If you think a book about dictionaries sounds boring, prepare to be happily mistaken. The New Yorker calls it “an unlikely page turner,” and I wholeheartedly agree.
I doubt that I am the first person to call Jennifer Wright the Mary Roach of history. You will learn approximately a million interesting things from this book, plus it was hilarious (despite the fact that it was about the Spanish flu, leprosy, polio, tuberculosis, and other fatal diseases). If you like this, try The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum.