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With the candid quirkiness of Awkward Family Photos and the confessional intimacy of PostSecret, Ransom Riggs's Talking Pictures is a haunting collection of antique found photographs—with evocative inscriptions that bring these lost personal moments to life—from the author of the New York Times bestselling illustrated novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Each With the candid quirkiness of Awkward Family Photos and the confessional intimacy of PostSecret, Ransom Riggs's Talking Pictures is a haunting collection of antique found photographs—with evocative inscriptions that bring these lost personal moments to life—from the author of the New York Times bestselling illustrated novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Each image in Talking Pictures reveals a singular, frozen moment in a person’s life, be it joyful, quiet, or steeped in sorrow. Yet the book’s unique depth comes from the writing accompanying each photo: as with the caption revealing how one seemingly random snapshot of a dancing couple captured the first dance of their 40-year marriage, each successive inscription shines like a flashbulb illuminating a photograph’s particular context and lighting up our connection to the past.


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With the candid quirkiness of Awkward Family Photos and the confessional intimacy of PostSecret, Ransom Riggs's Talking Pictures is a haunting collection of antique found photographs—with evocative inscriptions that bring these lost personal moments to life—from the author of the New York Times bestselling illustrated novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Each With the candid quirkiness of Awkward Family Photos and the confessional intimacy of PostSecret, Ransom Riggs's Talking Pictures is a haunting collection of antique found photographs—with evocative inscriptions that bring these lost personal moments to life—from the author of the New York Times bestselling illustrated novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Each image in Talking Pictures reveals a singular, frozen moment in a person’s life, be it joyful, quiet, or steeped in sorrow. Yet the book’s unique depth comes from the writing accompanying each photo: as with the caption revealing how one seemingly random snapshot of a dancing couple captured the first dance of their 40-year marriage, each successive inscription shines like a flashbulb illuminating a photograph’s particular context and lighting up our connection to the past.

30 review for Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued from the Past

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nat

    “Sometimes a word is worth a thousand pictures.” Talking Pictures is a haunting collection of antique found photographs—with evocative inscriptions that bring these lost personal moments to life. “The best inscriptions make a snapshot feel current, no matter when it was taken.” I absolutely loved the introduction to this story. In a short amount of pages Ransom Riggs managed to make me feel hopeful, fearful and, for a split second, tearful. “Maybe the picture is blurred because she couldn’t stop her “Sometimes a word is worth a thousand pictures.” Talking Pictures is a haunting collection of antique found photographs—with evocative inscriptions that bring these lost personal moments to life. “The best inscriptions make a snapshot feel current, no matter when it was taken.” I absolutely loved the introduction to this story. In a short amount of pages Ransom Riggs managed to make me feel hopeful, fearful and, for a split second, tearful. “Maybe the picture is blurred because she couldn’t stop her hands from shaking as she took it. We’ll never know, but thanks to the inscription on the back we can at least wonder. It lent the mutest of snapshots a voice.” I personally love looking at old family pictures of mine to see what’s changed, so this was truly an insightful take on such an interesting subject. And I have a feeling that the pictures included in this collection will stay with me for a very long time. Here’s some of my personal favorites out of the collection: They’re true hidden gems that made me laugh and cry and contemplate, and I'm just really thankful that this book exists. “Before you throw anything out, be sure to glance at the back.” *Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Talking Pictures, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!* This review and more can be found on my blog.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paquita Maria Sanchez

