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.

 

 

 

Students often ask questions like: “If I get 17 answers right in the reading section, what is my final score?”

The answer, of course, is something like: “I have no idea. Every test is different!”

The best I can do is share this chart from the new Official Guide to the TOEFL.  Check it out:

As you can see on the chart, if the student answers 17 questions correctly, their final score could be anything from 22 to 28 points!

That’s because the difficulty level of every test is slightly different, and scores are adjusted accordingly. I think the boffins at ETS call this process “equating.”

And in the listening section?  The same thing!  Here’s the listening chart from the same book:

So, as you can see, not every TOEFL test is the same.

And one more note, since it answers a frequent question:  the unofficial reading and listening scores displayed at the end of the TOEFL are scaled scores.  

 

Moving along, here are all of the major changes to Chapter 2 of the new Official Guide to the TOEFL.  This chapter covers the reading section of the TOEFL test.

You can read the whole blog series on changes at the following links: chapter one, chapter two, chapter three and four, chapter five, the tests.

Throughout the chapter, the “how to recognize” stuff for each question type has been rephrased to emphasize that questions are based on single paragraphs instead of on the whole article.

Page 37:  again, “historical” articles are now referred to “historical and biographical narrative” articles.

Page 38:  The frequency of “reference questions” is reduced from “0 to 2 questions per set” to “0 to 1 questions per set.”

Page 38:  Again, “fill in a table” questions are not referred to.

Page 45:  The book includes a more detailed description of what an “inference” actually is.

Page 58:  The old book had the following practice sets:  “The Origins of Cetaceans” and “Desert Formation” and “Early Cinema” and “Aggression” and “Artisans and Industrialization” and “Swimming Machines.”  

The new book has: “Impact of Railroad Transportation in the United States” and “Desert Formation” and “Early Cinema” and “Water and Ocean Life” and “Frederick Taylor and United States Industry” and “The Distribution of Plants and Animals.”

This means that all of the passages with with fill-in-a-table questions have been removed.  Note that the “Artisans and Industrialization” set also had an inference question that required reading of the whole passage.

I spotted at least one reference question, by the way.  That is found in “Early Cinema.” That question type is not dead yet!

Happy April, folks!

First up – new versions of the Official Guide to the TOEFL and the two Official Tests books were published this month, but my copies haven’t arrived so no news about those in this month’s column.  Maybe next month.  Meanwhile, I did read a few things.  They are…

  • Nancy’s Isenberg’s White Trash: The 400-year Untold History of Class in America.  This scholarly look at the class divide in America had been on my to-read list for some time.  It was worth the effort it took to find a copy in Korea.  Check this one out to learn about the sometimes deplorable conditions of the poor in North America, beginning with the early days of colonization.  The story of America, I think, is the story of the poor.
  • In the March 2024 issue of “History Today,” I liked Was the Trojan Horse Real ? , a short article about the fake horse of Greek Mythology.  I’m sure you’ve heard of it – Greek soldiers apparently hid inside of it to better facilitate the capture of the city of Troy.  But was it real or is it just part of a made-up story that has endured for centuries? 
  • I also liked The Golden Age of Medieval Nostalgia.  You’ll have to pay for this one so I will keep it brief, but it’s a fun look at life in Europe in the 14th century when “the world turned upside down” due to significant social changes.  Any number of the trends and events described here could be turned into TOEFL reading questions.  Real TOEFL nerds might recognize “the Little Ice Age,” which is referred to early in the article.
  • Measuring the Shape of the Earth is about the exact sort of “why this?” thing that might show up in a TOEFL reading passage.  Is the earth flatter at the poles or around the equator?  Who cares?  Well, geographers, I guess.  As I’ve written here before, physical geography is a common topic in the TOEFL reading section.

By the way, you can get three issues of History today for Five GBP.  That’s like the best deal in magazines out there.  Just make sure to unsubscribe before the auto-renewal kicks in.

