What Has Become of You

Academic settings… disturbed and/or disturbing people… why do I keep reading such novels? Well, we know why the academic settings appeal to me. As for the characters, that’s harder to analyze. I suppose I’d like to understand some of the… Read More ›


Take a look: he’s a nerdy Jewish kid from New Jersey, known as a “nice guy,” intellectually passionate but awkward in social situations. He’s starting his first day as a Harvard freshmen. How could I resist this 2016 novel by… Read More ›

Because Internet

Every language changes, as I occasionally have to remind my non-linguist friends when they complain about this or that. Some languages change more than others — English, for example, has changed much more quickly and more dramatically than, say, Icelandic… Read More ›

Paper Son

A mystery focused on Chinese-owned grocery stores in the Mississippi Delta? Who knew! And I don’t mean some investment scheme by contemporary mainland Chinese; I mean Chinese families that have lived in Mississippi for a century now, i.e. American-born Chinese,… Read More ›

Before She Knew Him

If you like character-driven psychological thrillers, Peter Swanson’s Before She Knew Him may be the book for you. If you like mysteries but not thrillers, this might not be for you. I’m not going to summarize the plot. In fact, it’s… Read More ›


All published reviewers of Wordslut are women — at least as far as I can tell. But men should read it too. Aside from gender issues, you may be wondering whether this is a technical linguistics book or a popularization. Its… Read More ›