    I was out of the loop during the whole Ransom Riggs craze of 2011. I have never read that book about the home where the peculiar children go, even though it's said to contain a bunch of cool, creepy old photos, and I love cool, creepy old photos. This obsession was noted by goodreader karen (hi!) when we visited a NYC junk shop called "The Serial Killer Store" [sic], and I proceeded to dig through a giant crate of old photos for entirely too long and to her general consternation, as she found th I was out of the loop during the whole Ransom Riggs craze of 2011. I have never read that book about the home where the peculiar children go, even though it's said to contain a bunch of cool, creepy old photos, and I love cool, creepy old photos. This obsession was noted by goodreader karen (hi!) when we visited a NYC junk shop called "The Serial Killer Store" [sic], and I proceeded to dig through a giant crate of old photos for entirely too long and to her general consternation, as she found them sad and scary. And I get it. Abandoned family photos are kinda depressing. Though some (hi!) would argue that the subjects are all murder victims, and that a junk shop is a brilliant dumping ground for trophies of your victims if the police get hip to your murder jive, I still like looking at vintage photos of nobody strangers because it makes me feel small in a good way, and it's fun to make up stories about them. Also, I read an article in American Photo back in the late 90's about a guy who found, in some junk shop or estate sale or whatever, negatives of a previously unknown photoshoot of Marilyn Monroe as a brunette, and that mofo got PAID off that shit. But that is a secondary concern, and I am rambling. Again. After I endured an especially bad day, kindly karen sent me this large selection of Ransom Riggs' collected photos featuring text in the borders, on the images themselves, or written on their backsides. Some of them are hilarious, a lot of them are depressing, and the aesthetic quality of the images is wildly variant. There are tons of photos of couples in love featuring guilt-trippy handwritten messages, such as "keep this as a remembrance of a discarded lover" (double-underlined for maximum drama), as well as images of wartime graveyards and soldiers you find out died the next day, pictures of people with smallpox or bee-stings on their faces or air-raid masks on, shots where the person bitches about how they look fat or cross-eyed, group photos with one scratched-out face, dudes named (in pen) things like "dicksack", and even a professional portrait of a baby on her stomach on which someone doodled a neon fart cloud shaped like a monster coming out of her butt. There's even one or two of my personal favorite, the old-timey mug shot. Some of them become meaningful in the context of their personalization, while many are just beautiful objects all by themselves. However, the majority of them are both, like this one: It was so tragic when Bundy murdered all those East-African locusts. This is a really nice coffee table book, and karen is wonderful. The end. Wait, wait, wait, but I have to share my favorite mug shot, not because it's featured in this book (because it's not), but just because we are sorta on the subject. Who manages to look sexy even in a ding dang arrest photo? Oh, right, David Bowie. P.S. If there is a book of vintage mug shots out there, I would like to know about it. Thank you.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kathrina

    You have to take a look at this book. I can try to tell you how amazing it is, how each page gives you a glimpse into some stranger's life through a window you haven't been invited to view, like driving down a street at night and glimpsing snippets of people through their lighted windows. But here you get a fuller story, or enough to goad you into filling in what's missing. I could try to tell you how heart-wrenching some of these partly-told stories can be, but it won't be very convincing. You You have to take a look at this book. I can try to tell you how amazing it is, how each page gives you a glimpse into some stranger's life through a window you haven't been invited to view, like driving down a street at night and glimpsing snippets of people through their lighted windows. But here you get a fuller story, or enough to goad you into filling in what's missing. I could try to tell you how heart-wrenching some of these partly-told stories can be, but it won't be very convincing. You have to see the photos for yourself. This book is an experience, a capsule of history, nostalgia, mystery, artifacts of lives finished in history, but still living moments for the photographed. There is the moment of the click of the camera, the moment an owner writes an elusive comment on the back, for themselves, their grandkids, for you? The moment that photo was discarded, and the moment it was discovered again, with new eyes, new meanings, new mysteries. All these moments forged together, an impossible trick with words, but effortless with an image. Even more heart-wrenching when you consider that this era is over; we don't leave a trail through our lives with snapshots anymore -- our digital history isn't hoarded in old shoe boxes. What images will we leave to our grandkids when our digital files are obsolete? The 20th century is over and done, and the photos are what we have left. The 21st century is only just begun, but we're losing it already.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    "A picture is worth a thousand words . . ." -- old English adage Author Ransom Riggs (known for the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children series) has a 'peculiar' hobby - he likes to scour the weekend flea markets, swap meets, and garage / yard sales of Southern California to add to his ever-growing collection of vernacular photography. (Hey, I had to look it up - it means the pics feature common people and objects as the subject matter.) In his Talking Pictures he gathers a sample of the d "A picture is worth a thousand words . . ." -- old English adage Author Ransom Riggs (known for the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children series) has a 'peculiar' hobby - he likes to scour the weekend flea markets, swap meets, and garage / yard sales of Southern California to add to his ever-growing collection of vernacular photography. (Hey, I had to look it up - it means the pics feature common people and objects as the subject matter.) In his Talking Pictures he gathers a sample of the discarded photographs, usually dating from the 1920's up to the late 1960's, and loosely organizes them in titled chapters like 'Clowning Around,' 'Love and Marriage,' 'Life During Wartime.' I especially liked the military-related chapter, which often featured our young servicemen either shipping off to and/or returning home from either WWII, the Korean Conflict, or the Vietnam War with humor, although the concerns and horrors of warfare are somberly addressed as well.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Angel

