Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday 16/10/13

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a fabulous weekly meme hosted by Bermuda Onion, where we share new (to us) words that we've encountered in our weekly reading.

My Wondrous Word today comes from a press release. The big book news around here today is that New Zealander Eleanor Catton won the Man Booker Prize for The Luminaries. 

Eleanor is the youngest ever winner of the Booker, and has written the thickest book ever to win. Both the Canadians and Kiwis are claiming the win. I've just noticed that the prize was announced at the Guildhall in London. I went to a free concert there in July! It's rather silly, but makes me feel closer to the action. 

Orrery. Noun. 

It is, he said, “a book you sometimes feel lost in, fearing it to be 'a big baggy monster', but it turns out to be as tightly structured as an orrery”.

A mechanical model of the solar system. After Charles Boyle, Fourth Earl of Orrery (1676-1731), for whom one was made. The free dictionary. 

Picture source
I've seen things like that before, but never knew their name. I think orrery is a perfect word for the Chair of the Man Booker Judging Panel to use. 

Just for the record I think it's a mistake to change the rules for Booker contention to include American authors from next year. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 


bermudaonion said...

I actually think I've looked that word up before but, of course, I had no idea what it meant when I read the quote. Terrific word today!

grammajudyb said...

I did not know that word, nor did I know that those universe models had a name. Thanks for making me wiser.

Julia Tomiak said...

I have never heard of this word (or the book or book award you mentioned, so thanks for enlightening me). The picture is awesome- it looks so steampunk!

Margot said...

Thanks Louis for letting us know about the Booker Prize. It's one I like to follow. I'm in agreement with you on keeping the winners within the old British Union. American authors already have plenty of awards. I like the judge's use of a new-to-us word to describe a book's structure. Good find.

Tea said...

Thanks for sharing about The Booker. As for the word have never read it or heard it. Thanks for the photo too.

Anonymous said...

A great and new word, thanks! for sharing.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I agree. Don't include the Americans. I liked it as it was.

Brona said...

Great word - it will help me when I get around to reading this one (I finally read a chapter sampler I picked up a book expo earlier in the year a couple of nights ago...and was completely sucked into her world...will have to read the whole now!!)