Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 390s

393: American Afterlife by Kate Sweeney


393: Sweeney, Kate. American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2014. 232 pp. ISBN 978-0-8203-4600-7. Dewey Breakdown:

  • 300: Social Sciences
  • 390: Customs and etiquette
  • 393: Death customs

Every 14 seconds, some one dies in the United States. But how do we mourn those deaths? How do current mourning practices compare to those of the past? And what do new innovations and practices in the funerary industry have to say about the social landscape of the country? Kate Sweeney’s American Afterlife looks at all these facets of the American funerary, burial, and death services to get a picture of how we deal with the loss of a loved one. Read the rest of this entry »

390: All the Time in the World by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins


390: Jenkins, Jessica Kerwin. All the Time in the World: A Book of Hours. New York: Nan A. Talese, 2013. 264 pp. ISBN 978-0-385-53541-0.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 300: Social Science
  • 390: Customs, etiquette, and folklore

Jessica Kerwin Jenkins’s All the Time in the World is a delightful collection of historical anecdotes, asides, and trivia arranged like a traditional book of hours. Historically, a book of hours was an ordered collection of prayers, rituals, and devotionals to be learned and practiced at regulated times of the day and certain days of years. While each book was different and unique to its owner, it allowed the reader to incorporate elements of monasticism into their religious lives.

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398: The Rotinonshonni by Brian Rice


398.20899755: Rice, Brian. The Rotinonshonni: A Traditional Iroquoian History Through the Eyes of Teharonhia:wako and Sawiskera. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2013. 310 pp. ISBN 978-0-8156-1021-2.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 300: Social Sciences
  • 390: Customs, etiquette, and folklore
  • 398: Folklore
  • 398.2: Folk literature
  • 398.208: Groups of people
  • 398.2089: Ethnic and national groups
  • 398.208997: Indians of North America
  • 398.20899755: Iroquois Indians

The Iroquois, or “the People of the Longhouse” and comprise the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Tuscarora nations. In Canada, they live near Brantford, Ontario and are known as the Rotinonshonni. Brian Rice’s The Rotinonshonni  is a vast undertaking—to collect, understand, and translate the complete folklore of a people and preserve it for the ages. As a member of Mohawk nation, he has spent the last fifteen years traveling to their historic sites, listening to elders tell the Creation Story and the Kayeneren:howa (“The Great Way of Peace”), the days-long recitation of the history of the Rotinonshonni.

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394: A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

394.12: Standage, Tom. A History of the World in 6 Glasses. New York: Walker & Company, 2006. 274 pp. ISBN 0-8027-1552-4.

Books on food and drink would normally fall into 641, as it is an extension of technology used in home and family management (a stretch, I know, but it is what it is). This book, however, is a look at sociology and how it was affected by the introduction of various beverages. The social science are in the 300s, and this now falls into the 390s—Customs, etiquette, and folklore. This book, being about the general customs and social history of beverages falls into 394 (General customs). Enjoy.


Tom Standage, in A History of the World in 6 Glasses, tries to present a human historical timeline that can be divided into distinct epochs that each centered on a different beverage. The first is beer. Beer was made by fermenting wheat, barley, or some other grain in water with naturally airborne yeast. It seems to be first man-made beverage (regular water at the time was typically polluted with human or other animal waste), coming into vogue between 10,000 and 7,000 BCE. It was used as a social drink and as payment for a day’s work. Sumerian accountants kept very careful logs of who got beer, how much they got, and when they got it. (On a side note, it is rather sad that accounting created some of the first records, and not the arts)

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