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Dictionary of Lost Words
Dictionary of Lost Words | Pip Williams
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 to the floor. She rescues the slip, and when she learns that the word means slave-girl, she withholds it from the OED and begins to collect words that show women in a more positive light. 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 with the Great War looming, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. Based on actual events and combed from author Pip Williams's experience delving into the archives of the Oxford English Dictionary, this highly original novel is a delightful, lyrical, and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words and the power of language to shape the world.
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kspenmoll
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#WondrousWednesday
🍁 my mood often dictates what I read.I can juggle more than one book- a buddy read, non fiction, fiction, poetry, library book, always an audiobook, kindle- a book for every venue & mood.
🍁 off the top of my head, the tagged book, Why Religion? (memoir) by Elaine Pagels, & The Poet‘s Revolution, The Life of Denise Levertov by Donna Hollenberg.

Eggs Thanks for playing and sharing 🤗📚🥳 4w
AmyG Thanks for the tag! 😘 4w
38 likes2 comments
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sarahbellum
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About to bail on this one. Boring and I don‘t think I have it in me to hang in long enough to finally get to the point of it all. Really wanted to like this one, but stealing slips of paper and letters containing others‘ work and calling it your dictionary isn‘t doing it for me 🤷🏻‍♀️ #unpopularopinion #literarycrew

Ann_Reads Oh, that's too bad the novel didn't click with you. I can understand your pov. I listened to it on audio, so I think that helped me connect with the main character more. 3mo
LapReader I‘m find it dull too. 3mo
46 likes2 comments
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LitsyEvents
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repost for @Librarybelle:

Here is this month‘s #LiteraryCrew #BuddyRead ! Read at your own pace, with questions posted at the end of the month. I‘ll also post periodic checkins throughout the month.

If you would also like to be tagged this month, comment on the post linked below!
https://www.litsy.com/web/post/2461527

Librarybelle Thanks for reposting! 3mo
kspenmoll What a wonderful choice- I have read this book - it‘s beautiful on so many levels 3mo
Librarybelle Thanks @LitsyEvents ! And so glad you enjoyed this, @kspenmoll ! 3mo
49 likes4 comments
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

I ended up liking this but it did take me a few tries to finish. The concept is great — since mostly men created the Oxford English Dictionary, were “women‘s words” lost? Esme grows up at the Scriptorium, where a lot of creation of the dictionary happened. In the second half, the author fit her into the suffrage movement and World War I. A lot of it is very sad but it was worth reading. ⬇️

MallenNC The author was inspired by this nonfiction book, which I‘ve also read and really enjoyed. 3mo
32 likes1 stack add1 comment
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JuniperWilde
Pickpick

This book needed a better edit. The author tried to tie in too many threads and many of them were left dangling. I don‘t need resolution but many of the storylines felt like sketches rather than stories (E.g. MC mom, Tilda, tension in the suffragette movement).
The history of the dictionary and how words were vetted is so important and I wanted to love this book. Overall it read like a 3 hr movie that should have been 90-minutes.

6 likes1 stack add
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DKelley13
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Pickpick

While reading, you will experience every emotion from inspired and intrigued to fury and grief. This story beautifully articulates the troubling understanding we have of our English language and the admiration for the evolution of words. Definitely a pick for lovers of words but be sure to have some tissues handy!

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JuniperWilde
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Is it me or this a slow start. I really want to like this but it‘s not grabbing me (yet). I‘m spoiled by several amazing recent reads (Madeleine Miller, Natalie Haynes).

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Teresereading
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Such a superb novel. Well deserved current pick from Reese Witherspoon
Day 8

#bookmoods #celebbookclubpick
@eggs @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

Eggs 👏🏻📚👍🏼 6mo
13 likes1 stack add1 comment
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BookwormM
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Pickpick

#ARC #Netgalley #DictionaryOfLostWords

ARC was provided by Random House UK

Two word review – Loved It!

I believe it is really important to understand how our official use of language has been decided and the limitations of this. Nowadays we have the internet to keep us up to date with evolving language back then they had the voice of a few male scholars

https://thereadersroom.org/2022/06/05/the-dictionary-of-lost-words-by-pip-willia...

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Melancholy2243
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Pickpick

I loved this book so much: from the journey that Esme has through words, both respected and remembered to the words discarded, forgotten, words of women, disregarded. It's a story of women and of war, of history and of the making of the dictionary from a much forgotten perspective, which is that of a woman. I loved how the historical characters were portrayed in this book so beautifully blended with the fictional. Definitely a book worth reading.

