There are not many books that I could confidentally recommend to everyone. This is one (so is Cold Comfort Farm). Subtitled 'a tale of murder, madness and the Oxford English Dictionary' the eponymous surgeon is an inmate at Broadmore Asylum. In the asylum he pursued his passion for words and becaome one of the OED's most valued and prolific contributors.
It is delicious and so eminently readable.
Penguin 1999 (first published 1998)