Monday 10 October 2016


Book review: Other-Wordly by Yee-Lum Mak and Kelsey Garrity-Riley

Since it's mid-October that means it's safe to say the C-word, right? And by that I, of course, mean Christmas. I always like to be very organised and start thinking about gifts for the holidays around this time and I already know that the absolutely gorgeous Other-Wordly, with words by Yee-Lum Mak and illustrations by Kelsey Garrity-Riley, will be my go-to gift for friends and family this year. It is quirky, insightful and one of the most stunning non-fiction books I've had the pleasure to read in a very long time.

Other-Wordly is a gem of a book that has captured weird and wonderful words from across the globe, illustrated with the most beautiful drawings in muted autumn and winter colours that make this an especially apt gift for this time of the year.

There is an incredible range of languages within the world, and many contain words that don't exist in other cultures or countries. The first one I always think of if I am talking to international friends about this is the Dutch word gezellig, which in a single word captures the feeling of a cosy atmosphere and togetherness at home with the family. I often say something is 'gezellig' and find it such a shame there isn't an equivalent within the English language so I love that this book brings this wonderful word to more people.

There was another Dutch word included too (uitzwaaien) but other than that all the words within this beautiful book were new to me and I loved discovering their meanings. I am now particularly fond of bibliothecary, which is someone who collects books (so me, basically) and fernweh (from German), which means craving for travel (also me).

Rather than doing an extensive review of Other-Wordly and spoiling all the fascinating words captured within it, I'll leave you with a small impression through my autumnal photos of this incredible book (as the colours of the autumn leaves so perfectly match those of the illustrations). It is an absolute beauty, isn't it?

Many thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

Oher-Wordly is published by Chronicle Books and you can buy the novel from Foyles or your own preferred retailer.

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