Reference Book Round-Up

How often do you come into the library and head to the Reference Section?  It’s a great resource when you’re starting to research for papers and presentations, filled with all kinds of reference books on any number of topics.  But it’s also more than that – we have a lot of books that you might find interesting for your own personal, non-academic pursuits.  We picked out a couple titles to highlight – feel free to peruse them next time you pop into the library!

Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus (2nd edition)
REFERENCE PE 1591 .L625 2008

A thesaurus is a thesaurus, right?  That’s where you’re wrong – the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus is set up with the writer in mind.  It offers more than 15,000 main entries, 300,000 synonyms, and 10,000 antonyms with the aim of helping you express yourself more accurately in your writing.  This thesaurus offers example sentences and phrases, the synonyms are arranged in order of usefulness and how close they are to the original word, and the words are defined as informal or archaic if they aren’t the most current, commonly-used, expressions.

This text also has a handy “Wordfinder” section located in the middle of the book that groups words together that aren’t normally found as synonyms in a thesaurus (ex. Constellations and Cloud Types and Formations).  At the end of the book there’s a section called the Language Guide which offers tips on things like grammar and capitalization.
The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus is a great resource.  Keep it in mind next time you’re working on a paper.  We promise you’ll find it helpful (and undoubtedly more in-depth than the thesaurus programmed in your computer).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Menus from History: Historic Meals and Recipes for Every Day of the Year
REFERENCE TX 645 .C534 2009 v. 1-2

This two-volume reference set is essentially a history of eating.  Janet Clarkson  presents 365 historic meals to the reader in calendar order (from January 1 – December 31) ranging from 70 B.C. to 1999, offering a brief description of the meal’s significance and where it took place.  The meals are then followed by the specific menu from that occasion along with a recipe or two from the menu that you can attempt to follow (as best you can) at home.

This is definitely a unique resource and it’s fun to page through.  You get access to all kinds of menus: from Elvis Presley’s wedding to the Insects Banquet eaten by the Explorer’s Club in NYC.  If you enjoy history and you appreciate cooking and the history of food you’ll enjoy flipping through this text.  Bon appetit 🙂


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