    I met Ransom Riggs and he talked about this book. He has a hobby of finding old photos at flea markets. He was intrigued by what people had written on the photos. This is a collection of those found photos. I'm looking forward to this one. I met Ransom Riggs and he talked about this book. He has a hobby of finding old photos at flea markets. He was intrigued by what people had written on the photos. This is a collection of those found photos. I'm looking forward to this one.

  6. 5 out of 5

    K.

    Will this be a creepy, macabre and mildly disturbing collection of photographs? Fingers crossed.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    I am admittedly a huge fan of vintage ephemera (a quick glance at my Pinterest profile will confirm this), so it's no surprise to me that I wound up loving this collection of "found" photographs. Ransom Riggs (of "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" fame) is a collector of vintage photos, many of them dug up from antique stores and flea markets. Their original owners are unknown, as are their settings, subjects and contexts. The only clues to these photos are the inscriptions written on I am admittedly a huge fan of vintage ephemera (a quick glance at my Pinterest profile will confirm this), so it's no surprise to me that I wound up loving this collection of "found" photographs. Ransom Riggs (of "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" fame) is a collector of vintage photos, many of them dug up from antique stores and flea markets. Their original owners are unknown, as are their settings, subjects and contexts. The only clues to these photos are the inscriptions written on them by either the photographers or the subjects themselves. It is this juxtaposition of the visual and the brief hints of clues that make this an absorbing read. The book is broken up into multiple thematic chapters, such as "Clowning Around" and "Life During Wartime". Most heartbreaking, however, is the chapter simply titled "Janet Lee". An introduction and afterward by the author bookend this brilliant collection and bring it all together. Riggs exhorts us to save as many printed pictures as we can. In this digital age, these gems are becoming an increasing rarity. The images may fade over time, but they are never completely gone. Difficult to say the same for for that file you accidentally deleted, right?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katja

    “Leaving home for war. I have pictures of first day to school, first day to high school, first day to college and first day off to war. This one I could easily + gladly have done without.” This book is utterly beautiful.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    Those old vintage photographs you find in your grandmother's attic, or loosened in albums that drift to the floor when you open the album, all yellowed, torn and shabby edged, with people you don't know a thing about. And you keep wondering who they are. Or what lives they had. Imagine those photos all stacked up in boxes, or bundled up, forgotten when their owners passes away, given or thrown away when their offspring don't know what to do with them. They change hands, or end up at yards sales, Those old vintage photographs you find in your grandmother's attic, or loosened in albums that drift to the floor when you open the album, all yellowed, torn and shabby edged, with people you don't know a thing about. And you keep wondering who they are. Or what lives they had. Imagine those photos all stacked up in boxes, or bundled up, forgotten when their owners passes away, given or thrown away when their offspring don't know what to do with them. They change hands, or end up at yards sales, or in collector's collections. This book has such photos, of unknown people, but all with a story. Most of them have a description, written on the back or scribbled in the corners and borders. Others have nothing, but from expressions or situations you can deduce what might have been going on. A few have doodles on them, or even scratched out parts. As mentioned in Riggs' afterword, this is not regular practice anymore. For one, we don't print photos anymore. Everything is shared digitally with friends and family. So there are no backs or borders to scribble on. As a freelance photographer, even I don't print mine. The only ones that are being "printed" are in their final format in a magazine or newspaper. So, are we all diligently captioning when sharing photos, or adding to a photograph's metadata? Photographs are part of documenting history. If we don't do that, will future generations wonder about who we were or how we lived? Will they scroll through millions of Facebook pages? Or Instagram accounts? But digital data is sensitive, at risk for a hard drive failure or server crash. Things might get lost....

