IELTS Speaking topic: A book you have read recently

Describe a book you have read recently.
You should say:
who recommended it
what book it was
what the book was about
and explain what you learned from it.

Let me tell you about a book I read recently. Its name is 1587, a Year of No Significance: The Ming Dynasty in Decline, which was written by a Chinese historian Ray Huang, first published in 1981. Though the book seems like a thesis, it’s very engaging and provoking because in this book it examines how a number of seemingly insignificant events in 1587 might have caused the downfall of the Ming Dynasty.

I bought the book in a bookshop in Nanjing when I was travelling there last month. The bookshop keeper told me that this book was always the best seller among the history category. And finally it turned out that it was really a page turner.

The book was about in-depth analysis of the traditional Chinese court politics during the Ming Dynasty by introducing the Emperor Wanli and other six prominent officials from the Ming ruling class. In each chapter it centres in an informative way on one man and moves through how they interact with the court and especially the emperor. In the end, it comes to the conclusion that the Ming emperor was not the ultimate power, but the massive Chinese bureaucracy which manipulated the entire Chinese political process and led the country to decline.

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Discussions — 11 Responses

  • ruby 2015/04/08 on 10:56 am

    Dear blogger,

    Would you like to give us an speaking example about “an experience that you got lost”?
    Thank you.

    • pirlo ruby 2015/04/08 on 12:03 pm

      Hello, ruby, Thank you for your comment in my blog, I’ll write your essay in the future, so please just wait for a couple of days.

  • Helen 2015/04/10 on 8:39 am


  • Lali 2015/05/12 on 8:59 am

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  • Lali 2015/05/12 on 8:59 am

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    • pirlo Lali 2015/05/12 on 11:37 pm

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  • Jane 2015/11/13 on 4:45 pm

    hi Pirlo, you know, finding your website is really a gift for me. the answer samples for ielts speaking part 1 and 2 make me feel more confident. can you show the questions for part 3, please. thank you very much

    • pirlo Jane 2015/11/14 on 12:14 am

      Sorry, currently I don’t provide the sample answers to the part 3 because I really don’t have enough time to accomplish these work.

      • Jane pirlo 2015/11/14 on 8:31 am

        sorry, I know. But I just want to know about the Question for part 3

  • Jane 2015/11/14 on 8:33 am

    a) Do you like to help others?
    b) When was the last time you helped others?
    c) Did your parents teach you the importance of helping others when you were young?
    d) Have you ever refused to help others?
    e) Would you keep helping people in the future?

    a) Do you have a favorite teacher?
    b) Do you want to be a teacher in the future?
    c) Do you like strict teachers?
    d) What’s the difference between young and old teachers?
    e) Is it importance for teachers to interact with students frequently?
    f) Do you think teachers should be angry at students or not?
    g) What’s the most important part in your study, teachers or classmates?

  • Eliza 2016/02/02 on 8:59 am

    Thank you 🙂