  • Finally, I read the June 2023 issue of the Literary Review of Canada.  It included a short article about the work of John Tuzo Wilson, the so-called “Charles Darwin of Geology.”  He contributed greatly to the theory of plate tectonics.  Geology is another common topic on the TOEFL (really, check out the link above).  And I am 100% sure that plate tectonics have come up more than once on the test.

That’s all for now.  Catch you again in May.

I underwent surgery this month, so my reading slowed a bit.  But I did check out a few things.

First, I continued my read-along with the wonderful Norton Library Podcast by reading Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.  This was a fun read (and a fun listen).  It tells the story of the young Jane Eyre as she receives an education and enters early adulthood. Some people think it is quite romantic.  I’m not so sure of that, but let me know what you think.  Anyhow, the book is more accessible than many of the works in the podcast, and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to someone who wants to hone their English skills by reading some classic English literature.  It isn’t a particularly good way to prepare for the TOEFL, but one can’t always be preparing for tests.  You can find a cheap copy of the book on Amazon.

Next, I read the November 2023 issue of “History Today.”  A few articles stood out:

  • The Flies, Fleas and Rotting Flesh of Medieval Monks.  Yes, the article is as gruesome as you might expect.  It turns out that in Medieval Europe it was a sign of one’s faith to purposely infect one’s self with fleas and body lice (and worse) to bring about a state of constant discomfort.  This one is quite a read.
  • Still on the topic of religion (happy Easter, by the way), Christianity’s Bloody History in Japan traces the rise and fall cycle of Christianity in Japan, starting with the voyages of St. Frances Xavier.  Fascinating stuff.

History Today remains just about the best source of TOEFL-level readings, both in terms of vocabulary and length.  I always get subscriptions when the publisher offers me a deal, but you can find plenty of stuff for free on their website.

That’s all for this month.  More in April.

 

This has been a busy month.  Too many airplanes.

In case you missed it, check out my review of the new Princeton Review TOEFL book.  I felt let down by it.  Princeton Review should do better.

Meanwhile, when I was in Canada I finally got my hands on a copy of the newest edition of the MLA Handbook.  I often work with students preparing for their freshman year of studies in America and I always encourage them to get a printed copy of the handbook so they don’t f–k up the formatting and sourcing of their essays.  A few of the students even listen to my advice!  If you are planning on studying at a university in the USA go get a copy.  You’ll use it quite often.

I read a few normal books and articles, meanwhile.

Continuing my read-along with the Norton Library Podcast, I read “Diary of a Madman and Other Stories.”  I think this might be my favorite from the podcast series so far.   Gogol is new to me – I didn’t realize his works are so humorous.  If you want to check out the podcast, here’s a youtube link.

I used my airplane time to dig deep into my stack of unread issues of the New Yorker.  A few articles are worth passing along.

First up, I read the March 28, 2022 issue (yeah, I’m really behind).  I read The Pied Piper of Psychedelic Toads, about the consumption of a hallucinogenic substance harvested from South American toads… and the fellow who has popularized the practice.  The whole thing seems really cultish.  If you are into cults (isn’t everyone nowadays) you might find the article amusing.

I also read the September 19, 2022 issue.  I enjoyed The Enduring Allure of Choose Your Own Adventure Books. This one is for aging millennials who have fond memories of these odd little books.  Readers not familiar with them might want to skip this reading.  Another piece from the issue worth checking out is Johnson and Johnson and a new War on Consumer Protection.  This one describes how users of that company’s baby powder have suffered severe health problems, as well as the company’s efforts to avoid taking financial responsibility for its action.

Moving ever forward, I read the September 26, 2022 issue.  A fun article in this one is The Case of the Disputed Lucien Freud, which tells the story of a portrait that may or may not have been painted by the famous artist.  If this tale wasn’t so bloody convoluted, I would turn it into an integrated writing question!  TOEFL experts know that the Official Guide to the TOEFL contains an integrated writing question about a famous artwork of disputed providence

And then I read the October 3, 2022 issue.  Most interesting was Seize the Night, a long article about the famous DJ Soluman.  Since I’m really square, I’ve always wondered what it is that makes DJs so special.  I mean, they just play other people’s music, right?  Well, it seems to be more complicated than that.  Passages about music show up on the TOEFL now and then.  You’ll never get something about this sort of music, but the point of this column is to encourage people to do some challenging reading, so I think it is relevant.

