April 16, 2021

The Cabinet of Calm – Paul Anthony Jones

Soothing Words for Troubled Times


Sometimes we all need a little reminder that it’s going to be okay… Open The Cabinet of Calm to discover a comforting word that’s equal to your troubles.

The Cabinet of Calm has been designed to be picked up whenever you need a moment of serenity. Just select the emotion listed that reflects whatever you’re feeling and you’ll be offered a matching linguistic remedy: fifty-one soothing words for troubled times.

From ‘melorism’ to ‘stound’, ‘carpe noctem’ to ‘opsimathy’, these kind words – alongside their definitions and their stories – will bring peace, comfort and delight, and provide fresh hope.

Written with a lightness of touch, The Cabinet of Calm shows us that we’re not alone. Like language, our emotions are universal: someone else has felt like this before and so there’s a word to help, whatever the challenge.

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If ever there was a book for the current circumstances we find ourselves in, The Cabinet of Calm is it.

A book with 50 lesser known words, or words that have just fallen out of common usage, The Cabinet of Calm is a completely fascinating and engaging read. Part dictionary, part self-help book I raced through it nodding my head and laughing at some of the words.

Paul Anthony Jones has taken what could quite easily have been a very, very dry subject and injected some much needed humour into it. When I was reading I couldn’t help thinking that there was something almost Stephen Fry-esque about the whole book. Jones’s delivery is similar to that of Fry during his stint as host of QI – informative and fun.

Although the book is based on 50 words, you get so much more for your money than just 50! Each entry has a collection of other similar words and their meaning along with where they may have originated and why they have fallen out of use. I’ve included a few of my favourites as follows:

Mubble-Fubbles – “Generally feeling down, or out of sorts”

Meditate the Muse – “To lose oneself in reading or poetry”

Snerdle – “To nestle closely, to wrap up comfortably in bed or to go comfortably off to sleep”

An ashypet – “A household pet that likes to lounge next to the fire”

Huffle-Buffs – “worn out, comfortable old clothes”

Nugae Difficiles – don’t “sweat the small stuff”.

And on that note, as I am feeling the mubble-fubbles, I am off to put on my huffle-buffs, snerdle with my ashypet and meditate the muse while remembering Nugae Difficiles.

The Cabinet of Calm is published by Elliot and Thompson Limited on 14th May 2020.

I received a complimentary copy of The Cabinet of Calm from the publisher, Elliot & Thompson Limited, through NetGalley. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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