When my son was a young infant in the middle of 2008, and I purchased Professor Seth Lerer’s Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History and spent months reading and rereading chapters, hoping to gain a better understanding of where children’s literature fits in the world history. Although I’ve since finished the book, I still plan on rereading portions and finding children’s literature that I can read to fit the eras Lerer discusses about what children read (see my project page; I haven’t done much with this project lately, but it is an ongoing project).
Then I saw Emily’s review of Professor Lerer’s Inventing English last year. Since I love language, I loved the idea of little episodes of the history of the language. I also read this slowly, simply because the subject of the early development of English is new to me. (Yes, despite the fact that I was an English major in college, I don’t recall much of the historical development of early, Old English.)
In the end, both books are ones I can recommend to fans of language and nonfiction.