Lastly, I read the March 13, 2023 issue!  Yes, I made it to 2023.  I enjoyed The Fight over Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, which describes a long conflict between the city of New York and the owners of the famous arena.  I didn’t realize until now that the famous Penn Station is located immediately underneath the arena.  That makes it quite difficult for the city to carry out a much-needed expansion of the station.

That’s all for now.  More odds and ends next month.

 

Happy holidays, folks!  I’ve been pretty busy this month, starting in Canada (for family reasons) and flying back home to Korea in the middle of the month.  But I fit in some reading nonetheless.

First up, I read the 19 October 2023 issue of the London Review of Books.  This one is new to my “to read” stack of periodicals, and I’m happy to took out a subscription.  It has a lot of wonderful content.  In this issue I liked:

  • This review of the film “Past Lives.”  That’s my favorite film of 2023.  About childhood friends who grow apart (and reconnect) it feels quite a lot like the movies I used to watch when I was in college two decades ago.  I didn’t think such movies were made nowadays.
  • Rare, Obsolete, New, Peculiar, an article about the  “unsung heroes” who contributed to the Oxford English Dictionary.  As the article explains, volunteers from around the English-speaking world mailed in slips of paper containing suggested words and their definitions to the editors.  This was an egalitarian, but haphazard approach to dictionary-making.
  • Take that, Astrolabe, an article about the measurement of time in the medieval world.  I list this one here mostly because I’m pretty sure I got a reading passage about the history of clocks the last time I took the TOEFL.

Next, I read the 2 November 2023 issue of the same.  I liked:

  • Shriek of the Milkman, an article about the history of street food and hawkers in London.  As an avid traveller, street foods are one of my favorite things in the world.  
  • She was of the Devil’s Race, an article about the absolutely fascinating history of Eleanor of Aquitaine.  Did you know that one person was both Queen of France and (later) Queen of England?  It’s quite a story.

Moving ever forward, I read the October 2023 issue of “History Today.”  I liked a few articles, including:

  • The Medieval University Experience, a short article about the experiences of young men who travelled far from their homes to attend university.  I was amused by references to “letter templates” to help students write notes to their parents back home.
  • The Case of the Poison Pen Letters, about the absolutely fascinating case of Annie Tugwell, who was found guilty in 1910 of sending slanderous and threatening letters to several people, including a local priest.  A really, really, weird story.  This poor woman was eventually judged to be insane and locked away.

Lastly, I read the September 12, 2022 issue of “The New Yorker.”  I’m way behind with this  magazine, and I don’t think I’ll ever catch up.  Alas.  I liked:

  • Killing Invasive Species is Now a Competitive Sport, an article about the invasive (in America) Lionfish.  That’s a freaky fish.  I am quite sure that it has appeared in TOEFL speaking question four a few times.  It could feature into a question about two reasons why it is so invasive.   Or about how its unique spines function as a defensive mechanism.   Or about how it hunts.  Check out the article.

That’s all for now.  Expect a short article next month as I will be digging into a very dense book early in the month, which I am sure will be slow going.

So a real grab bag in the “You Should Read More” column this  month.  That means it was a good reading month for me… but maybe not a great month for you if you are looking for stuff perfectly suited for TOEFL prep.  In any case, let’s get right to it…

