I just finished reading two books about language: "In Other Words" and a book called "Zounds!" that looked into the origins of interjections.
The author of "Zounds!" gushed about the illustrator of his book, remarking about how much they added. In reality, to me, they looked like hastily drawn cartoons on the same plane as Marmaduke, as far as drawing skill and wit were involved.
Now we have "In Other Words," which is filled with outstanding illustrations, and not a word about them from author Christopher Moore. The illustrations, done in some sort of African or Asian style of which I am unfamiliar, excellently and literally demonstrate some of the stranger phrases described in the book, and truly do add to the experience.
The book itself is an interesting and enlightening read. Moore introduces each chapter (divided by language group), then skillfully describes several untranslatable phrases from each one. Either Moore has an amazing grasp of many different languages, or he did some incredible research, because his writing seems to show a true understanding.
I was also pleased by the physical book itself. The pages are a heavy weight and it's a perfect size. It's not often the size and feel of a book deserve a compliment, but there you have it.
One complaint is that the book ends abruptly, with no final wrap-up or comments by the author. Even more than that, I would have liked to see a list of English words and phrases deemed untranslatable into other languages (Moore mentions the word "cool" at one point; surely there are many others).
But overall, worth reading - if anything, to understand more how diverse the cultures on this world are.