Cue Card # 168: Describe a book that you enjoyed reading

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card # 168

Describe a book that you enjoyed reading because you had to think a lot.

You should say:

  • what this book was
  • why you decided to read it
  • what reading this book made you think about

and explain why you enjoyed reading this book.

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

Model Answer 1:

I don’t really get much time or opportunities to read many books these days, probably because I am just too busy earning my livelihood. But, I guess, I just got little lucky last summer when I got some time off from my job. And that’s when I managed to read a good book which actually made me think a lot.

The book, I am talking about, is called “The Story of My Life” which is written by Helen Keller. Published in 1903 by Doubleday, Page & Co. as a book, it gives a very inspirational account of the world of a blind and deaf girl, whose speech development also ceased soon after, as she grows up. The main characters in this book are the writer herself (Helen Keller) and Anne Sullivan (a teacher who taught Helen Keller). This is such a book that it would be really difficult for a reader to withdraw from it unless he/she finishes it in just one sitting. And at the end of reading it, one sure would be able to put a smile on his/her face and restore spirit at a time when so much negativity envelopes us.

By the way, I didn’t really know much about Helen Keller except that she was some kind of English “writer”. But, when I incidentally read an article about some of the most “inspirational women figures” of the 20th century, last summer, I came to know about her in great more detail, and it was at that time that I decided to read this all-time, American classic, written by this prolific American author.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading this book, from start to finish, primarily because it had me think a lot. In fact, I was losing my mind just to even imagine how possibly a woman with such “debilitating disabilities” could actually finish her graduation at a time and age when very few women would attend colleges, and when the disabled would simply be relegated to the background and neglected like some kind of “untouchable creature”?

Model Answer 2:

Over the last few years, I was lucky to have read a few books that were, more or less, interesting and thought-provoking. But, none of them really matched the appeal of the book that was written by Stephen Hawking. So, I guess, it is only fair that I talk about that book here.

The name of this is “A Brief History of Time”, and I read this book about a year ago when I was enjoying my summer holidays at my elder sister’s place. Well, I should have rather said that I only “started” to read this book during that summer holidays, and I continued reading it for the next few days before I could finish it, apparently because it had lots of pages to cover. In fact, if I remember correctly, this book had more than 250 pages.

Now, the size of this book would have been enough of a reason to avoid reading it, but I still chose to read it because I wanted to prove to myself that I was intellectually sound enough to understand and appreciate some of the complex theories of science and their interpretations in relation to the events of our world as well as the universe. I chose to read it also because up until that point, I never read a book that was written by such a world-famous scientist like Stephen Hawking. But, for whatever reason that I chose to read this book, it made me think that God and science can actually co-exist. Besides, it also made me think that how insignificant we really are in this universe.

So, in the end, it is fair to say that I really enjoyed reading this book, mainly because many of the things, which I learned at school a long time ago, were proved to be either outdated or wrong. But, what was even more interesting about reading this book was that I just didn’t know whether to feel dumber or smarter after finishing reading it, because there were just so many new things in it to understand!

Model Answer 3:

Reading a thought-provoking book can be a captivating and intellectually stimulating experience. It challenges our thinking, expands our knowledge, and leaves a lasting impact on our perspective. One such book that comes to mind is “1984” by George Orwell. For this topic, I would like to talk about this book.

What this book was:
“1984” is a dystopian novel set in a totalitarian society where individuality and freedom of thought are suppressed. It portrays a future world ruled by a government that manipulates information, surveils its citizens, and controls their every action. The story follows the protagonist, Winston Smith, as he rebels against the oppressive regime and seeks to preserve his autonomy.

Why you decided to read it:
I chose to read “1984” because of its reputation as a classic work of literature that explores themes of power, surveillance, and the dangers of a totalitarian regime. The book had received critical acclaim for its thought-provoking narrative and its relevance to the contemporary world.

What reading this book made you think about:
Reading “1984” prompted me to contemplate the fragility of freedom, the consequences of unchecked power, and the importance of individuality. The novel delves into the psychological effects of living in a surveillance state, where privacy is non-existent, and dissent is met with severe punishment. It made me question the role of government in shaping society, the manipulation of information to control the masses, and the potential dangers of sacrificing personal liberties for the sake of security.

The book also made me reflect on the significance of language and the manipulation of truth. Orwell’s portrayal of Newspeak, a language designed to limit independent thought, highlighted the power of language in shaping our perceptions and constraining our ability to question authority.

And explain why you enjoyed reading this book:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading “1984” because it engaged me intellectually and provoked introspection. It challenged me to question the status quo, examine the structures of power, and ponder the consequences of complacency. The story was gripping, and Orwell’s vivid descriptions and powerful prose brought the dystopian world to life.

Model Answer 4:

I believe that autobiographies provide us with a unique insight into the lives and experiences of extraordinary individuals. One such autobiography that was quite thought-provoking and intriguing is “Wings of Fire” by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the former President of India. I enjoyed reading this book to a great extent.

“Wings of Fire” is an autobiography that recounts the life and achievements of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. It takes readers on a remarkable journey, beginning with his childhood in Rameswaram, a small town in South India, and follows his path through various personal and professional milestones. The book explores his early influences, his education, his work at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and his later role as the President of India.

I was drawn to “Wings of Fire” because of my admiration for Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and his contributions to science, technology, and nation-building. His remarkable story of perseverance and dedication was so inspiring for me, and I wanted to gain deeper insights into his life and the experiences that shaped him.

“Wings of Fire” made me reflect on the power of determination, self-belief, and hard work. Dr. Kalam’s journey from a modest background to becoming a renowned scientist and the President of India highlighted the potential within each individual to overcome obstacles and achieve greatness. It prompted me to contemplate the importance of having a clear vision, setting goals, and persevering in the face of challenges. It also made me appreciate the value of intellectual curiosity, lifelong learning, and the pursuit of excellence.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Wings of Fire” because it offered a deeply personal account of Dr. Kalam’s life, dreams, and values. His writing style was engaging, and he painted vivid pictures of his experiences, making it easy to connect with his journey on an emotional level. The book was filled with anecdotes, insights, and lessons that left a lasting impact on my perspective.

Moreover, “Wings of Fire” presented a compelling narrative of the power of dreams, innovation, and national development. Dr. Kalam’s unwavering commitment to advancing India’s scientific capabilities and his vision for the country’s progress instilled a sense of pride and optimism in me. It reinforced the belief that individuals can make a significant difference through their dedication, integrity and unwavering commitment to their ideals.

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