The Story Behind: The Extraordinary History Behind Ordinary Objects

The Story Behind: The Extraordinary History Behind Ordinary Objects

The Story Behind: The Extraordinary History Behind Ordinary Objects is a book compiling short stories of object origins, taken from the podcast of the same name by Emily Prokop.

When I was a kid, before the internet became what it is and destroyed traditional publishing, I gobbled up books like these. It was so cool learning where things came from and bits of trivia around their creation. The Story Behind taps into that same appeal.

Each chapter runs only 4-6 pages, concluding with a fun fact and a “TL;DR version” that sums up the content in three bullet points. They’re arranged by category — office items, food, toys, and so on. I enjoyed finding out more about such varied topics as bubble wrap, the despised Comic Sans, nail polish, Toll House cookies, crossword puzzles, the theremin, and podcasts themselves.

The small size makes it great to carry around for reading while waiting during errands, for example, or to keep in the bathroom or anywhere else you want pick-up-and-put-down reading options. It’s quick and breezy to read, and the chapters that have notes about some of the podcast series they came from made me want to seek out more. They include a series based on the song “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and one about the weapons from the game of Clue. The book concludes with URLs for many of the episodes that correspond to the chapters. (The publisher provided a review copy.)

The Story Behind: The Extraordinary History Behind Ordinary Objects



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