There’s a trick to this. We get you to watch this hand, while this hand is doing something else entirely. And the really good ones are the tricksters who tell you what they’re doing before they do it. They dare you to not look at this hand because they’ve told you that the other hand is doing something clever. And the totally bat-sh*t ones are the liars who set this trick up with no idea of the punchline, but who assure you there will be one nonetheless. Trust us. We’ve been doing this trick for awhile now, and as people who have their acts together more than us have said, “It’s not the destination that is important; it’s the journey.” 

Whatever. We’re sure it’s a true fact listed on page 84 of Shane Carley’s new book, True Facts That Sound like Bullsh*t: 500 Bits of Insane-But-True Crap That Will Shock Your Friends, and Impress Everyone. It’s a handy book everyone should have on their person at all times, because you never know when you’re going to trot out some weird bit of trivia to escape from a conversational disaster. Hey, did you know it’s only female mosquitos that bite you? Weird, right? 

And boom, now we’re talking about Einstein. See? It’s just like that. You blink. You look away. And you’ve just lost track of what’s going on here. Did you know that Einstein’s brain saw more of the US than he did? True story. Forty years after he died, a piece of his brain took a road trip with a journalist and the pathologist who performed the autopsy on Einstein in 1955 (and kept his brain! What?). You can read about it in Driving Mr. Albert, available at finer bookstores everywhere. 

National Geographic is doing a scripted anthology series for TV, and their first production is Einstein’s story, based on Walter Isaacson’s seminal biography. It’s got a great cast and a great production behind it, and we’re sure it’ll be entertaining, but, you know, you can always read the book. 

Though, truth be told, we’d rather see a version with Anthony Bourdain and Jon Favreau and a Tupperware container with a bit of brain in it. And they’d stop to eat at a lot of places along the way. 

Speaking of eating, this week’s reminder that health makes the world go around is Food52’s Mighty Salads. Sixty ways to turn salad into dinner (and make-ahead lunches, too!). Not that you need a recipe for a salad, right? It’s a little bit of what’s in that drawer, tossed up with some green stuff and a carrot or two. Maybe a few bell peppers. Pickles, if you got them. Some dressing. That left-over heel of sourdough bread is probably crispy enough to make croutons, right? 

No? You want something a little spicy? Fine. Mighty Salads has you covered. We’re going to go sit over here and color. 

Oooh, snap! That’s not a coloring book. That’s a knitting and crocheting book. Peaceful, contemplative knitting and crocheting. It’s like coloring, but instead of filing in all the little trees, you’re making fingerless gloves and mug cozies and small hats for tiny deer. We’ll call it now, but this is going to be the next craze. Once all those coloring pencils get worn down to nubs and we can’t get any more since the entire world’s supply of graphite has been used up in our mad dash to find serenity now in coloring. 

Oh, wait. Kery Rosanes has a new coloring book out. Yeah, okay. We’ll grind those nubs a bit more for Mythomorphia, Kerby’s latest extreme Find it! Color it! book. Dragons, unicorns, griffins with tiny crocheted hats!

And speaking of finding the hidden secrets right in front of you, we’ve been getting some requests for Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map, which is all about figuring out what you want via a catchy “Goals with Soul” metric and then exploring how you’re going to get from here to there. Where? Here. Yes, this hand. This hand we’re showing you right now. This is here. And we’re going to get over there. Yes, the other hand. No, don’t look at it—oh, see? You looked away from that hand, and what’s it holding now? 

What? A new book from the author of The Four Agreements? Living Your Life as a Work of Art, you say? How can we do that? Well, Don Miguel Ruiz has done some things and seen some things that have given him insight into the secret workings of the human mind and heart and spirit. And if you’re familiar with the Four Agreements, then you’re familiar with the Toltec-flavoring of Ruiz’s insights. It’s good stuff, thinking about the mind, heart, and soul, and we approve of introspective afternoons, especially if you pack a salad (leftovers from last night, right?) and a nice knitted cap to keep your brain warm. 

