This month is Mageara’s pick, and she’s chosen The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester. (Wow, why do non-fiction titles have to be so long??) I adore books about books, and because I love words so much, and I use my dictionary often, I find this subject fascinating! Here’s what the book is about: (from Goodreads)
The Professor and the Madman, masterfully researched and eloquently written, is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary — and literary history. The compilation of the OED began in 1857, it was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.
This could end up being a very dry and boring book, but I’m hoping it’s not.
Don’t forget to check out my new “Books We’ve Read” page that shows all our book club books since 2005 (when I joined).