This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Claudia Coffey for Readers' Favorite
Susanna Janssen is a foreign language educator who lives and teaches in Northern California. Thanks to Wordstruck!, we all can now enjoy the words of humor and learning that have benefited the readers of her column, A Word in Edgewise, published by the Ukiah Daily Journal in Ukiah, California. On the surface, one might think that Wordstruck! would mainly be of interest to students of etymology, and it certainly is, but read this book and you will learn to love language as much as Janssen does. So much more than a study of word origins, Janssen teaches language to all of us in a fulfilling and humorous way.
In “You Say Goodbye and I say Hello”, we learn why we say hello when we answer the phone and goodbye with our leave taking. We learn that Alexander Graham Bell suggested we always answer the phone with “Ahoy” and that Thomas Alva Edison suggested we always answer the phone with the salutation “Hello” spoken cheerfully and firmly. We know “Hello” won out but “Ahoy” is used to answer the phone in parts of Eastern Europe, where it is spelled “Ahoj”. Goodbye is shortened from “God be with ye” of the 15th century to Godbwye of the 16th century and thus to the modern goodbye. This is just a sample of the information readers will find in Wordstruck!
The seven chapters are divided into subtitles with enticing titles such as “Pants on Fire”, “On the Trail of Word Origins”, “The Scholar’s Ink and the Martyrs' Blood” and more. Seven additional chapters round out the book. In “The Herd Mentality”, we read about the names for groups of animals and how they came to be. There is even a name for it – “Terms of Venery” Who knew? “We don’t have a Word for it”, Parts I and II were very enlightening to me. After all, we have all had our moments of “Schadenfreude” (German). I loved "Rum and Revolution", in which we take a tour of Cuba, and as a baby boomer myself I was happy to see we can fight Alzheimer’s by learning another language.
Janssen reminds us that, “You don’t stop learning because you get old, you get old because you stop learning”, and as Emerson said: “Do the thing and you shall have the power”. If you love words then you will love Wordstruck! If you don’t think this is for you, read this book anyway. Susanna Janssen’s humorous and easy-to-read style will convert you into a bibliophile before you know it.