  • First up, I will remind you of the two book reviews I wrote this month. First up, check out my review of the new edition of TOEFL Essential Words.  The book remains a great resource for TOEFL prep, though the new edition has a bunch of errors in its description of the shorter TOEFL test.  Whoops.  Also, it seems to only be available as an ebook right now.  Next up, I reviewed IELTS 17.  Obviously the IELTS is a totally different test, but the articles used in the reading section are great practice if you want to read academic content.
  • Next, I read the September/October 2023 issue of Analog Science Fiction & Fact.  As always, you won’t be able to read any of its content unless you have a subscription, but I will mention that the issue’s “Guest Editorial” by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Brian Gifford about sacrificing privacy to increase safety inspired the creation of a specific TOEFL academic discussion question for a client.   And a poem called “Object Permanence” by Marissa Lingen inspired the creation of a speaking question about, uh, object permanence. 
  • Later, I finally pulled Stanley Kaplan’s autobiography Test Pilot off my shelf.  If you are into the history of standardized testing in the USA and/or the history of preparation for standardized testing, this one is worth finding.  Here’s what I wrote on Goodreads: “A very short book, but interesting if you are into the history of standardized testing in the USA. You’ll read about Kaplan’s founding, its tussles with ETS and the Princeton Review, and about the sale of the company to the fine folks over at the Washington Post. I wish Kaplan had written more about his interactions with ETS regarding the SAT, as that is still pretty relevant to today’s world.”
  • Following along (but still behind) with the Norton Library Podcast, I read Oedipus the King.  I don’t recommend it, but I mention it here because I enjoy posting updates about this read-along.
  • Finally, I read the September 2023 issue of History Today.  I liked Jane Eyre Goes to the Theatre, about an unauthorized theatrical production of the famous novel that launched shortly after the publication of the famous novel.  Back in the day, it seems, anyone could do anything they wanted with someone else’s intellectual property. Also worth checking out is Signs of the Zodiac: The Dendera Dating Controversy, about the discovery of the Dendera Zodiac in Egypt and its arrival in Paris.  

That’s all for this month, but check back in about 30 days for fresh recommendations.  Keep studying.

As usual, I read a bunch of stuff this week.  I’ll get right to it.

First up, I checked out the January 2023 issue of “History Today.”  A few articles seem relevant to TOEFL test-takers.

  • Hawk this Way describes the street sellers that hawked their wares on the streets of London around 1900.  Apparently there were more than 12,000 hawkers at that time in London alone.  Some great vocabulary in here with bits like: “though they traded without formal sanction and frequently fell foul of the law…”.  The article paints a really vibrant picture of an aspect of the city that disappeared around the time of the first world war.  Plenty of historical background is presented.  This article is somewhat similar in length and reading level as a real TOEFL reading passage.
  • The Madman of the North is a fun article about Charles XII of Sweden and his thirst for war.  Today one doesn’t often think of Sweden when thinking of European military history, but apparently people in the early 1700s sure did.
  • The Cold, Cold War is about rival nations trying to be the first to reach the Arctic.  It touches on the life of explorer Robert L. Peary who appears in a TOEFL integrated writing question I’ve checked hundreds of times.  I can’t remember if it is from an ETS source of a third party source, but it questions whether or not he actually reached the pole.  The best part of this article is its depiction of the schemes of Arctic explorer Henry W. Howgate.
  • Decline and Fall is about concerns throughout history regarding decadence.   I’ve already added “the decadent movement” to my list of TOEFL speaking questions in the works.

Next, I checked out the February 2023 issue of the same magazine.  Here’s what I liked:

  • Vile Verse and Desperate Doggerel is about poet William McGonagall.  Was he the worst poet in history?  Was he a visionary?  You decide.  The article brings to mind an old TOEFl speaking question from ETS about “Outsider Art.”
  • The Land Between Rivers is about efforts to establish a steamship service down the Euphrates River in the 19th century.  It’s a long article.
  • The ‘Lost’ Emperor is about a mystery!  A pair of old coins were found that might depict a previously unknown Roman Emperor.   But maybe they don’t.  These coins have been studied.  People have opinions.  There are disagreements.  This would make a perfect Integrated Writing question!

I think I’ve got one more copy of “History Today” on my shelf.  I’ll probably write about it next month.

