Often I get books sent to me that I glance at and say, "Who is the audience for this book?" or "Who would buy this?" I almost said that about The Order of Things: Hierarchies, Structures, and Pecking Orders (Workman Publishing, 615 pages, $9.95) by Barbara Ann Kipfer. But I had to stop myself.
This little stocking-stuffer -- it measures 4-by-6 inches and is an inch and a half thick -- is full of great information for people in my profession (editors and writers), so I intend to leave it on my desk, next to my dictionary. But I may go out and buy a few more -- one for my 11-year-old nephew, perhaps, who loves lists. He'll have a field day, learning not only the names of the British monarchy, in order, but also the rulers of many other countries. Plus, he can learn about Braille, sign language and Morse code.
It'll also tell you what birthstone corresponds with each month; the order of winning poker hands; military rankings, tornado and hurricane scales and much more.
A random opening of the book shows me a diagram of how a proper place setting should look, plus a dozen different types of glassware. Another random opening gives me the Twelve Days of Christmas, in order. I'd like to say that I shall never mix up days 9-12 again, but alas, the entry implies that days 10 and 12 are interchangeable. No wonder I get confused. So, it's either 12 drummers drumming and 10 lords a leaping; or vice-versa.
In any case, happy holidays, enjoy the book.