Today’s word is xenodochial. Last year’s word was xenial, and while I first thought of giving this a twist as well, just like I have done for the books below, I went with this word, because, well, this is another need (and also the positive news) of the current times.
On the other hand, I know many (self included) who are xenodochial at all times. My kids wonder how I am that way, while I wonder how my kids are not that way (hmmm..I wonder about the phrase ‘children will learn by example,’ and well, those xenodochial genes did not get passed on for sure!)
And if you are wondering what that means, xenodochial is from Greek meaning “friendly to strangers,” so a highfalutin word meaning friendly! It is pronounced “zeena-doh-key-ul,” and it may refer to people or even software. Let me know if you have discovered any xenodochial software!
I believe strongly that the world is being xenodochial together now, being friendly to strangers all over the globe, in many different ways – small and big – even if it is simply staying home.
“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.” – William Butler Yeats
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The book I picked does not start with the letter X. I took some liberties with this, and used the fact that X in Roman numerals refers to 10! So today’s featured book starts with ’10.’
10 Plants that Shook the World
First Things First
I need to tell you this – each and every time I read it for the purpose of reviewing this book, I truly enjoyed it. Yes, I must have read this book at least four or five times, and I think – no, I know – that I will be reading this again as well, and will just have to add it to my physical library. Simply said, this book is amazing! It packs so much information in an amazingly accessible and fun format.
The book takes the reader on a journey across the world, and through the ages, as Richardson presents informative overviews of 10 important plants that had a major impact on our world.
Every chapter – one for each plant – follows the same format. A drawing of the plant starts off the chapter along with fact boxes featuring data points about the plant (origins, pros and cons, growing habits, uses, and so on).
This is followed by an (fictional) anecdote around the plant and its impact on their life. For example, a little narrative involving someone named Will at the Boston Tea Party, or Kailyn visiting a chocolate factory just like her favorite character, Charlie from Roald Dahl’s book. And last but not the least, a detailed exploration of the plant: its history, uses, and so many more amazing facts.
I liked that the book includes the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of the story of each plant, while keeping it appropriate for the intended audience. It mentions child labor and slaves, wars and the havoc created over the growing and trade of many(almost all) of these plants. And on the other side, of course, it also includes the positive impacts these plants have had on history and civilization, and our everyday lives.
While the illustrations are “caricaturish” and seem different, they are well-suited for the narrative of the book.
This book can easily inspire readers to learn more about the plants, as well as about other everyday objects. Because if these familiar (except for one) plants have such a fascinating story, then what about other things that we are familiar with?!
A really fascinating book with wonderful facts about the featured plants and a great read for all ages.
Get it Here
Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the original DRC of the book; these are my honest opinions after reading this amazing book.
“Smile at strangers and you might just change a life.” – Steve Maraboli
My ‘X’ Book Stack
I have to admit, I do not have any books starting with this letter, unless I add the text books on XML! So I used the same twist I did in picking the book for review here and featured books starting with numbers and stuck to those starting with 10(0,00…. since I don’t really have those starting with 10!)
- 100 Classic Stories for Children
- 1000 Vegetarian Recipes
- 1000 Events that Shaped the World
The recipe book was one I bought as part of a BOMC I joined when I first came to the US, and it saw a lot of use initially. I still refer to it every once in a while and it is certainly one that is worth having on the kitchen bookshelf.
“I’m not a stranger,” I said, and pointed to his book. “I’m someone who reads the same authors you do.”
― Lemony Snicket, When Did You See Her Last?
Random Thing(s) for ‘X’ Day
Well, to be honest, it has just been words for the past few days 🙂 no other random things! But to make it a bit random, here is an eXam of a different sort for you.
Are you eXcited to get started? Below is my framed question (in the form of a story, for the 27th of April is #NationalTellaStoryDay!) paragraph, and I have provided the meanings for the eight new words introduced (in bold) in the list below. Let me know the answers in the comments
I xaern watching Netflix. “Why? What?” you ask. Well, watching is one thing, while binge-ing is a whole other matter. And I could be doing so many other things instead. For example, considering I am xenodochial and also love traveling, maybe being a xenagogue might be a good option for me to consider on the side! And I would do it all starting with the simplest of xenia (singular: xenium) – a smile! Maybe xenoglossy is a skill I possess without realizing it, and this will make my job as a xenagogue so much easier. Or maybe I would take up xography or become a xylopolist or simply enjoy xoompin around, because I am xenacious?!
- the ability to speak a language without having learned it
- a present given among the ancient Greeks and Romans to a guest or stranger
- one who conducts strangers or a guide
- filled with yearning for change
- means to enjoy something so much you begin to hate how much you like it!
- someone who sells wood products
- to drive over bumps in the road
- photographic process for producing three-dimensional images
“Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.”
And now, the end of this post
So, dear reader, as always, a couple of questions for you. Have you read any of the pictured books? Do you have interesting ‘X’ words or facts for me?
And I leave you with this beautiful poem by Lang Leav (and it also happens to be #GreatPoetryReadingDay on the 28th of April):
There is a love I reminisce,
Like a seed
I’ve never sown.
Or lips that I’m yet to kiss,
not met my own.
Hands that wrap around my wrists,
that feel like home.
I wonder how it is I miss,
I’ve never known.
– Lang Leav, Love & Misadventure
For previous posts, click on the links below:
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Linking up to the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and the Ultimate Blog Challenge (click on the images to learn more about these challenges)