Ever wonder how that fork you’re eating with came to be? Or who came up with the idea for the first dollhouse? Or why you knock on a door with your hand rather than your foot? These and other questions are answered in a fascinating new book called “The Elements of a Home: Curious Histories Behind Everyday Household Objects, From Pillows to Forks” (Chronicle Books). Written by former Sacramento resident Amy Azzarito (who conducted research for the book at Sacramento Public Library and the library at UC Davis), it provides an entertaining look at items we use every day with nary a thought as to why. With breezy commentary, charming illustrations and pages tinted a pale, pretty green, it’s the kind of book you might languidly leaf through while lying on a chaise longue (page 26), nestled under a duvet (page 68) in front of a roaring fireplace (page 71), a steaming teapot (page 173) by your side, with one eye on the clock (page 41) until it’s time to pour yourself a martini from a cocktail shaker (page 45). Azzarito, who now lives in Marin County with her husband and baby daughter, has a degree in the history of decorative arts and design from Parsons and is the former managing editor of the Design*Sponge blog.
You can purchase the book at Amazon by clicking here.