March Book Recommendations

See what about Authors recommend for you this month!

From Susie, ‘Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’ by Jill Mansell

It is a light hearted and easy to read romance involving an unlikely single father whose parenting skills are put to the test and the girl next door who has definitely decided to remain single.
Highly recommended!

From Owen, ‘Nabokov’s Favourite Word is Mauve’ by Ben Blatt

I love this book. I didn’t think I would but I do.

You might think like I once did: that literature and statistics don’t mix but, in an odd way, they really do. Word averages can say an awful lot about some of your favourite authors.

For instance, Michael Connolly tends to make his characters ‘nod’. Jane Austen used fewer clichés than any of her contemporaries and even a few modern authors. Both Salman Rushdie and George R R Martin write a lot about ‘whores’ and events happen very ‘suddenly’ for J R R Tolkien.

This is also a rare book in that it holds fan fiction up against its source material and does not actively disparage the reverential form.

And did you know that apparently male and female writers agree that women ‘scream’ more while men ‘grin’?

Ben Blatt provides a fair and considerate analysis of trends in writing and writing advice. The one downside I could think to this book is that it perhaps reveals too much about authorial style and tricks.

If you don’t mind looking behind the veil, then this is a worthwhile read.

From Vivien, ‘The Word Detective: from Serendipity to Selfie’ by John Simpson

This book is written by a lexicographer, a person who compiles dictionaries. Not very interesting you might think? You’d be wrong. This is a fascinating book, by John Simpson who began work with the Oxford English Dictionary in 1976 as a junior employee and left in 2013 having spent twenty years as Chief Editor.

The Word Detective is an exploration of how the English language developed over the ages, the original meaning of words and how they have developed in spelling, meaning and usage, all seen through the prism of a man’s life.

John Simpson shows how culture and technology shape language – from hieroglyph to hashtag, from wheel to website. But not literally word by word; he detours into the history of a specific words as he feels it necessary or particularly interesting.

You may know that Serendipity, which means ‘finding by happy accident’ was coined by Horace Walpole in 18th century, after a fairy story about the Three Princes of Serendip. But could you say where Serendip was? In fact, it is an old name for Sri Lanka, which used to be called Ceylon.

Start reading The Word Detective. You will not regret it…

We hope you enjoy this month’s books – tune in next month for some more fantastic work to explore!

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