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Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued from the Past
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Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued from the Past

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  1,579 ratings  ·  255 reviews
With the candid quirkiness of Awkward Family Photos and the confessional intimacy of PostSecret, Ransom Riggs's Talking Pictures is a haunting collection of antique found photographs—with evocative inscriptions that bring these lost personal moments to life—from the author of the New York Times bestselling illustrated novel Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Each ...more
Paperback, 366 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by It Books
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Anya Yes and no.:) The book features vintage photographs as well as captions that the original photographers have written on the photographs. Some are…moreYes and no.:) The book features vintage photographs as well as captions that the original photographers have written on the photographs. Some are thought provoking and others are outright hilarious. Some photos even have drawings on them that add to the photo. This is more of a "coffee table book" than a serious read, but very enjoyable!(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
I was out of the loop during the whole Ransom Riggs craze of 2011. I have never read that book about the home where the peculiar children go, even though it's said to contain a bunch of cool, creepy old photos, and I love cool, creepy old photos. This obsession was noted by goodreader karen (hi!) when we visited a NYC junk shop called "The Serial Killer Store" [sic], and I proceeded to dig through a giant crate of old photos for entirely too long and to her general consternation, as she found th ...more
You have to take a look at this book. I can try to tell you how amazing it is, how each page gives you a glimpse into some stranger's life through a window you haven't been invited to view, like driving down a street at night and glimpsing snippets of people through their lighted windows. But here you get a fuller story, or enough to goad you into filling in what's missing. I could try to tell you how heart-wrenching some of these partly-told stories can be, but it won't be very convincing. You ...more
Nov 29, 2011 Angel marked it as to-read
I met Ransom Riggs and he talked about this book. He has a hobby of finding old photos at flea markets. He was intrigued by what people had written on the photos. This is a collection of those found photos. I'm looking forward to this one.
Jul 16, 2011 K. marked it as to-read
Will this be a creepy, macabre and mildly disturbing collection of photographs?

Fingers crossed.
I am admittedly a huge fan of vintage ephemera (a quick glance at my Pinterest profile will confirm this), so it's no surprise to me that I wound up loving this collection of "found" photographs. Ransom Riggs (of "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" fame) is a collector of vintage photos, many of them dug up from antique stores and flea markets. Their original owners are unknown, as are their settings, subjects and contexts. The only clues to these photos are the inscriptions written on ...more
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
This was interesting. I really should get around to reading the series already. Pictures were also good.
I think it's a tragedy (I'm not overstating) that people don't print out pictures, write in diaries, or write letters anymore, so I am the ideal audience for this book. I know everyone believes all of this can be done on Facebook, but what about in the future? How are grandkids/biographers going to know anything about anyone?! Don't get me started. Anyway, this is just a collection of old photos with captions--handwritten on the back, by the photo-takers--and it totally made my day.
Mike (the Paladin)
Ransom Riggs wrote Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Probably the best part of that book were the unusual and sometimes creepy pictures the story was built around. Mr. Riggs collects "lost pictures".

He tells us the story of the first photo he bought from a bin of miscellaneous photos in a junk shop when he was 13. Pictures dumped, spilled and torn from albums, frames and wallets with no information except for the words scribbled on them. He bought the first and then some years later b
Article first published as Book Review: Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued From the Past by Ransom Riggs on Blogcritics.

Review also appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7

I received a copy for review

Ransom Riggs’s Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued From the Past is an unforgettable trip into the past. The stories found on the back of the pictures presented offer their own little surprises, adding depth to a seemingly simple text.

