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What We Keep: 150 People Share the One Object that Brings Them Joy, Magic, and Meaning (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

I love projects that strip us down to our very essence: one word, one image, and in this case, one thing we cherish above all others. Each pairing here is inspiring, each essay simple and thought-provoking, bringing to light our shared humanity. For the most part these are everyday items that might be tossed aside or skipped over, but because of their history they have become imbued with a patina of meaning. It takes courage to pick just one thing to represent your life, what do you think you might choose? Put this beauty in a place where you can reach for it often, it deserves to be savored and reread many times.

— From Beth's Picks


With contributions from Cheryl Strayed, Mark Cuban, Ta-Nahesi Coates, Melinda Gates, Joss Whedon, James Patterson, and many more--this fascinating collection gives us a peek into 150 personal treasures and the secret histories behind them.

All of us have that one object that holds deep meaning--something that speaks to our past, that carries a remarkable story. Bestselling author Bill Shapiro collected this sweeping range of stories--he talked to everyone from renowned writers to Shark Tank hosts, from blackjack dealers to teachers, truckers, and nuns, even a reformed counterfeiter--to reveal the often hidden, always surprising lives of objects.

About the Author

Bill Shapiro is the former editor-in-chief of LIFE, the legendary photo magazine. Later, he was the founding editor-in-chief of and won the 2011 National Magazine Award for digital photography. He is the author of several books including the best-selling book Other People's Love Letters. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Praise For…

"From the former editor-in-chief of Life Magazine comes this gorgeous photo collection of everyday things that people hold dear. A combination of fascinating interviews and photographs introduce readers to the most personal items owned by notable individuals including Cheryl Strayed, Melinda Gates, and Mark Cuban, all while examining the reasons we consider certain possessions invaluable."—Real Simple, 'The Best Books of 2018 (So Far)

"Our no-fail host gift? A book that's instantly absorbing yet easy to dip in and out of. This season, that book is What We Keep, a collection of interviews with a cast of personalities - some famous, others merely fascinating - about the objects they cherish above all others."—Sunset

"[A] moving new book, What We Keep, offers a meditation on the distinctly human need to find meaning in the inanimate."—Fast Company

Product Details
ISBN: 9780762462544
ISBN-10: 076246254X
Publisher: Running Press Adult
Publication Date: September 25th, 2018
Pages: 208
Language: English