I read a whole bunch of random things this month!

  • Most importantly, I read the newly-released seventh edition of the Official Guide to the TOEFL.  The guide was heavily revised for this edition, which came as a pleasant surprise.  For my complete coverage of what was changed, start reading here.  Next month I’ll dig into the new editions of the two official test collection books.
  • I also read a bunch of the TOEFL e-books published by Jackie Bolan which are available on Amazon, Hoopla and various other services.  Specifically, I read:  Phrasal Verbs for TOEFL, TOEFL Vocabulary Builder, and English Vocabulary Masterclass for TOEFL.  They are decent vocabulary books, but aren’t exactly TOEFL books as they don’t contain any TOEFL-specific content.  I suppose the “Vocabulary Builder” is the best, as it might help you learn some words used in campus situations (that you’ll need to know for parts of the listening and speaking sections).  In the months ahead I’ll dig into more of the TOEFL odds-and-ends that litter libraries and online bookstores.
  • I also read College Board: Its First Fifty Years.  You bet I did!
  • I read a couple more issues of History Today, which I’ve mentioned here is one of my favorite sources of academic reading practice.  In the April, 2024 issue I enjoyed The Value of Wills to Historians, which explores a somewhat mundane topic… exactly like the TOEFL reading section.  I also enjoyed When Nostalgia was Deadly, an examination of the deadly disease known as “nostalgia.”  Apparently this was a pretty big deal in medieval Europe.  In the May 2024 issue, I liked Inventing Cyrillic, which is a quick look at the history of the Cyrillic alphabet.  That sort of thing is exactly what the folks at ETS like to put on the TOEFL test.
  • Lastly, I continued my read-along with the Norton Library Podcast and read Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.” I can’t recommend this book to people learning English, but you might enjoy the podcast episodes that cover it.




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