Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker

These are some of the books on the bedside table. Some are yet to be tried; some are rejects. “A Discovery of Witches,” for example, which had moments of promise blighted by dubious writing and glacial plotting. And page-padding descriptions of smells, food, and clothing. Instead of being sensuous or revealing, the descriptions came off as placeholders for nothing to say.

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Grant Barrett