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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!

Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite

Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite - June Casagrande Yes! I read another book about grammar. Yes! I’m crazy. Yes! I just used three sentence fragments. Yes! I’ve purposefully chosen not to use the perfect past participle—except for here. And, yes! That now makes five sentence fragments.

Ah, I feel better now. This book has liberated me from the looming, ruler-wielding cloud of grammar doom. I can now write in confidence knowing that certain red and blue squiggly marks are okay. Heck, I can even write a review about a grammar book and not feel worried about being judged (okay, maybe I’m still a little nervous).

Author June Casagrande has provided intelligent, yet very humorous instruction on the English language. Where else would I read about the sexiness of the predicate nominative (oh-la-la!)? And who else has written “Is that a dangler in your memo or are you just happy to see me?” And with humor and panache Casagrande dares to boldly go where no grammar snob dares. (Did you enjoy that split infinitive?)

Here’s what I LOVE about Grammar Snobs: Casagrande quotes the same resources in nearly every chapter. Her arsenal is mainly drawn from the AP Style Guide and the Chicago Manual of Style. She continuously quotes from both Webster and Oxford dictionaries. When reading this book, you KNOW you are getting the straight scoop.

The more you know, the more you don’t know. Confused? That’s kind of the gist. There are entire internet forums dedicated to the debate of proper grammar usage. After reading this book you’ll either leave: a. unsure of yourself, b. more confident, or c. knowledgeable with a spunky edge. The point is, this book provides the guidelines, tells you what is out there, and lets you make the decision on how to proceed. Is this a self-contained book on grammar? No. Does this book help enforce the most common principles? Yes. And then some.

And that’s my only other critique—the “and then some”. The beginning of the book was cute and fun and sexy. By the end of the book I felt we were cruising along grammar’s periphery. The chapters felt more extemporaneous and less meaty. Instead of rules being woven with wit and charm, I was faced with seemingly irrelevant stories and old-school lists to remember. Maybe the author saved this stuff for last, thinking most people wouldn’t finish a nearly 200 page book on grammar. Or, maybe I had just grown weary of reading nearly 200 pages on grammar and was ready to move on. (Ending with a preposition? Score!)