The order of things

by Barbara Ann Kipfer

Paperback, 2002




New York : London : Random House International ; Hi Marketing, 2002.


Explains the organization of four hundred hierarchies in the arts, business, history, religion, science, sports, and other fields.

User reviews

LibraryThing member chellerystick
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.
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LibraryThing member IreneF
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 It may have been useful when published a decade ago, but it's been superseded by the internet.
LibraryThing member benuathanasia
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.
LibraryThing member Auntie-Nanuuq
Subtitle: "How Everything in the World is Organized Into Hierarchies, Structures, and Pecking Orders"

Preface: "From the inner workings of the smallest things to the complex system of the universe, The Order of Things is an attempt to cover all those things that we ourselves have organized, or what we have found naturally organized, into:

Does this give you an idea of the book's contents?

Chapters: Earth Sciences & Geography; Life Sciences; Physical Sciences; Technology; Mathematics & Measurement; Religion; History; Society & Economy; The Arts; Domestic Life; Sports & Recreation; and General Knowledge

If you LOVE Lists (especially scientifically ordered ones), this is the book for you. There are numerous B&W illustrations, but I would have preferred colored photos.... as this book is more of a textbook than a pleasure read.
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