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A list of unusual histories of things, or, object/item/concept-centered histories.

  • "The Box: how the shipping container made the world smaller and the world economy bigger" / Marc Levinson. 
  • "Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World" / Dan Koeppel
  • "Color: A Natural History of the Palette" / Victoria Finlay
  • "Salt: A World History" / Mark Kurlansky
  • "Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World" / Mark Kurlansky
  • "Spice: The History of a Temptation" / Jack Turner
  • "The Toothpick: Technology and Culture" / Henry Petroski
  • "The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance" / Henry Petroski
  • One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw / Witold Rybczynski

This is as opposed to:

  • "A Short History of Nearly Everything" / Bill Bryson