Happy Memorial Day to our American listeners and salubrious salutations to everybody else! It's another newsletter from A Way with Words.

We're starting the summer season, so this past weekend's show was an "encore presentation." A re-run, a replay, whatever you want call it--but a good one. It was the "road trip" episode in which we discussed "padiddle," how to pronounce "aunt," and the superstitious saying "bread and butter."

Listen here:


The padiddle call, by the way, may very well have generated more email and phone calls than any other over the last 12 months.

Those of you who listen by podcast will have have an extra treat this summer. Just like last year, we're going to put online-only minicasts in the feed. They'll be good calls that didn't make it on the air because we just didn't have time for them. Two host with gifts of gab plus savvy, chatty callers can turn out more yammering than a farmyard before a thunderstorm.

Look for those online-only minicasts to start in our podcast feed on June 2.

This week we received three books in the mail. We haven't read them yet, but let's take a moment to superficially judge them. You don't have enough time to read the books that are really worthy of your attention, so you've got to cull the weak and sick somehow, right?

"The Other" by David Guterson, author of "Snow Falling on Cedars." The breathless copy on the dust jacket flap says,"When […] the two boys meet in 1972 at age sixteen, they're brought together by what they have in common: a fierce intensity and a love of the outdoors that takes them, together and often, into Washington's remote backcountry, where they must rely on their wits--and each other--to survive." We smell a movie.

"Mistress of the Sun" by Sandra Gulland, author of the "Josephine B." trilogy. It's historical fiction based on the life of Louise de la Valliere, the highest ranking consort of France's Louis XIV. For what it's worth, the book fails Grant's "dialogue text": if there's so much dialogue that the pages look more like a screenplay than a novel, then he passes on it.

"The Seven Sins" by Jon Land. It's about a male crime-linked casino owner of Italian heritage and his sure-to-be sexy female lawyer who uncover secrets about a mystical medallion. It's supposedly based on the story of the real-life Fabrizio Boccardi, "an Italian investor with international business interests." Ooh, mysterious! Fabrizio has a photo on the back flap in which he lists to starboard to such a degree that we're sure one of his legs is shorter than the other. The press release says "he's dated supermodels." All that confers upon him is a glowing halo of lanugo shed by the stick-thin forms of the self-starving, but if he wants to put us up in the high-roller suite of the mega casino the press release says he's going to build, then we'll bring a lint brush.

That's all from us this week. Our discussion forums are open for your opinions and questions, the phone line is on 24 hours a day, and we read every email you send, even if we can't respond to every one. Keep it coming!

Until next week,

Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett

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