65 likes5 stack adds
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angieinwonderland
Pickpick

I had wanted to read this for awhile and I am glad I got to it. Truthfully, there was a spell in the middle that lagged but I pulled through it and dived back in. The characters were well written and wholly developed the story was terrific but I am still stewing in my feeling about the ending and trying to find the right words to do this book justice.

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rachaich
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Bargain kindle purchase which I've had on my list for some time...

19 likes1 stack add
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Sapphire
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I have to drive into the office today, still rare for me in 2022. The only reason I am not dreading it is I get to listen to my audible book! No commute for 22 months means a lot less audio books

DivineDiana I loved this book. Recommended it to my IRL Book Club and we are discussing in February. 11mo
18 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Brooke_H
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Pickpick

I knew very little about the compilation of the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Thanks to this incredibly well-researched novel, some of my knowledge gaps are filled in. The first half of this book--about Esme's childhood, growing up in the Scriptorium, learning about words and language--is wonderful. The second half is just so sad. But I really did enjoy it, and I absolutely loved learning about the Dictionary.

DivineDiana I recommended this book to my IRL Book Club. Hoping they like it! 🤞🏻 11mo
Brooke_H @DivineDiana I read it for my IRL book club! ☺️ 11mo
28 likes1 stack add2 comments
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paisleyjess
Pickpick

Great story centering women characters and using real life making of the dictionary to highlight how a woman's world would be documented.

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Jhullie
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Pickpick

Not what I expected but a good read nonetheless. I enjoyed the concept and the tie in with the suffragette movement was well done.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful cover!! 12mo
21 likes1 comment
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HettyG
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Pickpick

A wonderful story and a well done audiobook! Esme is a complicated character, and I couldn‘t help but love her. I will enjoy reflecting on the intersections of love and language this book made me think about. 💜⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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HettyG
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Beginning my weekend audio book. 💜

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Tamra
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Bailedbailed

Given the great reviews here I‘m sure this is a case of “it‘s me and not the book.” I enjoyed the story while the MC was a child and then after that it seemed to meander. I just wasn‘t invested. Maybe another time.

JuniperWilde I‘m 107 pages in and mostly find it meandering and not that interesting. I like historical fiction, a lot. And I do love the story she is starting to weave with the word “knackered” but am very tempted to bail. I‘ve lasted this long bc of the positive reviews. 5mo
60 likes1 stack add1 comment
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melissajayne
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My #bookspin and #bookspinbingo selections for September

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 1y
23 likes1 comment
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MsMelissa
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Pickpick

Set against the backdrop of the publication of OED, this historical novel illuminates the importance and beauty of words, whether they be written or spoken. Hands down my favourite historical novel of the year. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#14books14weeks2021 Book 10 ✅

Ruthiella That‘s a strong recommendation! Stacking. 😀 1y
52 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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Story_Wanderer
Pickpick

This beautifully written work flavoured with both fact and fiction follows the life of Esme the young daughter of one of the important men working on the Oxford English Dictionary. After the printing of the first A and B edition of the dictionary it is discovered that the word ‘Bondmaiden‘ had some how been omitted. The story explores the missing word and the male influence on the dictionaries first printing while painted into the story of Esme.

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paisleyjess
Pickpick

An interesting fiction set in the real life story of the writing of the OED, focusing on female characters and how their words and works were disregarded. If you're a word nerd, you'll love this even more for that element.

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Dalaine
Pickpick

This book took a while to get into properly. I really wasn't sure where the author was going with the story but I'm glad I stuck around. Williams explores such beautiful themes and important historical events in this novel. Be warned, this novel will break your heart a little. I was not expecting it to explore quite so much hardship and loss.
I really enjoyed the story.

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BookBosomed1
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Pickpick

This book is centered on the life of Esme. The reader meets Esme when she is a child in late 1800s Oxford. Since her father is employed as a lexicographer for the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, Esme‘s childhood is encompassed by the four walls of the Scriptorium (Scrippy), a large garden shed where the Oxford English Dictionary is written, and a love for words.

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Jeg
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Pickpick

My second reading for Bookclub. Loved it just as much as first time. Good discussion. Everyone enjoyed reading it. #2020joybooks