- Roget’s Thesaurus: I’ve yet to find a better thesaurus than the one that has evolved through Longman to Penguin.
- The Story of Western Architecture: More about the history of the development of architecture and the social and economic setting for that development than a manual of style (although it does cover that too)
- A History of England (Sir Keith Feiling): Not the best or most up to date history of England but it’s a book I’ve had a long time and I know where to find what I’m looking for in it.
- The Wordsworth Dictionary of the Underworld (Eric Partridge): Good for ideas for characters’ criminal schemes and associated language.
- The Book of Comparisons (The Diagram Group): I was taught to make sure my answers and data made sense in science at school by comparing them to other things I knew. This is the best book I know for helping with that and it avoids putting in details that are just silly too.
- The Encyclopedia of Fantasy: An essential reference to classic works, authors and publishers but also a mine of concepts.
- The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: Does for Science Fiction what The Encyclopedia of Fantasy does for fantasy.
- Brewer’s Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics: A great read with some really odd and nasty characters in it’s pages. Pretty much all of them real. Some of them still alive. A great source of ideas for characters.
- The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land: Where The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is a serious work this is a comic guide to fantasy cliches. Very useful for avoiding the danger of slipping into dangerously over done territory.
- The Encyclopedia of Forensic Science (Brian Lane): There are a fair number of books like this on the market. I bought this one as a present for a friend and then kept it having found a better present. Lots of inspirational material again with many case studies accompanying the entries on a variety of macabre happenings that are ideal for inflicting on characters.
The New Metric Handbook: Where The Story of Architecture is a book about the development of architecture this is a useful guide to the layout and structure of buildings.
Just beating Neufert to a place on this TT because it got me through my final year degree project. Rather pricy but if you want to know what a particular building will have in it and how it is laid out this is the book.
- Food in England: An essential guide to the evolution of cooking in the UK including recipes and lots of other useful information that is great for adding colour to stories.
- Gary Gygax’s Extraordinary Book of Names: Gary Gygax, one of the original creators of Dungeons and Dragons, had put out a lot of books trying to milk his name over the years. This is one of the few that I’ve found to be worth the money (I did get it in a sale). Listings of names by gender, country and time period along with useful notes on how a culture usualy puts them together and some additional sections on special cases like place names and names for Inns and Taverns.
- Oxford Senior Dictionary: My very battered dictionary that served me through school. Not the best or most complete dictionary I have but a handy quick reference.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
- Thomma Lyn
- Randa Clay
- Nicole Austin
- Nancy Lindquist
- Michelle M Pillow
- Crystal Jordan
- Susan Helene Gottfried
- colleen gleason
- This Eclectic Life
- Dane Bramage
- karen (miscmum)
- Language Boy
- Christine d’Abo
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