What a great week! First, I heard from Professor Grote. And today, Jim Tirey, the brains behind Textkit!!

You always hope when you find that things have not changed for the better that there’s a happy reason. What a relief to know that’s true in this case. Not only that, but Jim was able to find the time to update the site and it looks great!


A Comprehensive Guide to Wheelock’s Latin by Dale A. Grote

I have recently had the most wonderful email conversation with Professor Grote. He’s been so informative, friendly and approachable — which I guess you have to be if you’re going to be teaching Latin these days! He even answered my first email over the weekend! That’s impressive. 🙂

He told me some of the history of his Study Guide to Wheelock’s Latin which comes and goes in different places on the InterWebs. He reminded me that the notes were meant to accompany Wheelock’s 4th edition. Since Wheelock’s is now in its 7th edition, you can see how there would be huge differences, not the least of which being that the last chapters in the current Wheelock’s book aren’t included in the notes at all.

Fortunately, as a direct result of the original notes, A Comprehensive Guide to Wheelock’s Latin, designed to accompany the latest edition of Wheelock’s, was published by Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc and is still available.

The trick to language study isn’t just memorizing the words — that part is relatively easy. The catch is the grammar, etc., and if you’re studying Latin for the first time, or again after many years, this resource will be invaluable.

The Alchemist by Paulo CoelhoI’m a little more than half-way through my first reading of this book and I’m so glad I didn’t read any of the reviews or the recommendations on my book sites before I started.

The reviews confuse me, and I’ll be taking a harder look at them after I’ve finished my own analysis. But what struck me in a cursory skimming of them is how negative they are. Not just that they didn’t like it, or wouldn’t read it again, or wouldn’t recommend it to friends — they HATED it! — and didn’t have very kind things to say about anyone who DID like it. I’d estimate five zealously negative reviews for every good one, which accounts for the 3-star (give or take) over-all rating.

Not a single one of my book sites thought I’d like this book. Interesting — maybe those algorithms aren’t as helpful as we’d like to think! Or maybe some of the books I have that would have tilted that scale haven’t been included in my book lists yet. I’m constantly finding some that I haven’t cataloged.

I obtained this book from a friend. It came up on my radar at least three times in a 24-hour period, which got my attention, so when she said she still had her copy and would find it for me, I took her up on it right away. She’s reliable when it comes to things like this, but apparently she brought it by within hours!

I started reading it that night. I was sold on the first page. Thirty pages into it, unlike most books, I knew it deserved more than one reading. It’s a quick read if you like, and at less than 200 pages you can get through it in one day if you’re so inclined. It has a “Sally, Dick and Jane” writing style, which I’m surprised doesn’t irritate me in this case. Actually, I was surprised it has a Lexile Measure of 910L — I expected it to be lower, though I *am* new to this measurement and don’t have a lot of experience with it as yet.

I should be finishing this up in a day or two. And I fully intend to read it at least once more. I might buy my own copy of it before then, however, as this one needs lots of scribbles, notes, highlighting and tags.

I’d like to be able to comment on my experience with BookLikes, but I can’t “get in” and, apparently, I’m not the only one. Better be paying attention when that verification code comes in. I obviously wasn’t! 🙂

It’s not unusual for sites to “move on” — Goodreads was sold to Amazon.com, and Shelfari, as well, and Shelfari has now been merged with Goodreads. Dizzy yet?

What confuses me about the BookLikes situation, though — their copyright notice is still dated 2015 — is that I see sponsored posts from them on Facebook, and regularly receive emails from them — almost too regularly — which is interesting since I didn’t verify the account.

BagEndBooks is posting regularly, so it would seem the issue was resolved — I didn’t see a follow-up to the original rant — as I can’t imagine trying to write book reviews on a smart phone for very long! So I’ve sent my email for help, and hopefully a response is forthcoming. Why do I always find these things on the weekend?

Update 17 February 2017: Still no response from BookLikes. It would appear the site and it’s email system are on auto-pilot for now.

Update 21 February 2017: Almost as if by magic, I got a response from BookLikes yesterday! My account’s been verified and it’s ready to go! Looking forward to trying it out as soon as possible.

Neil Pasricha’s article in the Harvard Business Review has eight great suggestions on time management and organization:

  1. Centralize reading in your home,
  2. Make a public commitment,
  3. Find a few trusted lists,
  4. Change your mindset about quitting,
  5. Channel your reading dollars,
  6. Triple your churn rate,
  7. Read physical books, and
  8. Reapply the 10,000 steps rule.

The article, of course, expands on these points with explanations and ideas for practical application. Be forewarned, however, that the Harvard Business Review limits the number of articles you can view for free, so if you’ve already exhausted that, you may not be able to access the link.