“Well, I never!”

Lately I can’t get enough of all of the fun encyclopedias, atlases, and dictionaries being published that feature life’s treasures from “times gone by”. Lesley M.M. Blume, author of Let’s Bring Back, reminds you of the little things that were once part of every day life. Whatever happened to laundry chutes? Or murphy beds? Hedge mazes? Or cobblestone streets? Trap doors? Or aging naturally? How about the phrase, “Well, I never!” I have so many favorites that I can’t choose! Here’s another fun one to page through: Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights.

If you’re looking to travel via armchair, Atlas of Remote Islands is beautifully illustrated and contains haunting stories about the discoveries of secluded islands. Each captivating story about these mysterious far off places leaves you feeling somewhat, well, unsettled, but you find yourself wanting more. The author winds and turns through the lives of lost explorers, marooned slaves, 120 million crabs, and color-blind inhabitants. This book is an epic journey where you discover that “Paradise is an island. So is hell”.

Last but not least, Pictorial Webster’s: a visual history of curiosities is a gold mine for art lovers. If you’re ever stuck and need an idea for your next project, look through this book to get those creative juices flowing. You can tell the author has a sense of humor with captions like, “Toboggan Slide, with Tobaggans, & Persons in Tobaggan Suits”. Keep a real dictionary close by for those unfamiliar words.


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