Born on this day: Virginia Woolf

On this day in 1882 Virginia Woolf was born, Adeline Virginia Stephen.

One of the foremost modernists of the 20th century, and considered a major innovator in the English language, Woolf’s works have been translated into over 50 languages. Woolf was closely connected to the literary and artistic heavyweights of the day. Her mother was the niece of Julia Margaret Cameron, and was photographed by her, as well as serving as a model for Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood painter, Edward Burne-Jones. Her father was a founding editor of the Dictionary of National Biography and his first father-in-law (before he married Virginia’s mother) was William Thackeray. Her sister Vanessa, a painter, married Clive Bell; both of whom were members of the Bloomsbury Group, the collection of interwar intellectuals that Woolf also belonged to. In 1917, Woolf founded the Hogarth Press in conjunction with her husband Leonard Woolf, which published her novels as well as T.S.Eliot, Laurens van der Post and commissioned works by contemporary artists including Dora Carrington and Vanessa Bell.

Virginia Woolf bibliography highlights (all published by Oxford World’s Classics):

9780199536009Mrs Dalloway (1925)
Mrs Dalloway offers the reader an impression of a single June day in London in 1923. Clarissa Dalloway, the wife of a Conservative member of parliament, is preparing to give an evening party, while the shell-shocked Septimus Warren Smith hears the birds in Regent’s Park chattering in Greek. There seems to be nothing, except perhaps London, to link Clarissa and Septimus. She is middle-aged and prosperous, with a sheltered happy life behind her; Smith is young, poor, and driven to hatred of himself and the whole human race. Yet both share a terror of existence, and sense the pull of death.

9780199536610To the Lighthouse (1927)
Inspired by the lost bliss of her childhood summers in Cornwall, Virginia Woolf produced one of the masterworks of English literature in To the Lighthouse. It concerns the Ramsay family and their summer guests on the Isle of Skye before and after the First World War. As children play and adults paint, talk, muse and explore, relationships shift and mutate. A captivating fusion of elegy, autobiography, socio-political critique and visionary thrust, it is the most accomplished of all Woolf’s novels. On completing it, she thought she had exorcised the ghosts of her imposing parents, but she had also brought form to a book every bit as vivid and intense as the work of Lily Briscoe, the indomitable artist at the centre of the novel.

9780199650736Orlando (1928)
Orlando tells the tale of an extraordinary individual who lives through centuries of English history, first as a man, then as a woman; of his/her encounters with queens, kings, novelists, playwrights, and poets, and of his/her struggle to find fame and immortality not through actions, but through the written word. At its heart are the life and works of Woolf’s friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West, and Knole, the historic home of the Sackvilles. But as well as being a love letter to Vita, Orlando also mocks the conventions of biography and history, teases the pretensions of contemporary men of letters, and wryly examines sexual double standards.

9780199536603A Room of One’s Own/ Three Guineas (1929/1938)
In A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf considers with energy and wit the implications of the historical exclusion of women from education and from economic independence. In A Room of One’s Own, she examines the work of past women writers, and looks ahead to a time when women’s creativity will not be hampered by poverty, or by oppression. In Three Guineas, however, Woolf argues that women’s historical exclusion offers them the chance to form a political and cultural identity which could challenge the drive towards fascism and war.

9780199536627The Waves (1931)
Woolf described this work on the title-page of the first draft as `the life of anybody’. The Waves  traces the lives and interactions of seven friends in an exploratory and sensuous narrative. The Waves was conceived, brooded on, and written during a highly political phase in Woolf’s career, when she was speaking on issues of gender and of class. This was also the period when her love affair with Vita Sackville-West was at its most intense. The work is often described as if it were the product of a secluded, disembodied sensibility. Yet its writing is supremely engaged and engaging, providing an experience which the reader is unlikely to forget.

Other Woolf titles in the Oxford World Classics series:
The Voyage Out (1915)
Night and Day (1919)
Jacob’s Room (1922)
Flush (1933)
Between the Acts (1941)
The Mark on the Wall and other short fiction
Selected Essays

Who said that? Answers to Friday book quotes quiz

The wait is over! Following on from our quiz on Friday, here are the answers to the bookish quiz we set you.

  1. Who wrote the following words?

“All books are either dreams or swords,
You can cut, or you can drug, with words.”