Riggs’s shows the reader that sometimes only a
Sheila Mccaa-sanders

After 30 years in the antique business I have seen many old photos but this collection of photographs with their commentary I found riveting and hard to put down. I admit I have always found these discarded bits of people lives fascinating but would never have imagined this group that takes you into all levels of emotion with their littles bits of scribbled information. I'm sure I will revisit it many times to experience it all over again. Thanks Briana for finding it and adding it to your to-r
Elizabeth A
This is a strange and interesting book. The author has a hobby - he collects old photographs of people he does not know. There is a catch though - the photos need text of some kind written on it. This book is a curation of some of the photos from the author's collection. The photos are all black and white, and while the photos are interesting in themselves, it is the text that gives you a peek into these stranger's lives. The handwritten words on either the back or the front of the photos docume ...more

Those old vintage photographs you find in your grandmother's attic, or loosened in albums that drift to the floor when you open the album, all yellowed, torn and shabby edged, with people you don't know a thing about. And you keep wondering who they are. Or what lives they had.

Imagine those photos all stacked up in boxes, or bundled up, forgotten when their owners passes away, given or thrown away when their offspring don't know what to do with them. They change hands, or end up at yards sales,
This may possibly be one of the best books ever. I fell madly in love with Ransom Riggs through the first Miss Peregrine book--the thing I loved best about the book were the strange and beautiful photos. This book is a collection of "found" photos--some borrowed from friends, some found by the author himself. As if I did not adore him enough the prologue to the book explains that Ransom Riggs has enjoyed collecting old pictures of people he did not know since he was a child. This is a habit I sh ...more
I loved Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, so I was anxious to read Talking Pictures.

Riggs continues his obsessive collection of photographs of unknown people in this book, but doesn't build a story around them as he did with Miss Peregrine. Instead, he categorizes the photos and lets them do the talking as he shares whatever has been written on them. I was totally sucked into this book and finished it in one sitting but afterward I felt like a voyeur and that I had invaded strangers'
Sara Steger
May 15, 2015 Sara Steger rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who loves old photos
Shelves: photography
BIG HUGE fan of Riggs and the entire idea of collecting old photos. I have purchased many of them myself, but would never have thought to do what he has done with them. I enjoyed this book so much and bought a copy for my sister as well.

Old photos are so haunting and Riggs gives us the tiny bit of personal background that is contained on the back sides of these. Sometimes that transforms what would seem like a very bland photo into something quite interesting and extraordinary. Can't see how any
My love and interest for such picture books started with Humans of New York and Frank Warren's PostSecret. I wasn't disappointed with Ransom Riggs' wonderful collection of photographs here either, it took me back to piles and piles of photo albums that I used to file through with my parents, some of which were marked by comments and labeled by a date and time (most probably my father's work), and I remember how strange it was to see a life with familiar faces from times I never knew. Times befor ...more
Jan 26, 2015 Moloch rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Moloch by: Sito dell'autore? O una recensione a "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" vista qui
Non ricordo con precisione come, la scorsa primavera, scoprii questo libro: stavo forse leggendo su Goodreads qualche recensione al bestseller dello stesso autore (Ransom Riggs), Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Per chi non lo sapesse, dovrebbe essere, a quanto ho capito, un romanzo per ragazzi con un tocco di horror, ambientato in una casa dove sono ospitati ragazzini con “poteri” speciali (levitazione, invisibilità, ecc.): quel che lo rende interessante, però, è che è illustrato co ...more
May 10, 2013 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Florence MacIntosh
"I have an unusual hobby: I collect pictures of people I don't know."

Author Ransom Riggs compiled a collection of unusual vintage snapshots, their quirky, hilarious or heartbreaking captions the unifying theme. Organized into seven sections: Clowning Around, Love and Marriage, Times of Trouble, Life During Wartime, Janet Lee, Hide This Please, and Unsolved Mysteries.

One of my favorites? The caption reads: "You can Put this in your scrap book + remember how much fun we had teaching me how to dri
Cuando terminé de leer El hogar de Miss Peregrine para niños peculiares, la novela ilustrada con fotografías reales de Ransom Riggs, pensé que la falta de coherencia entre las imágenes y la historia era un punto negativo que pesaba mucho sobre el resultado final pero que, al mismo tiempo, la afición del autor a coleccionar fotos antiguas lo convertía en un hombre interesante.

