I just finished From Archetype to Zeitgeist by Herbert Kohl. I would recommend it as a desk companion, similar to a thesaurus or book of quotations.
This book is a compendium of words from different fields. The included words are used widely in common discourse, but are sufficiently obscure that a guidebook might help. About a page is spent on the history and different meanings of these words.
For example, concerning "archetype", I learned the following:
1) It refers to a model from which things are copied
2) In philosophy, archetypes are the Platonic ideals (e.g., goodness, strength)
3) It is used in psychology, originally by Jung, to refer to psychological (rather than physical) features that one might inherit