(a) Amy Lowell

(b) J.R.R Tolkien

(c) Hilda Doolittle (HD)

ANSWER: Amy Lowell, an imagist poet from Brookline, Massachusetts said this in her poem ‘Sword Blades and Poppy Seed’ published in 1914.

  1. “Books are made not like children but like pyramids…and they’re just as useless! And they stay in the desert! …Jackals piss at their foot and the bourgeois climb up on them…” claimed which of the following authors:

(a) Franz Kafka

(b) Alphonse Daudet

(c) Gustave Flaubert

ANSWER: This quote came from a letter Gustave Flaubert wrote to Ernest Feydeau in November or December of 1857, published in M. Nadeau (ed.) Correspondence 1857-64 (1965)

  1. Who stated that “Books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory…In this war, we know, books are weapons. And it is a part of your dedication always to make them weapons for man’s freedom.”?

(a) Theodore Roosevelt

(b) Franklin D. Roosevelt

(c) Calvin Coolidge

ANSWER: Franklin D. Roosevelt said this in a ‘Message to the Booksellers of America’ 6 May 1942, in Publisher’s Weekly on the 9th May 1942

  1. “There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.” avowed which of the following writers?

(a) Oscar Wilde

(b) Charles Dickens

(c) George Eliot

ANSWER: Oscar Wilde published this in the preface of his 1891 book, The Picture of Dorian Gray

  1. Which of these quotations is attributed to theoretical physicist and philosopher of science, Albert Einstein?

(a) “Knowledge exists in two forms – lifeless, stored in books, and alive in the consciousness of men. The second form of existence is after all the essential one; the first, indispensable as it may be, occupies only an inferior position.”

(b) “I never read books – I write

(c) “All books are divisible into two classes, the books of the hour, and the books of all time.”

ANSWER:Knowledge exists in two forms-lifeless, stored in books, and alive in the consciousness of men. The second form of existence is after all the essential one; the first, indispensable as it may be, occupies only an inferior position.” This Einstein quote was published in ‘Message in Honour of Morris Raphael Cohen’ 15 November 1949, in Ideas and Op[inions (1954) pt.1.

  1. “Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books” was stated by which of the following philosophers?

(a) Aristotle

(b) Karl Marx

(c) Francis Bacon

ANSWER: This comes from Resuscitation (1657) ‘Proposition touching Amendment of Laws’ by Francis Bacon.

  1. Which John Milton poem contains the phrase, “Deep-versed in books and shallow in himself”?

(a) Paradise Lost

(b) Comus

(c) Paradise Regained

ANSWER: This Milton quote comes from Paradise Regained (1671) bk. 4 l. 327.

  1. Which Shakespeare play does this quotation come from?

“From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive:
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain, and nourish all the world. “

(a) Love’s Labour’s Lost

(b) Twelfth Night

(c) Romeo and Juliet

ANSWER: This verse comes from one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies Love’s Labours Lost (1595) act 4, sc. 3, l. 340. In his 1623 First Folio the title was spelt Loues Labour’s Lost.

  1. Who wrote: “Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh”?

(a) The Bible

(b) Pluto

(c) Alexander Pope

ANSWER: This verse can be found in the authorised version (1611) of The Bible in Ecclesiastes ch. 12, v.12

  1. “I think you should only read books which bite and sting you.” was said by which of the following authors?

(a) Franz Kafka

(b) Emily Dickenson

(c) Vladimir Nabokov

ANSWER: The author of Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, wrote this in a letter to Oskar Pollak dated 27 June 1904

 

Do you have any favourite bookish quotations you would like to share? We would love to hear them.

9780199668700Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
9780199668700
AU$61.95

Who said that? Quiz yourself with these bookish quotations

It’s time to dust off your bookshelf and reacquaint yourself with your local library! We’ve gathered ten bookish quotes from the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations to test your knowledge.

Do you know who said it?!

  1. Who wrote the following words?

“All books are either dreams or swords,
You can cut, or you can drug, with words.”

(a) Amy Lowell

(b) J.R.R Tolkien

(c) Hilda Doolittle (HD)

  1. “Books are made not like children but like pyramids…and they’re just as useless! And they stay in the desert! …Jackals piss at their foot and the bourgeois climb up on them…” claimed which of the following authors:

(a) Franz Kafka

(b) Alphonse Daudet

(c) Gustave Flaubert

  1. Who stated that “Books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory…In this war, we know, books are weapons. And it is a part of your dedication always to make them weapons for man’s freedom.”?

