Monday 18 May 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Cabinet of Calm - Paul Anthony Jones

Open The Cabinet of Calm and discover a soothing word that’s equal to your troubles…

These are words to soothe an unquiet mind. To inspire our creativity. To encourage fellow thinking and community spirit, and to give us fresh hope. In essence, collected here are nothing but kind words, for these unkind times.’

For almost a decade, Paul Anthony Jones has written about the oddities and origins of the English language, amassing a vast collection of some of its more unusual words. Last year, doubly bereaved and struggling to regain his spirits, he turned to words – words that could be applied to difficult, challenging times and found solace.  The Cabinet of Calm is the result.

Paul has unearthed fifty-one linguistic remedies to offer reassurance, inspiration and hope in the face of such feelings as grief and despair, homesickness and exhaustion, missing our friends and a loss of hope.

Written with a trademark lightness of touch, The Cabinet of Calm shows us that we’re not alone. From MELORISM, when you’re worried about the future of the world and AGATHISM, when you’re feeling disillusionment or struggling to remain positive to SELF-SOOTHE, when you’re struggling to sleep and STOUND, for when you’re grieving, someone else has felt like this before, and so there’s a word to help, whatever the challenge.

What did I think?

I absolutely love Paul Anthony Jones' books and his new book, The Cabinet of Calm, couldn't have come along at a better time.  In this crazy world that we're living in where we are afraid to leave our homes without a mask and we have been separated from our loved ones, we can find a word for the myriad feelings we are experiencing in The Cabinet of Calm.

Grief, worry and sadness can make someone feel very lonely.  We have all experienced these emotions at some point in our lives and felt like we're alone in the world.  Knowing that there's a word in the dictionary to describe what you're feeling means that you're not alone.  Paul Anthony Jones, you utter genius!  Just that simple fact can lighten your load, so throw out your self-help books as this little book of words is all that you'll ever need in troubled times.

I was only a few pages in when I found a word for missing my family and I'm sure the majority of us are experiencing antipelargy at the moment.  In the current COVID-19 crisis, if you're feeling overwhelmed and worried about the future of the world you're not alone!  There are words for this!  We all tackle crisis differently and in the current crisis, although under the guise of showing my support to local businesses, I have been guilty of abligurition by  spending lots of money on belly-cheer (the word previously known as beer).

This book isn't just a list of words; along with its description, the origin of each word is explained and linked words are also mentioned.  It was whilst reading about dolorifuge, meaning to be overcome with sadness, that I discovered a word that wouldn't have been out of place on Blackadder: mubble-fubbles for when you're feeling down or out of sorts.  Some of these words may be hundreds of years old but I've already added them to my vocabulary as they perfectly encapsulate my present day feelings.

The Cabinet of Calm is an absolute tonic for these troubled times in which we find ourselves living; it's a veritable treasure trove of facts and stories to charm and delight the reader.  There is so much to discover within these wonderful pages that, even though I've read it cover to cover, I know I will be constantly picking it up and finding something new in this invaluable book.  Every bookshelf should have a copy of The Cabinet of Calm.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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About the author:

Paul has a Masters in Linguistics and is a language blogger from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. His obsession with words began with a child’s dictionary he received as a Christmas present when he was eight years old. As @HaggardHawks he has tweeted obscure words since 2013 and now has a social media following of over 75k, including the likes of JK Rowling, Robert Macfarlane, Susie Dent, Richard Osman, Greg Jenner, Ian McMillan, Rufus Sewell, Simon Mayo, Michael Rosen and Cerys Matthews. brings together the entire HH network including a blog, books, quizzes & games, the 500 Words YouTube series, Instagram gallery and newsletter. He regularly contributes to the media.


He has written seven books, most recently Around the World in 80 Words: A Journey Through the English Language (hardback 2018); The Accidental Dictionary: The Remarkable Twists and Turns of English Words; The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities: A Yearbook of Forgotten Words and Word Drops: A Sprinkling of Linguistic.

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