Wordspotting #3 and Goodreads.

One of the best ways to increase your vocabulary as a writer is to simply read. I’m always making mental notes when I stumble across great words in books, but I have horrible recall skills and never remember them. So I’ve started marking pages with noteworthy words as I read through books, starting with the most recent one I finished, Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult, in which I found these three gems (definitions from Dictionary.com). A couple were new to me (As far as I can recall), one an SAT flash card flashback:

Gustatory: adjective. of or pertaining to taste or tasting. Example: “Care to share a piece of gustatory paradise from Federal Hill?”

Meretricious: adjective. 1. alluring by a show of flashy or vulgar attractions; tawdry. 2. based on pretense, deception, or insincerity. Example: “One [legal allegation] that calls me meretricious and deviant.”

Mollify: verb (used with an object). to soften in feeling or temper, as a person; pacify; appease. Example: “But hearing that Zoe hasn’t left for good seems to mollify her.”

I’ve also started a Lindsey Reading widget from my Goodreads account in the righthand sidebar. I have read more than seven books in my life, but decided recent reads and favorites were a good place to start. You can read my review of Sing You Home by clicking on the book cover in the sidebar.

What are some great words you’ve found through books? Any good book recs? I need some to add to my to-read shelf!

Wordspotting #2

Another installment of a few fun words found around the blogosphere. Definitions provided by Dictionary.com.

Steampunk– 1. a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy featuring advanced machines and other technology based on steam power of the 19th century and taking place in a recognizable historical period or fantasy world. 2. a subculture inspired by this literary and film subgenre: the fashions and gadgets of steampunk.

“Though it’s easy to recognize (look at ModCloth’s Steampunk Style section  to get a bit of a better idea), steampunk is a bit harder to describe.” ~ Life in Style

Smattering– A small amount of something.

“And despite how touristy the monument is, there were surprisingly few Westerners present in proportion to the mass amounts of Indians in a smattering of bright, eye-popping hues who had made the pilgrimage to Agra.” ~ Camels & Chocolate

Petulant- (of a person or their manner) Childishly sulky or bad-tempered.

As in: Bill Compton’s description of his newly-made vampire, Jessica: ‘She’s petulant, dangerous, and scared.'” ~ Au Courant Columbia

Wordspotting #1

This is the first installment in a series I’m calling Wordspotting. When I spot a word on a blog that I like, I make a note of it. When I gather enough to warrant a post, I share them. I’m a writer and hence a total word nerd… comes with the territory:)

Favorite word finds from around the blogosphere this week. Definitions via Dictionary.com:

Twee – Excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental.                                                                  “Instead I went with cute. Like, unseemly cute. Borderline twee.” ~ Smitten Kitchen

Cloying – causing or tending to cause disgust or aversion through excess.
“…I could finish the whole bowl without the taste getting cloying.” ~ Burp and Slurp

Busker – a noun loosely meaning street performer, from the verb, “busk“-Chiefly British. to entertain by dancing, singing, or reciting on the street or in a public place.     “The first involved an African-American busker in the subway. He was playing and singing a song by Coldplay.” ~ Chloe Veltman, Lies Like Truth 

Chloe gets bonus points for using one of my favorite words in her blog title, “A Vapid Question and an Un-Politically Correct Comment.”

Vapid –  1. lacking or having lost life, sharpness, or flavor; insipid; flat 2. without liveliness or spirit; dull or tedious.

Use a word three times in one day and it’s yours! What are some of your favorite words?