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review 2017-11-18 05:40
Idiomantics: The weird world of popular phrases
Idiomantics: The Weird and Wonderful World of Popular Phrases - Peter Lewis,Philip Gooden

If you're at all interested in those phrases every language has that don't translate exactly, like "the buck stops here" or one of my personal favourites: "as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs" this might be a book you'd enjoy.  It's a glossary, of sorts, categorising different idioms of the world - subjectively chosen by the authors - by varying subjects: food, national identity, animals, etc.  Each entry is translated to English, explained and a brief history of its origins discussed, if the origins are known.


A great book to pick up periodically, or used as a reference.

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text 2017-10-14 10:33
A Scone To Die For (Oxford Tearoom Mysteries ~ Book 1) (Volume 1) - H.Y. Hanna

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I thought it would be one of those silly, eye-roll worthy books but it was pretty good. I prefer more serious, intense mysteries over the cozies. The thing with the mom not remembering her iPad password so often was over-exaggerated but it was still funny because I have one of those parents. So there are definitely some funny moments that made me chuckle or groan with understanding. I´m also not a big fan of mystery books that involve cats but this wasn´t so bad. The cat was just a cat with good timing but I do want to know where miss cat was hiding.


Gemma had a great job and was making great money but she wasn´t happy with her life. She decides to move back home to England and open a tearoom. She loves it and business is good until she comes to open the tearoom one morning and finds a man in the courtyard dead. It appeared he had choked on a scone. The news ended up being very bad for business and she realized she needed to do some investigating on her own or her business would be dead too.


I loved the Glossary at the end.  I wish I had known it was there as I was reading.  That will also come in handy when watching BBC TV.  I also love books with recipes and can´t wait to try the scone recipe.  I will definitely be reading more books in this series.  This book makes up for the last cozy I thought was going to be good but wasn´t.  

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text 2017-10-10 09:22
Reading progress update: I've read 150 out of 256 pages.
Idiomantics: The Weird and Wonderful World of Popular Phrases - Peter Lewis,Philip Gooden

The sections on finance and military idioms was a little boring, to be honest.  But then came the Animals.  Now we're talking!


Some of my favourites so far are the ones that sound the most bizarre (at least in translation):


A Furphy:  This is an Aussie one, but it's only very recently that I've heard it used (probably because a brewer just released a beer called Furphy).  To tell a Furphy is to lie, or spread a rumour.


Ir a donde el rey / la reina va solo:  Spanish for to go where the king/queen goes alone.  And we yanks get grief for our bathroom euphemisms!  ;-)


Broodje aap verhaal:  Dutch for a monkey sandwich story.  Much more fun than just saying something is an urban myth


Avaler les couleuvres:  French idiom meaning To swallow grass snakes.  To believe everything your told, or to have to suffer a humiliation in silence.


Die beleidigte Leberwurst spielen:  German for to play the insulted liver sausage.  Explaining this almost ruins the fun of the translation, but it means to get in a huff or go off in a sulk.


And finally, one last one:

Avoir une araignée au plafond:  French idiom meaning to have a screw loose, translated as have a spider on the ceiling.  


I'm sure there will be more; it's safe to say this book is not all hat and no cattle (one of my favs from my own country).

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text 2017-10-09 04:22
Reading progress update: I've read 75 out of 256 pages.
Idiomantics: The Weird and Wonderful World of Popular Phrases - Peter Lewis,Philip Gooden

I knew I was going to enjoy this as I'm a sucker for books about what makes language expressive, but I thought it would be a quicker read than it is.  Turns out, this is a collection of idioms from around the world, each with as much historical context as the author could find.  So it's taking me much longer because I'm savouring all the new things I'm learning.


So far, the book has covered idioms from the UK, US, DE, FR, ES, DK, NL and AU.  Except for the financial idiom section, which is heavily skewed towards the US, most of the entries so far have been 50/50 English/Non-English.


My favourites will be appearing in future status updates!

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review 2017-10-06 01:17
A Charm of Goldfinches and Other Wild Gatherings
A Charm of Goldfinches and Other Wild Gatherings: Quirky Collective Nouns of the Animal Kingdom - Matt Sewell

Another charming and beautifully illustrated book, I was a bit disappointed at first with the writing, until I quickly figured out it's geared towards a much younger audience.  And as such, it's perfect. 


A small selection of land, sea, and air animals and the collective nouns we use to describe them, each blurb is written in a very friendly, chatty style that is sure to appeal to kids.  The illustrations should appeal to everyone.  There's a checklist at the end of the book, encouraging kids to look out for the different types of animals, some of them presumably at their local zoos, as I'm not sure many are going to see a camel walking down their street in the normal course of their day.

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