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)

    This was interesting. I really should get around to reading the series already. Pictures were also good.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I think it's a tragedy (I'm not overstating) that people don't print out pictures, write in diaries, or write letters anymore, so I am the ideal audience for this book. I know everyone believes all of this can be done on Facebook, but what about in the future? How are grandkids/biographers going to know anything about anyone?! Don't get me started. Anyway, this is just a collection of old photos with captions--handwritten on the back, by the photo-takers--and it totally made my day. I think it's a tragedy (I'm not overstating) that people don't print out pictures, write in diaries, or write letters anymore, so I am the ideal audience for this book. I know everyone believes all of this can be done on Facebook, but what about in the future? How are grandkids/biographers going to know anything about anyone?! Don't get me started. Anyway, this is just a collection of old photos with captions--handwritten on the back, by the photo-takers--and it totally made my day.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Koeeoaddi

    A bunch of old photos with stuff writen on the back. Sad, hilarious and deeply creepy. I loved it!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dayla

    Article first published as Book Review: Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued From the Past by Ransom Riggs on Blogcritics. Review also appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7 I received a copy for review Ransom Riggs’s Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued From the Past is an unforgettable trip into the past. The stories found on the back of the pictures presented offer their own little surprises, adding depth to a seemingly simple text. Riggs’s shows the reader that sometimes only a Article first published as Book Review: Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued From the Past by Ransom Riggs on Blogcritics. Review also appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7 I received a copy for review Ransom Riggs’s Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued From the Past is an unforgettable trip into the past. The stories found on the back of the pictures presented offer their own little surprises, adding depth to a seemingly simple text. Riggs’s shows the reader that sometimes only a few words are needed to engage a person’s imagination, and that a picture is at times worth more than a single glance. When I visited New York City a few weeks ago, I came across a flea market that hosted various buckets of photographs. Old pictures, in varying stages of decay, were placed in different piles according to their types. Immediately, I understood why old photographs caught a person’s attention. Whispers from the past pull the curious in, and a desire to know more about the worlds beyond the ones frozen in the photographs takes over. A person may imagine the lives of the people captured the moment a camera flashes, but Riggs, as he states in his introduction, suggests that perhaps it is better to find pictures with messages, rather than just be content with wordless pictures. While Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was eerie, Talking Pictures is beautiful and haunting. Separated into different sections, the pictures decorating the pages of Riggs’s most recent text are at times funny, and more often sad. The toughest section to view is the one dedicated to photographs depicting war and deceased soldiers. Here, Riggs’s turns smiling groups of soldiers into depressing memories by informing the reader that most, if not all, of the men and women in multiple pictures died days, or months, after the photograph was taken. It is the stolen moments, just before death claims its prize, that make this section so depressing. It is fascinating how Riggs finds the most heartfelt messages hidden behind mundane pictures. From a section chronicling the short life of a smiling young girl, to a section where disaster lurks just beyond the photographs taken, Riggs’s manages to grab the reader’s attention effectively with few words and a lot of pictures, rather than paragraphs of fiction. I recommend this book to history lovers, photography enthusiasts, and fans of Ransom Riggs. If you read his debut and wanted more photography, rather than fiction, then you should give Talking Pictures a shot. The pictures can be viewed over and over again, and the emotions hidden within the little notes scribbled on the backs of the photographs will always incite a response from the reader. Beautiful, joyful, heartbreaking, tender, and mysterious, Riggs has a winner of a book that touches on every human emotion simply by exploring the past.