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Queuing For Beginners: The Story Of Daily Life From Breakfast To Bedtime

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  90 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Why do so many people go on about queuing? Have we always been obsessed with traffic? And why do so many of us now eat lunch at our computers – al desko? We spend our days catching buses and trains, writing emails, shopping, queuing...But we know almost nothing about these activities. Exploring the history of these subjects as they come up during a typical day, starting wi ...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Profile Books(GB) (first published May 1st 2007)
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Dorian
Nov 17, 2014 Dorian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
This is a history of various everyday things, not only queuing, but also breakfast cereals, pedestrian crossings, business meetings, weather forecasts, and more. It ought to be very interesting. Unfortunately, the author's pedestrian writing style not only renders it rather dull, but also somehow manages to hide the information he's trying to impart, so that I put it down feeling that he'd spent 200 pages saying nothing very much. Most disappointing.
southernmyst
Truly excellent book, filled with masses of information. He's explained the stories behind so many things, like the drink machine (and thus why instant coffee is ubiquitous in Britain), the weather forecast, pedestrian cross walks, queuing (and no, the British aren't exceptionally wonderful at it; and no, they haven't been doing it since time immemorial), breakfast, commuting (the history of rail transport and the rise of the car, and the hindrance of the car in the London area are all explained ...more
Sijmen
Nov 27, 2010 Sijmen rated it liked it
In a varied view of British cultural history, every chapter in this book captures the history of some everyday thing, such as toasters, commuting, zebra crossings, lunch breaks, and the bedroom.

While these things may seem mundane, they often have a surprising history. Take for example the silent commute, seemingly a constant of English culture. Well, not so much: this really is quite a recent invention from the end of the second World War. There are some great quotes from letters of upset “old-s
...more
Ketan Shah
A fascinating look at how everyday activities in England have changed through the years.Everything from the traditional bacon and egg breakfast to morning commute to work to the design of the local pub and the amount of time spent in front of the television. Joe Moran takes a day in the life of an average person and uses it as the framework for to educate us about how the behaviour we percieve as run of the mill today,evolved over time.he also makes some interesting points about the adoption of ...more
Jessica
I'm surprised I'm the first one to review this book, but then, it is on a fairly mundane subject, which is the whole point! Moran takes through a "normal" daily routine, whilst analysing the rituals involved, and their evolution following WWII. Of course, as Moran himself admits in the introduction, the book is very office-orientated, and as I've never had an office job, I couldn't really relate to some of the chapters. However, the ones on things I definitely do take part in, like watching TV a ...more
Rob Adey
The trouble is, the internet is made of this kind of stuff now. You're probably familiar with a lot of this stuff (well, that's the point - what I mean is you're probably familiar with this way of looking at everyday things). I felt each topic could have done with way more exploration to get past the TV documentary-level stuff, as Moran's excellent book on TV did.

Enjoyable, though, and a welcome snack after Middlemarch.
Peter Sharpe
This book is not what I expected. Although it is written by an academic and promoted as a pop psychology/sociology book I would file it under humour or general interest.

I was hoping for some detailed and fresh analysis of daily life. Instead there are lots of facts which are glued together with a bit of light-hearted narrative. These are undoubtedly interesting but there is very little explanation as to how or why these things have come around.

The style is very conversational and the author's at
...more
Te Aroha
May 18, 2013 Te Aroha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lightly told, this book is pop sociology, researched in a scholarly manner, but presented and written for the lay reader. It examines the "infra-ordinary" - the actions performed by large groups that are so everyday and routine they go unnoticed and unremarked upon by social historians, despite making up a large and important part of our daily lives. With chapters on breakfast habits, commuting, queuing and the history of the British sofa, Queuing for Beginners is a fascinating look into why we ...more
Sharon4
It didn't tell me a lot I didn't already know, but that was the point - the author sets out to encourage us to take a fresh look at what is already familiar and known and he does a fairly good job of it. While reading about M&S sandwiches, the etiquette of queuing and why the duvet was originally called the continental quilt, I picked up one or two new titbits, like, for example, dentists warning that children who watched TV with their chin in their hands would develop buck teeth. So there y ...more
Adrian
May 14, 2010 Adrian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book that investigates how things we take for granted in our daily lives came to be. For instance, "Why do we eat cereal for breakfast?" (Turns out we used to eat bacon and eggs, but they became more expensive for farmers to raise during WWII, so it was cheaper to grow grain and keep a cow around for milk. Even after the war, we were so used to our fast breakfast, that we saved the more time-consuming bacon and eggs for the weekends). Interesting stuff.
Howard
Oct 31, 2012 Howard rated it it was amazing
Moran's 2007 book takes its cue from the Mass Observation project of post war Britain that looked at people's everyday habits - what they eat at breakfast, how long they watch TV and so on. Each chapter looks at a different part of normal everyday life with lucid academically-informed pondering and it's a blissful read.
Carl Jones
i learned that the email "revolution", far from creating a paperless workspace, has actually caused the amount of paper we use to go up by about a third.
Alexis
May 16, 2009 Alexis added it
Queuing for Beginners: The Story of Daily Life from Breakfast to Bedtime by Joe Moran (2008)
Jonathan
Nov 19, 2010 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Makes the boring more boring: and there can be no higher compliment paid to a book.
Duncan Mclaren
Jul 29, 2011 Duncan Mclaren rated it it was ok
Rather lightweight and lacking in purpose
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