strengths,your weaknesses, your achievements, your desires, etc. Only then should you setyour goals.
You also need to judge the quality and depthof your motivation. This is quite important, because it is directly related to yourcommitment. There are times when your heart is not in your work. 38 So, slow down and think what you really want todo at that moment. Clarity（清晰）of thoughts can help you move forward.
Anotherway of setting realistic goals is to analyze your short and long term objectives,keeping in mind your beliefs, values and strengths. Remember that goals are flexible. 39 They also need to be measurable. You must keep these points in mind while settingyour goals.
Your personalcircumstances are equally important. For example, you may want to be a Pilot butcan’t become one because your eyesight is not good enough. 40 You should reassess your goals, and motivate yourself to set a fresh goal.
You willsurely need to overcome some difficulties, some planned, but most unplanned. Youcannot overcome them without ample motivation. Make sure that you plan for thesedifficulties at the time of setting your goals.
A. This can affect your work.
B. So how should you motivate yourself?
C. However, this should not discourage you.
D. So why should we try to set specific goals?
E. They can change according to circumstances.
F. Motivation is what you need most to do a good job.
G. Without motivation, you can neither set a goal nor reach it.
It’s about 250 miles from the hills of west-central Iowa to Ehlers’ homein Minnesota. During the long trip home, following a weekend of hunting, Ehlers 41 about the small dog he had seen 42 alongsidethe road. He had 43 to coax（哄）the dog to him but, frightened, it had 44 .
Back home, Ehlers was troubled by that 45 dog.So, four days later, he called his friend Greg, and the two drove 46 . After a long and careful 47 , Greg saw, across a field, the dogmoving 48 away. Ehlers eventually succeeded in coaxingthe animal to him. Nervousness and fear were replaced with 49 . It just started licking（舔）Ehlers’ face.
A local farmer told them the dog sounded like one 50 aslost in the local paper. The ad had a 51 numberfor a town in southern Michigan. Ehlers 52 thenumber of Jeff and Lisa to tell them he had 53 theirdog.
Jeff had 54 in Iowa before Thanksgiving with his dog, Rosie,but the gun shots had scared the dog off. Jeff searched 55 forRosie in the next four days.
Ehlers returned to Minnesota, and then drove 100 miles to Minneapolis toput Rosie on a flight to Michigan. "It’s good to know there’s stillsomeone out there who 56 enough to go to that kind of 57 ," says Lisa of Ehlers’ rescue 58 .
"I figured whoever lost the dog was probably just as 59 toit as I am to my dogs," says Ehlers. "If it had been my dog, I’d hopethat somebody would be 60 to go that extra mile."
41. A. read B. forgot C.thought D. heard
42. A. fighting B. trembling C. eating D.sleeping
43. A. tried B. agreed C. promised D. regretted
44. A. calmed down B. stood up C. rolled over D.run off
45. A. injured B. stolen C.lost D. rescued
46. A. home B. past C. back D.on
47. A. preparation B.explanation C. test D. search
48. A. cautiously B.casually C. skillfully D. angrily
49. A. surprise B. joy C.hesitation D. anxiety
50. A. predicted B. advertised C. believed D. recorded
51. A. house B. phone C. street D.car
52. A. called B. copied C. counted D. remembered
53. A. fed B. adopted C.found D. cured
54. A. hunted B. skied C.lived D. worked
55. A. on purpose B.on time C. in turn D. in vain
56. A. cares B. sees C. suffers D. learns
57. A. place B.trouble C. waste D. extreme
58. A. service B. plan C. effort D.team
59. A. equal B. allergic C. grateful D. close
60. A. suitable B. proud C.wise D. willing
A 90-year-old hasbeen awarded "Woman Of The Year" for 61 （be）Britain's oldestfull-time employee — still working 40 hours a week. NowIrene Astbury works from 9am to 5pm daily at the pet shop in Macclesfield, 62 she opened with her late husband Les. Heryears of hard work have 63 （final）beenacknowledged after a customer nominated（提名）her to be Cheshire's Woman Of The Year.
Picking up her“Lifetime Achievement”award, proud Irene 64 （declare） she had no plans 65 （retire） from her 36-year-old business. Irene said, "I don't see anyreason to give up work. I love coming here and seeing my family and all thefriends I 66 （make） over the years.I work not because I have to, 67 becauseI want to."
Granddaughter Gayle Parks, 31 — whoworks alongside her in the family business — said it remained unknown as to whonominated Irene for the award. She said, "We don't have any idea who putgrandma forward. When we got a call 68 （say） she was short-listed, we thought it was 69 joke. But then we got an official letter andwe were blown away. We are so proud of her. It's 70 (wonder）.”
Since I was a kid, I’ve considered different job I would like to do.First, I wanted to be a fireman, whose uniform looked so coolly. Then, when Iwas in the five grade, I wanted to be a teacher because I liked my Englishteacher too much. When I studied chemistry high school, I reconsidered my goalor decided to be a doctor. They were two reasons for the decision. One was thatI was amazing at the fact that a sick person could feel much more better afterseeing a doctor. And the other is that I wanted to help people in need.