TreeHouseLetter

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Always learning with a bit of fun. Readers receive a weekly letter with 2 to 10 minute read time.

Mylin Shattan sitting with her book

Recent Letters

What’s in Your Trunk?

5 Min read New England's largest flea market* Poetry for Emergencies--on the folly of fame,...

Why Do I Run?

7 min read 4 book recs: two on running and two on living Running gear for mid-life and the...

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Reader Favorites

Degree of Separation

5 Min read Social connection on Earth in 2023 Network theory U.S. Army and Armed Forces Math geek special, logarithm AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify iTunes * Thought exercise for the day. How many friends between you and anyone on the planet? In popular culture this...

A Day with the Night Stalkers

8 Min read 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) The Soldier and the Citizen Nashville Ides of March AVAILABLE ON PODCAST SPOTIFY iTunes * On a lonesome stretch of road north of Nashville, we turned onto a farmer's path. Strains of Johnny Cash and the...

Charlie Munger and the Art of Swearing

5 Min read EXPLICIT language, Ages 13 to 103 True Story, investing Toolbox Essay and book rec, Ursula Le Guin Patton's Speech AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify iTunes * Charlie Munger was making the rounds with investors. A living icon in the investing world, he was some...

The Meaning in Music

4 min read Song and Story Rachmaninoff Rybnikov AVAILABLE IN PODCAST (Listen to this letter to hear the piano music) Spotify iTunes Anchor.fm/emelle Your job will change, where you live will change, the people in your life will change, but you will always have your...

Books as Trophies? the Bibliophile vs the Bibliophagist

6 Min read 2 Book recs Music in Prose Toolbox, Ages 9 to 99 Word Nerd Special AVAILABLE ON PODCAST iTunes Spotify anchor.fm/emelle * * I have a book problem. It's a good kind of problem because books teach me a lot and I get to hang out and learn with the best. The...

On Becoming Sheepdogs, a Modern Fable

AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Anchor.fm Spotify iTunes In the wake of recent events regarding the tragic death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests, this letter seems more relevant than ever. It has been updated to relate my own experience and the role of the brave men and...

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On Life

Munger on Learning and the Art of Swearing

In memory of Charles T. Munger, who passed away at the age of 99, I am sharing a TreeHouseLetter from last year. Munger was a man who believed in always learning. In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn't read all the...

Giving Thanks for a Man I Never Met

4 Min read On love and Thanksgiving Three rules for life AVAILABLE ON PODCAST SPOTIFY * I did not know the deceased. Garrett gave the eulogy on Friday* which was hard to listen to, hard to hear his voice quaver, to see him fight for composure. Death is a surprise....

In the Company of Heroes*

4 Min read Operation Gothic Serpent / "Black Hawk Down" 30-Year Anniversary 160th SOAR(A), Night Stalkers Panel Discussion: Mike Durant (Pilot & POW), Dan Jollota (Pilot), Lee Van Arsdale (Ground commander) Veterans Day AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify * This Veterans...

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Stories

Munger on Learning and the Art of Swearing

In memory of Charles T. Munger, who passed away at the age of 99, I am sharing a TreeHouseLetter from last year. Munger was a man who believed in always learning. In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn't read all the...

Giving Thanks for a Man I Never Met

4 Min read On love and Thanksgiving Three rules for life AVAILABLE ON PODCAST SPOTIFY * I did not know the deceased. Garrett gave the eulogy on Friday* which was hard to listen to, hard to hear his voice quaver, to see him fight for composure. Death is a surprise....

In the Company of Heroes*

4 Min read Operation Gothic Serpent / "Black Hawk Down" 30-Year Anniversary 160th SOAR(A), Night Stalkers Panel Discussion: Mike Durant (Pilot & POW), Dan Jollota (Pilot), Lee Van Arsdale (Ground commander) Veterans Day AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify * This Veterans...

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On Education

Today is a Numeric Palindrome

1 Min read Word Nerd Alert Toolbox * * Today has a date format which is a numeric palindrome. Or, a palindromic number. Or, a palindromic number sequence. Fun, if you're in to such things as I am, sequences and syntax and such. Or alliteration. Or sentence fragments....

ChatGPT on the Meaning of Life, Love, War

3 Min Read Prompts on life's mysteries Artificial Intelligence generates short answer, sonnet, couplet, haiku, blog post Writer's Toolbox OpenAI and ChatGPT * Three times a charm. I finally got onto the site in the witching hours; maybe a 3:30 AM login helps. If you...

The New Words Are In, Merriam-Webster Dictionary

2 Min read 13 New words Late to Coffee with a Baker's dozen * New words are in. And, 370 words have been added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary this September. You likely know many and below are some of my favorites. The editors break them down by category, but I...

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On Literature

What’s in Your Trunk?

5 Min read New England's largest flea market* Poetry for Emergencies--on the folly of fame, legacy, empire Sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley Book rec on writing song lyrics Toolbox, use 7 senses to improve writing** Texan king in a cow pasture AVAILABLE ON PODCAST...

The Music in the Stories: Pavan on Borges

7 Min read Book rec, three Borges stories Argentine composer and guitarist Carlos Pavan Literature: song and story Perfect memory Music in Prose * AVAILABLE NOW ON PODCAST SPOTIFY * Probably you were expecting a young and handsome Argentine, but then here I am, the...

