I’m reading “The Professor and the Madman - A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary” by Simon Winchester. I don’t know if it’s just me, or my current state of mind, but I’m getting into this book and liking it. Finding the conflicts very relative. Is that… worrisome?
It is a partly fictional, complex biography of Dr William Chester Minor, the man who created the Oxford English Dictionary, and part history lesson on the efforts of the creators of English dictionaries. The man supposedly did it single-handedly, and also eventually went mad from his long-term OCD. The author writes it from an interviewer/investigator pov, and for each chapter starts with a word and its very detailed definition.
I’m halfway through. I think I read all the exposition of the doctor’s prime, all his accomplishments, and now only getting to the plot of the doctor descending into obsession.
However, I’ve been distracted by another book - a thriller about a protagonist with Asgerper’s that is obsessed with death - which I am sure I will finish first - “Rubbernecker” by Belinda Bauer. As one of the short reviews on the cover says, it is similar to Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, except much more reader-friendly. Each chapter is written from alternating characters’ single perspective, instead of Haddon’s single protagonist’s for his whole book, which had been a bit boring to read and think in the over-analysing mindset for too long.
Another thing about Rubbernecker that I found amazing - the cover feels and smells like RUBBER! I got a mood whiplash when I first got the smell - like latex gloves from the labs - when took off the plastic-wrap from the book. Creepy and very much appropriate introduction to the horrors within! (Well done, cover designers, scented book covers are an excellent way to attract readers.)