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    This may possibly be one of the best books ever. I fell madly in love with Ransom Riggs through the first Miss Peregrine book--the thing I loved best about the book were the strange and beautiful photos. This book is a collection of "found" photos--some borrowed from friends, some found by the author himself. As if I did not adore him enough the prologue to the book explains that Ransom Riggs has enjoyed collecting old pictures of people he did not know since he was a child. This is a habit I sh This may possibly be one of the best books ever. I fell madly in love with Ransom Riggs through the first Miss Peregrine book--the thing I loved best about the book were the strange and beautiful photos. This book is a collection of "found" photos--some borrowed from friends, some found by the author himself. As if I did not adore him enough the prologue to the book explains that Ransom Riggs has enjoyed collecting old pictures of people he did not know since he was a child. This is a habit I share. Strangely he even cites some of the same reasons I collect old photos--the feeling of sadness you get seeing these pictures of long dead people who are just abandoned in an antique store or thrift store. Knowing that they and all their relatives might be deceased. Sometimes they are just beautiful or well shot. For whatever reason, they compel me. I have collected since I was a teenager. 2 of the 3 men I have lived with in my life have asked me "why do you have want pictures of people you don't know?" (granted these men also did not enjoy my voracious collecting of nearly everything else on the planet either....but I digress.) This book is made up of photos that have writing either on the back or front--the way that Riggs seems to have reined in his obsession--only collecting those with writing. The book is almost indescribable. Beautiful, sad, funny, creepy, informative, touching--it's actually the gamut of emotions. It truly shows the weird and wonderful lives that humans live in all their sadness and joy and eccentric beauty. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    Ransom Riggs wrote Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Probably the best part of that book were the unusual and sometimes creepy pictures the story was built around. Mr. Riggs collects "lost pictures". He tells us the story of the first photo he bought from a bin of miscellaneous photos in a junk shop when he was 13. Pictures dumped, spilled and torn from albums, frames and wallets with no information except for the words scribbled on them. He bought the first and then some years later b Ransom Riggs wrote Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Probably the best part of that book were the unusual and sometimes creepy pictures the story was built around. Mr. Riggs collects "lost pictures". He tells us the story of the first photo he bought from a bin of miscellaneous photos in a junk shop when he was 13. Pictures dumped, spilled and torn from albums, frames and wallets with no information except for the words scribbled on them. He bought the first and then some years later bought another...after that he says, "he was off". This is a fascinating book and many of the pictures touching, mostly in a poignant way. There are a few profoundly moving photos, a few very humorous photos...and one "chapter" that annoys me (view spoiler)[ Photos of people who were worried about being "too fat", even back in the 1940s (hide spoiler)] . I can recommend this one it's quite enjoyable.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sheila Mccaa-sanders

    After 30 years in the antique business I have seen many old photos but this collection of photographs with their commentary I found riveting and hard to put down. I admit I have always found these discarded bits of people lives fascinating but would never have imagined this group that takes you into all levels of emotion with their littles bits of scribbled information. I'm sure I will revisit it many times to experience it all over again. Thanks Briana for finding it and adding it to your to- After 30 years in the antique business I have seen many old photos but this collection of photographs with their commentary I found riveting and hard to put down. I admit I have always found these discarded bits of people lives fascinating but would never have imagined this group that takes you into all levels of emotion with their littles bits of scribbled information. I'm sure I will revisit it many times to experience it all over again. Thanks Briana for finding it and adding it to your to-read list.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Victor The Reader

