Newsletter, Oct 14th 2022
Our kids school is hosting their book fair this week and several other area schools are as well. Our family has always loved bookfairs, the anticipation of new books, the excitement of shopping with friends, so fun! I love how they promote and create excitement for the written word in kids.
As we were chatting about this, Arun asked me why The Thinking Spot couldn't chip in! And I thought, why not, indeed? So, that's what we're doing.
From now till end of October, The Thinking Spot will be in “bookfair” mode.
What that means, is if you come in and mention your school's bookfair, we will donate a percentage of the profit from your purchase back to your school! Simple as that. Think of it as an extension of your school book fair - just a different set of books!
For the Adults, there is a book fest in town! Our book club is going on a field trip to the Twin Cities Book Festival tomorrow - Oct 15th. We will be heading that way around noon tomorrow - join us if you like!
Please take this short survey, to help plan our our next Author Event.
Jessica Nordell, is the Author of a very thought provoking book “The End of Bias”. She happens to be local and I think we can have a very stimulating discussion. Looking forward to the feedback.
Upcoming Events at The Thinking Spot
Sat Oct 15th 7p : World Premiere of the Math Musical by Matheatre. All Ages. Do not miss this chance. These two literally travel the world and perform at science museums, schools and colleges all over!
Tuesday Oct 18th 11:30a : Virtual Event with Christina Soontornvat. We have now distributed almost 300 books to area schools. Super excited to host my first virtual event and meet award winning author Christina Soontornvat. I still have a few boxes available, if you know of a school with underserved population that could benefit from free copies of her book, please reach out.
Sat Oct 22nd 10:30am : Meet Author of Catstronauts and Waffle and Pancakes - graphic novel books for the 6-10 yr olds. It will be an interactive presentation on cartoons and drawing. You may even get to make one of your own!
Friday Oct 28th 7:30pm : Our favorite monster science comedy lecturer - Matt Kessen - is back with a show about Halloween monsters and the science behind them, right in time for Halloween!. Appropriate for all ages but probably 8+ to appreciate the humor :)
Sunday Oct 30th 2p - Yoga for the Mind - our science bookclub for Adults is wrapping up the fascinating “An Immense World”. Our next book pick is….drumroll please…..“Joy of X” by Steven Strogatz. Yes, we are bravely venturing into the world of Math! Steven Strogatz promises to be a good guide. Come join us, Math can be intimidating but we can make it less so, in the company of others.
One of our The Thinking Spot members is also hosting their own Bookclub here for a group of Master Naturalists.
If you are interested in running your own bookclub at The Thinking Spot:
Any topic/genre, please reach out. I'd be happy to provide the space and help pick out books.
Private Events at The Thinking Spot
Recently, we hosted a girl scout troop for a private #origami session! Everyone had a blast, a few parents even joined in and when we snuck in a little tidbit about how the James Webb space mirror used origami, their eyes went wide!
If you'd like a private session of any of our workshops :
Origami, robot building, 3D printing, AI Art - please reach out. Scout troops, bday parties, networking, friends groups, all are welcome!
Science News of the week
NASA announced this week that the DART mission did successfully change the orbit of the asteroid moon it hit!
You know those pump it up bounce houses for kids? Well someone took it a step further to create actual livable houses that away - by pumping concrete into balloon like forms. Check it out.
For new book releases this week, below my picks for various age groups. Full list can be found here.
Keep reading and see you at The Spot soon!
New or Upcoming Titles Recommended For You
By Temple Grandin
A landmark book that reveals, celebrates, and advocates for the special minds and contributions of visual thinkers A quarter of a century after her memoir, Thinking in Pictures, forever changed how the world understood autism, Temple Grandin—the “anthropologist on Mars,” as Oliver Sacks dubbed her—transforms our awareness of the different ways our brains are wired. Do you have a keen sense of direction, a love of puzzles, the ability to assemble IKEA furniture without crying? You are likely a visual thinker. With her genius for demystifying science, Grandin draws on cutting-edge research to take us inside visual thinking. Visual thinkers constitute a far greater proportion of the population than previously believed, she reveals, and a more varied one, from the purest “object visualizers” like Grandin herself, with their intuitive knack for design and problem solving, to the abstract, mathematically inclined “visual spatial” thinkers who excel in pattern recognition and systemic thinking. She also makes us understand how a world increasingly geared to the verbal tends to sideline visual thinkers, screening them out at school and passing over them in the workplace. Rather than continuing to waste their singular gifts, driving a collective loss in productivity and innovation, Grandin proposes new approaches to educating, parenting, employing, and collaborating with visual thinkers. In a highly competitive world, this important book helps us see, we need every mind on board
Temple Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and the author of the New York Times bestsellers Animals in Translation, Animals Make Us Human, The Autistic Brain, and Thinking in Pictures, which became an HBO movie starring Claire Danes. She has been a pioneer in improving the welfare of farm animals as well as an outspoken advocate for the autism community. Dr. Grandin resides in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Wired for Music
By Adriana Barton
“Beautifully written… a riveting account of how melodies and rhythms connect us, and help us deal with alienation and anxiety.”—Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score
In this captivating blend of science and memoir, a health journalist and former cellist explores music as a source of health, resilience, connection, and joy.
Music isn’t just background noise or a series of torturous exercises we remember from piano lessons. In the right doses, it can double as a mild antidepressant, painkiller, sleeping pill, memory aid—and enhance athletic performance while supporting healthy aging. Though music has been used as a healing strategy since ancient times, neuroscientists have only recently discovered how melody and rhythm stimulate core memory, motor, and emotion centers in the brain. But here’s the catch: We can tune into music every day and still miss out on some of its potent effects.
Adriana Barton learned the hard way. Starting at age five, she studied the cello for nearly two decades, a pursuit that left her with physical injuries and emotional scars. In Wired for Music, she sets out to discover what music is really for, combing through medical studies, discoveries by pioneering neuroscientists, and research from biology and anthropology. Traveling from state-of-the-art science labs to a remote village in Zimbabwe, her investigation gets to the heart of music’s profound effects on the human body and brain. Blending science and story, Wired for Music shows how our species’ age-old connection to melody and rhythm is wired inside us.
Adriana Barton was a staff reporter at The Globe and Mail and has contributed to Utne, Azure, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. She studied the cello professionally for seventeen years before becoming a journalist. She lives in Vancouver, BC.
By Brenna Maloney
A humorous and engaging nonfiction book about bugs.
Buzzkill presents the big picture on insects. Funny and informative in equal measure, Brenna Maloney lays out the critical role insects play on our planet, from sustenance to pollination to medicines and more. This compelling narrative tackles both the wacky and weird, as well as threats to insects and their habitats, their possible extinction, and ways that everyday people can prevent their decline. Find out what all the buzz is about! Godwin Books A former reporter and editor for The Washington Post, Brenna Maloney has spent the last twelve years deeply ensconced in environmental reporting, writing, and editing for the National Geographic Society. She is the award-winning author of twelve other books—most recently earning a “silver” from the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards for science writing for young readers. She lives and works in Washington, D.C. brennamaloneydc.com
Show and Tell! Great Graphs and Smart Charts
By Stuart J. Murphy