Historian Tom Holland has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Virgil for BBC Radio. His other history books include Rubicon, Persian Fire and The Forge of Christendom. Sadie Holland / hide caption

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A U.S. Army honor guard stands at attention during a ceremony to mark Memorial Day, this week at Arlington National Cemetery. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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First lady Michelle Obama tends to the presidential garden during the third annual White House kitchen garden fall harvest in October 2011. The last vegetable garden planted at the White House was Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

"Tea" (a social word from the 17th century) is one of the words David Crystal examines in his book The Story of English In 100 Words. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Tom Perrotta is the author of several novels, including Election and Little Children. Mark Ostow/Courtesy Tom Perrotta hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Ostow/Courtesy Tom Perrotta

Mohammed Hanif is the author of The Case of Exploding Mangoes. He lives in Karachi. Nirma Bucha hide caption

itoggle caption Nirma Bucha