What is the actual connection between disgruntled and gruntled? What links church organs to organised crime, California to the Caliphate, or brackets to codpieces?The Etymologicon springs from Mark Forsyth's Inky Fool blog on the strange connections between words. It's an occasionally ribald, frequently witty and unerringly erudite guided tour of the secret labyrinth that lurks beneath the Eng... read more
As he arrives with his family at the villa in the hills above Nice, Joe sees a body in the swimming pool. But the girl is very much alive. She is Kitty Finch: a self-proclaimed botanist with green-painted fingernails, walking naked out of the water and into the heart of their holiday. Why is she there? What does she want from them all? And why does Joe’s wife allow her to remain? Swimming Home... read more
'More than 300 million people in the world speak English and the rest, it sometimes seems, try to...' Only Bill Bryson could make a book about the English language so entertaining. With his boundless enthusiasm and restless eye for the absurd, this is his astonishing tour of English. From its mongrel origins to its status as the world's most-spoken tongue; its apparent simplicity to its decept... read more
This book is Shortlisted For The Baileys Womens Prize For Fiction. A woman arrives in Athens in the height of summer to teach a writing course. Once there, she becomes the audience to a chain of narratives as the people she meets tell her one after another the stories of their lives. Beginning with the neighbouring passenger on the flight out and his tales of fast boats and failed marriages, t... read more
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