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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“It’s undeniably thrilling to find words for our strangest feelings…Koenig casts light into lonely corners of human experience…An enchanting book. “ —The Washington Post

A truly original book in every sense of the word, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows poetically defines emotions that we all feel but don’t have the words to express—until now.

Have you ever wondered about the lives of each person you pass on the street, realizing that everyone is the main character in their own story, each living a life as vivid and complex as your own? That feeling has a name: “sonder.” Or maybe you’ve watched a thunderstorm roll in and felt a primal hunger for disaster, hoping it would shake up your life. That’s called “lachesism.” Or you were looking through old photos and felt a pang of nostalgia for a time you’ve never actually experienced. That’s “anemoia.”

If you’ve never heard of these terms before, that’s because they didn’t exist until John Koenig set out to fill the gaps in our language of emotion. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows “creates beautiful new words that we need but do not yet have,” says John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars. By turns poignant, relatable, and mind-bending, the definitions include whimsical etymologies drawn from languages around the world, interspersed with otherworldly collages and lyrical essays that explore forgotten corners of the human condition—from “astrophe,” the longing to explore beyond the planet Earth, to “zenosyne,” the sense that time keeps getting faster.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is for anyone who enjoys a shift in perspective, pondering the ineffable feelings that make up our lives. With a gorgeous package and beautiful illustrations throughout, this is the perfect gift for creatives, word nerds, and human beings everywhere.
Cave paintings at Lascaux, France and Altamira, Spain, fraught with expression thousands of years later; point to an early human desire to form a cultural identity. In the Oxford Companion to World Mythology, David Leeming explores the role of mythology, or myth-logic, in history and determines that the dreams of specific cultures add up to a larger collective story of humanity. Stopping short of attempting to be all-inclusive, this fascinating volume will nonetheless be comprehensive, opening with an introduction exploring the nature and dimensions of myth and proposing a definition as a universal language. Briefly dipping into the ways our understanding of myth has changed from Aristotle and Plato to modern scholars such as Joseph Campbell, the introduction loosely places the concept in its present context and precedes articles on influential mythologists and mythological approaches that appear later in the Companion. The main body of Leeming's work consists of A-Z entries covering all aspects of mythology, including substantial essays on the world's major mythological traditions (Greek, Native American, Indian, Japanese, Sumerian, Egyptian), mythological types and motifs (Descent to the Underworld, the Hero, the Trickster, Creation, the Quest), mythological figures (Odysseus, Zeus, Osiris, Spider Woman, and Inanna) as well as numerous interrelated subjects such as fairly tales and legends. The Companion also locates myth in our lives today, relating it to language patterns, psychology, religion, politics, art, and gender attitudes. Many of the better-known and more significant myths are vividly retold in this volume that will be illustrated with maps, more than 70 black and white images, and eight pages of color highlighting the central role art has often played in the transmission and perpetuation of myth. Following the entries, a rich section of appendices will include family trees of the major pantheons, equivalency charts for the gods of Greece and Rome, Babylon and Sumer, as well as other traditions, an extensive bibliography, and an index.
The bestselling reference that, “from the casually curious to etymology junkies . . . will have something for everyone.” —William C. Fox of the YouTube channel The Exploration with William C. Fox

What is something that literally everything in existence has in common? It all has a name! With The Origin of Names, Words and Everything in Between, you can learn the origins of these monikers. From countries and cities to toys and animals to even planets, learn the etymology of interesting words in a fun and entertaining way.

Learning doesn’t have to be boring. With his fun sense of humor, Patrick Foote—of the YouTube channel Name Explain—explains each appellation with jokes and quips you’re bound to enjoy. Full of pictures and packed with great information, The Origin of Names, Words and Everything in Between does exactly what it says it does—it explains the origin of names in a fun and easy-to-digest way. After reading this book, you will:
  • Know why, exactly, Russia is called Russia
  • Be able to entertain yourself and your friends with interesting fun facts
  • Discover the origins of the names of planets, animals, countries, and much more


“Patrick has made me realize that even the most mundane and ubiquitous words can have an endlessly fascinating story. His whimsical and friendly tone also makes any topic entertaining and accessible. Hmm . . . now all of a sudden I would love for Patrick to explain ‘mundane,’ ‘ubiquitous’ and ‘whimsical!’” —Betty Chen of the YouTube channel ARTiculations
One of the English language’s most skilled and beloved writers guides us all toward precise, mistake-free grammar.

As usual Bill Bryson says it best: “English is a dazzlingly idiosyncratic tongue, full of quirks and irregularities that often seem willfully at odds with logic and common sense. This is a language where ‘cleave’ can mean to cut in half or to hold two halves together; where the simple word ‘set’ has 126 different meanings as a verb, 58 as a noun, and 10 as a participial adjective; where if you can run fast you are moving swiftly, but if you are stuck fast you are not moving at all; [and] where ‘colonel,’ ‘freight,’ ‘once,’ and ‘ache’ are strikingly at odds with their spellings.” As a copy editor for the London Times in the early 1980s, Bill Bryson felt keenly the lack of an easy-to-consult, authoritative guide to avoiding the traps and snares in English, and so he brashly suggested to a publisher that he should write one. Surprisingly, the proposition was accepted, and for “a sum of money carefully gauged not to cause embarrassment or feelings of overworth,” he proceeded to write that book—his first, inaugurating his stellar career.

Now, a decade and a half later, revised, updated, and thoroughly (but not overly) Americanized, it has become Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words, more than ever an essential guide to the wonderfully disordered thing that is the English language. With some one thousand entries, from “a, an” to “zoom,” that feature real-world examples of questionable usage from an international array of publications, and with a helpful glossary and guide to pronunciation, this precise, prescriptive, and—because it is written by Bill Bryson—often witty book belongs on the desk of every person who cares enough about the language not to maul or misuse or distort it.
A thoughtful, gleeful encyclopedia of emotions, both broad and outrageously specific, from throughout history and around the world.

How do you feel today? Is your heart fluttering in anticipation? Your stomach tight with nerves? Are you falling in love? Feeling a bit miffed? Do you have the heebie-jeebies? Are you antsy with iktsuarpok or filled with nakhes? Recent research suggests there are only six basic emotions. But if that makes you feel uneasy, suspicious, and maybe even a little bereft, The Book of Human Emotions is for you.

In this unique book, you'll get to travel across the world and through time, learning how different cultures have articulated the human experience and picking up some fascinating new knowledge about yourself along the way. From the familiar (anger) to the foreign (zal), each entertaining and informative alphabetical entry reveals the surprising connections and fascinating facts behind our emotional lives.

Whether you're in search of the perfect word to sum up that cozy feeling you get from being inside on a cold winter's night, surrounded by friends and good food (what the Dutch call gezelligheid), or wondering how nostalgia evolved from a fatal illness to enjoyable self-indulgence, Tiffany Watt Smith draws on history, anthropology, science, art, literature, music, and popular culture to find the answers.

In reading The Book of Human Emotions, you'll discover feelings you never knew you had (like basorexia, the sudden urge to kiss someone) and gain unexpected insights into why you feel the way you do. Besides, aren't you curious what nginyiwarrarringu means?
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