What Book Would You Take to a Desert Island?

7 Min read 2 Book recs Film rec Article abstract, on Virtue and Vice* Toolbox, Improve writing, ages 9 to 99 AVAILABLE IN PODCAST Spotify iTunes * What book would you take to a desert island? I didn't know and hadn't given it much thought until Saturday when I told my...

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Bookshelf

Munger on Learning and the Art of Swearing

In memory of Charles T. Munger, who passed away at the age of 99, I am sharing a TreeHouseLetter from last year. Munger was a man who believed in always learning. In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn't read all the...

On Flesh-Eating Beetles and Sins of the Mother

7 Min read Sense writing: traditional five plus two more 2 Reading recs: historical novel and story 1 Writing guide Improve writing immediately Toolbox, ages 9 to 99 AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify * Writing Through the Seven Senses When I'm working on an aspect of my...

Spooky Hour with Spirits of the Dead

6 min read Word Work 2 Lexicons: Webster's NID 2nd Ed and Shorter OED 1 Book rec Halloween, All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day Fall mocktail, easy and delicious AVAILABLE ON PODCAST SPOTIFY Lakeview Cemetery next to my father's grave * No pressure but what are you doing...

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On the Military

In the Company of Heroes*

4 Min read Operation Gothic Serpent / "Black Hawk Down" 30-Year Anniversary 160th SOAR(A), Night Stalkers Panel Discussion: Mike Durant (Pilot & POW), Dan Jollota (Pilot), Lee Van Arsdale (Ground commander) Veterans Day AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify * This Veterans...

Why Do I Run?

7 min read 4 book recs: two on running and two on living Running gear for mid-life and the mid-packer Training, injury-free and effortless The Army Ten-Miler * AVAILABLE ON PODCAST SPOTIFY * Why do I run? I'm not sure I like running, even when I was fit and fast....

July 4th Declarations: a Nation, a Panda, a Soldier

6 Min read 1 Book rec Declaration of Independence* (5 min read) July 4th, Independence Day U.S. Army Air Assault Explicit language * AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify iTunes * July 4th is the birthday of the nation and I've been thinking about what to write. It's been busy...

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Writing Features

The Music in Prose

The Music in the Stories: Pavan on Borges

7 Min read Book rec, three Borges stories Argentine composer and guitarist Carlos Pavan Literature: song and story Perfect memory Music in Prose * AVAILABLE NOW ON PODCAST SPOTIFY * Probably you were expecting a young and handsome Argentine, but then here I am, the...

Beyond Grade-School Sentences: Adding Depth and Texture to Writing

4 Min read Depth and texture in writing Cumulative and suspensive sentences The Music in Prose: Ernest Hemingway, Vivian Gornick, Ralph Waldo Emerson Crayon packs and colors Toolbox, improve writing immediately * AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify iTunes * Grade-school...

Classic Prose: Thought and Presentation

4 min read 2 Book recs Toolbox, improve writing immediately Music in Prose, Ocean Vuong * AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify iTunes * In the classic stand on the elements of style, writing is neither a way of thinking something out nor an art that exists for its own sake....

Poetry for Emergencies

What’s in Your Trunk?

5 Min read New England's largest flea market* Poetry for Emergencies--on the folly of fame, legacy, empire Sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley Book rec on writing song lyrics Toolbox, use 7 senses to improve writing** Texan king in a cow pasture AVAILABLE ON PODCAST...

Fall is Like a Country Music Song

3 Min read Music and memory Norman Blake, Colter Wall Poetry for Emergencies * AVAILABLE ON PODCAST SPOTIFY iTunes * I'm listening to Colter Wall, titles like Corralling the Blues, Sleeping on the Asphalt, and The Devil Wears a Suit and Tie. I'm a late-comer to new...

Trailway to Heaven

3 Min read Poetry for Emergencies Autumn Farewell to a friend AVAILABLE ON PODCAST SPOTIFY * Fall is my favorite season and I suppose it has something to do with trees. Today I walked through the cool, damp woods to my mother's house, listening to gentle rhythms in...

Toolbox

On Flesh-Eating Beetles and Sins of the Mother

7 Min read Sense writing: traditional five plus two more 2 Reading recs: historical novel and story 1 Writing guide Improve writing immediately Toolbox, ages 9 to 99 AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify * Writing Through the Seven Senses When I'm working on an aspect of my...

Spooky Hour with Spirits of the Dead

6 min read Word Work 2 Lexicons: Webster's NID 2nd Ed and Shorter OED 1 Book rec Halloween, All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day Fall mocktail, easy and delicious AVAILABLE ON PODCAST SPOTIFY Lakeview Cemetery next to my father's grave * No pressure but what are you doing...

What’s in Your Trunk?

5 Min read New England's largest flea market* Poetry for Emergencies--on the folly of fame, legacy, empire Sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley Book rec on writing song lyrics Toolbox, use 7 senses to improve writing** Texan king in a cow pasture AVAILABLE ON PODCAST...

TreeHouseLetter

Always learning with a bit of fun

 

 

Readers receive one to two letters a week, with 2 to 10 minute read time. Includes regular features:

 

The Music in Prose
Poetry for Emergencies
Toolbox

 

 

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