Wordsmiths & Warriors review: British Books Challenge

 The British Books Challenge is a reading challenge that will be running  on Fluttering Butterflies between 1st January to 31st December 2015 and the main focus of the challenge is reading and reviewing books by British authors.
If you sign up for the challenge you will be aiming to read at least 12 books by British authors (which works out to one a month).
In terms of what books would count towards the challenge – the books can be in print or out. Old or new titles. They can be from any genre and for any age range.


February so far has given me mostly horror and mayhem – Urban fantasy and psychological thriller. In stark contrast to January’s reads. I do like variety. I have read five so far this month and that makes for too long a post, so I will be dividing them up.

Starting with the one non-fiction I have read so far this month

Wordsmiths & Warriors: the English Language Tourist’s Guide to Britain by David and Hilary Crystal


Hardcover, 424 pages
Published December 1st 2013 by Oxford University Press (UK)

Blurb:Who formed and shaped the English language? David and Hilary Crystal take us on a journey through Britain to discover the people who gave our language its colour and character; Saxon invaders, medieval scholars, poets, reformers, dictionary writers. Part travelogue, part history, this illustrated book is full of unexpected discoveries.

Northern Ireland is not included in this journey, nor the islands, this is mainland Britain only. Maybe he plans another on these missing places. I hope so.

For anyone like myself who is fascinated with the journey of the English Language from small tribes to global this is a must. It is also great for those who on their jaunts around the country wish to have places of interest to visit. They should all read this book.

Small and large sites, villages and towns are on offer with good, clear,English (if anyone can deliver good clear intelligent English it is David Crystal) Fascinating little snippets and titbits of information alongside better known facts. From the earliest know written word, through the language development in England, Wales and Scotland through to the latest technology for analyzing grammar. Hillary Crystal provides the excellent photographs of each place. They are plentiful and clear.

For the travelers among us, there are excellent details on how to get to each place.

I would recommend this. David Crystal is always worth reading and these historical insights adds to our enjoyment of heritage.


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