Cover Crush: The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

I’d never actually even heard of The Dictionary of Lost Words until I saw it spotlighted over at Stephanie’s blog, but one look at the book made me want to do a Cover Crush. I was so attracted to the vines, softly spread across the cover as they perhaps danced lightly in a breeze. The contrast of golden against the black fits perfectly in color scheme as well as mood or even theme with the suitcase as it reminds me of travel—perhaps that undertaken by words as they make their way through time and across continents, influencing wars and ways, thoughts driving human behavior for better or worse.

Such contraries might be represented by the cup of tea and poppy, both resting gently on top of the suitcase’s contents, belonging perhaps to these traveling words who must do duty by gentility and barbarism alike. Dangerous men go home at night to tender children, pretty words styled by syllables that dance across tongues like leaves in the wind often masking the cruelty they so often designate.

What iniquities might these be? Perhaps they are hidden in that suitcase words carry through the ages until they reach us, and we are thus confronted with the legacy they leave wrapped in the cloaks that shroud both love and loss, and everything in between.

Book Information and Blurb:

The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

Published: April 6, 2021 by Ballantine Books|ISBN 978-0593160190

Format: Hardcover | Pages: 400

 In this remarkable debut based on actual events, as a team of male scholars compiles the first Oxford English Dictionary, one of their daughters decides to collect the “objectionable” words they omit.

Esme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Young Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day a slip of paper containing the word bondmaid flutters beneath the table. She rescues the slip, and when she learns that the word means “slave girl,” she begins to collect other words that have been discarded or neglected by the dictionary men.

As she grows up, Esme realizes that words and meanings relating to women’s and common folks’ experiences often go unrecorded. And so, she begins in earnest to search out words for her own dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words. To do so she must leave the sheltered world of the university and venture out to meet the people whose words will fill those pages.

Set during the height of the women’s suffrage movement and with the Great War looming, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. Inspired by actual events, author Pip Williams has delved into the archives of the Oxford English Dictionary to tell this highly original story. The Dictionary of Lost Words is a delightful, lyrical, and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words and the power of language to shape the world.

Previous Cover Crush 

Click to like and follow the blog, and be sure to follow and check out more content at our developing Instagram and new Twitter!

Layered Pages also does Cover Crushes

Some Chatty and Newsy Stuff – Including a Contest!

Be sure to see below for info about how you 
can win one of two $10 Amazon gift cards!

Added note for 2021-2-15 ~ I am very excited to announce that two winners have been drawn for the contest: Joanne Larner and Stephanie Hopkins. Congratulations to both ladies and many thanks for entering the contest and sharing! Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day and hope you enjoy your gift cards!!!

It’s snowing! This means it’s extra lovely, which always chippers up my mood a bit, even if it was already a good one. However, I’m a bit late today with the blog and there’s loads going on, so for now I’m just going to pass on some chatty, newsy stuff and do hope you’ll be excited about it. 🙂

First and foremost: I guess we’re now in 2020 2.0, because people are being extra silly with others’ information, so I’m going to return to my previous way of touching base with authors and they me regarding book reviews. If you are interested in a review, please send an email, telling me a bit about your book, at:

scully_dcATyahooDOTcom

Do note, however, that I will be giving priority to authors I have worked with before. This doesn’t mean that if we’re new to each other then it’s a no go. I set these boundaries because I have a family and work, so I have limited time. By all means, though, do feel free to shoot me your requests.

I also do interviews, feature books and love guest posts and giveaways, so if any of that (or some other idea) strikes your fancy, do touch base and we can chat about that too.

Please see my updated book review policies here. Any questions, feel free to shoot me an email.

Next, what are you reading? Still got any Christmas- or Hanukkah-present books you’re devouring? What about 2021? What are your reading goals for the new year? Do you like to try to read a certain number of books? Any challenges on the horizon, such as trying a new genre, or reading a series? Read about presidents? Books that have become movies? Tell me about it all in the comments!

I’m currently reading the Richard III book you see in the sidebar, and have a list of books that I aim to read in this already ridiculous year. That list can be found here. I’ve also got Richard Abbott’s The Liminal Zone nearly finished and will be writing a review, so keep your eyes peeled. If you have any awesome book suggestions, let me know below!

And finally, I’ve got a contest! I’ve been wanting to do this for so long and I’m really excited to get it rolling at last. Part of how I set this up is because I’d like to know more about my readers, which blogs here at Second Sleep you’ve liked best, what is your favorite food or TV show, gifts you were excited to give or receive, best vacation spot, topics you’d like to read about, stuff you think is super weird or food you couldn’t believe you actually ate—anything! Well, anything appropriate, of course. 🙂 Plus I’d like to thank my readers for sticking with me as we all experience ups and downs, changes, periods in which we aren’t sure what we’re doing or where we’re going. This past year has had lots of that especially, but the truth is that stuff  happens to people every day yet they still take the time to come here, which I really appreciate.

Here’s how the contest will work:

  • Comment below about any topic (ok, you all know that I mean no illegal or inappropriate stuff!) AND share at least once in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram OR Goodreads. These are the places I have a presence – and you can do all but only one share location is required. Once I “like” it, you’ll know I’ve seen it, so if I don’t like it, you may want to make sure I’ve seen that you did it by following or tagging me.
  • Each comment and share gets an entry, so just by doing the initial comment and share mentioned above, you’ll get two entries. Each one more of either also will get an entry. Example, if you do the regular share and comment mentioned above you’ve got two. Do three comments you get three more. Share, say, five times and you’ve got five more.
  • If someone tells me on any platform that they knew about the contest from you, you’ll get five entries for that referral alone. Their comment(s) and share(s) will of course earn entries for them.
  • Drawing will be for two Amazon gift cards of $10 (US) each—yes, two winners! Entries can come from anywhere in the world.
  • Drawing will occur February 14, 2021. I’ll aim to contact the two winners straight away and would love to send the gifts as soon as possible, so please ensure you leave me a way to reach you.

My social media links:
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Goodreads

I’d really love to do this again, and am thinking about counting interactions on any blog entries at Before the Second Sleep after today’s, which would count for entries into the next contest, so like, comment, follow and share away!

And most of all, thank you!!! 🙂