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Monday, July 20, 2009

Three Useful Little Books

Thanks to Caitlin for sending me these books.

I Used to Know That-Caroline Taggart

 Publisher’s Description
I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School
Author Caroline Taggart discovered two things while researching this book and talking with other people: One, everybody had been to school. And two, they had all forgotten entirely different things. Contained in this handy little book are the facts that you learned in school, but may not remember completely or accurately. Covering a variety of subjects, this book features all the most important theories, equations, phrases, and rules we were all taught years ago.
* History: The first president to occupy the White House was John Adams in 1800
* Religion: The seven deadly sins and the names of the twelve apostles
* Literature: In which Shakespearean play “The quality of mercy” speech appears
* Science: The periodic table of elements devised by a Russian chemist in 1889 includes the symbol for lead (Pb), silver (Ag), tin (Sn), and gold (Au)
* Nature: How photosynthesis works
The information—presented in easy-to-retain, bite-sized chunks—is accurate and up-to- date. It will touch a chord with anyone old enough to have forgotten half of what they learned at school. Here is a perfect gift for every perennial student.

My Review:

I find this book to be extremely useful as a reference book. This cute little book contains all of the information that may or may not have slipped past the impenetrable barrier of our minds from our days in school. Every subject from the dreadful math to the wonderful literature is covered The information within was organized well and it is written in a very engaging manner. Although I would have put math and science towards the beginning because I am in the mindset of saving the best for last. I have to admit that I skipped over the math and science sections. If it didn’t take in school, it isn’t going to happen now but I will keep this book on my shelves nonetheless because you never know when you are going to need it.


i before e (except after c)-Judy Parkinson

i before e (except after c)

Featuring all the mnemonics you’ll ever need to know, this fun little book will bring back all the simple, easy-to-remember rhymes from your childhood—once learned, fix the information in the brain forever—such as learning to count by reciting “One, Two, buckle my shoe, Three, Four, knock at the door.” Packed with clever verses, engaging acronyms, curious—and sometimes hilarious—sayings that can be used to solve a problem or cap an argument.
Take a trip back to the classroom, and rediscover the assortment of practical memory aids covering a range of different subjects, including spelling, time, mathematics, history, general trivia, and much more. The information is organized in short snippets by category such as:
* Geographically Speaking: Remember North East South West by reciting Never Eat Slimy Worms or Naughty Elephants Squirt Water.
* Time and the Calendar: “Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November; All the rest have 31 excepting February alone; And that has 28 days clear; With 29 in each leap year”
* Think of a Number: Know the Roman numerals by remembering “I Value Xylophones Like Cows Dig Milk”
* World History: “In fourteen hundred, ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, And found this land, land of the Free, beloved by you, beloved by me”
The clever verses, engaging acronyms, curious sayings are endless. Guaranteed to amuse and inform, here is a perfect gift for any language lover—complete with a To/From gift plate.

My Review

I cannot say how useful this book is. I spent most of my childhood learning through those cute little devices that make life so much easier. I still remember the Preposition Song my 6th grade teacher taught us. Many of the little tricks in this book I do remember. I have a good memory for devices and stuff like that but some I can remember learning when I was younger but have just forgotten. This book contains most of them plus some I have never heard of. There are sections for most subjects and topics. It is a great reference to have and to keep in your library.


My Grammar and I…(Or Should That Be ‘Me’?)-Catherine Taggart and J.A. Wines

My Grammar and I (Or Should That be 'Me'?): Old-School Ways to Sharpen Your English

I will honestly keep this book with me. Grammar is one of my passions and yet one of my weaknesses. I could always do with a bit more help in the grammar and writing department. This will be kept next to me whenever I am writing anything of significance because I always have trouble remember just where to put my commas and semi-colons. To be honest, I would love to banish them from the English language but for as long as they remain, I will need a quick reference on how to use them.

Rating-A+-for sheer usefulness.

I am so glad books of this type have been published. I mean, who remembers the little things we learned as children that could be so useful to us as adults? I know I don't. My school days before college fade into a blur unless it was a traumatic episode. These are three great books and anyone would find them useful. I think they are a necessity for any library or personal book shelf.

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