By Ammon Shea
240 pages. Perigee.
With the delicious sense that he was "eating the alphabet," voracious dictionary collector Ammon Shea spent a year taking in the entire 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary—a mere 21,730 pages. Among the words you never knew you needed in Reading the OED (Perigee): "Accismus (n.): An insincere refusal.... As in 'No, please, I really would like for you to have the last donut'" and "Nod-crafty (adj.): Given to nodding the head with an air of great wisdom." A lively lexicon.