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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
Price: CDN$ 15.16 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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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.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
By Carlos
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book Aug. 25 2002
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 from or how a phrase got started. You can read for days if you could keep yourself up that long and then go back and read again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars VERY NICE READING July 17 2002
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
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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By A Customer
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Needs A Fact-Checker March 28 2001
By A Customer
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
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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