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Newsletter – Listening in – May 10, 2024

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Hello Book Bums families!

This week in the newsletter we are thinking about reading and listening, window art and books as windows. We hope it gives you a moment of reflection in this busy season of the year.

If you have a favorite book you'd like to see recommended in the newsletter, please respond to this newsletter and let us know.

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies."
-George R.R. Martin is an Amazon Associate; We earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you click on a link to and make a purchase, We may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We do recommend the products. Feel free to find them by other means.

Word of the Week

provoke (pruh-vok) verb/action word - to call forth a feeling or action, or to stir up purposely

Controversial topics provoke a lot of discussion during book club.

Literary Calendar

• May 15 is the birthday of author L. Frank Baum.
• This American writer from New York is best known for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but he was a prolific writer of novels, short stories, poetry, and scripts.
• Did you know that many readers and thinkers have theorized that The Wizard of Oz is an allegory about economic theory and the gold standard? There are many articles on the topic, but this one is an easy-to-read summary from a jewelry store that took an interest in the story

From our Bookshelves

NL 5.10.2024

Have you read Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult? My mom said her book club was reading it, and I remember having read it earlier this year. I never shared about it in the newsletter, and though I won’t say much (I heard next to nothing about it before reading it, and I felt it was better that way), I will say I enjoyed the book. It was engaging and thought-provoking, and though it dealt with many issues considered taboo in some of my circles, I felt the story was a good one. Don’t expect another Secret Life of Bees but know there is plenty of information about bee keeping within the context of the story, and yet it’s about so much more.

When you look at the book cover, you’ll notice that Picoult has a co-author for this one. When you read it, you’ll understand why that was important. Interestingly, each author wrote her character’s voice and then each wrote one chapter in the others’ voice which resulted in a seamlessly crafted tale.
You should know that Mad Honey addresses some “triggering” issues, and I can imagine many of my close friends recoiling from the content. If you can withhold opinion and consider another’s perspective, you may not just be entertained by a mystery—you may also find yourself considering another point of view.

I have been accused of living my life in a bubble. Today (with age and perhaps a little wisdom), I like the me who can insert herself inside a story—even one so very different from my own—and find something of value. I’ve learned to be wary when I think I know everything I need to know on any given topic, and Mad Honey was an opportunity to stretch my perspective. As a wise friend once shared with me, some books are mirrors reflecting back to us stories much like our own. Others are windows allowing us to look into lives quite unlike the ones we’re living. Each has merit. Whether this book is a window or a mirror, it just might be a good choice for you.

Tips for Families

NL 5.10.2024

I saw a TikTok about DIY window clings, and I thought I’d share what I learned with you in case you find yourself with some crafty kids who are looking for something fun to do.

You’ll need:
• 3 Tbsp Elmer’s White Glue
• 8 drops food color
• 3 drops dish soap
• plastic page protector
Mix the ingredients well and, placing cookie cutters onto plastic page protectors or something similar—even a large Ziplock baggie, paint a thick layer of the glue mixture inside each cookie cutter shape. Allow the glue mixture to dry for a full day, then you can remove the cutter, peel the glue shapes off the plastic, and stick them on some windows or mirrors.

If you use heavy application, you can create your own shapes and images too. The key is to keep the glue mixture pretty thick on the plastic surface. Another idea is to use squeeze bottles for drawing images.

Mother's Day Ideas has a list of things to do for Mother’s Day on their site. If you don’t already have plans, explore some ideas for time well spent with a mother you love.

Tips for Readers and Writers

Sometimes we need a little pick-me-up, and I have an idea you just might enjoy. Choose a favorite, uplifting song from your music playlist. Press play and then scroll through your photos on your phone.

I like to listen to “This is Life” by Carrollton as I watch my loved ones float across my iPhone screen. Instant delight! What song would you choose?

When you think about it, we’re all writing the stories of our lives. Let’s write well, friends!

Practical Grammar


NL 5.10.2024

Eaves are the edges of a roof that overhang and meet the walls of buildings. So why is listening in to a conversation that’s not meant for you called eavesdropping?

I did some digging and learned that eavesdropping became a thing long ago when people listened, outside the windows and under the eaves, to hear conversations from within homes.

Wordology Workshop

• Since we're thinking about listening (to music or other people's conversations) the Latin root meaning to hear or listen is audi.
• You can find it common English words like audio, auditorium, and audible.
• It's interesting to consider the difference between the word audience, whose root indicates listening, and the word spectator, whose root spec indicates watching.
• Think of when you use those two words - for movies, concerts, sporting events, and more. Are you doing more listening or watching?

Just for Fun

NL 5.10.2024

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