    Talking Pictures: My Kindle Review This collection of black and white pictures from Riggs is an amusing one that will fascinate readers. Many of these are very personal and interesting, and some are a bit odd, and some come with messages. While they don't have the fantasy feel as the photos in the Miss Peregrine series, fans of the series and those who love photography will still enjoy these "talking pictures". A- (91%/Excellent) Talking Pictures: My Kindle Review This collection of black and white pictures from Riggs is an amusing one that will fascinate readers. Many of these are very personal and interesting, and some are a bit odd, and some come with messages. While they don't have the fantasy feel as the photos in the Miss Peregrine series, fans of the series and those who love photography will still enjoy these "talking pictures". A- (91%/Excellent)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I saw this book years ago and put it on my TBR shelf. I could never find it in any of the bookstores so I decided that one day I would just order it off Amazon. I went looking at Amazon one day and noticed that one of the book sellers was selling a used copy and I just had to have it. The author and I share the same hobby of collecting old unwanted photo's. I can't for the life of me understand how anyone can throw these away. I would give my right kidney to be able to find photos of my ancestor I saw this book years ago and put it on my TBR shelf. I could never find it in any of the bookstores so I decided that one day I would just order it off Amazon. I went looking at Amazon one day and noticed that one of the book sellers was selling a used copy and I just had to have it. The author and I share the same hobby of collecting old unwanted photo's. I can't for the life of me understand how anyone can throw these away. I would give my right kidney to be able to find photos of my ancestors. As it stands I only have a few and it only goes back as far as 1910. I know this sounds weird but I feel for these photo's. I hate that they don't have a home to go to so I think that is why I will buy them and take them home with me. Some photos I will take a step further and try and find their descendants. At a flea market I bought a service man's photo and some of his things from WW2. I posted about it on flickr and about 6 months later the mans granddaughter contacted me. She told me that back in the early 1990's her uncle mailed these photos and his stuff out to her mom and it got lost in the mail. Where it was for 20 years no one will ever know, but the most important part is that this man's belongings were returned to his family. I would love to see Ransom Riggs do another one of these books.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Britt Aamodt

    Weirdly cool A cool collection of found photos. They are placed in thematic chapters like wartime and Janet Lee. That last is a whole slew of pics showing the life and end of a little girl. Is it the mom or aunt who writes the story of the girl's life on the backs? Like a mystery cos you want to know what happened. Weirdly cool A cool collection of found photos. They are placed in thematic chapters like wartime and Janet Lee. That last is a whole slew of pics showing the life and end of a little girl. Is it the mom or aunt who writes the story of the girl's life on the backs? Like a mystery cos you want to know what happened.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    3.5 Some very interesting and unique photos

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amna

    My love and interest for such picture books started with Humans of New York and Frank Warren's PostSecret. I wasn't disappointed with Ransom Riggs' wonderful collection of photographs here either, it took me back to piles and piles of photo albums that I used to file through with my parents, some of which were marked by comments and labeled by a date and time (most probably my father's work), and I remember how strange it was to see a life with familiar faces from times I never knew. Times befor My love and interest for such picture books started with Humans of New York and Frank Warren's PostSecret. I wasn't disappointed with Ransom Riggs' wonderful collection of photographs here either, it took me back to piles and piles of photo albums that I used to file through with my parents, some of which were marked by comments and labeled by a date and time (most probably my father's work), and I remember how strange it was to see a life with familiar faces from times I never knew. Times before my birth, some before even my parents' birth. It was wonderful, and I like the message behind this book. It reminded me of the values of printed photographs, and how the words we choose or not choose to label them with can make a big difference in our perception, and even modify our memory. The only thing I didn't really like about the book is that not all pictures had a typed caption of the handwritten comments on the photographs. I had a hard time reading some of the handwritings, and I would have appreciated it more if the caption were available for all the pictures. I think I'm gonna try to collect more "talking pictures". Emphasis on "try". Recommended, especially to those who would want to pick up a book that will expand their thoughts just a bit.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stifyn Emrys

