Queuing for Beginners: The Story of Daily Life From Breakfast to Bedtime

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9781861978363: Queuing for Beginners: The Story of Daily Life From Breakfast to Bedtime
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Radio 4 Book of the Week from 28th May. We spend our days catching buses and trains, tapping away at computers, shopping, queuing, lying on sofas... But we know almost nothing about these activities. Exploring the history of these subjects as they come up during a typical day, starting with breakfast and ending with bedtime, Joe Moran shows that they conceal all kinds of hidden histories and meanings. By looking closely at the normally unobserved, he tells a story about social and cultural change in Britain and the Western world, in particular since the Second World War. And along the way connections become apparent between what seem unrelated phenomena - pubs and the weather forecast, or sandwiches and commuting, or smoking and gossip.Drawing on his academic research on everyday life, but writing with wit and lucidity for a popular audience, Joe Moran shows that we know less about ourselves than we think...

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Review:

An original idea that's well-executed and of interest to anyone who's enjoyed a fry-up, stood by a water-cooler and slept under a duvet. By interrogating the history of everyday objects and routines, Moran reveals the contingent, often extraordinary, nature of daily life in Britain, and the material culture that dominates it in the early 21st century. I thoroughly enjoyed it. (Richard Weight)

A thoroughly novel and refreshing way of looking at our recent history. This is "mundane" as a good thing. It is a daybreak to bedtime story told further from "them", and nearer to "us". Almost every page has its "yes!..I'd forgotten" moment. I loved his book enormously. (Andrew Marr)

Queuing for Beginners is a splendidly entertaining book. Joe Moran take a simple but wonderfully imaginative idea, following an ordinary working day from breakfast to bedtime, and uncovers the twentieth-century history of the mundane rituals through which we structure our lives. Nothing escapes his gaze, from cereal packets to chain pubs, and the result is a deft, clever and endlessly fascinating example of social history at its best. (Dominic Sandbrook)

A wonderfully insightful probe into the habits and rituals that have made up daily life in Britain since the Second World War. Almost nothing escapes Joe Moran's penetrating gaze; an inspired anthropologist of the ordinary, and often very funny, he turns his readers into informed observers, and gives an enhanced understanding of what we do every day without a second thought and why we do it. You'll never eat a slice of toast, join a queue or send an e mail in the same way again. (Juliet Gardiner)

wonderfully entertaining...every page pulses with humour, ephemeral research and irresistible nuggets of useless information...His book is your life, examined by a post-modern academic in fluent and breezy style, social history at its most accessible. (Val Hennessy Daily Mail)

One of those rare books written with academic rigour which has mass market appeal. As a snapshot of how life used to be and what it has become this book can't be beaten. (bookbag.co.uk)

Perfect summer reading. (Sunday Express)

Fascinating stuff, and Moran delivers it in a relaxed and often hilarious style. (Daily Telegraph)

I've just read Queuing for Beginners by Joe Moran, an affectionate tribute to British life that's very funny and bang up to date with chapters on email etiquette and the seven-minute lunch break. It made me want to take the author to the pub, where I'd ask him why we drink beer in pints. (Sam West Independent)

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Radio 4 Book of the Week

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9781861978417: Queuing for Beginners: The Story of Daily Life From Breakfast to Bedtime

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ISBN 10:  1861978413 ISBN 13:  9781861978417
Publisher: Profile Books, 2008
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