Talking Pictures es un libro de fotografía diferente. Las imágenes están divididas en siete bloques: Haciendo el payaso, A
Stifyn Emrys
My wife purchased this for me as a Christmas gift after I enjoyed the pictures sprinkled through the author's novel, "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children." This isn't a novel, so don't expect that. It's a picture book and can be read in one sitting, but it's also one you may feel compelled to read again and again.

I've always been fascinated with old photographs - the fact that a moment of time was captured and then, over the years, time passed the subjects by. Some are dead. Some are far
Apr 05, 2014 Lizzie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like history
He's a collector of vernacular photos from flea markets, like me, and I first became aware of him through some stories on the Mental Floss website. He's even written a fantasy book sort of based on some of those photos, which I didn't like very much. Anyway, one of his essays was about photos with writing on the back that makes an otherwise unmemorable pictures suddenly meaningful. Like a road in Texas, and when you turn it over it says "This is the spot where Daddy had his accident and died." T ...more
There's nothing like finding old photographs, magazines, or papers in an attic, or a flea market, or an antique store. You know you are bound to find a gem. In this book, Ransom Riggs collects all gems - found photographs with notations that are sometimes touching, sometimes mysterious, sometimes tragic, but always fascinating. As Riggs points out, it's sad that generations hence will not have this same tactile experience with found photographs and notes. We certainly will leave a vast collectio ...more
What a treat! It's like a weird coffee table book where Ransom Riggs' obsession with old photographs has taken him (not only to publishing Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children) but into this story through those same pictures. Broken up in to section like war, romance, and humor, it's just a book of pictures and the words that people wrote on the front or back.

It really does make you think, as he mentions, about who would throw away, discard, or donate these pictures to be found at flea ma
May 16, 2014 jess rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
The pictures are cool. Fine. whatever. They aren't special enough or well curated enough to justify this entire book, though.

I'm forcing myself to hate Ransom Riggs through sheer overexposure. It's self-induced but I can't stop myself.
Sep 10, 2015 Anna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: npl
Shelves: photos-music-art
interesting collection of photos
-- some charming with funny messages or captions
-- some poignant in the cases of people in wartime or shortly before they died
Mar 04, 2014 Cat rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: adult
Interesting book filled with inscribed photographs. It makes me want to go home and go through all my old photos.
I actually bought this book, thinking it was a novel since I'd read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. However, this book is nothing like that at all, but I wasn't disappointed.

Ransom Riggs takes the readers on a picture journey through the lives of those they will never know. I found myself laughing, falling silent, and feeling heart pangs for strangers. Lovely, lovely book full of honest, human moments captured and forgotten.
Disclaimer: I come from a long line of photographers and photo developers and camera clerks. This may be why I loved this so.

It reminded me of sitting in my mother's living room poring over photos of ancestors I had never met. These photos gave me a glimpse, a history of their most important moments. It told me about where I came from and where I am going.

This book reminds us that photos are not to be taken so lightly as they are now. That people are more or less the same. And that tomorrow is
Old snapshots have always been interesting to me. When I visit my grandmother I look through her old photos. A few years ago, I found some at an antique shop and for some reason the snapshots of strangers hold this bizarre power that my family ones do not. I have a meager collection, but Ransom Riggs and his buddies have some true classics complied in this little volume. The pictures kind of create a story of their own, and one collection about a girl named Janet Lee is particularly enthralling. ...more
BAYA Librarian
Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children series includes odd, vintage photos to tell the story of troubled orphans with strange powers stuck in a half-life between reality and the supernatural world. Riding on the popularity of the 2011 bestseller, Riggs here presents an archive of antiquated photographs, mostly family snapshots but also some posed portraits, which he collected and studied because they included interesting notations on the photos themselves. The author describe ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Cover of a book 2 34 Sep 18, 2012 06:02AM  
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I grew up in Florida, went to Kenyon College in Ohio, then film school at USC in LA, where I still live. I write books and screenplays, blog daily for, and make short films.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is my first novel. I'm really excited about it -- it was challenging and rewarding and I hope people like it. If you read that and like the found photographs in it, y
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