If only all history books could be as easy to take in as Catalog: The Illustrated History of Mail Order Shopping by Robin Cherry! This tidy volume of nostalgia documents a variety of mail order catalogs and is divided into sections covering fashion and beauty; household goods; animals; toys and sporting equipment; crafts and hobbies; transportation; food and drugs; holidays; and books and music. The many illustrations are pages from catalogs that depict dresses for stout women, a private photo booth, four-dollar mandolins, the avocado-of-the-month club and a chocolate edition of Monopoly. This is a great book for a lazy afternoon on the couch.
Hardcover, 272 pages. Princeton Architectural Press 2008. $28.00 at Amazon.