Best Vocabulary Books

A common question that comes across the minds of most students is: Which are the books that should be used for building one's vocabulary skills?
If you start to browse through books written on the topic of vocabulary building, you are bound to find hundreds of books that claim to do the job. But through this article, we simplify your life and provide you with the name and introduction of the books that have been the best-sellers for ages when it comes to vocabulary books: 
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
  • Six Weeks to Words of Power by Wilfred Funk
Book Review: Word Power Made Easy
In a way, Word Power Made Easy has the status equivalent to a cult movie in the movie business.
But what is its secret of success? Why do we find it in every corner and street where a vocabulary book is being sold? The answer is simple.
The book is:
  • Intuitive in its teaching methodology
  • It offers ample opportunities to practice words
  • And it uses roots as clues to teach words, thereby multiplying the number of words one learns from a particular root/clue.
How exactly does it achieve the above? Have a look at the following list (extracted from contents of a particular session in the book):
Word: Introvert
Common Root: Based on the common root 'verto', meaning 'to turn'
2nd Root: Intro- means inwards
Meaning: A person whose thoughts are turned inwards, towards his own self.
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Word: Extrovert
Common Root: Based on the common root 'verto', meaning 'to turn'
2nd Root: Extro- means outwards
Meaning: A person whose thoughts are turned outwards, towards his surroundings.
Word: Ambivert
Common Root: Based on the common root 'verto', meaning 'to turn'
2nd Root: Ambi- means both
Meaning: A person who has both the above personality traits.
The three words above are linked by a common root. Leading us further from the root 'ambi-', Mr. Lewis takes us to the words ambidextrous. Ambidextrous means the ability to use both hands with equal skill. A couple of modern day geniuses who are ambidextrous are Sachin Tendulkar and Rafael Nadal.
Another word based on the same source is dexterous. Dexterous means skillful (keep in mind the spelling difference: dexterous carries an extra e). The source of both these words is the Latin word 'Dexter', meaning the right hand (it is used per say in English as well). Traditionally, the right hand is regarded as the more skilled one than the left one, and all positive qualities are associated with it. The left hand is unfortunate in this regard, with all its references being negative.
For example: The term left-handed means awkward. And the Latin word for the left-hand is sinister. And Sinister signifies dark, menacing evil or something dangerous. Such is the treatment meted out to the left hand.
French is also not kind to the left hand. In French, the left hand is known as gauche, meaning graceless or lacking social polish. The unfair treatment continues with the right hand being labelled as droit in French. We get out English word Adroit from it, meaning quick or skilful in action or thought. In a way, it is the antonym of the gauche. In the same way, in language, the left hand is the antonym of the right hand.
The information given above covers basically a single page from word power made easy. 
The number of words it teaches: 7
The time it takes to learn these 5 words: about 5 minutes.
And add to the fact that now we know why the cartoon character Dexter was called Dexter: the skillfulness just cannot be missed, can it?
This is what Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis. And this makes it without doubt the first book we recommend that you should read. 
Book Review: Six Weeks to Words of Power
As the name suggests, the book essentially is a six-week exercise that you can use to learn words. Divided along the lines of weeks, the book offers you 42 chapters/sessions/divisions of content that you can consume and imbibe on a daily basis.
Core strengths of the book are:
  • The book employs a handy method of teaching words through cluster formation. Words, based on a certain theme, are clubbed together. This helps you enrich your contextual usage of words and easily learn related words.
  • The book clubs words according to their grammatical function. These groups are only effective when it comes to learning words but also help you understand the grammar functions of words. Most of the words that are taught in the book generally make appearances in popular entrance exams.
  • The book is fairly compact and it does not require intense reading.
How exactly should you use this book?
We advise you to regularly go through this book for six weeks and maintain continuity in the learning process. Once you complete the book, you can quickly revise the sessions in the book. Also, we advise you to learn related words to the ones provided in each session in the book. This way, you will be able to multiply your learning immensely.
As an example for your understanding and source, we have outlined the session of the book and created a ready-reference table for the same:
i. Lose vigor, health, or flesh, as through grief
Pine away, waste, wilt
ii. Have a desire for something or someone who is not present
Yen, yearn, pine, ache
iii. Become feeble
Commiserate kuh-miz-uh-
To feel or express sympathy or compassion
Condole (to condole with a friend whose father has died), Console, sympathize
Detest (opposite of adore)
Abominate, Execrate (to curse; imprecate evil upon; damn; denounce: He execrated all who opposed him.), Loathe
Gormandize gawr-muh n-dahyz/deez
Overeat or eat immodestly; make a pig of oneself
Binge (eat or drink more), Glut (The quality of being so overabundant that prices fall), Englut, Gorge, Ingurgitate (to eat greedily)
Excuse, overlook, or make allowances for; be lenient with
Forgive, Pardon
Beg persistently and urgently/To make improper advances toward another person
Insist, Entreat (to ask (a person) earnestly; beseech; implore; beg: to entreat the judge for mercy.),
Show submission or fear/Crawl at someone's feet, literally kneel down before someone
Cower, Kowtow (to act in an obsequious manner; show servile deference), Apple-polish (to curry favor with someone)
To desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others.
Pine, long, ache, Begrudge: to be reluctant to give, grant, or allow: (She did not begrudge the money spent on her children's education.)
Avoid responsibilities and duties, e.g., by pretending to be ill/ feign sickness
Shirk, Sham, Loaf (to idle away time: He figured the mall was as good a place as any for loafing.)
Make amends for/atone for
Absolve (to set free or release, as from some duty, obligation, or responsibility: to be absolved from one's oath), amend, remedy , compensate
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Thus, you can create similar tables for different sessions in the book and expand your learning and enhance your vocabulary.
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