I’ve been reading The Last Samurai (no, nothing to do with Tom Cruise) by Helen Dewitt, and boy is it great. I have been holding back on reading longer books (anything over 400 pages) because I wanted to meet my goodreads goal for the year (i’m not going to anyway) but after reading the sample on this one there was no way I could not buy it.
In short, it’s about a genius single mother raising her genius son, who starts devouring languages at the age of 4 and speaks half a dozen by the time he is six. It’s scattered with facts about all sorts of things, but mostly linguistics and bits of history/anthropology/sociology. But it’s all kept related to the story in ways that are very clever.
I can’t stop reading it, and find myself even more motivated to learn more languages. High recommendation and I’m only a bit over halfway through it.