Book Pairings: Dictionary Fascination

Because good books can be even better when they’re well-paired.

Fascinated by words? Find history compelling? Enjoy a good memoir? How about a little of all three?

Start with The Professor and the Madman, about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. Blending lexicography, history, and biography it’s an amazing look at the incredible feat that the OED really was and is.

Next, move on to a modern look at a dictionary with Word by Word. Part memoir, part behind-the-scenes peek at how it’s done at Merriam-Webster. I don’t often have job envy, but when I do it’s for a job like that.

Don’t think that you have to be a complete word nerd to like either book – sure, it helps, but it’s not a requirement. Both books are compelling enough to satisfy any nonfiction fans, and both provide a lot of discussion fodder. They’d work well as a book pairing for a discussion group!

The Right Word(Have a young reader you’d like to get in on some word fun? Read The Right Word to them. It’s a picture book biography of Peter Mark Roget, and it’s lovely.)

Want still more word goodness? Make sure you follow Merriam-Webster on Twitter. Their social medial game is excellent, and that way you’ll get links to the word of the day, and not miss out on their entertaining tweets.

Find the books:
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
Print | Kindle | Audible | Nook | Goodreads

Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper
Print | Kindle | Audible | Nook | Goodreads

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Print | Goodreads

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