Category: Book Review

Book Review: The Rory Stewart Crazy Train Trilogy

The Lexplorers have been enjoying our series of book reviews of What Were They Thinking? travel adventures,  in which we can live vicariously through the fascinating (and often terrifying) accounts of authors who have written about unique journeys in interesting places.  These authors describe journeys above and beyond the standard travelogue, visiting places we might not otherwise be able to… Read more →

Book Review: The Girl With Seven Names

The Girl With Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story by: Hyeonseo Lee Lexplorers rating: 7.0/10 Amazon.com average customer rating: 4.8/5 Next up in our series of Lexplorers reviews of “What Were They Thinking? travel adventures,” today we discuss The Girl With Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story (alternately subtitled “Escape from North Korea” in the paperback version) by Hyeonseo… Read more →

Book Review: Couchsurfing Im Iran

Couchsurfing Im Iran: Meine Reise hinter verschlossene Türen by: Stephan Orth Lexplorers rating: 8.0/10 Amazon (amazon.de) average customer rating: 4.3/5 Next up in our series of Lexplorers reviews of “What Were They Thinking? travel adventures,” today we discuss Couchsurfing Im Iran: Meine Reise hinter verschlossene Türen (“Couchsurfing in Iran: My Travels Behind Closed Doors”) by Stephan Orth.  This book is a… Read more →

Book Review: My Holiday in North Korea

My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth by: Wendy E. Simmons Lexplorers rating: 8.5/10 Amazon.com average customer rating: 4.2/5 Continuing our series of Lexplorers reviews of “What Were They Thinking? travel adventures,” today David and Carlos discuss My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth by Wendy E. Simmons. David: I thought that Tony Hawks… Read more →

Book Review: Round Ireland With a Fridge

Round Ireland With a Fridge by Tony Hawks Lexplorers rating: 7/10 Amazon.com average customer rating: 4.4/5   The Lexplorers summer reading list included a fairly diverse range of topics, from our usual linguistics and language learning, through recent bestsellers, as well as a little pure beach-reading fluff.   But one clear cluster was books written by people who had a travel… Read more →

Book Review: Reading the OED

Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages by Ammon Shea Lexplorers rating: 6.5/10 Amazon.com average customer rating: 4.2/5 I have been on a bit of a lexicography kick lately, starting with some thoughts on words in the National Spelling Bee, and then taking an enjoyable tour through the craft of dictionary-making with Word By Word.  Despite enjoying dictionaries… Read more →

Book Review: Word By Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries

Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper Lexplorers rating: 9.75/10 Amazon.com average customer rating: 4.8/5 I will happily and proudly admit that I love dictionaries.  I have several bookshelves full of dictionaries of all types.   And as an unabashed lexiconnoisseur, I was quite excited to finally get a chance to read Word by Word: The Secret Life of… Read more →

Book Review: Fluent Forever

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner Lexplorers rating: 8.5/10 Amazon.com average customer rating: 4.5/5 Language learning can be a lot like exercise and weight loss: most people have tried it and really want to know the secret strategy that will allow them to do it well and with the least amount… Read more →

Book Review: Babel No More

Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners by Michael Erard Lexplorers rating: 9.5/10 Amazon.com average customer rating: 4.0/5     There is a certain appeal to stories about extreme human performance, especially in areas where the reader has personal experience.  Anyone who has tried to run a 5k race can appreciate the accomplishment of someone… Read more →