Book of Words: Lamb to the Slaughter

I’m using this blog to offer an opportunity to build a better vocabulary through the books I read. I’ll provide a short review of the book followed by a few words I think the author used in an interesting way or that might not be familiar, at least to me.

Lamb to the Slaughter (Book 1 of Serentity’s Plain Secrets) by Karen Ann Hopkins

Lamb to the Slaughter takes the reader into the Amish community through the eyes of a newly elected female sheriff. It’s a well written story of murder, religious prejudice and poisonous pride. It’s the first book by Hopkins featuring Sheriff Serenity Adams that’s a great start on a series of mysteries with an intriguing protagonist and a glimpse into a different way of life. So far, the author has published four Plain Secrets books with the latest released in May. I’m ready to read book 2, Whispers From the Dead and find out what’s next for Sheriff Adams.

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Words from Lamb to the Slaughter:

Rumspringa: (in some Amish communities) a period of adolescents in which boys and girls are given greater personal freedom and allowed to form romantic relationships, usually ending with the choice of baptism into the church or leaving the community.
“You see, we don’t practice rumspringa in our community. If a teenager has wild oats to sow, they typically leave.”

Dolt: A stupid person. The origin may be a variant of dulled.
“You already know that our community has the rule of hands-off courting, but I’m not a dolt. I know what goes on behind the barns and in the sheds.”

Nitrile: An organic compound containing a cyanide group bound to an alkyl group. They’re not latex, but stronger and allergy safe.
“He left for a minute and returned with nitrile gloves, which he held out.”

Pensive: Engage in, involving or reflecting deep or serious thought.
“Bobby had a pensive frown fixed on his face again when I said, ‘Maybe with the abundance of corn available, the smaller scavengers weren’t interested.’”

Piqued: A feeling of irritation or resentment resulting from a slight, especially to one’s pride.
My curiosity was piqued and I looked at Heather.”

The last two in this list, pensive and piqued, are words I know but rarely use. Any words you hear or read often but rarely use?

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is… the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” — Mark Twain

Definitions are typically from The New Oxford American Dictionary through Kindle.

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