Compiled by Aaron Peckham
Andrews McMeel Publishing, $12.95.
An "egret" is a message of regret sent by e-mail. Maybe you already knew that. If not, you are probably middle-age, in which case you are sure to know what "eat crow" means. ("Make a mistake and acknowledge it, humbly.")
"Cosplay" means "costume play," as in when you dress up like some character from science fiction. If you don't know that expression, you probably do know "basket case." (It means "unable to deal with stress.")
What you learn from the "Urban Dictionary," compiled by Aaron Peckham, may just depend on your age. In theory, all age groups could benefit from this little guide, but if you are young and savvy and were raised on the slang of an earlier era, you probably know every definition in this book.
The "Urban Dictionary" comes at slang from two angles. It lists a variety of modern terms — mostly about drugs and sex — and also includes overused sayings from the past.
The "Urban Dictionary" reminds us that slang can be fresh and amusing. Or crude. Or trite. And it reminds us that slang is a good way for kids who are "heavy in the game" ("prime-time players") to set themselves apart from the "jabronis" ("losers," a phrase that could be used to describe older relatives of the people who already know what jabronis are). —Susan Whitney
'If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard'
By Sheri Dew
Deseret Book, $16.95.
Sheri Dew's name is well-known in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a former member of the General Relief Society presidency and from her biographies of church Presidents Gordon B. Hinckley and Ezra Taft Benson.
Dew, the CEO of Deseret Book, also writes books of inspiration for everyday living —the stiff-upper-lip genre.
Using a strong religious vocabulary, Dew quotes scripture and discusses "carrying burdens — not baggage," charity, the importance of change, chastity, power for women in the form of "purity" and the tendency people have to "make life harder than it needs to be."
The chapter on women could have been extracted from a 19th-century American tract, an era when women were expected to do nothing except things domestic. This was before the women's movement, which eventually led to women getting the right to vote.
Dew, quoting from almost exclusively male sources, instructs LDS women to concentrate most on motherhood and family issues and to guard against practicing "seduction" or having sex outside of marriage. —Dennis Lythgoe
'100 Years of Faith and Fervor'
By Constantine J. Skedros
Greek Orthodox Church, $29.95.
This oversize book filled with black-and-white photos offers the "History of the Greek Orthodox Church Community of Greater Salt Lake City, Utah 1905-2005."
It is a history well worth reading, including many interesting stories culled from the Greek Oral History Collection at the University of Utah's Marriott Library.
This valuable book has been published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Greek Orthodox Church in Salt Lake City.
To order the book, send $29.95 plus $10 for shipping and handling ($8 in Utah) to Faith and Fervor, P.O. Box 26793, Salt Lake City, UT 84126-0793. Make checks payable to the Greek Orthodox Church. —Dennis Lythgoe