14 July 2013

Holy Sh*t: A brief history of swearing – By: Melissa Mohr

The title describes exactly what the book is, and for someone who loves language as much as I do, this was a must read. Melissa Mohr delves into the reasons we swear, and why each swear word is considered vulgar. Vulgarity plays a huge role in how our society perceives the world, and yet, this is an area that’s so rarely looked at from a scholarly perspective. 

The etymology of swear words is much more interesting than the layperson might think, but it’s also slightly uncomfortable. It’s an in-depth look at how western culture has viewed the sacred and the profane for a couple thousand years. Something in there is bound to be a bit touchy for you. After-all, swears are only words, it’s their connotations that makes things obscene. And, the reason that we find certain things obscene was fascinating. 

Bookwyrm Rating: Vegetable

07 July 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman (Fiction)

I don’t know why I’m always surprised when Neil Gaiman’s work surprises me. I should know better than to have expectations. Yet here I am, surprised again. I was left equal parts bemused and delighted, yet slightly disturbed. This new novel for adults finds it’s protagonist finally remembering the odd evens which followed his seventh birthday. And he remembers the girl at the end of the lane whose odd reality briefly overlapped his own.

As the main character encounters his memories for the first time, we’re given an adult’s comprehension of what a child perceived. The result is a strange twist on the supposed innocence of childhood. A must read, and I must go re-read it.

Bookwyrm Rating: Meat & Potatoes