Biographies of Things bookbox is traveling (closed)

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I did this bookbox a few years ago, but it went MIA once and the last trip returned with quite a few books not the type specified. But I've heard from several people who really enjoyed this box, so will be starting it again about the end of the year.

This box is all non-fiction, and more specifically biographies of things. Many books will be classified as science, and some will be history. If the book does not qualify as science or history it may not be right for this box. (If in doubt, don't hesitate to check with me.) No reference books, please. (I'm adding these guidelines since I think a few people had trouble realizing what was meant by my former title of "books about things.")

General bookbox guidelines apply. Only dependable BookCrossers will be added. (If you're not sure about the general guidelines, please ask.) Two week turnaround is requested.

Some examples of books to be included:
Cod by Mark Kurlansky
The Secret Life of Lobsters
The Big Oyster by Mark Kurlansky
Longitude by Dava Sobel
How the States Got Their Shapes
An Alchemy of Mind
Nathaniel's Nutmeg

And I already have Azuki and GoryDetails on the list.


This is the type of books I really like to read - an yet I think too few boxes/rings are ongoing.

So I would love to join if I may. Thanks for offering this one again!


Definitely sounds like fun! Count me in :)


wingmaryzeewing 9 yrs ago


please put me at the end as I am not sure if I have anything. I need to hunt.


wingAzukiwing 9 yrs ago
I have been waiting for this box for like, 3 years?
Though I am the first to sign up, please put me further down so I can read up more of the books.


please do add me to your list, but towards the end. Hopefully by then I will have some read to contribute (I have already moved them up in the mental TBR hierarchy).


Especially if I have until the end of the year to get a couple of my books about things read :-)


Someone asked me if the books had to be about actual objects, or if they could be about concepts, like pi. I said concepts is fine too, since in my mind pi is a thing.

Also these books don't have to be about a single item. They can be tidbits of knowledge, as long as they ultimately explain how something works, such as this Imponderables book (that I'm going to include) -

Just no reference books, and no children's books.

Still enough slots for several more folks.


(not in order yet)


It's looking like it may be January til this one's on its way. There's still room for a few more folks. Anyone else interested?


and found some of the older threads on this subject.

Discussion of similar books:

Previous boxes:

paxregina's list on squidoo:

Based on my quick look at these threads, I think I'd like to join this box...if I can be towards the end. I have several books that would qualify, but they're all TBR!

If it affects your planning, I'm in Hawaii and media mail usually takes about 3 weeks each way.


I have a copy of this book - I thought it was fun, fascinating, and beautifully illustrated (even if the illustrations *were* bugs)


I'm not sure it's one I'd want to read, but it certainly qualifies for the box :)


Oh good, that means I have one book ready for this box..


I'm still reading books for this (I have 5-1/2 yet to go, and am loving my current read), so I think it will probably be close to the end of January til this is ready to go out.

Shipping order -

Weiterferne - TX
Innae - CO
K00kaburra - CA
ElizardBreath - OR
Hyphen8 - HI
Bluestocking88 - WA
QuietOrchid - MN
Booklady331 - FL
Azuki - FL
GoryDetails - NH
Eponine38 - MA
6of8 - MD


At this point I only have 1 book read for the box... Definitely need more time! : (


Sure, I've rearranged you :)

These non-fictions do take a while to read. I have 2 I've just started on, and 2 more to go yet. I'm hoping to mail this out the end of January or beginning of February.


but I know what you mean about these taking a while to read.

At the moment I've got 1-1/2 books read for this. The half is interesting but very slow going...


I've loved this box in the past...would love to join again! :)


wingmaryzeewing 9 yrs ago
Added you!


would love to join if I can be near the end - got some reading to do! :-)


Enjoy your non-fictions, tucked in in the cold weather this winter ;)

Still room to add 1 or 2 more folks. I'm reading 2 now, and have 1 more book left for the box. Still hoping to mail this out around the end of the month.


I've finished the 2 books I was working on for the box, and am just starting the final book. I expect to be able to mail this about the end of the month/very beginning of February.

Anyone else want to sign up? I'll close this when I ship the box.


Can I come to the party? I read really strange stuff, so this sounds perfect. Minnesota


I've added you to the list, QO.


I have less than 100 pp. to go in the last book, so expect to be mailing this box if not this weekend, then early next week for sure.

Hope you lot are enjoying your non-fictions.


Would you mind moving me down a spot or two?

I did find a good one the other day: The Claddagh Ring by Malachy McCourt.

Are Imponderables-type factoid books ok?


Imponderables are absolutely ok. (I've got 2 in the original box.)

Stay tuned about moving you. I'm checking with Elizardbreath, since she signed up kind of late.


