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Extraordinary Origins Of Everyday Things [Paperback]

Charles Panati
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 21.00
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Book Description

Sept. 16 1987
For lovers of facts, students of popular culture, history buffs, and science enthusiasts, the fascinating stories behind 500 everyday items, expressions, and customs--from Kleenex to steak sauce, Barbie Dolls to honeymoons.

Frequently Bought Together

Extraordinary Origins Of Everyday Things + Ever Wonder Why?
Price For Both: CDN$ 24.65

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I found this to be one of the most fascinating and interesting books I have ever read. Flip the book open to any page and learn the history of everyday things we take for granted.
How were Band-Aids invented? When toilet paper was first invented, why did so few people buy it? Who invented the razor blade, or ready-mixed paint? When were toilets invented? How were false teeth made during the civil war? What commonly available fluid did people use to brush their teeth?
Ever wonder where the expression "give the cold shoulder" came from? The custom of shaking hands? All of these mysteries and hundreds more are masterfully revealed by Panati.
I love to read a few passages before bed -- that's the beauty of this book. You can pick it up and put it down over and over again.
Well written, thoroughly researched, and told with wit and economy, this book is a great read for anyone with a curiousity about life, culture and civilization.
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4.0 out of 5 stars VERY NICE READING July 16 2002
Format:Paperback
I don't trust very much trivia books. There always seems to be another version for the same fact. Even one of the reviewers of this book take the time to explain HIS version about one of the facts of the book and I'm pretty sure some specialists could do the same for other facts. BUT the plain fact is THIS IS A VERY FUNNY READING, full of details and stories about the time of the fact under examination. So, even if the trivia itself may be wrong, still you learn a lot. And ignorance is blissful. I don't know anybody whose profesional career depepends upon knowing the difference between Asyrian empire and Accadian empire, as long as they are treated with some respect (not like some movies, which flips around the pages of some book and take the first name they come along, even if the choice made is absolutely impossible). History, at last, is not a question of accuracy, but one of good-faith and enjoyment. This book fills that purpose
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4.0 out of 5 stars trivia at its finest Sept. 14 2001
Format:Paperback
If you enjoy trivia and unusual
facts, then Charles Panati's
Extraordinary Origins of
Everyday Things, is the perfect
book. I have read other trivia books and I can say without
hesitation that Mr. Panati produces the best of the genre.
Many trivia books list a dry and uninspired fact sheet.
Panati, however, avoids this common pitfall and instead
entertains us with unusual and well researched trivia about
the history or origin of many everyday items and customs.
His books are formatted into logical chapter groupings
that easily flow from one topic to another. The book
is a pleasure to read and it teaches you in a pain free
style, answering questions that until now you couldn't find
answers for! Panati's words will both enlighten and
enchant you.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Needs A Fact-Checker March 27 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book contains much that is fascinating and useful. Unfortunately some misinformation has slipped past the editors (of my edition, at least). For example, it repeats the false rumour that the rhyme "Ring Around the Rosie" is about the Bubonic plague; actually the song originated in 19th century America and describes a ring dance. There are enough of these errors to cast doubt on the other "origins" in this book, entertaining though they might be.
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By CPUGuy1
Format:Paperback
Step by step explanation how many of the things from the past came to be. It sits on the bookcase with it's dogged eared pages, ready to be used again and again for what ever information one of the family would like to know. Be it about an everyday items in the house, something heard on the TV, read in the newspaper or a book. This book hasn't missed. (Makes me wonder what will be in the second version.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book for hard to buy-for in-laws July 6 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A great book for people interested in just about everything. Since the book is so diverse you are sure to find something for everyone. A wonderful choice if you need to get a gift for someone very hard to buy for. I've not met anyone who hasn't thoroughly enjoyed the book. Frankly, I think its a terrific "bathroom" or guestroom book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really should get six stars Feb. 5 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A supurb traveling or gift book, with excellent informative pieces of information which will please almost anyone. His other books are equally well written, but this is probably the best due to its diversity of information. This time, I'm getting three copies, since when it is lent out it rarly comes home!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars PANATI HAS DONE IT AGAIN!!!!HE PROMISES AND BOY HE DELIVERS !!!
PANATI HAS DONE IT AGAIN!!!!HE PROMISES AND BOY HE DELIVERS !!! I HAVE ALL OF HIS BOOKS . Read more
Published 1 month ago by Carlos
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book
I have bought this book 3 times in many years and lose it to friends. It is educational and fun to pop out the origins when at work and someone is wondering where something came... Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2002 by Charles L. Mccoy
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.....Great Conversation Piece
Great for bedtime reading........full of interesting facts. Panati does a great job. When relatives stay, they love to read it. Check it out! I recommend it.
Published on Nov. 11 2000 by Dennis C. Hildebrand
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect reader
This is one of the best books for people who want to know more about everything out there. Potato chips, Blubeard, Valentines Day. This book talks about it all, its worth it.
Published on Feb. 28 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars My whole family has used this book for years
When I use this book in school or university people always marvel ask where I got such unique information
Published on Feb. 5 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars One book for a desert island!
I wore this book out. I read it, reread it, bookmarked it to death and referred to it so often. Now I need another one. I'm going to buy *two more*, just in case.
Published on Dec 30 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading.
I didn't learn this much history in school. It is amazing to learn that customs we practice today have their roots hundreds, even thousands of years ago. Read more
Published on Nov. 19 1998
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