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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Nails, Noggins and Newels: An Alternative History of Every House by Bill Laws

Nails, Noggins and Newels was a tour round everyday objects in the house and their history - since of course nothing in the home fell from the sky - every object we use someone had to invent first.

The book starts with the front door and then systematically works it way round the house going through all the objects we take for granted such as stairs, tiles, letter boxes, carpets, telephones and cookers. It only seems to cover everyday objects and I don't remember reading about purely leisure items such as bookcases, pianos, televisions and games consoles!

It's all vaguely interesting and covers much of the same material as Bill Bryson's At Home, which is a lot more waffly and goes off on all sorts of entertaining detours as Bryson is prone to. Nails, Noggins and Newels is more prosaic, shorter and a bit more serious. It gets 5 out of 10: it's OK but not exactly a page turner!

Next up is the final Home/Garden/Pets book from bookcase 39. This case was full of books about decorating and gardening, both activities that I avoid at the moment: the first because it bores me, the second because I feel like I am going nowhere. Of the two possible subjects therefore it seemed gardening was the better option. But, rather than get a book about practical gardening, I have decided to put the spade away (not that I have touched it for months) and start at the very beginning and look at the design of the garden that I acquired a decade ago, and that hasn't changed much since under my stewardship.

Could reading Garden Design possibly change my own humble garden? Let's find out....

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