Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Order of Things, by Barbara Ann Kipfer

Retrieved from: DKLY
0375719695, 2001
Suggested by: I cataloged it
My Ratings: 8 Merit, 6 Interest, 6 Fun

Reading this book is a bit like reading an index. Actually, it's a lot like reading an index; Beast said, at one point while it was sitting around, "What a boring book!"

Well, no, actually it's not boring. I did skip around a bit (like most of the science sections and most of the whole last chapter on "General Knowledge and Philosophy." But reading the chain of command in different countries of the world was quite entertaining. So was Kipfer's explanation of ISBNs, for a different reason: according to her, only the second two digits in an ISBN are assigned to the publisher. This, of course, means there are a total of 100 American (English-language) publishers. Uh, no.

When I find an error like this in a book that purports to be "How Everything in the World is Organized into Hierarchies, Structures, and Pecking Orders" it lowers the amount of trust I have the the rest of the knowledge. There are, however, loads of charts and details for things like comparing gods and goddesses cross-culturally, explaining the Muslim prayer sequence, showing all the traditional place setting parts, and so forth. A fun browsing kind of book. It also has a nice bibliography, where you could find out where to get details about the lists in this book.

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