When I was very young, my mother read nightly to my sister and me, alternating between a glossy black bible filled with fables of prodigal sons and babies in bulrushes, and a battered book of fairy tales that told of goose girls and trolls. I think we had only the two books then, but they were both thrilling, and filled with wild, wonderful words that made my head spin. The first word I remember saying again and again just for the sound of it — archangel. Archangel. Not merely an angel, something far grander and more majestic. Something powerful. And thus I learned: A word beside another word and another made sentences and paragraphs and before you knew it you were completely and utterly lost in a wilderness of words. And that was a good thing.