(a) Theodore Roosevelt

(b) Franklin D. Roosevelt

(c) Calvin Coolidge

  1. “There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.” avowed which of the following writers?

(a) Oscar Wilde

(b) Charles Dickens

(c) George Eliot

  1. Which of these quotations is attributed to theoretical physicist and philosopher of science, Albert Einstein?

(a) “Knowledge exists in two forms – lifeless, stored in books, and alive in the consciousness of men. The second form of existence is after all the essential one; the first, indispensable as it may be, occupies only an inferior position.”

(b) “I never read books – I write

(c) “All books are divisible into two classes, the books of the hour, and the books of all time.”

  1. “Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books” was stated by which of the following philosophers?

(a) Aristotle

(b) Karl Marx

(c) Francis Bacon

  1. Which John Milton poem contains the phrase, “Deep-versed in books and shallow in himself”?

(a) Paradise Lost

(b) Comus

(c) Paradise Regained

  1. Which Shakespeare play does this quotation come from?

“From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive:
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain, and nourish all the world. “

(a) Love’s Labour’s Lost

(b) Twelfth Night

(c) Romeo and Juliet

  1. Who wrote: “Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh”?

(a) The Bible

(b) Pluto

(c) Alexander Pope

  1. “I think you should only read books which bite and sting you.” was said by which of the following authors?

(a) Franz Kafka

(b) Emily Dickenson

(c) Vladimir Nabokov

 Answers will be posted on Monday! or if you can’t wait until then, look up the answers in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations!

9780199668700Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
9780199668700
Hardback
AU$61.95

What’s in season: Summer berries

Sebastian Sedlak   Food StylistFruit has been an important part of our diet for many thousands of years. The sweet and fleshy seed-carrying product of a plant, fruit is a versatile food that can be eaten raw or cooked. Because of Australia’s varied climate – tropical in the north and more temperate in the south – we are able to grow just about any kind of fruit.

Berries are in abundance during the warmer summer months, and are an excellent source of vitamin C and fibre. Summer berries should be kept refrigerated in an airtight container and eaten within a few days.

Berry Jam

Ingredients

1kg of berries, such as strawberries, raspberries or blackberries, or any combination
3 tablespoons (60ml) lemon juice
4 cups (1kg) sugar

Method

  1. Place a saucer in freezer to chill.
  2. If using strawberries, hull and halve them. Leave other berries whole.
  3. Place berries in saucepan and stir through sugar. Allow to macerate for 1-2 hours.
  4. Add lemon juice and bring to boil on medium-high heat.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until berries are soft.
  6. Remove a third of the mixture and set aside.
  7. Cook remaining mixture, uncovered, until jam reaches setting point; about another 30 minutes. You will need to stir the mixture in the last 10 minutes of cooking to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
  8. To test whether jam has reached setting point, place 1 teaspoon of the jam onto the chilled saucer and return saucer to the freezer for 1-2 minutes. Then remove the saucer from the freezer and run your finger through the jam; if the surface wrinkles and the jam stays in 2 separate sections, it is ready. If the jam is not ready, cook for a further 5 minutes and repeat test.
  9. Stir in reserved berry minute.
  10. Let mixture cool slightly before pouring into sterilised jars. Allow to cool completely and then seal.

9780195570403This recipe is taken from Oxford’s The Food Book which is available in hardback format and as an app. Check out The Food Book website for more recipes, videos demonstrating food skills and much more!

 

Bringing English home – strengthening the school-home connection

Reading togetherKate Read, co-author of the new Kindergarten series, Show and Tell, offers some practical tips for strengthening the school-home link.

We all know that most learning goes on outside the classroom. So it follows that learning English shouldn’t be limited to the classroom. Indeed, learning any language can be enhanced by bringing it into the home – after all, the home is where language begins for the young child.

There are a number of easy ways to do this but, first of all, you’ve got to have the parents on board. They can help with learning English, even if they aren’t confident about their own level of English.

