If there’s something word nerds love, it’s word-nerdy books.
Personally, I love a great dictionary or thesaurus. I also enjoy books that explore different aspects of the English language and how we use it.
These three books are books I have particularly enjoyed over recent months.
Word Perfect by Susie Dent
This is a wonderful compilation that will please any word lover or etymology enthusiast.
Dent writes with clarity and good humour. The word for each day, and Dent’s definition and etymology of each, are interesting and quirky.
The challenge is to only read each day’s offering instead of running ahead an consuming it more quickly.
Grab a copy, keep it by your favourite chair, and enjoy a wordy treat each day. You won’t be sorry.
Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
This is a most interesting and entertaining book that traces the histories of words and phrases used in English.
It is a collection of most diverting rabbit holes in print: a world of fascinating information that draws you deeper in each time. Not once have I managed to look up the word or phrase I wanted to reference without discovering another entry nearby that was just as captivating as the first… or second… or third entry I had read.
It really is a treasure trove of words, etymology and history that will delight any lover of the English language.
Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Usage and Style by Benjamin Dreyer
This book is a delight. With the aim of helping writers achieve greater clarity and better style, Dreyer examines the “rules” of English as we know them, and provides a clear and understandable guide to using the English language most effectively.
The book is written with humour and a relaxed tone, and delivers content that is far more accessible for the everyday reader and writer than my beloved and very worn copy of Fowler’s Modern English Usage, which is now far less modern than it was when I first obtained the book.
Dreyer’s English is an ideal reference for today’s writers, regardless of their preferred form or the purpose for which they write. It’s also entertaining enough to pick up and read on a Saturday afternoon, without feeling at all like it’s time you’ll never get back.
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2 thoughts on “Word Nerdy Book Recommendations”
I remember Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable being recommended when I was at school, and that was 200 years ago!
I’m fairly sure mine is a new edition. It’s full of delightfully nerdy diversions!