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The Wonderbox: Curious histories of how to live
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The Wonderbox: Curious histories of how to live

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  141 ratings  ·  20 reviews
What is the best way to improve our lives? There are many ways of looking for answers. Showing the lessons that can be learned from the past, cultural historian Roman Krznaric explores 12 key topics, from work and love to money and creativity, and reveals the wisdom that we've been missing.
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published December 22nd 2011 by Profile Books (first published 2011)
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Eustacia Tan
So this is the other book that I bought at the airport. It took quite a long time (other books got in the way), but I finally took the plunge and finished it! And it is an awesome book! I'm so glad that the cover caught my attention, and that I took a risk and bought it.

The Wonderbox purports to use history to help us live our present lives to the fullest. Well, if not the fullest then a little bit better. This book covers the topics "Nurturing Relationships", "Making a Living", "Discovering the...more
Inspiring, changing perspectives, brilliantly written, book that can change the society
Really interesting and well-written! The author selected a few universal topics and reflected on how these concepts (money, time, love, death...) have changed in history to lead to how we think now. By doing that, he provides us with other ways of thinking and we can imagine ourselves being back in time, with other beliefs and other ways to doing everything we now take for granted. What wisdom has humanking lost or gained over time? This approach is really original and interesting.

This is a sel...more
This was a marvelous and humane collection of social histories. Roman Krznaric traced how modern society in the west has come to view love, death, creativity and even something so seemingly immutable as time. In The Wonderbox, he shows how our deepest assumptions about these beliefs are based on myths. He explores their evolution and discusses how uncovering some forgotten truths about our everyday experiences (the art of conversation or how our senses perceive the world) can enrich our lives to...more
Nigel Hey
I remember that when I was a small boy and ill for some reason or another, my father would bring out a drawer from some distant part of the house, bring it into the living room, and spill its contents onto the carpet. This was ordinary drawer, for it was stocked with small, intriguing objects that had no immediate purpose. A brass square unfolded into a neat magnifying glass with perfectly machined hinges. A thick, much-tarnished disc turned out to be a one-ounce copper cartwheel penny from the...more
I only read the chapters that interested me most, like "Time" and "Work," skipping over irrelevant ones like "Family". It was interesting and I like Krznaric's writing but I was hoping it would include more ancient wisdom rather than explanations about why things are as they are. I think he has written another book ('How Should we Live') that is perhaps of more interest to me.
Cassandra Kay Silva
I expected more historical tie ins and less of the authors own opinions! We got more historical information on Love in the first chapter than we did on any other topic in subsequent chapters! This is too bad!

I didn't want to read your ideas with a few historical bits thrown in! I wanted to read historical ideas with a few personal notes from you thrown in! The Bon Marche thing was fabulous to read about I must say. I had no idea it was such a big deal, how cool!
Holly Troup
A lifestyle philosopher's compendium of lessons from history on how to live. Krznaric brings out the connections between the past and the present that can help us develop nurturing relationships, learn to give more to others, discover the amazing world around us, reduce the role of money in our lives yet have an abundance. This is a good book to read "piecemeal" and to ponder. I kept it by my bedside and read a chapter or two before sleeping.
Very interesting book with fascinating facts about history, putting our ways of living into perspective.
Superinteressant! De schrijver pikt overal interessante inzichten vandaan: uit de geschiedenis maar ook uit andere culturen onder het mom van: "hier doen ze 't zo en dat is supernormaal, waarom doen/denken wij 't dan op onze ene manier?" Hierdoor kom je ook tot nieuwe inzichten en dat is uiteindelijk waar 't boek om draait.
Kris McCracken
An interesting mix of stories and ideas envisaged as ‘practical history’, that is, the art of gaining insights from our predecessors on how to live better lives today. A lot of this stuff I already do, but thought provoking nonetheless. B+.
What a delight! Roman Krznaric's insights have expanded my perspective and inspired a new approach to living. It's for anyone who asks "why" a lot. P.s I no longer wear a watch!
This is a great book to read about living your life with a better consideration of what is needed to make you feel whole.
I don't necessarily agree with everything in the book but the historical tidbits were interesting.

Anna Gudmundson
"open the wonderbox of history and look inside to see new and surprising possibilities for the art of living"
I really enjoyed this book - it was well-written, interesting, inspiring and slightly quirky.
Interesting stories but, all in all, a bit too preachy for my taste.
Intelligence in plain English. Very inspiring.
A gem... Insightful... Wow
This was a thoroughly enjoyable, thought provoking book - I kept having to leave it to deal with other books which often means that it is difficult to maintain interest however each time I came back to the Wonderbox it was easy to become immersed again as the book is divided into themes and chapters within themes.
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Roman Krznaric, author of How to Find Fulfilling Work, is a cultural thinker and founding faculty member of The School of Life. He advises organizations, including Oxfam and the United Nations, on using empathy and conversation to create social change, and has been named by The Observer as one of Britain’s leading lifestyle philosophers. His works, including The Wonderbox: Curious Histories of How...more
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