There are many ways of doing this:

  • Send home regular letters (or even informal emails or texts) about the topic you are covering. Include ideas for home activities. Oxford Parents give parents simple, effective advice on supporting their children’s classroom language learning at home.
  • Invite parents for informal chats at regular intervals.
  • Give parents simple guidance documents that outline when and where it is helpful to use English at home. Encourage them to foster a positive and fun attitude when using English. Give them advice on when it is not helpful – such as when the children are tired or distracted. Here’s a video tip and free conversation card to help you do this.

1. The child as teacher

It is very empowering for a child to take on the role of the teacher. The child can ‘teach’ simple words or phrases to the family. You can systematically give them words or expressions to take home. You can also give the children tasks to do at home – teaching or telling specific things to specific people. A favourite activity is for the child to teach the whole family to sing a song in English. You can help with this by making the song or backing tracks available. Children will enjoy this process and it will do wonders for consolidation. As you already know, there’s nothing like having to teach something to make you learn it!

2. The child as performer

Allow the child to take some work home to share with the family. (Courses like Show and Tell offer special ‘take-home’ projects.) At its simplest, this can be songs to sing or chants to repeat at appropriate times. It can also be retelling a story to the people at home – or even performing it with simple puppets. In the digital age, and if you have permission to do this, sharing a video of things that they have performed at school is a great way of building confidence and consolidating knowledge. When children use the language to give a performance, they take ownership of the language.

3. Making an English space

It’s really useful for children to have reminders of language learned. This helps them to keep it active. Home is a great place for putting up posters, pictures and even single word images or text. Depending on the child’s level of literacy, these can be labelled either by the child or by you. You can also suggest having an English space in the home where the child can keep English books, English games and even English toys. Creating a physical environment where English is a feature provides children with a ‘real’ place for English in their home lives – this facilitates further integration of the language.

4. Making games in English

You can create some simple games to play at home. Provide outlines of games that can be used over and over and provide updates of words/lexical sets that can be used with the games. The games can be very basic with repeated questions and answers, such as hiding things and saying “Where’s the…?” (You would need to supply the names of the objects to look for.) It could be a game to play with picture or word cards, such as concentration/pairs, or “Which card did I take away?” As the child advances, activities could include could be slightly more complex board games for counting and vocabulary.

5. Books with audio

Bedtime reading is always a very special time for the parent and child. For parents who are not confident reading in English, you can recommend books with audio so that they can look and listen with the child. Some people like using stories that the children already know in their own language, making the most of the child’s familiarity with the content. Finally, if you are using simple stories in class that have audio, such as the stories on the MultiROM in Show and Tell, send them home with the children so that they can ‘read’ it with their families.

Encouraging children and their families to do any of the above activities is very simple. The most important thing is to instil the idea of a partnership between school and home. This partnership requires clear and simple communication and lots of enthusiasm. Remember, in the immortal words of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz: There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home …

Do you have any ideas of great ways to use English at home? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Would you like more practical tips on strengthening the school-home link, and teaching 21st Century skills in your Kindergarten children? Visit our site on Teaching 21st Century skills with confidence for free video tips, activity ideas and teaching tools.

This article was originally posted on the OUP ELT global blog on 31 March 2014.

Jack Heath: An interview

jack-heathAustralian author Jack Heath was born in 1986 and started writing his first novel in high school. It was published when he was 19. He has since written several books for teenagers, which are published all over the world. Heath has been shortlisted for Young Australian of the Year, the Nottinghamshire Brilliant Book Award and the National Year of Reading ‘Our Story’ Award. He is a regular guest on Australian television and his videos have more than 30,000 views on YouTube. He divides his time between writing and touring high schools.

In his latest YA novel, Heath explores what it means to be human: the power of love, bravery and sacrifice. Replica tells the story of Chloe, a girl who wakes up to find all her memories are gone. The only person who knows what happened is a teenage girl who looks and sounds just like her. But who is she? And what does she want?

We talk to Jack about his biggest influences and what a typical day spent writing looks like.

OUP: How did you come up with the idea for Replica?
JH: I can’t be the only person who’s wondered how their family and friends would cope if they weren’t around any more. I was thinking about this in the middle of the night and it occurred to me that it might be possible to make a mechanical replica of me to look after my loved ones, who may not even necessarily realise that I was gone. But the real epiphany was this idea: What would it be like to be that replica?

