Still the Basic Must-have Book for Writers and Poets

Roget’s College Thesaurus. I first acquired the one on the right in 1965-66 (grade 11) and still use it today as a basic, fast thesaurus when writing. The 2002 edition on the left is well-worth picking up as well: many more entries, words not found in the original, expanded entries of the most common words, quotations using the common words. If I had 5 desert island reference books, the revised ed. would be one of those books. A good dictionary another. Shakespeare’s Words another. The old Reader’s Encyclopedia (from the ’70s) another. And my fifth, likely The All Music Book of Hit Singles: Top Twenty Charts from 1954 to the Present Day (1996). The latter because I could relive all those formative songs of childhood and youth in my memory, my imagination, and inner ear. A non-stop, limitless hit parade of memory and identity for my head.

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