Meanwhile, I read the July/August 2023 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.  I read every issue of this magazine, but I rarely mention it here because the stories and articles aren’t really available online.  I know it is a bit cliche, but I think the world would be a better place if more people read science fiction now and then.  There are bigger things to think about than the allegiances that divide us.  This month I really enjoyed David Ebenbach‘s “Everybody Needs a Conditions Box” which features the establishment of a colony floating above the surface of Venus.  That’s a topic that has appeared in TOEFL integrated writing questions (and I think I’ve mentioned other stories from the magazine that explore the concept).  This particular story also explores AI in a fun way.  Read it if you can find it.

I also read the October 2023 issue of Apollo.  I suppose it is important to read about art and architecture now and then, as those topics do show up on the TOEFL (and they are often ignored when people seek out “academic reading” material).  A few articles stood out this month:

Finally, I recently discovered a wonderful podcast called The Academic Minute.  This series features very short lectures on various topics by leading academics.  Each episode includes a short introduction and a transcript.  This is perfect practice for the TOEFL speaking section.  I feel like I am the last person to learn about this wonderful resource.  I think I will mine the podcast for topics I can use when writing practice questions.

You know, I’ve been really busy this month.  Last month, too.  I think the “enhanced TOEFL” is a hit.  Traffic to this website is up about 20% (to nearly all-time highs).  I’m getting a lot of requests for tutoring and for my usual writing and consulting services.  Earlier this month I spoke to the owner of a major TOEFL prep company and they told me that their sales are higher than ever.  Go figure.  Good for ETS.

But I have found the time to read a few things.

  • Continuing my read-along with the Norton Library Podcast, I read “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B Du Bois.  This one is hard work so I don’t really recommend it to people just trying to improve their TOEFL reading skills.  That said, Du Bois seems to come up in conversation quite a lot these days.  The freshman students at Columbia University that I work with are all exposed to Du Bois and an archival article by him coincidentally appeared in the issue of “Foreign Affairs” I read this month (see below).  Perhaps America-bound students should check him out at some point.

 

  • I read the May/June issue of “Foreign Affairs.”  This is the last of the magazines I grabbed from Starbucks.  Sad.  This publication isn’t fantastic for TOEFL preparation either, but a few things might be worth checking out.  The Age of Energy Insecurity describes the desire of some in America to wean their nation off of oil supplied by unfriendly regimes.  This could certainly be the topic of a reading on the TOEFL.  Meanwhile, Iraq and the Pathologies of Primacy describes the flawed thinking that led the United States to war in Iraq, and how the same flawed thinking contributes to yet more war in the Middle East.  Nothing like the TOEFL, but I found it insightful.  Check it out if international relations are in your wheelhouse. 

 

  • I also read the July/August issue of “Apollo: The International Art Magazine.”  It included a lovely article about a cottage named Munstead Wood. And this is not just any cottage – it is an important historic structure in the UK.  Perhaps you may not be interested in cottages or buildings in general, but the field of architecture could show up when you take the test.  I once wrote a whole reading passage about Frank Lloyd Wright for a major TOEFL publication.  One day you might be able to read it!

 

That’s all for now, but check back in about 30 days for more recommendations.

 

 

 

I spent much of this month traveling.  On Pacijan Island in the Philippines I stayed at an accomodation called “Camotes Cay Hideaway.”  That’s a one-room property with a really nice view of the sea.  I understand that it was built about thirty years ago as a summer getaway for a chiropractor who practiced in Cebu City for many years.  He passed away recently and his getaway is now used by anyone who needs a quiet escape for a few days.  I think the furniture still in use was all his… and also his books remain.  I snapped a picture:

And another:

Judging from his collection of textbooks, this fellow was the oldest of old school chiropractors.  I not sure I believe in the efficacy of this particular school of thought, but I wish I could have gotten the “flying seven” from him before his passing.

Perhaps after I pass into the next world by collection of books on the history of ETS will be read by strange tourists forevermore.

