This is the third mercoledì of our lockdown here in Bologna.
The weather app on my smartphone tells me that it’s ‘molto nuvoloso’, and a glance out of the window would confirm that, had my home office, which is carved out of a corner of our garage, any windows.
The temperature will reach a maximum of 7.5 centigrade (45.5 in the hard-to-spell American system).
Oh, and it’s windy, which is unusual in this part of Italy. I know it’s windy without having to look out of the window I don’t have because now and then a gust will rattle the metal garage door.
Later today I’ll be washing the dishes. And after that, preparing lunch.
In the afternoon I might join the queue at the ‘farmacia’ down the street to pick up my meds.
Then there’s aperitivo, then dinner, then bed.
So is this going to be the most boring Wednesday of my life?
But it needn’t be as tedious for you, fortunate club member!
For in my windowless, wind-battered garage this morning, I have crafted a list of ebooks that could engage and divert you for the whole of today, and indeed for many days to come.
A note about methodolgy: I started at the top of the catalog page in our online shop and worked my way down the list of ‘easy reader’ ebooks, attempting to choose just two at each level. The selection criteria were simply that I remember personally ENJOYING THE STORY.
Anything tinged with boring, or not sparking joy, as Marie would say, failed to make it onto today’s list.
And a further qualification: while all these ebooks are for sale in the aforementioned online shop, you don’t have to actually buy anything in order to pass this Wednesday in a useful and educational fashion.
I’ve included a link to the FREE sample chapter for each ebook, and in the FREE sample chapter (.pdf), you will find a link to the FREE ONLINE AUDIO, which comprises not just the audio track for the sample chapter but for the entire story!
Which means that if you are, say, an intermediate or advanced student of Italian, you could begin at the very lowest level (A1), download the FREE sample chapter, read and listen to Chapter 1, and then continue listening to the other seven chapters (as often as you like), without spending a cent!
I was going to say ‘without spending a penny‘ as our shop prices in British pounds, but probably you will need to do that at some point. I’m thinking of getting a bucket in my home office, so as not to risk infection by venturing out amongst family members.
Anyway, once you finish the first story, move on to the second. You have two per level to listen to. Then up half a level and repeat. E via! That’s the rest of your lockdown sorted!
Which reminds me, club member Anne in Chicago writes that, while she’s never actually bought anything from us, she has tried some of the free sample chapters and finds them all boring.
So there you go, you risk being bored. I pass that on dutifully.
However, I (I would capitalize that, but it’s already ‘maiuscolo’) don’t think any of the stories linked to below are boring. And most of them have enthusiastic reviews, which you can read by clicking the title, which links to the product page, and looking for the ‘Reviews’ tab.
But hey, perhaps I’m not sophisticated enough to spot how banal this stuff is? Or maybe it’s because Anne, for all she likes to read my articles and point out the mistakes, apparently still hasn’t got around to learning any Italian. Which would, of course, make the stories somewhat less enjoyable.
Anyway, enough complaining.
Ready to blow away those Wednesday blues??
Hit me with the ebooks, daddy!
Can’t cook? Neither can grandmother Rosa. But her health-conscious daughter has begged her to pick up the kids from school and feed them lunch – no unhealthy takeaways mind! Free sample chapter (.pdf)
An elderly couple run the village’s only hairdresser’s. He does the men, she does the women. When it comes to the invevitable gossip, of course there’s a Chinese wall between the two of them. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
Hate your noisy neighbour? Imagine being stuck in a lift with them. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
Ever had your purse or wallet stolen and hoped in vain that someone would return it to you? Never happens. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
A charming story of a nobody who takes a crazy risk to please his child. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
A group of childhood friends reunite to hike in the mountains, but the weather takes a turn for the worse. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
The day that women in Italy first got to vote, and the nation decided whether or not to keep its monarchy (spoiler: it didn’t.) Free sample chapter (.pdf)
My wife wrote this one. The only thing she’s every written, as far as I’m aware, which is a shame as it’s a proper job (as the Cornish say.) A love story, of course, and the ‘struggling artist’ carrying his canvas in the cover photo is me. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
Grandad has an old-fashioned tip for his lovelorn student grandson. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
An American student goes to stay with her black-sheep Italian uncle. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
A small-town family restaurant has just one chance to make the big time! Free sample chapter (.pdf)
Rome. It’s very, very hot today. And our failing private detective is about to take his cat to the vet when he gets an unexpected phone call. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
On a planet far away, a nerdy I.T. guy with an eye for detail ends up in big trouble. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
Can you really find love on the Internet? Valeria and Michele decide to find out. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
Remember high school? Brutal, wasn’t it? And that was WITHOUT the ancient Greek… Free sample chapter (.pdf)
A second-world-war mystery comes to light due to some careless Italian driving. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
Like ‘Pretty Woman’, but set in Italy, centuries back. There’s no Richard Gere or Julia Robers and the story is much less patriarchical. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
The first in a trilogy featuring our medieval investigator, Anselmo. I had my doubts, I admit, but enjoyed all three (the final one is the best…) Free sample chapter (.pdf)
Obviously it’s much more fashionable these days to lock child refugees in cages or confine them behind barbed wire or on islands. But back in the day, people actually cared about the welfare of vulnerable young people. Here’s the story of one of them. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
Italian teacher Roberto’s narrative of his adventures on the famous pilgrim route. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
Skullduggery with horses. This is probably the hardest text we have, and damn good, too. Free sample chapter (.pdf)
2020 Spring Sale: Save 20%!
Save a fifth on any or all of the above titles with our 2020 Spring Sale!
- Coupon code Spring-Sale-2020 saves you 20% on everything, assuming you remember to copy and paste it into your shopping cart
- The ‘Spring Sale’ promotion ends at midnight on Sunday. The next similar offer won’t be until July. Stock up now!
- There’s no minimum or maximum spend – use the coupon as often as you wish while the offer lasts
- Coupon code Spring-Sale-2020 also works on items that are already discounted, such as ebook bulkbuys or packs of online Italian lessons
- Pay through Amazon, Paypal (they process credit cards for us – you don’t have to open an account) or bank transfer (not a good idea unless you have a UK bank account)
You won’t forget to listen to Tuesday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news, will you?
I think they found one story that wasn’t virus-related.