If These Walls Could Talk: 9 Fascinating Books About Your Favorite Household Objects
There’s no place like home. And there’s nothing quite like the items we surround ourselves with in our private residences—but we often take many of those items for granted. Below, discover the remarkable stories behind the so-called unremarkable appliances, tools, and decorations we all have in our households.
1If Walls Could Talk
The home as we know it today is a relatively new concept—one that has evolved to reflect society. In this fascinating and amusing exploration of “home sweet home,” Lucy Worsley enthralls you with how ordinary people lived in their private residences from medieval times until now.
2Consider the Fork
The kitchen is so much more than just the favorite room in the house. It’s the holding place of astonishing tools, from the simplest wooden spoon to a modern garbage disposal. Bee Wilson examines how the earliest humans crafted primitive tools and how technology has altered our relationship with food since prehistory.
Emperor Nero once entered a banquet carrying a silver toothpick between his teeth. Who knew that the humble toothpick had such lofty beginnings? Mixing engineering, history, and contemporary business investigation, Henry Petroski effectively demonstrates that along with its perfect design, the toothpick is also one of the oldest tools mankind ever created.
Has any piece of technology so irrevocably altered human culture as paper? In this illuminating and gripping history, Mark Kurlansky studies how paper has laid the foundation for modern civilization, revolutionized how people learn, and allowed for countless works of art. He also considers the “going paperless” revolution and paper’s future.
5Life of the Party
Discover the true story behind Tupperware, the ubiquitous plastic containers that have been a part of American families since the 1940s and host of countless suburban parties. A remarkable tale of success, power, and gender politics, LIFE OF THE PARTY brings a clear-eyed spotlight to overlooked business icon Brownie Wise.
7Put A Stamp On It!
Often overlooked or even reviled as annoyances, stamps have a long and storied past—and have been both inspired by and inspiration for history. In this engaging and humorous book, discover how these small decorative stickers are an important and fascinating part of not only the mail system but also culture itself.
8One Good Turn
From Archimedes to the handyman of today, the screwdriver has been at the forefront of their work. As one of the most ubiquitous tools ever invented, the screwdriver has a storied and fascinating history. In clear and engaging prose, Witold Rybczynski demonstrates just why civilization changed with one good turn.
Few things have changed how mankind lives like refrigeration. From using blocks of river ice to the digital refrigerators of today, Jonathan Rees considers how refrigeration has irrevocably changed how we cook, transport, and eat food in this fascinating, comprehensive history of an appliance we often take for granted…until the power goes out.