OUP: How long did it take you to put the book together?
JH: I wrote the first draft in about three weeks in early 2012, but it took two years of pretty radical editing to turn it into the book it is today. I’ve never had a manuscript change on me so much, but I’ve also never published a book I’m this proud of.

OUP: Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any writing rituals?
JH: My schedule is so variable that it’s hard to find a typical day, but the really good days tend to have at least a few of the following ingredients: getting up before anyone else, making a decaf coffee, being deprived of the internet (through accident or design), staying in pyjamas until lunchtime.

OUP: What writers, books, or ideas have most influenced you?
JHReplica certainly owes a lot to Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep and Frankenstein. But the most influential series – the one which made me want to write diversity-inclusive action-packed sci-fi for kids – was Animorphs, which I adored as a kid (and still do).

OUP: Are you currently working on something new?
JH: Always. I’m trying to put together REPLICA 2, as well as a horror series and a YA espionage book called CUT-OUT. I never stop – writing is as much my addiction as my job.

Check out the Replica book trailer:

We have TWO signed copies of Replica to giveaway! To find out more, check us out on twitter @OxfordAustralia.

9780192737663Replica
Jack Heath
9780192737663
Paperback
AU$13.95

Is one of your new year resolutions to read more literary classics in 2015?

If your resolution is to read more classics this year, or maybe just to read more widely or more often, then check out our list of suggestions below. We have matched literary classics with popular modern genres to inspire your 2015 reading list.

If you like folk tales and myths, try:

9780199538362Myths from Mesopotamia, Stephanie Dalley
The ancient civilization of Mesopotamia thrived between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates over 4,000 years ago. The myths collected here, originally written in cuneiform on clay tablets, include parallels with the biblical stories of the Creation and the Flood, and the famous Epic of Gilgamesh, the tale of a man of great strength, whose heroic quest for immortality is dashed through one moment of weakness.

 9780199218783The Mabinogion, Anonymous
Celtic mythology, Arthurian romance, and an intriguing interpretation of British history – these are just some of the themes embraced by the anonymous authors of the eleven tales that make up the Welsh medieval masterpiece known as The Mabinogion.

If you like detective stories, try:

9780199536726The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins (1868)
According to T.S.Eliot, The Moonstone is ‘the first and greatest of English detective novels’. The bemused butler, the love-stricken housemaid, the enigmatic detective, the drug-addicted scientist; each take their turn to speculate on the mystery of the missing diamond as Collins weaves their narratives into a masterpiece of construction and suspense.

9780199554775A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle (1888)
A Study in Scarlet is the first Sherlock Holmes story. Holmes and Watson are immediately in fine form as Holmes plucks the solution to the mystery from the heart of Victorian London.

If you like tales of suspense, try:

9780199539222The Romance of the Forest, Ann Radcliffe (1791)
A novel of mystery and suspense in the Gothic style, The Romance of the Forest was considered by contemporary critics to be Radcliffe’s finest novel, although her novel, The Mysteries of Udolpho, is probably better known.

9780198704447The Castle of Otranto, Horace Walpole (1764)
The Castle of Otranto is the first supernatural English novel and one of the most influential works of Gothic fiction. Chilling coincidences, ghostly visitations, arcane revelations, and violent combat combine in a heady mix that terrified the novel’s first readers.

9780199536177The Turn of the Screw, Henry James (1898)
The Turn of the Screw is probably the most famous, certainly the most eerily equivocal, of all ghostly tales. Is it a subtle, self-conscious exploration of the haunted house of Victorian culture, filled with echoes of sexual and social unease? Or is it simply,`the most hopelessly evil story that we have ever read’?

If you like family dramas, try:

9780199577033Lady Audley’s Secret, M.E.Braddon (1862)
When beautiful young Lucy Graham accepts the hand of Sir Michael Audley, her fortune and her future look secure. But Lady Audley’s past is shrouded in mystery, and to Sir Michael’s nephew Robert, she is not all that she seems. When his good friend George Talboys suddenly disappears, Robert is determined to find him, and to unearth the truth. Can Robert’s darkest suspicions really be true?

9780199549894The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy (1922)
The three novels which make up The Forsyte Saga chronicle the ebbing social power of the commercial upper-middle class Forsyte family between 1886 and 1920. Galsworthy’s masterly narrative examines not only their fortunes but also the wider developments within society, particularly the changing position of women.

