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Why Sofas? These Books Explain the Joys and Mysteries of the Home

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Whether you live in an apartment, house, mansion or cabin, here are some books to help you explore the meaning of your current situation.

By Elisabeth Egan and Tina Jordan

Have you ever wondered how the forks ended up with four teeth, where to store clothes out of season when you live in a small space, or why there is green felt on the pool tables? These books have answers.

"Welcome: a short story of an idea", by Witold Rybczynski

Enter any flea market and you will find handicrafts sewn with aphorisms like "Home sweet home" and "Home is where the heart is".But what do we really mean when we talk about the where we eat and sleep? What elevates a refuge to a refuge? In this extended essay, an architect ponders such questions, considering not only the structure of a building but what we ask him to contain: light, air, comfort, privacy and intimacy.From medieval mansions to contemporary dwellings full of stuff, Rybczynski examines five centuries of houses, stopping at the intersection of form and function to ask another question: how do we want to live now?

"Home Making: The 500 Year History of How Our Homes Become Our Homes", by Judith Flanders

Flanders' book "is not only intelligent and entertaining but also courageous," wrote our reviewer."It is worth remembering that in the 1650s the largest salons in London contained very large beds, without any trace of irregularity; it was public furniture.… Good, too, to remember the deep meaning of the curtains and how a few hundred kilometers could change it completely.In Germany, they were the mark of a housekeeping ordered with not too much light, but in the Calvinist Netherlands were able to let their goods, signs of God's favor, be seen from the street.” Flanders takes a tour of the house that crosses continents, centuries and social classes.No detail is too small, no ceiling too high to escape its scrutiny.

"Interior comfort: the art and science of the home", by Cheryl Mendelson

Mendelson's Bible, made up of 72 chapters, filled with information and yellow stakes, has been on the shelves since 1999.For years, it was a must in bridal showers and the perfect gift for a niece who had just signed a lease for his first The recipient would browse the table of contents exclaiming on the chapters that he or she (but, let's face it, usually she) was eager to read - "Stimulating drinks", "Electrical safety", "Beds and bedding "- and then on the shelf the book would go.Now is the time to pull it down.Mendelson teaches you not only how to clean your fridge, wash your clothes and understand your vacuum cleaner accessories, it done with a sense of humor and a “we're all in the same boat” vibe, which is exactly what we need right now.

"At Home: A Short History of Privacy", by Bill Bryson

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