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on 10 June 2017
Fun gift for my brothers birthday. He enjoyed reading this.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 November 2013
In 1968 Monty Python's Flying Circus presented a sketch in which a man, a very serious looking man, a composer, was interviewed on a very serious looking highbrow arts show. He was introduced as Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson, and rather than talk about his music, the interviewer spent the entire time on his nickname "Two Sheds", eventually calling him by that alone. Now, just 45 years later, Fred Hopkinson comes out with The Joy of Sheds, an entire book on shed culture.

Finally.

Shedding its confining skin, the Joys of Sheds bursts forth with every conceivable use and application of sheds, around the world and throughout history. And all in under a hundred pages.

The book sheds light on an underappreciated subset of humanity, mostly male, mostly western, who like to hide out in sheds, mostly of their own design and/or construction. 28% of shed owners claim they are a refuge from the world. They have turned them into bars, museums, bowling alleys and worse. Clearly, some of them have gone well beyond the backyard shed where the lawnmower shares space with rusted tools and spiders. A lot of writers, composers and other creatives find they do their best work in their sheds, from Grieg to Hirst. They are all noted here.

Hopkinson divides sheds up in relevance:
Shed History
Hidden in a Shed
Sheds in Music
Created in a Shed
Shed Art
Sheds in the News
Shed Lit
Shed Facts
Sheds on TV
Sheds at the Movies
Specialty Sheds
Shed Imposters
and Shed Plans

Each brief chapter is a small collection of anecdotes on the topic, showing, I suppose that sheds can be relevant to anyone. About the only thing missing is a chapter on Shed Widows, though there are stories of women with sheds of their own. And no mention of Shediac (Canada), which I thought was the Cadillac of sheds when I was a child, inspired by the likes of Pontiac (Michigan).

The most disappointing shed story belongs to a glass bottle collector in England, who turned down 80,000 pounds for his 17,500 bottles lining an ever-expanding shed. But don't shed a tear; he actually preferred the bottles to the money. Personally, I would have sold it all including the shed, and started over bigger and better, cash in hand.

All in all an unusual journey shedding light onto a subculture that has received little recognition.

David Wineberg
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on 3 November 2012
I've bought this for a friend who loves his shed, but also has a good sense of humour and enjoys books with interesting facts, anecdotes and trivia.

I haven't read it all myself but have flicked through, and must admit that there is plenty of interest for even a non-shed owner. There are 12 chapters after the introduction with titles such as 'Sheds in the news', 'Specialitiy Sheds' and 'Sheds in the movies'. Interspersed throughout are interesting shed facts - including that there are at least 52 Grade II listed sheds in England and Wales, and sheds are feared in Slavic folklaw. The book also reveals that businesses such as IKEA, Harley Davidson and Hewlett-Packard started out in sheds, and were places where Marie Curie carried out her research.

A fascinating read, I would recommend it to anyone - or as a gift for anyone - who is similar to my friend.
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on 12 January 2013
Bought as a Christmas present. Didn't read it myself, but the person I bought it for found it amusing and apt, as he has just taken possession of a shed...
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on 9 April 2013
A good book to dip into, to find what others are doing behind closed doors. Have shed, will tinker.....!
Recommended for those quiet moments with a cuppa.
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on 12 December 2015
Nice item,.Felt price was a little heavy,but plenty of reading etc, so real value for money,Good service. A must for the"shed" man!
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on 4 February 2013
Book purchased as a gift. Very well received by the whole family. Dipped into all over Christmas who all enjoyed it even teenagers
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on 23 June 2013
Good adult sophisticated humour - a book for the coffee tableor a gift for someone who is difficult to know what to buy
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on 2 December 2012
A present for my husband as he loves his shed. .......he was pleased with it, tells me it is very entertaining
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on 2 June 2016
The Joy of Sheds is one of those books that you simply can't put down. The characters have such clarity and you almost feel like you are actually there. I would compare it favourably to say the Bible or perhaps the complete works of Shakespeare. Absolute masterpiece.
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