If you like spy fiction, try:

9780199537877The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan (1915)
The best-known of Buchan’s thrillers, The Thirty-Nine Steps has been continuously in print since first publication and has been filmed three times, most notably by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935.

9780199549719The Riddle of the Sands, Erskine Childers (1903)
Like much contemporary British spy fiction, The Riddle of the Sands reflects the long suspicious years leading up to the First World War. The intricacy of the book’s conception and its lucid detail make it a classic of its genre.

If you like stories of the sea, try:

9780199554836Captains Courageous, Rudyard Kipling (1897)
Captains Courageous deals with a boy who like Mowgli in The Jungle Book, is thrown into an entirely alien environment. The superstitious, magical world of the sea and the tough, orderly, physical world of the boat form a backdrop to Harvey’s regeneration. Kipling describes the fascination skills of the schooner fishermen who would soon be made redundant by the twentieth century, and makes the ship function as a convincing model for a society engaged in a difficult and dangerous task.

9780199536023Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad (1900)
Lord Jim tells the story of a young, idealistic Englishman – ‘as unflinching as a hero in a book’ – who is disgraced by a single act of cowardice while serving as an officer on the Patna, a merchant-ship sailing from an Eastern port.

OWC-avatar_400x400The Oxford World’s Classics (OWC) series offers more than 750 titles fiction and non-fiction titles; taken from British, Irish, European, American, and Eastern Literature as well as covering topics such as Philosophy, History and Science. For a complete list of titles, go to our OWC website page. To find out more about the series, watch the video below or follow OWC on Twitter or on Facebook.

 

What’s the best beer style for summer?

After water and tea, beer is the third most popular drink in the world. This should not be surprising, as beer is also one of the most complex and varied of drinks. It can taste like lemons or smoke, coffee or coconuts, bananas or bread, chilies or ginger. Beer can be crisply acidic and earthy, or it can be bracingly bitter and spectacularly aromatic. Whatever style you prefer, this list of easy-drinking beer varieties will keep you refreshed all summer long. Find more great candidates for a perfect summer brew referenced in The Oxford Companion to Beer.

  1. India pale ale (IPA) is a beer style characterised by high levels of alcohol and hops. It gained its name thanks to its huge popularity in British India and other outposts of the British Empire throughout the 19th century, a result of its keeping abilities on long sea voyages and its refreshing character when it finally reached its destination.
  2. radlermass (translated: “cyclist’s liter”; “mass” is an old Bavarian word for “liter”) is a mixed beer based drink with a long history in German-speaking regions. It consists of a 50/50 mixture of various types of beer and German-style clear lemonade. Radlermass is the Bravarian equivalent of the British shandy (which is also a mixture of beer and lemonade, or, less often, ginger beer). During summer months, radler is very popular because of its reputation for being a perfect thirst-quencher – a result of its harmony in sweet-bitter and sour taste.
  3. pilsner (or pilsener or pils) is a pale, golden lager, originally from the Czech Republic. It revolutionised the brewing world when it first appeared, thanks to its seductive golden glow and crisp, refreshing taste. And thanks to an oversight that meant neither the name nor the recipe was patented, it was quickly imitated around the world. Today, for most beer drinkers, pilsner is simply synonymous with lager.
  4. saisons, generally speaking, are exceptionally dry, highly carbonated, and fruity ales of average to moderate alcohol strength. Saison ales can be traced to farmhouse breweries where the practical goals in brewing Saisons were threefold: to refresh the seasonal workers in summer, to make work for the full-time farm workers during the winter, and to produce spent grain, which is served as quality feed for the livestock in the winter. Beer was therefore brewed in one season, winter, to be drunk in another, summer.
  5. berliner weisse is a beer style originating from the region around Berlin, Germany, which developed gradually from the 17th to the 20th Its main characteristic is a mild sourness and tartness with a light and fruity character, which led to the nickname “Champagne of the North”.

Do you have a favourite summertime beer? Let us know by posting a comment below.

Oxford Companion, Beer, father's day, gift for dadThe Oxford Companion to Beer is the most comprehensive reference book ever published on the subject of the world’s most popular and diverse fermented beverage. Brewmaster and author Garrett Oliver has collected the vast knowledge and research of more than 165 beer experts from more than twenty countries.
Hardback
9780195367133
AU$78.95

Have you made a resolution for 2015?

