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The Haunting of Hill House
Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller
The Mirror Empire
Kameron Hurley
The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire (Audio)
Jack Weatherford

Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors

Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors - Jeanne E. Arnold, Anthony Graesch, Elinor Ochs, Enzo Ragazzini I have been babbling about this book to everyone I've seen since I read it. It's an archaeological look at early twenty-first century American home life, a sort of material culture of the recent past (and it is definitely past--for all that the study is barely a decade old, some of what it describes is barely recognizable today. The rise of the smartphone, in particular, I suspect has made some enduring shifts on home life.) The photos are fascinating; my only complaint is that the text is often all too short. I wanted less coffee table, more academia. But what I got was still worthwhile.

Some particular observations that have lingered in my mind:

The benefit of microwaved meals isn't that they save cooking time, it's that they save thinking time (namely, menu-planning).

People say they use their yards; they lie. (Even in Southern California, where you'd expect the year-round pleasant weather would make it a more attractive option.)

The single most beneficial remodel to your home in terms of quality-of-life is (if you have only one) adding a second bathroom.

How much stuff a family has on their fridge directly correlates with how much stuff they have in their house.

Families spend by far most of their time in their kitchens. (I am, grudgingly, starting to understand why people like open floorplan homes. I still hate them, though. MY KITCHEN, MY PRIVATE SPACE, GET OUT. Uh, this may be why I live alone.)