I know, I know… recommending a dictionary probably makes me sound like Lynne Truss’s long-lost half-brother. But, apart from being written in a refreshingly easy-going, contemporary style, a small but genius touch that won me over to the 11th edition of Chambers, published in 2008. The title page for each new letter is set in a different and appropriate typeface – Baskerville for B, Futura for F, Novarese for N, and so on. They give you the full alphabet, plus designer, date and country of origin. A simple, but great idea. 

Chambers Harrap
£21.25 on Amazon

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