I first in love with Schott’s Miscellanies when my mom bought my Schott’s Food and Drink Miscellany. As soon as I found out there were other books in the series, I made it my mission to pick them up. I own: Schott’s Original Miscellany, Schott’s Food and Drink Miscellany, Schott’s Sporting, Gaming and Idling Miscellany, Schott’s Miscellany 2009 (American) and Schott’s Almanac 2010 (British, signed, I picked it up in Foyle’s when I was in London :)). I was very excited when I heard there would be a new book as I was disappointed there wasn’t a Schott’s Miscellany 2011.
This isn’t a really a book you just ‘read straight through’ – however, I always like to do just that the first time I pick up a book. I just love reading snippet after snippet, and going straight through ensures I don’t miss anything. Still, I know I will enjoy picking up the book and opening it to a random page in the future.
The books themselves are very lovely things. Minimal, crisp, well-designed book covers. Each book has its own ‘colour’, the colour of the ribbon, accent on the dustjacket and the book itself – this one is purple (I love purple~ Haha). The fonts and small icons used within the book are very ‘smart’ and crisp. What is most impressive, though, is the layout of the pages. All the different pieces fit neatly together like a puzzle, no space is wasted. The organizer of this book deserves much praise!
Everywhere in this book, not just the ‘meat’ of it, has some fun bit of information to offer. For example, the joke about indexes at the end of the index or the ‘note on sauces’ following the ‘note on sources’. I eat up stuff like this. The last page, ‘An Authorial Miscellany’ was fun (my favourite word to describe this book XP).
One minor issue I have with the series that was slightly more noticeable for me in this volume than the others is that sometimes I just don’t know what is being talked about. For example, ‘Legal Animus’. Maybe other people know what this is? Maybe British people? Maybe I’m just ignorant? But there were a few tidbits that I just understand like that one…
Some of my favourite tidbits:
Learning the words antiscii and periscii (page 43)
Postman’s Park, where plaques are put up for those who died while rescuing others (Soloman Galaman caught my eye – Aged 11. Died of injuries. September 6 1901. After saving his little brother from being run over in Commercial Street. ‘Mother I Saved him but I could not save myself’.) (page 54-55)
Celebrity body parts auctioned off (Napoleon’s penis, whyyyyyyy?!) (page 57)
Chronology of Crayola crayons (oh my goodness, crayons are my favourite material object, they are so beautiful and so many shades and I just loved this chart (page 65)
Types of biblios (page 101)
On Journeys (page 107)
And many more…those were just ones I noted down at the time, as particularly interesting or odd or good for inspiring a story (one of the reasons why I enjoy these books – they are very inspirational for me on a creative level)
I laughed at the ‘~Special Existential Supplement~’, nine pages describing various stages of life.