You can move me up a bit, if it'll help - I have plenty of suitable candidates in hand!


wingmaryzeewing 9 yrs ago
I've moved you down a slot. Hope that's enough. I'm trying to keep this in some sort of sensible geographical order, keeping in mind those who joined late.


winghyphen8wing 9 yrs ago
RE: Hyphen8
Thanks, I can work with that. :)

BTW, what about gestures?

Or is that too much like reference?


It sounds to me more like sociology than science, but the description does mention science, so I'll leave it up to you. Maybe make a final decision when you get the box and see the types (numbers?) of books.

I'm willing to listen to opinions of others, esp. anyone who's been in this box before and seen the types of books.


It sounds to me more like sociology than science, but the description does mention science, so I'll leave it up to you. Maybe make a final decision when you get the box and see the types (numbers?) of books.

Sounds like a plan. I'll see what else I can get read before the book arrives, too. :)


to Weiterferne in Texas.

18 books, just over 15 pounds, and just under $9.50 media mail with delivery confirmation.



15 pounds?? Well - great to see the box moving and I better go reading my books for the box :)


I picked up the box today from the post office and had a first glance at it. What a wonderful box! I wish I had more books to trade as nearly all of the books look incredible interesting. Will be a difficult selection...

The Measure of Things
How the States got their Shapes

At Home
The Code Book
e: The Story of a Number


Box is on it's way to innae! Still 18 books, little bit over 15 pounds and under $9.50.


The box is safe and sound, and full of good choices!! I only have two books to put in, so I have to be good about what I choose!!


This box is awesome...filled with so many books I was tempted to just keep it and be a bad bookcrosser -- but, I suffered, and chose two books, and put in two books, and am just awaiting K00kaburra's address.


And it looks like the box did make it to San Jose...on the 12th!! Hoping K00kaburra just hasn't had time to check it out yet.


Your Item's Status
Your item was delivered at 2:01 pm on March 12, 2012 in SAN JOSE, CA 95120.


Odd, I'm not sure where it was the last couple of was sitting on my porch yesterday afternoon. I was in Oregon last week, but I'm pretty sure the box wasn't here on the 12th!


No joke - three of the books I saved to put into this bookbox were already in it! Alas for me, I suppose...anyway, I'll contact the next person in line and try to get this in the mail quickly to make up for the odd lag time earlier.


On its way to elizardbreath in OR!


The bookbox arrived today. What a great bunch of books! PMing the next in line now, but it's likely that I won't mail out until very close to the two week deadline. :)


I mailed the box off to Hyphen8 yesterday. She had said she was in the middle of a couple of boxes already so I waited a few extra days before sending it her way. Here's the
DC# 03102640000042328179


I'll take a look and see what I can exchange.

Anybody know if Bluestocking88 is still active? I don't see any activity in the last 4 weeks...


wingmaryzeewing 8 yrs ago
Try her pm's
I see she had a forum post the middle of March. I also see she has an e-mail addy herscreen name @


Ok. I'll let you know what I find out.

I have one book I'm still trying to finish for this box...



winghyphen8wing 8 yrs ago
Wicked Bugs
I put a copy into this box, but if you were before me on the list and you're interested, I'm doing a RABCK for another copy:


What a lovely selection! I will pm QuietOrchid and make my selections in the next couple of days. Thank you!


I'll be mailing this to QuietOrchid tomorrow. It needed a new box, the new one is nice and sturdy.

Out: The Big Oyster
A History of the World in 6 Glasses
Wicked Bugs
In the Wake of the Plague
and The Scent Trail

In: The Meaning of Everything: the Story of the OED
Toscanini's Fumble
The Secret Life of Lobsters
and Krakatoa

Great box! Thank you for including me.


I'll be mailing this to QuietOrchid tomorrow. It needed a new box, the new one is nice and sturdy.

Wonderful! Do you have my address? I pm'd you unsolicited with it a few weeks ago as I never recieved your pm asking for it. If you didn't recieve my pm of last month, please try again and post here so I'll know there's a problem.


looks like fun. Too tired tonight to delve....


I was coming back to list the tracking number--but I suppose it's a little late now. ;o)


Do Penguins have Knees?
An Alchemy of Mind
Toscanni's Fumble
The Meaning of Everything

The Children's Blizzard
The Tiger

dc #0312 0090 0000 1068 9429 16lbs 11oz


I will PM the next person, make my choices and get the box out next week. Thanks for this bookring.


Will make my selection and send it on. I am so excited, found some interesting titles.


wingAzukiwing 8 yrs ago
Mailing out
Really enjoyed the box. I was tempted by a lot of books, but decided on four, as I do want to work down my out-of-control TBR. I think it's better for the books to be enjoyed by someone rather than sitting at my house. But please do consider organizing the box again in a few months, as I love this type of books.

