Saturday, March 2, 2013

Why? How? What?: Books That Try to Provide Answers about Everyday Culture

We are curious people.  Curiosity killed the cat and we want to know what the cat wanted to know!  It's not just learning about big issues or trading gossip, either - sometimes here at abcreads we find ourselves asking, "Why did I use that turn of phrase? How did people start doing that? What do my habits say about me?"  In that vein, we've compiled this list of books that ask why, how, what about commonplace activities and ideas, such as driving, shopping, what we say, what we own, and getting annoyed.

The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us by James W. Pennebaker

Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gosling

Incognito: The Secret Lives of Brains by David M. Eagleman

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall

The Things that Matter: What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say About the Stages of Life by Edward Mendelson

The Wonderbox: Curious Histories of How to Live by Roman Krznaric [eBook only in our catalog]

Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us by Joe Palca and Flora Lichtman

Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us: Customer Service and What It Reveals About Our World and Our Lives by Emily Yellin

Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt

That's Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion by Rachel Herz

The Science of Sin: The Psychology of the Seven Deadlies (And Why They Are So Good For You) by Simon Laham

Culturematic: How Reality TV, John Cheever, a Pie Lab, Julia Child, Fantasy Football, Burning Man, the Ford Fiesta Movement, Rube Goldberg, NFL Films, Wordle, Two and a Half Men, a 10,000 Year Symphony, and ROFLcon Memes Will Help You Create and Execute Breakthrough Ideas by Grant McCracken

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill

Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places by Andrew Blackwell

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