Saturday, 22 November 2014

Bibliophilia: The Order Of Things – Barbara Ann Kipfer

The Order of Things: How Everything in the World is Organized into Hierarchies, Structures, and Pecking Orders – Barbara Ann Kipfer

The other day I mentioned that natural history books are ones I frequently gravitate towards. But something sits above that in my hierarchy of books I love — reference books. I have a full set of Encyclopedia Brittanicas and quite often pull a random one down, open it to any page and read. One day I’ll read about a Swedish admiral from the 1700s, a town in Indiana and a type of beetle. Another day it will be a region in Chile, a battle in the Spanish Civil War, and a Norman king in the 1100s. There’s a reason everyone tells me I should go on Jeopardy and why you shouldn’t play Trivial Pursuit against me for money.

So this little gem was right up my alley. Random stuff I can cram into my memory.

Kipfer, (who has written 50 books and holds a PhD and MPhil in Linguistics from the University of Exeter, a PhD in Archaeology from Greenwich University, an MA and a PhD in Buddhist Studies from Akamai University, and a BS in Physical Education from Valparaiso University – stop being such a slacker lady!) has compiled a very entertaining and educational book of neatly organized lists of everything and anything you can imagine in this world.

Want to know what languages are spoken by the most people, what the ranks are in the Italian army, or who the leader in Mexico was in 1838? Can’t remember how many successful moon missions there were, whether a Baron ranks higher than a Marquis in French nobility, or what the boxing weight divisions are? Need to know what the size grading scale is for olives, eggs and stones? Curious about the specifics of the Torino Scale of asteroid impact hazards, the Mercali Scale for measuring earthquakes, or the Mohs Scale for measuring mineral hardness?

And this is just a fraction of the information it contains.

A physically small book, 6" by 4" by 1½", it is nonetheless bursting with over 600 pages of information.

No comments:

Post a Comment