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Histories of the unexpected : how everything…

Histories of the unexpected : how everything has a history (edition 2018)

by Sam Willis (Author), James Daybell (Author.)

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1721,063,609 (3.25)None
A revolutionary and fun new book that reveals how everything, from beds and bubbles to sleep and signatures, has a history.
Title:Histories of the unexpected : how everything has a history
Authors:Sam Willis (Author)
Other authors:James Daybell (Author.)
Info:London : Atlantic Books, 2018.
Collections:Your library

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Histories of the Unexpected: How Everything Has a History by James Daybell


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This was a weird one. The book focuses on the premise that everything has a history beyond the obvious, including things like bubbles, clouds and itching, and it's written in a stream-of-consciousness style, so that the history of hands leads to gloves, leads to perfume, etc. The authors host a podcast by the same name, so I'm guessing this book is the result of the podcast's success.

It sort of works. I genuinely enjoy reading history from any viewpoint that doesn't include wars, battles, skirmishes, politics, genocides or religious persecutions, and for the most part this book delivered on that. At times the authors slipped into their true historian selves and some of the above made an appearance. I skimmed those sections, and skipped sections that included histories involving animal cruelty, but there was very little of both.

The writing was good enough to hold a reader's attention, but the structure of the book lends itself to limited attention spans, or for dipping into a chapter at a time. Since it's designed to bounce around, it's difficult to get absorbed in the reading of it.

Possibly a good choice for a young adult reluctant to see the point of history. ( )
  murderbydeath | May 14, 2022 |
Enjoyable ramblings of a historian, all connected by a chain of themes, like an endless series of digressions. Would buy an unlimited number of pints in a pub to keep listening. ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
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A revolutionary and fun new book that reveals how everything, from beds and bubbles to sleep and signatures, has a history.

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