Many books were considered and read for the 2012 read. Initially a very broad approach is taken in regards to the theme Language: How We Communicate: books about letters, vocabulary, foreign languages, language evolution, etc. The screening committee must constantly judge a book by community appeal, theme appropriateness, accessibility, and the practical issue of price and availability.
Abley, Mark. Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages. Boston: Mariner Books. 2005. Print.
Journalist Mark Abley travels the world learning about endangered languages and studying the colonizing effects of dominant world languages.
Tags: Endangered languages, politics, travel, globalization
Baron, Naomi S. Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.
Tags: technology, communication, linguistics, English, social media
Bickerton, Derek. Adam's Tongue: How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans. New York: Hill and Wang, 2010. Print.
Bickerton proposes the idea that the development of language is the critical difference between humans and the rest of nature by giving rise to advanced cognitive abilities.
Tags: Psychology, history, human evolution, anthropology
Bickerton, Derek. Bastard Tongues: A Trailblazing Linguist Finds Clues to our Common Humanity in the World's Lowliest Languages. New York: Hill and Wang, 2009. Print.
Bickerton explores the origins and significance of creole languages in this light yet analytic memoir.
Tags: Linguistics, Creole, communication, travel, autobiography
Brooks, Geraldine. March: A Novel. New York: Penguin Books, 2005. Print.
This Pulitzer Price-winning historical novel tells the story of the missing father from Little Women, Mr. March, as he navigates the Civil War and the emotional agony he experiences as a result of his work with former slaves.
Tags: historical fiction, Civil War, Little Women
Bruchac, Joseph. Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two. Dial Books, 2005. Print.
Tags: Fiction, World War II, history, codes, war
Bryson, Bill. The Mother Tongue. New York: Avon Books, 1991. Print.
Acclaimed writer Bryson provides an entertaining yet informative account of the evolution of the English language.
Tags: English language, history, humor, British history, American history
Campbell, Gordon. Bible: The Story of the King James Version, 1611-2011. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.
A history of one of the most influential English-language books, from the creation of the Kings James version of the Bible through its many subsequent editions and revisions.
Tags: Religion, Christianity, bible, history
Crystal, David. A Little Book of Language. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010. Print.
Crystal provides a thorough introduction to language, including language acquisition, slang, and the ways languages are changing most rapidly today.
Tags: linguistics, brain behavior, evolution, history, science
Dai, Sijie, and Ina Rilke. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. New York: Anchor Books, 2002. Print.
Tags: historical fiction, China, culture, fiction
De Zengotita, Thomas. Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in it. New York: Bloomsbury, 2006. Print.
Tags: media, technology, culture, America, heroism
DeLillo, Don. The Names. New York: Vintage Books, 1989. Print.
Tags: Greece, travel, languages, mystery
Deutscher, Guy. Through the Language Glass: How Words Colour Your World. London: Arrow, 2011. Print.
Tags: Culture, foreign languages, linguistics, controversial
Deutscher, Guy. The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2006. Print.
Tags: Anthropology, language, linguistics, language evolution
Dumas, Firoozeh. Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2004. Print.
Tags: Memoir, immigration, family, America, Iran
Dunn, Mark. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters. New York: Anchor Books, 2002. Print.
Tags: fiction, freedom of speech, humor, young adult
Erard, Michael. Um-- Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean. New York: Pantheon Books, 2007. Print.
Tags: speech, language, linguistics, cognitive science
Falk, Dean. Finding Our Tongues: Mothers, Infants and the Origins of Language. Basic Books, 2009. Print.
Tags: anthropology, linguistics, language
Fallows, Deborah. Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love, and Language. New York: Walker & Company, 2011. Print.
Tags: Culture, China, Mandarin, travel, learning a foreign language
Fox, Margalit. Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals about the Mind. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007. Print.
Tags: Sign language, Israel, travel, politics, science
Guest, Judith. Ordinary People. New York: Penguin Books, 1982. Print.
Tags: fiction, family, death, suburban life.
Guo, Xiaolu,. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers: A Novel. New York: Anchor Books, 2008. Print.
Tags: fiction, London, Chinese, traveling, love, foreign culture
Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Doubleday, 2008. Print.