Not a whole lot of relevant reading this month.  Sorry!  But a few things are worth mentioning:

  • Still following along with the Norton Library Podcast, I read Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.”  For a fairly old book, it’s still really accessible.  I would recommend it to language learners who want exposure to some classic literature.  It is easy to find, but make sure to get a copy with basic annotations to guide you through the tricky parts (and to explain some of the many literary allusions in the text).  You could even get the super cheap Wordsworth Classics Edition of the book, which probably has enough notes for most readers.
  • I read the August 29, 2023 issue of The New Yorker, which included a reprint of a very long 1979 profile of the silent film star Louise Brooks.  Film fans might enjoy this one.  Others may not.
  • I put in a purchase request at my local library for the 5th edition of They Say, I Say. To my surprise, the library got a copy!  This is a lovely book that can be a lot of help to students beginning their university life who need guidance about writing argumentative essays.  This edition includes a new chapter on revising essays (which is a welcome addition) and a chapter on writing research essays (which should probably be the subject of a whole ‘nother book).  It also includes a couple new sample essays.  I’ve already endorsed the fourth edition of the book in this blog, but I mention the new one here just in case anyone wants to ask me questions about it.  Note that they didn’t get the “with readings” version, so I don’t know about changes to those.

That’s all for now.  But more in September.  Keep reading.  Let me know if you have any recommendations.  I’ll track them down eventually.

A bit of a grab bag of recommendations this month, which is always the best type of column.  So…

  • I read the November 2022 issue of “The Atlantic.”  I got it from the free book exchange at the Starbucks in Carleton Place, Ontario when I was in Canada.  Nice little town, that one.  You should visit if you are ever in eastern Ontario.  In addition to the Starbucks, they have a newly revitalized main street which is home to a variety of shops and services!  From the magazine, you might enjoy Let Puerto Rico Be Free, which is a detailed history of the American territory’s independence movement.  That movement is experiencing something of a rebirth, as some residents of the territory feel neglected and let-down by the US government.  It’s an issue to keep an eye on in the months and years ahead.

 

  • I also read the May 2023 issue of the same magazine.  I think Vermeer’s Revelation is an absolutely perfect bit of TOEFL reading practice.  It’s longer than a typical TOEFL reading passage, but it has a whole bunch of circuitous paragraphs that you’ll need to chew over before you can understand them.  Art history is a topic that comes up quite frequently on the TOEFL, but which I don’t often write about here.  Check it out right away.

 

  • Meanwhile, my final discovery at the library back in Canada was Essential Writing Skills for College and Beyond by Charlene Gill.  I liked the book a lot, and actually used a few sections with some students I was preparing for the ALP Essay Exam that incoming students take at Columbia University.  The book resembles “They Say, I Say,” which I recommended here a few months ago.  In addition to teaching students how to place their writing in the context of an ongoing dialog, the also contains great advice about how to use and integrated quotations from assigned readings.  Do check it out if you want to polish your writing skills before heading off to college.

 

  • Lately, I’ve really been enjoying The Norton Library Podcast. Produced by Norton (an important publisher of literature in English) each episode features a conversation with the editor of one of their recent editions.  Check it out if you want to hone your listening skills with some academic conversation.   Episodes are released every second week, so you can subscribe without feeling overwhelmed.  For bonus points, you could read the discussed works!  I’ve started doing that, and this month I started with The Great Gatsby.  Indeed, that is one of the books I recommend to students who want a taste of classic American literature.  Not only is it a fun and accessible read, but it is quite short.

 

  • I read the March/April issue of “Analog Science Fiction and Fact.”  Analog doesn’t put its stuff online, so I can’t link to it, but I really enjoyed the guest editorial by Richard A Lovett.  It discusses the problem of unintended consequences and highlights a few situations which could be turned into great integrated writing questions.  Apparently, a number of American states have highway signs that mention how many people have died on particular stretches of road.  They are meant to encourage safe driving, but might actually increase the rate of accidents.  Whoops.  And apparently when we let people know exactly how much energy they’ve consumed some people will consume even more.

 

I’ll leave it at that.  I’ll spend some time on the road (and away from my bookshelf) in August, so next month’s column might be a little boring.