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

Queuing for Beginners: The Story of Daily Life From Breakfast to Bedtime [Kindle Edition]

Joe Moran
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 8.99
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Product Description

Review

"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

'Here is a book for everyone...It is crammed with arresting facts and insights. Joe Moran writes more elegantly than a social historian has any right to...I kept wanting to read out bits of this book to my children. Partly because it sets in context the activities that will take up most of their life - and partly because it might teach them just how little that is dismissed as "boring" truly deserves the description.' -- Sunday Times, May 27, 2007

`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

`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

`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

Product Description

Why do so many people go on about queuing? Have we always been obsessed with traffic? And why do so many of us now eat lunch at our computers - al desko?





We spend our days catching buses and trains, writing emails, shopping, queuing...But we know almost nothing about these activities. Exploring the history of these subjects as they come up during a typical day, starting with eating breakfast and ending with sleeping, Joe Moran tells a story about hidden social and cultural changes in Britain since the Second World War. Drawing on his academic research on everyday life, but writing with wit and lucidity for a popular audience, he shows that we know less about ourselves than we think...


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5257 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (6 Aug 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042FZVAS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #249,842 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read 31 May 2007
By Antonio
Format:Hardcover
An original book. Contents organised around people's typical days, but I find the chapters are great fun to dip into - and are the right length for that. They are in effect essays. I've learnt plenty of stuff from this book in terms of social history, sociology - but that makes it sound dry and academic, which it isn't. It's a whimsical, diverting, read.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book - ideal for a gift 23 Jun 2007
Format:Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. It literally had me laughing out loud on the tube. It's insightful and well written. It's also an easy read and great for dipping in and out of.

I'm buying a copy for my dad as I know he'd like it. I'd say it's an ideal book for people interested in history, sociology or just British culture. It's also an easy read and not at all academic or dry.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This wonderful book should be compulsory reading for all UK citizens and those wishing to become one - or indeed those visiting and wondering why we are like we are.

Well written, well researched - a gem.

Rob Sawyer
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The everyday will never seem everyday again! 7 Sep 2008
Format:Paperback
I love quirky books like this, that take simple and relatable ideas and open the reader's eyes to their history and complexity in an accessible and amusing way.

Moran takes us on a gentle journey through a day in the life of an average modern human, picking out sixteen mundane and overlooked elements to explore. 'Bacon and eggs to go', for example, takes breakfast from its rich beginnings, through the preference for cereals and toast during the meat rationing of the war, to today's rushed coffee and the rise of the cereal bar. Moran then proceeds to explore the daily rituals of commuting, office gossip, lunchtime errands, checking emails, the rushed sandwich eaten at the office desk, cigarette breaks, post-work drinks, ready meals and watching the evening weather (amongst other things) before finally signing off with a history of the bed and attitudes towards sleep and the bedroom, and a gentle reminder to look around us and recognise our daily routines as a part of our collective social consciousness.

All in all this is a good idea done well. Generally Moran traces his social history in each section back as far as World War II, though he doesn't shy away from placing our habits in their extended historical contexts where relevant. This proves to be a good strategy as it narrows down the focus of the book to a manageable level without leaving it feeling incomplete. It is the kind of book that has the potential to be heavy, serious and deadly dull - but Moran manages to combine thorough research and a questing mind with a lightness and humour, and a knowledge of modern popular culture, that makes it interesting, compelling and accessible from beginning to end. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's good, but not THAT good 1 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback
The aim of this book is to record the everyday life of someone commuting to an office, simply recording some of their experiences and reflecting on how these have become part of everyday life. A simple example is the rise of the `ready meal' - the chicken kiev, shepherds pie or whatever you had for dinner - from an American devising a way to get rid of 270 tons of leftover turkey through to the present day sophistication. Apparently we (the public) are divided in to `hopeless addicts', `never in a million years' and `like the convenience but not the implied laziness'. For this last category supermarkets now sell `food assembly' packages where everything is laid out and all you have to do is `assemble' the meal in the kitchen. But recording the nostalgia along the way - the sophistication of first pizza you could cook at home direct from your freezer! - is fascinating.
The appeal of this book is that it's describing behaviour many of us see as so commonplace we don't even really think about it (e.g. commuting to work) but it will (presumably) be of interest to social historians in fifty years time. Reading the book is a bit like observational comedy but without so many punchlines. (One of the other Amazon reviewers says the book made him laugh out loud - I have to say it didn't do that for me but it is certainly easy, enjoyable reading.)
The best chapters are those where you share the experience (in my case examples would be the chapters on watching TV or dealing with e-mails at work). Some of the chapters would work less well if you don't work in an office and don't have, frankly, quite middle class tastes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye for the extraordinary in the ordinary 21 Feb 2008
By Secret Spi TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Joe Moran's book is a masterpiece of brilliant observation. "Queuing for Beginners" is a history of everyday life in Britian since the 1940s and looks at the imperceptible changes - mainly as a result of technology or political policy - that have taken place in such daily activities as commuting, going to the bank, business meetings, watching the weather forecast or going to bed.

It's a fascinating read, particularly if you work in a field such as market research and it is very well-written with humour and humanity.

I'm pleased to see that it's coming out in paperback so it should reach an even wider audience - it certainly deserves to.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun to read
Informative and often funny. Hightlights lots of interesting historical social facts and peculiarities. Easy reading for anyone intested in how we got to where we are.
Published 7 months ago by Griff
4.0 out of 5 stars it's all about being british
Curious social history , very readable ,things we take for granted explained . Did you know M & S made the first pre-pact sandwiches ? revolutionized our lunch breaks . Read more
Published on 21 Oct 2011 by D. S. Sample
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather lightweight
I read this after reading the Author's "On Roads" which takes a single mundane subject and, by subjecting it to intense scrutiny, makes it rather interesting. Read more
Published on 13 Oct 2010 by J. Wyper
3.0 out of 5 stars jsd review
Queuing for Beginners

First thing - I will never look at Andrew Marr with quite the same degree of awe following his remarks on the front cover. Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2010 by jsdeans
4.0 out of 5 stars revealing the perfectly obvious
how often do we stop to consider the mundane routines and rituals of everyday life??? that is the premise of this work, which takes us through a day in the life of the average... Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2010 by tortoise girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Answers questions you hadn't even thought of asking!
`Queuing for Beginners' deals with the minutiae of everyday life: from sending emails to the history of packaged sandwiches; from the impact of IKEA stores opening and bed buying... Read more
Published on 18 Feb 2010 by Sarah Durston
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting
I saw this in a book shop and the title totally pulled me in so i bought it on Amazon; it makes it sound like queueing is a skill to be learned! Read more
Published on 6 April 2009 by Dr. A. DEWITT
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and interesting
It's a great book, very interesting, funny read. I've thoroughly enjoyed it and it's full of useless information, which is always great!
Published on 23 Feb 2009 by M. Mustafa-holzapfel
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