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The Bookworm Sez: Playing with Words and Ideas, books by various authors

That makes no sense! And yet, there it is: a fact that seems kind of silly but it’s a hundred percent all true. Those kinds of things-to-know are also a hundred percent fun, especially when you’re the smarty-pants who gets to tell them. Trivia, tidbits, word-play, whatever you call it, these great books are calling

That makes no sense!

And yet, there it is: a fact that seems kind of silly but it’s a hundred percent all true. Those kinds of things-to-know are also a hundred percent fun, especially when you’re the smarty-pants who gets to tell them. Trivia, tidbits, word-play, whatever you call it, these great books are calling for the nerd inside everybody…

How many words do you think there are in the English language? Well more than a million, if you can imagine that, and about a hundred more are added to our vocabulary every year. So would you believe that the average person uses only about twenty-thousand of them? Yeah, and that’s why you need “Absurd Words” by Tara Lazar (Sourcebooks Kids, $16.99): so you can start expanding your vocabulary.

When you have something to say but you can’t quite find the right way to say it, “Absurd Words” is the book to read. Its mishmash of entries will take overused cliches out of your sentences so your audience will know you’re not a poltroon. Rejigger your writing! Boggle those who say you don’t speak well. Speak, orate, postulate, the whole shebang! Become an abecedarian in almost no time at all and have fun doing it, with this book. It’s perfect for kids ages 8-and-up, and for adults who love wordplay.

Once you have a humongous vocabulary, you can then know everything worth knowing by reading “An Answer for Everything” by Rob Orchard, Christian Tate, and Marcus Webb (Bloomsbury, $25.00).

Where, for instance, has James Bond been in the world? How many chickens are there? And what’s so great about Meryl Streep, anyhow? These, and other burning questions are yours for the knowing with this book. Is it possible to find another planet exactly like ours? How many people (give or take) have been to space? Is it ever too late to do something awesome?

Is it ever to late to know that?

This book is one of those you want to leave in that place where you always seem to have time to spare, because every page is browse-able. Just dip in here, tuck in over there, and read any one of the page-or-two entries. Not interested in a subject? Then flip the pages or check the index or pop around and look for a new and fascinating interest.

And before you think it’s all play, get this: at first glance, the articles inside “An Answer for Everything” might seem fluffy or frivolous, but a second look will show you that more than just a few consist of serious information. There’s learning going on here but for sure, whatever you read in this book is fun stuff to know for anyone ages 10 to adult.

If these books don’t quite fit your criteria for light reading, be sure to ask your favorite bookseller or librarian for help. They’re superheroes at this kind of thing; they’ll know exactly what you want to read next and asking them for help, well, it just makes sense.

By Terri Schlichemeyer
Playing with Words and Ideas, books by various authors
c.2021, 2022, various publishers
$16.99 – $25.00
various page counts