I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. We did at our house – a crowded table and a lot of sharing. Debbie, master organizer, found a way for every one to contribute – before the meal, we had every one bring something to share – a thought, a poem, a song – and it made for a great day.


I had a very full fall – touring all over while working on the next installment of the Charlie Bumpers books. The publishing schedule for Charlie is pretty demanding, with a new book every six months and we’re thinking we’ll take a six month break after the third book before we get on with it. But Charlie and his pals are taking up a big part of my life right now. It kind of feels like he lives here.


Up ahead, after the New Year, I will be pulling back from performing for five months, with only a few trips on the calendar. I’m trying to leave space open for a real sabbatical – a time to stop and reflect, but it’s pretty challenging – I already have a bunch of projects on the docket and it’s hard to say no to interesting things.  I can see that I’ll be busy when the summer and fall come, including the Teller in Residence at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough and appearances at the Timpanogos and National Storytelling Festivals.


But for the time being, I’ll mostly be home, or traveling with a different sort of agenda.


I’m in a year-long book group that is reading War and Peace. It makes it manageable, since I’ve got nine months to read it. I love it. I read it before in my twenties, but have no memory of what happened. I think I must have done all that blipping of Russian names and they all got confused.

I also have been very overwhelmed by the book Stung! on Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Oceans by Lisa-Ann Gershwin. This is a very fascinating and disturbing book about how (gulp) our actions (pollution, global warming, overfishing) have irrevocably changed the oceans. It is not a pleasant read, but I highly recommend it – we need to face up to what we have done.

I also read, and loved Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer – a great book about memory wizards. As a storyteller always working on ways to remember stories, poems and songs, it gave me a lot to think about.

From Debbie –

I haven’t been reading much lately – but I have been planning and cooking lots of meals – Bill suggested that I share some of my current favorite cookbooks and recipes…it’s always nice to have a new recipe or two this time of year. My three current favorite cookbooks are: Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa – Foolproof (we made the Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding for our Thanksgiving “stuffing” this year), Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison and Cooking Light: Soups and Stews Tonight (every recipe we’ve done from this book is incredible (Curried Turkey Soup was a hit with our leftovers).  My mom came to Thanksgiving with a new book called Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi – haven’t tried any recipes yet but I know it will be in high rotation soon! 

For your family from ours here are some of our favorite cookie recipes from a family cookbook we created years ago in downloadable pdf form ...enjoy!!


I hope you all have a great holiday season. I have been spending a little time each day writing out things I’m grateful for, and one of them is all of you who seem interested in what I’m doing.  Many thanks.

From the Office

Holiday Sale!

We went through Bill's catalog and picked out a few CDs that we think make the best gifts. And they're all on sale for just $10 each!


Fun songs for the whole family:

Monsters in the Bathroom

50 Ways to Fool Your Mother

You're in Trouble

Big Big World


Great stories for younger kids:

Come On Out and Play

Wacka Wacka Woo

Town Around the Bend


Great stories for older kids:

From the Back of the Bus

Grownups Are Strange

Battle of the Mad Scientists


Best gifts for adults:

Mistakes Were Made (stories and songs)

First Bird Call (songs)


Best gift to watch (because they're DVDs)

Yes to Running! Bill Harley Live

Who Made This Mess?

Please note that the sale ends January 2, 2014, but to get your order in time for Christmas, we will need to receive your order by Friday December 20, 2013 by 12pm EST. Thanks!

Take the Tales 2 Go Challenge!

Tales 2 Go is a great app that allows you to listen to stories on your mobile devices and computers. Not only do they carry audio books, Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year, they also carry stories told by storytellers, like Bill Harley. Visit their catalog to see all the titles, authors and storytellers that are available to listen to:

They are currently offering a "challenge" to elementary and early childhood teachers to use Tales 2 Go in their classrooms to help increase reading scores. And there's a money back guarantee. Check it out now because there is a deadline!

Also of note:

We now have a pdf of a complementary booklet for "I'm Gonna Let it Shine". It has notes about the different songs, sheet music and words, suggestions for using the songs in classrooms and at home and a bibliography. Check it out on the CD's product page.

There is a new all storytelling program called the Appleseed. They are aired on Sirius XM channel 143 Monday through Saturday at 12pm EST and repeated at 11pm EST. Don't have satellite radio? No problem you can catch it online at where they have a simultaneous stream. Visit their blog for more info.

***Bill is planning to do an interview with them soon. Check back with us for updates!

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