Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Describer's Dictionary

Author: David Grambs

First line: Consider the case of a traveler or student who wants to describe, in a letter, what the scenic landscape and local dwellings are like in a remote and beautiful area of Ecuador where she is staying.

Why you should read this book: Billing itself as "a treasury of terms and literary quotations for readers and writers" halfway between a thesaurus and a dictionary, this reference book is the perfect resource for anyone searching for that elusive apt and literal term. Whether you are describing something that is like a hedgehog (erinaceous), like a shore (littoral), or like an upside-down pear (obpyriform), you'll find le mot juste on the recto, paired with lovely, relevant exposition from famous authors on the verso. A precise, appealing, useful work for anyone with the slightest interest in the English language.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Just not into communicating clearly.

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