It’s hard to be a writer without being a reader. It’s even harder to be a writer without sources of inspiration. For me, that means books. Lots of books. It’s my plan to use this page to keep a running tab on the books I reference in Learned along with a few notes on why I like it.

Links from this page will take you to A Very Learned Bookstore, my account on If you buy books via these links, I’ll get a small commission and you’ll get a worthwhile read. Call it a win-win.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

by John Koenig

English speakers love making up new words. Sometimes to sell a product, sometimes to name a bug, but often, just for the sheer joy of it. Sometimes, someone goes above and beyond and makes a whole book full of made-up words as is the case with this book, which I referenced heavily in Learned Volume 5, Issue 19, Zielschmerz On You. Frankly, the Dictionary is a work of art. Easy to read and well-considered, this is kind of book I hope to write one day.