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Utterly compelling!
Barbara Ann Kipfer has elevated the list to high art and bestselling pleasure. A foremost expert of classification, in The Order of Things, she does for life what her previous books do for happiness and wisdom—organize it in a way that is brilliantly conceived.
The The Order of Things is practical, entertaining, eclectic, and impossible to put down. Beginning with Earth—Smog Alert States, Rain Forest Layers, Coal Sizes— and ending with General Knowledge and Philosophy (the I Ching's 64 "chapters," Ludwig Wittgenstein's four-step Method of Overcoming Puzzlement), it is a 14-chapter taxonomy of the world as we know it:

• The Seven Hills of Rome, the Seven Deadly Sins, the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Seven Dwarfs—check.
• The belt degrees of karate and judo, weight classes of professional and amateur boxing, flower names of the golf holes at Augusta—check.
• The hierarchy of the FBI, publication order of Shakespeare's plays, cuts of beef, Freud's divisions of the human psyche, order of rank in world armies and navies, Jupiter's satellites, ships' bells, traditional and modern wine measures, blood-pressure levels, fastest animals—check.

A completely indispensable reference—check.

Topics: Tips & Tricks, Organization, and Guides

Published: Workman eBooks on Nov 22, 2008
ISBN: 9780761166139
List price: $9.95
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An interesting collection. All of this is, of course, available free on-line, but it's the 'collective' aspect of it that's interesting. It's a fun little curiosity to have around.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I was horribly disappointed with this book. It is not about the order of things. It's a reference book of lists of things. And it's not even accurate. It may have been useful when published a decade ago, but it's been superseded by the internet.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Many of us heard of this book by reading David Sedaris' memoir Me Talk Pretty One Day. What the book consists of is lists, lists, and more lists assembled by an experienced lexicographer of ideas: knots, alphabets, architectural elements, leaders of state, anatomy, and more. The only thing keeping me from endorsing this book as a five-star must-have is the number of mistakes that made it into the book and the lack of an errata sheet easily findable online. Also note that some facts, especially things like lists of prime ministers, only go up through 2001, so you may need a more conventional almanac (online or off) as well. These problems make this book too weak for study (e.g. for quiz bowl). However, it is great for casual browsing, writer brainstorming, etc., where you can then confirm details elsewhere if they become important.Highly recommended, with reservations noted above.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

An interesting collection. All of this is, of course, available free on-line, but it's the 'collective' aspect of it that's interesting. It's a fun little curiosity to have around.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I was horribly disappointed with this book. It is not about the order of things. It's a reference book of lists of things. And it's not even accurate. It may have been useful when published a decade ago, but it's been superseded by the internet.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Many of us heard of this book by reading David Sedaris' memoir Me Talk Pretty One Day. What the book consists of is lists, lists, and more lists assembled by an experienced lexicographer of ideas: knots, alphabets, architectural elements, leaders of state, anatomy, and more. The only thing keeping me from endorsing this book as a five-star must-have is the number of mistakes that made it into the book and the lack of an errata sheet easily findable online. Also note that some facts, especially things like lists of prime ministers, only go up through 2001, so you may need a more conventional almanac (online or off) as well. These problems make this book too weak for study (e.g. for quiz bowl). However, it is great for casual browsing, writer brainstorming, etc., where you can then confirm details elsewhere if they become important.Highly recommended, with reservations noted above.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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