You are reading The Wizard of Oz Vocabulary Builder

There are over 130 free vocabulary words in the free trial of The Wizard of Oz Vocabulary Builder and The Pinocchio Intermediate Vocabulary Builder. At the end of the trial you will have the opportunity to purchase the full versions of the online vocabulary builders, or you can purchase the physical books from our online bookstore.

Read normally and click on any highlighted word to reveal the definition.

Previous Page | First Page | Last Page | Next Page

View Complete Word List

“I’m sick of this ridiculous mummery and I’m tired of being a hypocrite. And sitting entrenched, or shall I say immured, in my Palace day after day is tantamount to languishing in prison! It gets unbearably boring, and the ennui makes me restive.”

He paused for a while with his eyes closed, then continued candidly, “Do you know how I really spend my time? I try to luxuriate in my leisure, but it’s a farce. Mostly I sit alone, jumping back and forth between painting watercolor landscapes—with as much dash and verve as I can muster, which, in spite of my best efforts to juxtapose light and shade, isn’t really very much—and clumsily playing popular melodies on my flute. When I tire of one, I try the other. Back and forth, back and forth, like an infernal Ping-Pong ball. I’m really just a hopeless dilettante, and I sometimes embarrass myself with my tyronic blunders. It’s ironic, actually, because when I played the flute as a boy, my mother, who was something of a connoisseur of music, and my teacher, the old dowager who lived in the large but dowdy house next-door, each referred to me, patronizingly, I now realize, as ‘my precocious little prodigy’! For a long time I didn’t know how badly I played, and I actually considered music my métier! I even considered taking up a second instrument, the cello, because I loved its sonorous tone, but it just seemed too heavy to carry around.

“Other than that, I usually sit alone in my library, which is contiguous to the Throne Room.” He gestured in its general direction. “I’m an avid reader, you know. Even as a boy, whenever I wasn’t tooling around the neighborhood on my shiny, green bicycle, I spent most of my time reading—especially the many fairy tales by those prolific Teutonic masters, the brothers Grimm, even though they gave me disturbing nightmares of wispy wraiths and wicked witches.” He reflected a moment, then said, “Maybe that’s why even today—” He stopped in mid-sentence with a slightly frightened look in his eyes. He paused again and, having composed himself, continued, “Today my tastes in reading are eclectic, and my library is a mélange of every type of book imaginable. I try to give equal consideration to genres as disparate as Gothic romance and science fiction—though I usually find the former too florid and melodramatic and the latter too dry and didactically allegorical. But I confess I have a real predilection for murder mysteries, and I’ve devoured entire oeuvres of mystery writers both renowned and obscure. I like them because I can’t resist a good plot and because they’re so superficial and obvious—they’re never tendentious, nor do they try to posit any complex moral dilemmas or other profundities under hazy layers of meaning. By the way, I don’t know why, but I especially prefer stories that feature an eccentric, upper-class, male detective. But the truth is that the ephemeral pleasures I get from reading these trifles really don’t

Previous Page | Go To First Page | Go To Last Page | Next Page