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Sure Fire Soul Ensemble

Some of the music you hear on this show is the work of Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, a San Diego-based Afro-funk and soul-jazz band. Their keyboard player is Tim Felten, who, as it happens, is also the editor and engineer for A Way with Words. He selects...

Episode 1589

Deep-Fried Air

Eels, orts, and Wordle! Sweden awarded its most prestigious literary award to a book about…eels. The Book of Eels reveals the mysterious life cycle of this sea creature and its significance for famous figures from Aristotle to Sigmund Freud. Plus...

“Ta-Da” Echoes a Musical Flourish

Julie from Jacksonville, Florida, shares a lovely story of her husband’s increasing use of the word Ta-da! In lieu of other words or to point out a success. Ta-da! references the sound of a musical flourish, such as that of a trumpet. This is...

Darwin Quote on Living Well

In The Autobiography of Charles Darwin (Bookshop|Amazon), the great scientist writes, “If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.” This is part of...

Pobblebonk

A pobblebonk is an Australian bullfrog that doesn’t croak so much as make a kind of plonking sound. For this reason, it’s also called a banjo frog — and it really does sound like a banjo! This is part of a complete episode.

Episode 1562

What the Blazes?

What kind of book do people ask for most often in prison? Romance novels? No. The Bible? No. The most requested books by far are … dictionaries! A number of volunteer organizations gather and distribute used dictionaries to help inmates with...