• Why are Americans superstitious about two-dollar bills?
• Why do we have twelve months in a year instead of ten, or six, or even twenty?
• Why do we celebrate foolishness on the first day of April?
• Why is yawning contagious?
• Why is the number thirteen considered to be unlucky in so many different cultures?
The A to Z of Everyday Things tells the surprising stories behind twenty-six seemingly ordinary objects and activities. From calendars and money to tulips and sideburns, this book uses commonplace items to explore the rich but often overlooked cultural history of our everyday lives. In the end, The A to Z of Everyday Things offers us a picture of modern life and how we got here in a funny, quirky, and highly readable form.
From the "Alphabet" (and language itself) to "Zero" (and the numerical system), The A to Z of Everyday Things by Janice Weaver, illus. by Francis Blake, offers insight into the quotidian staples society takes for granted. Luxury items such as "Lipstick," which dates back to 3000 B.C. ("No discussion of kissing would be complete "), sits alongside necessities like "Money" (the author provocatively asserts, "We are close to living in what is called a cashless society"). The chatty tone and humorous line drawings will carry readers through all 26 entries. .