I have taken out:
Anatomy of a Rose
The Children's Blizzard
The Claddich Ring

And put in:
Big Shots: The Men Behind the Booze
Acquired Taste
Book Business
A Perfect Red

This is now heading to Gory, whom I know has a whole stack of books about gory things to trade in...


The box arrived safely in NH on this rainy day (along with another bookbox twice as big, so I'm going to have a busy week {wry grin}). I see that eponine38 is next in line, and as we were planning to get together next weekend anyway I hope to be able to hand off the box then.


handed to me by Gory. Great titles! Will make selections and get it moving within the 2 weeks; sooner if possible (work commitments make this the most hectic time of year for me :-(.


quietorchid 8 yrs ago
Sad News
AnnMarie61 reports that her sister, MaryZee has passed away.

I am in shock.


wingAzukiwing 8 yrs ago
RE: Sad News
I was in shock when I read the news too. It felt not that long ago I was able to meet her in person at the DC con and was glad to be able to persuade her to restart the box.

It saddens me that she won't be able to receive the box when it finishes it round (and we Are so close!) and have the joy of maybe finding some new titles inside. I think we have been doing a pretty god job of maintaining the quality and she would be happy. I understand when she said she was discouraged after the last round, as I was the last person in the ring and tried as I did to replace the worst it just wasn't a quality box.

What do you guys think of us continuing the box on another round (and on and on) to keep her memory alive? I don't know if any of us want to be the organizer, or if we can keep it perpetually going, as maryzee's box.


This is one of my favorite bookboxes, and I think it would be lovely to commemorate MaryZee by keeping it going. But perhaps we should contact her sister first, to see if the family would like the books that would have gone to MaryZee, whether out of interest in the same subject matter or to release in her name.

Whether or not the family would like those books, we could certainly keep the box going - as a perpetual box if there's enough interest, or else just leave it to someone to start a new box whenever they've accumulated suitable titles and want to get them moving.

Whatever happens, I know I'll think of her whenever I come across a new biography-of-things...


I'd like us to continue the box... She always had great ideas for bookboxes and I looked forward to participating in them!


winghyphen8wing 8 yrs ago
RE: Sad News
if we can keep it perpetually going, as maryzee's box.

I think this would be a nice way to remember her, since like Gory, I will think of her when I find an appropriate book for this box...but I'd need some time to get some books read for another round!

I believe 6of8 knew MaryZee in person, so perhaps she'd be willing to contact the family when the box gets to Maryland and see if they're interested in the books?


The funeral is set for tomorrow and I plan to attend, along with many of the BCinDCers. I will try to find out what the family want us to do about the box -- like someone said, it is sad we weren't able to finish it, given how close we were.

Last time I talked to her she said she was excited about getting the box back and all the books people had added to it. She was already planning another round for this and most of her other book boxes. I will try to put together one new box that she was planning and will post about it on this forum when I get a little closer to having it ready.


Last time I talked to her she said she was excited about getting the box back and all the books people had added to it. She was already planning another round for this and most of her other book boxes. I will try to put together one new box that she was planning and will post about it on this forum when I get a little closer to having it ready.

That would be wonderful.


This is indeed very sad and shocking news. This was such a wonderful box MaryZee put together and I was looking forward to have it returned to her in good shape after the bad experiences she had with earlier rounds. We were pretty close :(

Very much like the idea to have this box in one way or another moving on in her memory. Keep us posted 6of8.


6 of 8, I'll be ready to send the box on in a few days. I'm still in shock and thinking, as others have said, how sad it is that Mary won't get to see the books that return in it.

I think it's a lovely idea to keep this one going for a long time (depending, this round, on her family's wishes for the books) and to start/re-start others she's done or was thinking of doing.

Mary touched so many lives.


Delivery Confirmation # 03111660000055673323.


wing6of8wing 8 yrs ago
Box has arrived
Lots of really cool books in this box -- wish Mary had been able to see this. Plus, I selected the last of the original books she started with as one of my choices, so none of the books included were hers (although one of the ones I added is the same title).

I will be contacting MaryZee's sister AnnMarie in the next few days to ask what she wants us to do with the box and all the books. There is a possibility the box will continue to circulate -- if not with these books, then a new collection in her memory. Will keep folks posted.


wing6of8wing 8 yrs ago
Just FYI
I passed the whole box along to AnnMarie61 (MaryZee's sister) on Saturday. She wanted a chance to look through the box and read some of the books and such, but indicated that the family would also like to see it circulate again in the future. I will keep you posted as I learn more about that.


It's nice to hear that Mary's family will get a chance to look at the books and that they know we want to keep her memory alive here.


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