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A Blast from the Past

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June 17th, 2009

f james lileks A Blast from the Past

When I first ended up at writer James Lileks’ webpage, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what it was for. After some investigation, I noticed the  small, subtle links to purchase his retro-chic design and cookbooks. But, this investigation took me through the bountiful collections that are all things Lileks, and as they say, it’s the journey…Lileks is the author of several books, including “The Gallery of Regrettable Food,” and “Mommy Knows Worst – Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice.” Many of his books are very 1970s-style humouristic lifestyles books, filled with retro art and ridiculous concepts. Lilek was born in 1958, and lived through the “Golden Ages,” if you will – and his books bring some childhood memories home for the baby boomers and their children.

His books are but a sidenote of his epic website, however. As Lilek admits on the index page, “a single click may reveal ten websites within,” and that’s no exaggeration. Lileks’ page houses links to his blog, a matchbook museum that’s updated weekly (including Joe Ohio, a short story told with the aid of antique matchbooks), the Institute of Official Cheer – which is a funny, blundering mess, collections of a wide variety of postcards, a collection of “ghost signs,” urban studies websites… it goes on, and on, and on, and… well, you get the picture.

But if you’re anything for the retro-chic movement, or you’re a boomer yourself, you’ll love flipping through this guy’s collections. He’s like the father (or grandfather, or brother) you never had – or, you did have, only he’s kept EVERYTHING.

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