I Didn’t Know That: from “ants in the pants” to “wet behind the ears” - the unusual origins of things we say compiled and edited by Karlin Evins.
Word Origins: and how we know them; etymology for everyone by Anatoly Liberman
And just for fun browsing, and not exactly new but all good, if you love looking up things as much as I do, here's a slew of recent Oxford books about words and sayings.
The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions
"Allusions form a colourful extension to the English language, drawing on literature, current affairs, mythology, and comic strips to give us a literary shorthand for describing people, places, and events. This book covers thousands of allusions. A browser's delight."-- (Book jacket)
The Oxford Dictionary of Slang
Books of slang are always fun to read, and this one is no exception. More of a thesaurus for its division into subject categories, this little reference gathers over 10,000 slang words from Great Britain, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. (Library Journal)
Avoid Boring People: lessons from a life in science, by James D. Watson.
"Now in his late 70s, [Nobel Prize–winning] Watson chronicles his life from birth through middle age. Vintage Watson: brash, bumptious, brilliant—and never boring." (Kirkus)
"There's much that is entertaining and historically revealing, and Watson still knows how to deliver a delicious skewering." (Publishers Weekly)
Apollo's Fire: a day on Earth in nature and imagination, by Richard Sims.
“’What could be more poetic than the bare facts of the cosmos?’ asks Sims, an acclaimed science writer with a flair for giving reality the luster of myth. Here he takes a single day and guides readers through the history of what we know, and what we've imagined, about sunrises, clouds and other natural phenomena. (Publishers Weekly)
"A walk with an erudite and entertaining docent through the most marvelous of museums." (Kirkus)
Dewey Decimal 600s (Medicine, technology, home economics, gardening, pets)
Merle's Door: lessons from a freethinking dog by Kerasote, Ted
"Wilderness writer Kerasote finds his place in the pack with the help of a sociable dog.While camping with friends along the San Juan River, the author was approached by an emaciated Labrador retriever-mix. Merle, as the stray would come to be named, "looked back to the shore, and let out a resigned sigh—I was to learn that he was a great sigher." Then he boarded Kerasote's raft. At journey's end, the author took Merle home to Kelly, Wyo., a half-mile square of private land nestled among Grand Teton National Park, the National Elk Refuge and the Gros Ventre Wilderness. In this idyllic corner of the West, the two find love (both human and canine) and friendship, forging a remarkable bond that endures until Merle's death. His passing—and the author's bereavement—are recorded with Kerasote's customary discernment. A thoughtful look at animal intelligence and the human-dog connection." (Kirkus)
Cat Women: female writers on their feline friends edited by Megan McMorris
'McMorris collects 29 well-crafted and enjoyable short essays that often focus on how the writer's cat (or cats) has affected her love life—both for better and worse. This collection will appeal to all those (especially women) already seduced by the enigmatic feline.' (Publishers Weekly)