    My wife purchased this for me as a Christmas gift after I enjoyed the pictures sprinkled through the author's novel, "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children." This isn't a novel, so don't expect that. It's a picture book and can be read in one sitting, but it's also one you may feel compelled to read again and again. I've always been fascinated with old photographs - the fact that a moment of time was captured and then, over the years, time passed the subjects by. Some are dead. Some are far My wife purchased this for me as a Christmas gift after I enjoyed the pictures sprinkled through the author's novel, "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children." This isn't a novel, so don't expect that. It's a picture book and can be read in one sitting, but it's also one you may feel compelled to read again and again. I've always been fascinated with old photographs - the fact that a moment of time was captured and then, over the years, time passed the subjects by. Some are dead. Some are far older. Some have been lost or even forgotten. The photos Riggs chose for this volume are haunting and poignant, and the scrawled captions that accompany them are both mysterious and revealing. One particularly touching chapter focuses entirely on the photos of a single little girl. If you are a fan of history and enjoy looking at snapshots into neglected corners of the past, this book will be a great addition to your library.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    BIG HUGE fan of Riggs and the entire idea of collecting old photos. I have purchased many of them myself, but would never have thought to do what he has done with them. I enjoyed this book so much and bought a copy for my sister as well. Old photos are so haunting and Riggs gives us the tiny bit of personal background that is contained on the back sides of these. Sometimes that transforms what would seem like a very bland photo into something quite interesting and extraordinary. Can't see how any BIG HUGE fan of Riggs and the entire idea of collecting old photos. I have purchased many of them myself, but would never have thought to do what he has done with them. I enjoyed this book so much and bought a copy for my sister as well. Old photos are so haunting and Riggs gives us the tiny bit of personal background that is contained on the back sides of these. Sometimes that transforms what would seem like a very bland photo into something quite interesting and extraordinary. Can't see how anyone would fail to love this. Sorry to be so late in writing my review. If you do not know Riggs, please give him a chance. His Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series is amazing.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I loved Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, so I was anxious to read Talking Pictures. Riggs continues his obsessive collection of photographs of unknown people in this book, but doesn't build a story around them as he did with Miss Peregrine. Instead, he categorizes the photos and lets them do the talking as he shares whatever has been written on them. I was totally sucked into this book and finished it in one sitting but afterward I felt like a voyeur and that I had invaded strangers' I loved Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, so I was anxious to read Talking Pictures. Riggs continues his obsessive collection of photographs of unknown people in this book, but doesn't build a story around them as he did with Miss Peregrine. Instead, he categorizes the photos and lets them do the talking as he shares whatever has been written on them. I was totally sucked into this book and finished it in one sitting but afterward I felt like a voyeur and that I had invaded strangers' personal lives without an invitation. I wonder how many people will recognize someone in these photos and what their responses will be to their inclusion in this book. While I don't believe that Riggs is making fun of them, I do think some people could feel exploited.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth A

    This is a strange and interesting book. The author has a hobby - he collects old photographs of people he does not know. There is a catch though - the photos need text of some kind written on it. This book is a curation of some of the photos from the author's collection. The photos are all black and white, and while the photos are interesting in themselves, it is the text that gives you a peek into these stranger's lives. The handwritten words on either the back or the front of the photos docume This is a strange and interesting book. The author has a hobby - he collects old photographs of people he does not know. There is a catch though - the photos need text of some kind written on it. This book is a curation of some of the photos from the author's collection. The photos are all black and white, and while the photos are interesting in themselves, it is the text that gives you a peek into these stranger's lives. The handwritten words on either the back or the front of the photos document various things: who, where, when, what, why. The combination of the words and text creates a little tableau on each page that is quite fun, and sometimes disturbing. Will one be able to have such a hobby in the future now that we are all digital?

