9 Books to Give Your Favorite Language Lover

Mignon Fogarty
3-minute read


Metaphors Be With You: An A to Z Dictionary of History's Greatest Metaphorical Quotations

by Mardy Grothe

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Metaphors have been used for thousands of years by writers, poets and great thinkers. But if you've ever tried to convey feelings of despair or extreme joy, you'll know that metaphors can be valuable and compelling even in everyday conversation. In Metaphors Be With You, Dr. Mardy Grothe has compiled some of the world's most interesting metaphorical quotations. It's a book essential for every language-lover, writer and reader.

Amazon, AppleBarnes & Noble, BooksamillionIndieBound

The Word Detective: Searching for the Meaning of It All at the Oxford English Dictionary

by John Simpson

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John Simpson spent forty years of his life immersed in the fine details of the English language. In The Word Detective, Simpson guides readers through the language's history with wit and charm. It's an intimate memoir as well as a tale of how words came to (and how some disappeared), how culture influences language, and technology's impact on the way we speak and the construction of words.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, IndieBound

Speaking American: How Y'all, Youse, and You Guys Talk: A Visual Guide

by Josh Katz

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Did you know that your answers to just a handful of questions can reveal where you grew up? In December 2013, Josh Katz released an interactive dialect quiz in the New York Times that became the most viewed page in the paper's history. Now a graphics editor, Katz harnessed the overwhelming response to that quiz to create Speaking American, an extraordinary and beautiful tour through the American vernacular.

Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, IndieBound

The Stories of Linguistics: An Introduction to Language Study Past and Present

by Kim Ballard
stories of linguistics
What is the nature of human language? How did it originate? How did it come to be so diverse and what are the connections between the thousands of global languages? How do we learn language? Stories of Linguistics explores the people, ideas and events that have shaped linguistic thought and research for more than two thousand years.

The Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

by Peter Gilliver

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This book tells the history of the Oxford English Dictionary from its beginnings in the middle of the nineteenth century to the present. The author is a practising lexicographer with nearly thirty years' experience of working on the Dictionary. He has drawn on a wide range of sources--including previously unexamined archival material and eyewitness testimony--to create a detailed history of the project. 

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, IndieBound

In Praise of Profanity

by Michael Adams

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In In Praise of Profanity, Michael Adams offers a provocative, unapologetic defense of profanity, arguing that we've oversimplified profanity by labeling it as taboo. Profanity is valuable, even essential, both as a vehicle of communication and an element of style. As much as we may deplore it in some contexts, we should celebrate it in others. Adams skillfully weaves together linguistic and psychological analyses of why we swear-for emotional release, as a way to promote group solidarity, or to create intimate relationships -- with colorful examples of profanity in literature, TV, film, and music.

Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, IndieBound

Q&A a Day for Writers: 1-YEAR JOURNAL

by Potter


365 questions and inspirations for the writer inside all of us- one for each day of the year. This stylish journal features engaging, compelling prompts that will help you think about your writing process, observe and learn from the world around you, and focus on the art of crafting beautiful writing.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion



When in French: Love in a Second Language

by Lauren Collins

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A language barrier is no match for love. Lauren Collins discovered this firsthand when she moved to London and fell for a Frenchman named Olivier: a surprising turn of events for someone who didn't have a passport until she was in college. But what does it mean to love someone in a second language? Collins wonders, as her relationship with Olivier continues to grow entirely in English. Are there things she doesn t understand about Olivier, having never spoken to him in his native tongue?  

Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, IndieBound

The Spy Who Couldn't Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI's Hunt for America's Stolen Secrets

by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
spy who couldn't spell cover
Before Edward Snowden's infamous data breach, the largest theft of government secrets was committed by an ingenious traitor whose intricate espionage scheme and complex system of coded messages were made even more baffling by his dyslexia. His name is Brian Regan, but he came to be known as The Spy Who Couldn t Spell. 

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.