What the Dickens?!
By Bryan Kozlowski
GRAB A BUMPER, FORGET YOUR FANTEEGS, AND ROAM AT A FOOT-PACE THROUGH THE TWISTY ALLEYWAYS OF THE VICTORIAN VERNACULAR!What larks! Dive into the world of literature's ultimate wordsmith, Charles Dickens, in this literary romp through his finest quips, barbs, and turns of phrase.Featuring 200 of Dickens' best-loved words, drawn from his fifteen novels and hundreds of short stories, What the Dickens?! is full of period-appropriate definitions, pithy commentary, and charming illustrations. Perfect for word nerds and book lovers of all ages, this volume will have you dragging your friends to the hippo-comedietta and bonneting your anti-Pickwickian adversaries like a proper Victorian in no time!
Words and Rules
By Steven Pinker
How does language work? How do children learn their mother tongue? Why do languages change over time, making Shakespearean English difficult for us and Chaucer's English almost incomprehensible? Why do languages have so many quirks and irregularities? Are they all fundamentally alike? How are new words created? Where in the brain does language reside?In Words and Rules , Steven Pinker answers these and many other questions. His book shares the wit and style of his classic, The Language Instinct , but explores language in a completely different way. In Words and Rules , Pinker explains the profound mysteries of language by picking a deceptively simple phenomenon and examining it from every angle. The phenomenon,regular and irregular verbs,connects an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and humanities: the history of languages, the theories of Noam Chomsky and his critics the attempts to simulate language using computer simulations of neural networks the illuminating errors of children as they begin to speak the nature of human concepts the peculiarities of the English language major ideas in the history of Western philosophy the latest techniques in identifying genes and imaging the living brain.Pinker makes sense of all of this with the help of a single, powerful idea: that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules. The idea extends beyond language and offers insight into the very nature of the human mind. This is a sparkling, eye-opening and utterly original book by one of the world's leading cognitive scientists.
West of the West
By Mark Arax
Teddy Roosevelt once exclaimed,"When I am in California, I am not in the West. I am west of the West,&rdquo and in this book, Mark Arax spends four years travelling up and down the Golden State to explore its singular place in the world. This is California beyond the clichés. This is California as only a native son, deep in the dust, could draw it. Compelling, lyrical, and ominous, his new collection finds a different drama rising out of each confounding landscape."The Summer of the Death of Hilario Guzman&rdquo has been praised as a"stunningly intimate&rdquo portrait of one immigrant family from Oaxaca, through harrowing border crossings and brutal raisin harvests. Down the road in the"Home Front,&rdquo right-wing Christians and Jews form a strange pact that tries to silence debate on the War on Terror, and a conflicted father loses not one but two sons in Iraq."The Last Okie in Lamont,&rdquo the inspiration for the town in the Grapes of Wrath , has but one Okie left, who tells Arax his life story as he drives to a funeral to bury one more Dust Bowl migrant."The Highlands of Humboldt&rdquo is a journey to marijuana growing capital of the U.S., where the old hippies are battling the new hippies over"pollution pot&rdquo and the local bank collects a mountain of cash each day, much of it redolent of cannabis. Arax pieces together the murder-suicide at the heart of a rotisserie chicken empire in"The Legend of Zankou,&rdquo a story included in the Best American Crime Reporting 2009 . And, in the end, he provides a moving epilogue to the murder of his own father, a crime in the California heartland finally solved after thirty years. In the finest tradition of Joan Didion, Arax combines journalism, essay, and memoir to capture social upheaval as well as the sense of being rooted in a community. Piece by piece, the stories become a whole, a stunning panorama of California, and America, in a new century.
A Woman's Journal
By Running Press
Everyone needs an outlet for the thoughts and emotions that fill our daily lives. Sized to be portable, with lay-flat capability and a terrific new design and content, A Woman's Journal will again stand out as a diary writer's dream. Featuring quotes by history's most inspirational women, this journal is sure to unlock the mysterious territory that is a woman's mind.
Writing About Your Life
By William Zinsser
Written with elegance, warmth, and humour, this highly original "teaching memoir" by William Zinsser,renowned bestselling author of On Writing Well gives you the tools to organize and recover your past, and the confidence to believe in your life narrative. His method is to take you on a memoir of his own: 13 chapters in which he recalls dramatic, amusing, and often surprising moments in his long and varied life as a writer, editor, teacher, and traveller. Along the way, Zinsser pauses to explain the technical decisions he made as he wrote about his life. They are the same decisions you'll have to make as you write about your own life: matters of selection, condensation, focus, attitude, voice, and tone.
Word On The Street
By John McWhorter
Though there is a contingent of linguists who fight the fact, our language is always changing- not only through slang, but sound, syntax, and words' meanings as well. Debunking the myth of "pure" standard English, tackling controversial positions, and eschewing politically correct arguments, linguist John McWhorter considers speech patterns and regional accents to demonstrate just how the changes do occur. Wielding reason and humour, McWhorter ultimately explains why we must embrace these changes, ultimately revealing our American English in all its variety, expressiveness, and power.