COG_BLOG_resolution_JAN2015

It’s that time again: new year, new you.

Some of the staff here at Oxford have made resolutions and not all of them are about reading more in 2015 (well, maybe some are!) They share them here:

I’ve resolved to say yes to new and slightly scary opportunities.
Cate, Design

I have a really silly (but I think achievable) resolution, which is to learn how to do a handstand!
Alyce, Higher Education Marketing

To be a BOP (beacon of positivity)!
Peter, Managing Director

To read at least one book every three days in 2015.
Susannah, Sales Operations 

One of my 2015 NY resolutions this year is to pick up a new skill – I’d like to be able to crochet an amigurumi toy before the end of the year.
Alicia, Primary Editorial

To spend more time with my family.
Fatih, Production Systems

This year I want to learn to properly touch type!
Laura, Higher Education Editorial

To spend more time outdoors. Oh and ban mobile phones in the bedroom!
Sharada, Human Resources

To hold a conversation about cricket for at least three minutes, and understand every word.
Angela, Marketing Operations

To give up coffee and drink more green tea.
Anita, Primary Publishing

To use fewer plastic bags at the supermarket.
Alana, Secondary Marketing

Mine is to read more books!  The more exercise thing never works for me.
Jane, Production

To skip fewer gym sessions.
Derek, Higher Education Sales

One of my 2015 resolutions is to read more as well as try to widen my reading tastes. In 2014 I aimed to read a book a week and was surprisingly was able to complete this, so next year I’d like to try and read at least one of the ‘classics’ a month.
Stephanie, Higher Education Marketing

To drink more… water!
Ann, Sales Operations

What are your new year resolutions? Do you think you will stick to it?!

Oxford Word of the Month – January: Fridging

shutterstock_94912276Fridging – noun: the act of stealing from an outdoor refrigerator.

In 2010 a number of newspaper reports from Western Australia and Queensland made reference to certain criminal activities described as fridging. The activity involves stealing items from outdoor refrigerators, and the word derives from fridge, an abbreviation of refrigerator. The first evidence for fridging is found in a Perth newspaper:

A new trend of criminal activity called fridging, stealing alcohol and other goods from the rear of a home, has increased in The Vines area. (Advocate, 27 January 2010)

Several months later numerous incidents of fridging were reported in the media as having taken place in the northern Queensland town of Blackwater:  ‘The incidents of “fridging” in Blackwater are on the rise and police are warning home owners to be vigilant.’ (Blackwater Herald, 29 June 2010) In subsequent months, press reports suggested that fridging had spread to neighbouring towns such as Ayr and Home Hill.

The common theme of fridging incidents, as reported in newspapers, is the ease of access to refrigerators kept outside the home, on decks and patios, and in backyard sheds and garages. In hotter parts of Australia it is a common practice to keep a second fridge for cold drinks (such as beer) in outdoor areas, and this is undoubtedly why fridging is an activity largely confined to Queensland and the Northern Territory. Many reports mentioned the prevalence of children and young people committing these crimes, with the main incentive being easy access to alcohol, especially for those who couldn’t buy it legally:

It’s called fridging—teens entering backyards across the Gladstone region and stealing alcohol from patio fridges. Tannum Sands resident Jenny Cross is getting fed up, after being victim of fridging three times. ‘It happened … twice before Christmas and last Tuesday night.’ Each time the teens cleaned the alcohol out of their fridge. (Gladstone Observer, 20 January 2011)

In the Northern Territory News, one policeman suggested a simple precaution to keep people safe from fridging:

‘It is recommended that you do not store tempting items in unsecure outdoor fridges’, Sen-Sgt Jorgensen said. ‘Unfortunately this just encourages recalcitrants to treat the neighbourhood as their supermarket.’ (20 March 2014)

This same report also informed readers about the solution to the problem ultimately resorted to by Katrina Fong Lim, Darwin’s Lord Mayor. She was fridged three times in 2012 and ‘eventually unplugged the appliance for good’.

Fridging is being considered for inclusion in the second edition of the Australian National Dictionary. To find out more about Australian slang, why not check out the ozwords blog.