English is so rich in synonyms precisely because it has so many 'donor' languages. Off the top of my head, and taking just one of your clusters -
they are French (?) - Afrikaans - Latin - French - Old English (??) - Latin
(In some cases they come from different dialects of one language - jail/gaol, ward/guard..). Users adopted them both initially to make a distinction that was useful in a particular context.
I don't know of any especially commendable book. Context is essential. Read real texts (novels, newspapers...)