It's really nice to hear about a book on the English language winning the John Llewellyn Rhys this year -
Henry Hitchings's The Secret Life of Words, about the roots of modern English and the origins of words is, according to the chair of the judges :
... Amazingly accessible, it's written with great grace and enthusiasm and humour, and is also a scholarly work.You can read reviews of the book in a number of places including the Times, the New York Sun, and the Independent.
I'm looking to laying my hands on a copy soon!
* (Oops i get corrected in the comments!)