Color. What’s in Your Paintbox?

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Do you ever think that you can’t love non-fiction?  Have you ever thought history should be interesting, but often isn’t?  Maybe you haven’t, but these were thoughts I have had in my adult life.  I tried and failed to read numerous non-fiction books, but hadn’t made it through them.  “I’m only cut out for literature,” I told myself.  And, while I knew I ought to learn more history (art history, American history, world history), it wasn’t very appealing.  Then I picked up this book.

Color:  A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay

Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay

Color:  A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay is a look at where colors have come from throughout history.  Have you ever considered how such ingredients as…PEE…or…BUGS went into colors historically (and still might!)?  You think I’m kidding, but I’m not!  Finlay travelled the world to find out  where we’ve gotten the colors we use to paint, dye fabric, color our Coke.  Wars over color?  Yes.  Danger?  You know it!

Now, I’ll admit it’s been a few years since I’ve read this, and I tend to forget books after a bit, but I always recommend this one.  No one is paying me to say this, and I don’t work for amazon, but it’s an interesting read, one you can most likely find at your library.  It just might convince you to read more history and non-fiction in general.  Hopefully it will inspire you.  Actually, I should reread it myself.

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3 responses »

  1. Thanks Lisa, I just might have to read it. Sounds really interesting. I am not adverse to reading non-fiction or history. But I do know what you mean; some can be rather dry and difficult to get through.

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  2. I’m always surprised when I hear what stuff goes into making some colors. I was eating some multi-colored pasta once and my wife looked at the packaging to find out what went into making them look the way they did. There were some really off-the wall ingredients, but my favorite was squid ink. Yeah, my black pasta was full of squid ink. But it tasted good!

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