And while you’re out on your introspective meander, don’t forget to keep an eye for birds. They’re everywhere, and they’re smarter than you think. We’re delighted that Jennifer Ackerman’s The Genius of Birds is now out in paperback. It’s a wonderful book that illuminates just how amazing and complex brains are. They can do lots of things, and many of them work in more highly specialized ways than ours do. 

And we’re going to wrap up this week’s magic trick with a nod to Leonard Cohen, who has just been awarded a place on the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets shelf. While Mr. Cohen is no longer with us, his poetry is, and you can stuff a copy of this charming hardback release into your pocket, for when you need to stop and read some poetry to a hummingbird, for instance. 

Did you know that, on average, the hummingbird brain is over 4% of its weight (ours, by comparison is around 2%)? They can remember every flower they’ve ever visited. They can see into the fourth dimension, too. True fact. I read it in Carley’s book. Page 84

Overheard in the Woods


ZIP-ZIP: zzzzzzzip!

GLOM-GLOM: Glom glom. Glom glom—

ZIP-ZIP: zzzzzzzzzzzzip!

GLOM-GLOM: Glom! Glom glom glom glom. 

ZIP-ZIP: zzzzip. zzzzip. zzzip!


COLBY: Hey! Don’t be feeding beer to the hummingbirds!

GLOM-GLOM: Glom. Glom glom glom. 

COLBY: I don’t care if you don’t like it. That’s no way to respect your host. And besides, you can’t intoxicate a hummingbird. What are you thinking? 

GLOM-GLOM: Glom. Glom glom. 

COLBY: No, they will not slow down after they’ve had a few. 

ZIP-ZIP: zzzzziiippp!

COLBY: And don’t you start with me, either, you pesky—Just. Stop. Moving. So. Just stop it!

ZIP-ZIP: zziiip!

COLBY: Shoo, you troublemaker! Shoo! 


[Car door slams]

COLBY: Okay, okay. Beardy man is back. Look—I don’t know—less guilty, or something. 

ZIP-ZIP: zzzziipp!

COLBY: Oh, you and your state of preternatural innocence. Just . . . chill. Okay? Stop moving like you’re hiding something. 

ZIP-ZIP: zzzzzzzip?

COLBY: I don’t know where you’d hide something. It’s just a—oh, hey, beardy man. How was the trip to the store?

BOB: It was fine. I got some more beer. Stout. Since, uh, Glom-Glom seems to like it better than the IPA. 

COLBY: Great. Great. Thanks. 

BOB: I got some cheese too. Family recipe, right? 

GLOM-GLOM:  glomglomglomglomglom!

COLBY: Ha ha, very funny, beardy man. 

BOB: He laughed. 

COLBY: Moose are easily entertained. 

BOB: I thought so. Anyone that can watch me sleep for an hour has got to be easy to entertain. 


BOB: Right. So I’m going to put this in the fridge and bring out some beers. Okay? 

COLBY: Okay. 


[Sounds of groceries being put away]  

BOB: Here you go, Glom-Glom. Try—try not to get it all over the deck, okay? 

GLOM-GLOM: Glom glom. 

BOB: Hey, marmot, I got you a creme soda. Do you want a dish too or can you manage the bottle?

COLBY: I can manage. Uh, thanks. 

BOB: You’re welcome. Here, pour a little into this thimble. 

COLBY: What for?

BOB: For that hummingbird who is trying to be invisible over there. 

COLBY: You can see him? 

BOB: Sure. He’s not vibrating that fast. Not too much. It’s a natural soda, but it’s still got some stuff that isn’t too good for him. 

COLBY: Yeah, yeah, okay. 

BOB: There. Look at us. Sitting out in nature. Having a drink. 

COLBY: Yeah, here we are. 

[Time passes; moose laps up beer in dish; it’s quite noisy]

COLBY: Any plans today?

BOB: Nope. This is it. 

COLBY: Sounds like a good day. 

BOB: It might be.  


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