Tags: fiction, autism, family, mystery
Harrison, K. David. The Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World's most Endangered Languages. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2010. Print.
Tags: Foreign languages, disappearing languages, travel, Russia, society
Harrison, K. David. When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World's Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print.
Tags: Disappearing languages, travel, linguistics, anthropology, knowledge
Hinsley, F. H., and Alan Stripp. Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. Print.
Tags: History, World War II, cryptography, Great Britain, personal narratives
Hoffman, Eva. Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Penguin Books, 1990. Print.
Tags: Memoir, American history, Polish, immigration, foreign languages, culture
Hogan, Linda. Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World. New York: Touchstone, 1996. Print.
Tags: Nature, environment
Itani, Frances. Deafening. New York: Grove Press, 2004. Print.
Tags: Fiction, deafness, World War II
Kenneally, Christine. The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language. New York: Viking, 2007. Print.
Tags: Language, linguistics, anthropology, neuroscience
King, Dave. The Ha-Ha: A Novel. New York: Back Bay, 2006. Print.
Tags: Fiction, friendship, love, Vietnam War
Little, Elizabeth. Biting the Wax Tadpole: Confessions of a Language Fanatic. Hoboken, N.J.: Melville House, 2007. Print.
Tags: linguistics, foreign languages, translation, humor
Lynch, Jack. The Lexicographer's Dilemma the Evolution of Proper English, from Shakespeare to South Park. New York: Walker, 2009. Print.
Tags: Linguistics, English, technology, grammar
Malladi, Amulya. The Sound of Language: A Novel. New York: Ballantine Books, 2008. Print.
Tags: fiction, foreign languages, refugees, Muslim culture, friendship
Maushart, Susan. The Winter of our Disconnect: How Three Totally Wired Teenagers (and a Mother Who Slept with Her iPhone) Pulled the Plug on their Technology and Lived to Tell the Tale. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2011. Print.
Tags: Technology, social media, family
McCrum, Robert. Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2010. Print.
Tags: English, politics, globalization, colonization, history
Napoli, Donna Jo. Language Matters: A Guide to Everyday Questions about Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Print.
Tags: language, linguistics, culture, society
Nunberg, Geoffrey. Going Nucular: Language, Politics, and Culture in Controversial Times. New York: PublicAffairs, 2004. Print.
Tags: Politics, language, linguistics, society, culture
Okrent, Arika. In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2009. Print.
Tag: artificial languages, foreign languages, history, linguistics
Pepperberg, Irene M. Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process. New York: Harper, 2009. Print.
Tags: Animals, language, research
Rich, Katherine Russell. Dreaming in Hindi: Coming Awake in another Language. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009. Print.
Tags: memoir, travel, India, language acquisition
Sacks, Oliver W. Seeing Voices: A Journey into the World of the Deaf. New York: Vintage Books, 2000. Print.
Tags: deafness, sign language, neuroscience, linguistics, medicine
Schaller, Susan, and Oliver W. Sacks. A Man without Words. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. Print.
Tags: language, deafness, sign language, communication
See, Lisa. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel. New York: Random House, 2006. Print.
Shea, Ammon. Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages. New York: Penguin Group, 2008. Print.
Tags: Dictionaries, words, vocabulary, English
Siegel, Lee. Against the Machine: How the Web is Reshaping Culture and Commerce--and Why it Matters. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2008. Print.
Tags: technology, internet, psychology, society, culture
Sunstein, Cass R. Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.
Tags: information, decision-making, technology, society
Tannen, Deborah Ph D. You Just Don't Understand. New York: Ballantine Books, 1990. Print.
Tags: Communication, men, women, relationships
Truss, Lynne. Eats Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. New York, N.Y: Gotham Books, 2006. Print.
Tags: punctuation, grammar, linguistics, history, English
Uhlberg, Myron. Hands of My Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love. New York: Bantam Books, 2009. Print.
Tags: Deafness, family, sign language, America
Winchester, Simon. The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary. New York: Harper Perennial, 2005. Print.
Tags: Oxford English Dictionary, vocabulary, insanity, history
Xu, Ruiyan. The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai: A Novel. H.B. Fenn and Co., 2010. Print.
Tags: Fiction, China, language, relationships