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Currently reading

The Golden Slipper and Other Problems for Violet Strange
Anna Katharine Green
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Anne Lamott
Skippy Dies
Paul Murray
Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History
Florence Williams
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Bill Bryson
The Blind Assassin
Margaret Atwood
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chbosky
How To Teach English
Jeremy Harmer
I'm Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears and Other Intriguing Idioms From Around the World - Jag Bhalla Jam-packed with the little culture-through-language oddities I love learning about. A little more commentary interspersed throughout would have been nice, because the plain list format can get too tedious to read. (But preferably of the more almost-clinical, detached but interesting curator type, because sometimes the author's book and chapter introductions, though enthusiastic, can get a little... bombastic?)

I like the themed chapters (colors, countries, etc.) but my beef with this is that idioms in the original language are not provided, just the English translations. It makes it hard to verify these with a native speaker. Still in the process of having the boyfriend confirm and translate the Chinese idioms, so I might actually be able to use them, and am tempted to have friends who major in German and French to look into theirs. Because though interesting to read about, if you try to use these idioms in their English versions, sometimes it doesn't translate back as clearly, and your attempt at showing off that you know these idioms just ends up with a confused local. (Of course, sometimes that's what people will do, they will unconsciously transliterate their local saying into English, and sometimes you get a vague sense of what they're trying to say.) So, original examples would have helped, but maybe that's a tall order. It *is* quite an expansive book already. Some of the idioms are repeated though, under different chapters.

If you just want a peek at how the rest of the world thinks (the English "when pigs fly" is "when crawfish sing on the mountains" or "when frogs grow hair" elsewhere), this is nice to flip through. I'd recommend this as a bathroom book.