The New Oxford American Dictionary (2005) and Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus (2004), these volumes make somewhat more portable resources for student writers. At about 180,000 entries, the dictionary trumps the 165,000-word Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (2004)–though without that volume's online access and continual updating–and enhances its definitions with frequent examples, related expressions in boldface, and brief historical discussions, as well as back matter that includes a long list of frequently misspelled words and common redundancies. There are a very few small illustrations, and no biographical entries. The thesaurus offers about 350,000 synonyms and antonyms within 15,000 main entries, usually with shades of meaning exemplified through in-context phrases or, rarely, more detailed disquisitions dubbed The Right Word. Both volumes include an extensive catalog of Clichés To Avoid, as well as sometimes-opinionated usage notes. Though these volumes do not outshine existing products, libraries with antiquated ready-reference collections may find them appealingly affordable as updates.–John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.