Book recommendation: "The Professor and the Madman"


I know I just told you yesterday about a wonderful book featuring someone who was literally crazy-brilliant, but believe me, this one's even better:

When the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary put out a call during the late 19th century pleading for "men of letters" to provide help with their mammoth undertaking, hundreds of responses came forth. Some helpers, like Dr. W.C. Minor, provided literally thousands of entries to the editors. But Minor, an American expatriate in England and a Civil War veteran, was actually a certified lunatic who turned in his dictionary entries from the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. Simon Winchester has produced a mesmerizing coda to the deeply troubled Minor's life, a life that in one sense began with the senseless murder of an innocent British brewery worker that the deluded Minor believed was an assassin sent by one of his numerous "enemies."

Trust me, this is the book equivalent of Pringles; once you pop, etc. It's perfect for all you Weekend Word Wrap devotees, too.