Often we take the things around us for granted. However, the author of this book does not. Instead she reflects upon things found in a home and writes about them. The list of what she looks at is extensive and include everything from bathtubs to Turkish and Persian rugs, from picnic baskets to pillows and from fireplaces to rocking chairs. For each item, the author provides an evocative entry.
The first entry in these alphabetical listings is bathtub. Their history from earliest times is presented and from there she moves to the present day. Similarly in an entry on bookshelves readers learn that at first books were scrolls without shelves; a history is then given that goes right up to the moment when we started putting together shelves from Ikea.
There is a lot to learn in this book. It has simple illustrations that enhance the text and engage the reader. If you are curious about the objects around you, dip into this book. It is a treasure trove.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.
From the Publisher
This is a book about things.
The things that fill our homes say a great deal about who we are, as well as what we are and whom we value.
Every domestic object—the desk you write at, the chair you’re sitting on, the lamp that lights the room—not only has a personal history but also a secret history with roots in the past.
The Elements of a Home looks for the highlights in objects’ lives as they evolved to become the things that are familiar to us today, and reveals the fascinating stories behind more than 60 everyday household objects and furnishings.
Discover the complex, colorful, and often surprising story of the domestic objects with which we furnish our homes.
The cocktail shaker is not just the iconic symbol of a cocktail party; it also provides the soundtrack. Each clink of ice accompanies an escalation in the festivities. It’s the sound of author Dashiell Hammett’s Nick and Nora Charles, who shook to the tempo of foxtrots for their Manhattans, with a two-step for a dry martini. It brings to mind James Bond and his beverage of choice: a “very strong and very cold and very well-made” Vesper martini, named for Bond girl Vesper Lynd. (Three measures gin, one measure vodka, and one-half measure Kina Lillet, shaken, not stirred.) It’s the accompaniment to the indulgent three-martini lunch, epitomized by television’s most famous ad executives, Don Draper and Roger Sterling.