I mentioned on Wednesday, and most club members know from long experience, that I write three articles like this one each week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. That’s around a hundred and fifty articles a year.
Some of those, perhaps a third, perhaps more, will be standard marketing stuff, for example when we have a sale or other promotion on.
But a good chunk of each year’s output is not standard marketing stuff. I write mostly about language learning, and try to make my articles entertaining or helpful, ideally both.
Given the quantity of words published, club members can be forgiven for not reading everything I write. My wife and mother used to, but even their enthusiasm for my wit and wisdom has waned over the years.
But of course, there are those of you who are new around here.
I started this website back in 2012, and wrote all the articles myself (the Italian exercises and so on were produced by actual Italian teachers.)
Do the maths and you’ll appreciate that, excluding the marketing stuff, that means I’ll have written somewhere around a thousand original articles, and no one, but no one, is going to scroll that far back on the website’s blog page.
For this reason – making the most useful or entertaining content from the last ten years accessible to anyone who wants to find it – we have a ‘Best of’ page.
Take a look and you’ll see that the very first article linked to there (right at the bottom, in 2012, SCROLL DOWN) is The 3 Tenses You Need To Know To Really Speak and Understand Italian.
I just glanced at it, and still think it’s worth reading, even if probably nobody ever does.
Who decides what gets immortalised on the ‘Best of’ page?
Well, I do, of course!
In theory I update it on a yearly basis, going through the previous 150 or so articles, discarding anything meritless, and linking to what I consider useful or fun.
For me, it’s a bit like reading a year’s worth of diaries – oh wow, I’d forgotten all about that – etc.
I write the Monday/Wednesday/Friday articles even when on holiday, so some of them are more like a travelogue. For example, 2017’s Texas road trip, which was a birthday gift for my daughter, and brings back memories of motels with noisy air-conditioning and a dearth of real pubs, resolved by storing ‘a box of bocks’ in the trunk of our borrowed automobile.
But hey, what happened to 2020 and 2021?
That’s a rhetorical question, obviously.
Everything got turned upside down in those years. For us, for lots of people. A lot of what we’d taken for granted was snatched away, and we had to struggle to survive, we were forced to reorganise, to innovate, and to let things which no longer seemed important fall by the wayside.
Such as updating the ‘best of’ page! It’s been on my list since, um, about week five of teaching kids on Zoom, which would be… December 2020! So put off for sixteen months.
Nevertheless, I’m still planning to get to it as, despite the stress, the chaos, and the constant uncertainty, there were plenty of things worth writing about.
Two articles I remember in particular, and found with Google’s help (it knows my site way better than I do…) were May 2020’s The Great Escape! and September 2021’s Lifetime risk of stroke? One in six!, but there were many more, I’m sure.
During the first lockdown, for instance, we did a number of book clubs, during which some of us read the Italian originals and others followed along with our Literature ‘easy readers’. Those are linked to from our Italian Literature page, at least, forgotten but not technically lost.
Will they make it on to the ‘Best of’ page? Who knows!
I’ll start reading through the previous three hundred or so articles I wrote, non appena ho un minuto, and let you know my top picks when I’m done.
In the meantime, some of you have ten years of wit and wisdom to catch up on!
I just picked out this one at random – “How long will it take until I can understand everything I hear?” – and there’s plenty more where that came from…
The 25% discount on this week’s new ‘easy reader’ ebook, Colpa della terra, Libro 3, Senza dire niente, the third in a series of five, ends on Sunday night.
Each tale in this series is narrated by a different member of the family, and the story arc as a whole spans more than fifty years, from the end of the nineteenth century until WWII. With this one, we’re up to 1908, I think.
Libro 3 is narrated by Antonio, one of the twins. He came to New York from Italy when he was just as a child, but is now a young man, a merchant sailor, and hoping to start of a family of his own.
Libri 4 and 5 will be published at two week intervals, so roughly at the beginning and the middle of May.
“Forza, maledetti italiani! Che avete? Non volete lavorare? Volete stare seduti sugli alberi a prendere il sole senza fare niente, come siete abituati al paese vostro?! Forse volete diventare ancora più negri dei negri!” Un giovane americano spavaldo e arrogante ci insulta con disprezzo, sventolando alcuni fogli che ha in mano.
Siamo tutti ragazzi giovani, poveri e abbastanza affamati, quindi lavoriamo per poco. La paga che ci ha offerto, però, è davvero troppo bassa. Sento due siciliani che parlano tra loro e uno dice: “No, compare, per questi quattro spiccioli non lavoro. Mi rifiuto! Non siamo bestie.”
Io sto in silenzio guardando il mare e poi mi giro verso la mia ragazza, che è venuta ad accompagnarmi al porto. Vengo umiliato dal reclutatore di marinai proprio davanti a lei, ma non ho il coraggio di ribellarmi. Rosalba, la mia fidanzata, mi dice all’orecchio: “Andiamo via, Antonio, domani ci sarà un’occasione migliore.”
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to!
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook (.mobi/Kindle-compatible, .epub) cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them.
Have you listened to Thursday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news, yet?
It’s free, as is subscribing to receive each of the three weekly bulletins, directly to your email inbox, immediately they are published on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.