Chickpeas and Beekeepers

Okay, so I’e2’80’99m 53 years old and just the other day realized why garbanzo beans are also known as ‘e2’80’9cchickpeas.’e2’80’9d I was picking over some French lentils and found this larger pale object nestled among the dark green dots, and suddenly noticed that it is precisely the shape of a neatly tucked-together chicken ready for the oven’e2’80’94a roaster sized for a doll house.

So, when precisely does finally one know all these obvious things?

Even before the last exchange of posts, I didn’e2’80’99t want to use this blog as a forum for hawking books, but with The Giving Season coming up, I should mention that if you have someone on your list who would love a copy of the hardback BEEKEEPER’e2’80’99S APPRENTICE, but you can’e2’80’99t justify the price of a first edition ($350? $500??), the original hardback is actually still available’e2’80’94it’e2’80’99s the twelfth or fifteenth printing, but everything’e2’80’99s pretty much the same. St. Martin’e2’80’99s Press has been really great, keeping the hardback in print for going on twelve years now, and I like to encourage them to make it available for a while longer.

And if you want it signed and shipped to you, my local (independent) bookseller at Crossroads Books can arrange that for you, if you phone (831.728.4139) or drop him a line ( Tell him Laurie sent you.

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  1. christyp on December 8, 2005 at 2:55 pm

    So THATS why they call them chickpeas. I never knew that either. That’s why I love your blog, Laurie, it’s so very educational on so many levels & , don’t worry, I don’t think you can ever really know all of these little things.
    As to Beekeepers in hardback: do you think it would it be wrong if I gave it to myself for Christmas? Hmm, first edition would be awfully nice…Maybe I ought to stick to the 12th or 15th printing, though.

  2. Roxanne on December 8, 2005 at 3:30 pm

    CHICKPEA: “An annual Asian plant (CICER ARIETINUM) in the pea family … [Middle English chiche, chickpea (from Old French, from Latin cicer) + pease, pea]”

    Etymology: “The name chickpea derives eventually from the latin name CICER through the french CHICHE. The name Cicero is derived from this plant”–

    I love the Internet!

  3. 2maple on December 8, 2005 at 4:33 pm

    I hope I keep finding little fun facts forever — it keeps things interesting.

  4. Anonymous on December 8, 2005 at 4:58 pm

    I remember an article in some publication years and years ago which featured celebs stating what they must have missed in school — maybe absent that day. They noted small things, and as I was reading I was thinking “well, imagine not knowing that.” And then I read one where the person hadn’t realized Bermuda wasn’t in the Caribbean. And I thought IT’S NOT?!!!. I had to look it up on a map. So there’s always something to learn. I didn’t know where the name chickpeas came from either, and I’m 59. We were obviously both absent from school on the day that factoid was taught.

  5. Anonymous on December 8, 2005 at 11:17 pm


    Several years ago, my sister gave me a signed (by you, to me) copy of Beekeeper’s for Christmas. We’d both read it about 10 times at that point. I gave her Beekeeper from Recorded Books! I have lots of paperback copies to lend, but NOBODY gets my Laurie signed one.


  6. Deb on December 9, 2005 at 1:20 am

    I am so calling that bookstore owner tomorrow to get a signed copy!

    A couple years ago I brought my dyslexic daughter home to homeschool her after years of frustration with teachers, school, peers and homework. My first major goal was to get the kid to read for pleasure. I started reading aloud to her…but only when I felt like it. We read The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. She loved it. By the third book in the series, she was sneaking the book upstairs to read ahead, reading Doyle’s original stories, writing letters in Mary’s style and then answering them in Sherlock’s style etc etc. When your latest came out, my bookstore owner forgot to order my copy so I could have it on publication day and my daughter was irked beyond belief that she had to wait the two days to get it in. ;0)

    Your books opened up a whole world for her. Thank you, Laurie!

  7. Terminaldegree on December 9, 2005 at 2:19 am

    Woohoo!!! I actually have a first edition of Beekeeper’s!

    And, of course, I have a paperback copy for actually reading.

  8. Chris on December 9, 2005 at 4:10 pm

    Well, I can’t compete with a First Edition, although I do have a UK First – and it is a signed copy!

  9. Anonymous on December 10, 2005 at 2:47 am

    Aren’t those little discoveries FUN? I still remember my absolute delight when I noticed that the ampersand symbol was actually the letters et (Latin for “and”) sort of bent together. No doubt every truly educated person knows that almost from birth but that particular factoid had passed me by. Hope life holds many more such aha! moments.

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