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The Nutshell Guide to Fluent English II
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Born and educated in Ireland, Bill McCann has worked as a research chemist, archaeologist, project manager, departmental manager, geophysicist, company director, historical adviser and technical writer. He is currently working as a university lecturer in China. (In between that lot, he had great fun as a barman, dishwasher, hotel cook, movie house manager, taxi-cab dispatcher, hotel/bar stock controller and opinion survey interviewer.) Driven by a passionate curiosity and intense wanderlust, he has travelled widely and explored the cultures of many lands and peoples. He is a devoted bibliophile who has been an avid reader since the age of seven and continues to build his personal library which currently contains about 4,000 volumes on a range of subjects, including, Literature, Art, Music, Theatre, all the natural Sciences, Philosophy, Politics, Language, Mythology and, of course, History. The Nutshell Books project aims to distil the essence of the epochs, milestones, and personalities that made and shaped world history into a format more amenable and accessible to the denizens of the electronic age. He sees no sense in the notion of retirement and has every intention of avoiding the grave for as long as possible. Li Zi Chuang (Rick) grew up in Henan, China, in the heartlands of the ancient Xia Dynasty. After completing his High School education he elected to enter Hezhou University in the Guangxi Autonomous Region, where he took English, with an emphasis on Tourism, as his Major. He has now completed his university years and is currently working for a company in Guangdong which has an international client base. At the beginning of his second year at university, Bill McCann arrived to teach in the Foreign languages apartment. The two soon established a good rapport that has since grown into a close friendship. Concerned at the complete lack of English language books in Hezhou, Rick suggested to Bill that they might set up a Bookshop that would make English books and magazines available to the students of the university. The result was Bill 'N' Rick's Bookshop. Rick was also the inspiration behind the series of Nutshell Books about the emperors of China, which is dedicated to him. More importantly, he was worked closely with Bill in developing a practical Course in Spoken English that would help the English major students to become fluent in speaking English. That Course is the foundation for our first series of Nutshell Guides.

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