  26. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I really love old pictures, which is why I bought this book. I would love to be able to leave the house and find some places that sell old pictures like this author has in this book. I love he gets ones with writing on them so you can learn what the picture is about. Some of them even say where they were taken etc. You get to look at these pictures and wonder about the people and any relatives they may have that are still out there, or if it's not of people you can take in the beautiful scenery. I really love old pictures, which is why I bought this book. I would love to be able to leave the house and find some places that sell old pictures like this author has in this book. I love he gets ones with writing on them so you can learn what the picture is about. Some of them even say where they were taken etc. You get to look at these pictures and wonder about the people and any relatives they may have that are still out there, or if it's not of people you can take in the beautiful scenery. I love all things old, I hope we can keep preserving as much of the past as we can.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    A work colleague at the Library drew my attention to this book that a patron had requested on hold. I was fascinated by the concept of collating photographs that had been rescued from the trash of strangers. In reality, these photos are a mixed bag, and you might argue that a few should have been left to their fate! However, others brought a smile, and some even have historical interest.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ninetailedkat

    I own this book sort of by accident but I found it very moving in parts and I am glad I have it. I originally bought it thinking it was going to be similar to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, a story based around old photographs from the author's collection. Although Talking Pictures is not a story, I would encourage you to get it from the library if you don't want to actually buy it because of the glimpse it gives you into the past, into a very different time when photos were more p I own this book sort of by accident but I found it very moving in parts and I am glad I have it. I originally bought it thinking it was going to be similar to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, a story based around old photographs from the author's collection. Although Talking Pictures is not a story, I would encourage you to get it from the library if you don't want to actually buy it because of the glimpse it gives you into the past, into a very different time when photos were more precious since they just weren’t taken as often or as easily like today’s digital age. The author, Ransom Riggs, is a photographer and filmmaker. He has a short but compelling forward and afterward regarding how his hobby started as a young kid collecting old photographs at flea markets etc. in Florida, and how one afternoon, he happens to turn that photo over and read the inscription he never knew was there. For him, it was a life changing moment. Make sure you read both. His book is just a small compilation of his photo collection, of people and places grouped into general headings of “Clowning Around”, “Love and Marriage”, “Times of Trouble”, “Life in Wartime”, “Janet Lee”, “Hide This Please” and “Unsolved Mysteries”. In each chapter you will find a variety of photos from many different eras, some with simply funny, human moments that transcend time and others with tragic import. I was surprised at how some of these pictures and their inscriptions made me choke up. Part of the author’s point is that these photos are glimpses into history and he is alarmed at how quickly this history is disappearing. This statement really hit home for me in a couple of ways. About a year ago, I began going through old 35 mm slides,tapes and photos of my own family just to get them onto a digital format. It was saddening to see how many had already degraded before I made time to do this. The majority were of my mom and dad when they were just married, their honeymoon, starting a new family, his time at war (he was in WWII and Korea), and post wartime. Most of the slides involved my brother and sister who were 9 and 10 years older than me respectively. My goal was to present the digital form of these slides to my sister and brother for Christmas presents in 2016, but unfortunately my brother passed away very unexpectedly before he could see them. And I can’t help thinking how I would have liked to have the chance to talk to my parents or my brother about what some of these pictures really meant and the background behind them, something I can now never do. So much personal history lost…. Another memory I have is from my parent’s garage when they were sort of in the flea market business. I remember finding really old photos, tintypes, the kind that were taken on the metal plates. To this day, I have no idea if those people were relations or strangers, but I wish I had the chance to find out. The pictures were probably sold off in an estate sale after my mom passed away before I recalled they might be there somewhere. Bottom line, I am glad I read this book as it made me think about my own history such as it is, and how I would like to try to preserve it for my kids if for no one else.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Clare Carter

    *4.5 Stars* I have literally wanted to read this for YEARS and just happened upon it at the library today (again, in my whole day of nothing to do). I LOVE old pictures. I probably like abandoned places a bit more since they have more of an air of mystery, but these were just SO COOL. I can't get over it. The only reason I took off half a star is because some of the messages on the pictures were typed up below so it was easier to read, but others weren't. I can read cursive pretty well, but somet *4.5 Stars* I have literally wanted to read this for YEARS and just happened upon it at the library today (again, in my whole day of nothing to do). I LOVE old pictures. I probably like abandoned places a bit more since they have more of an air of mystery, but these were just SO COOL. I can't get over it. The only reason I took off half a star is because some of the messages on the pictures were typed up below so it was easier to read, but others weren't. I can read cursive pretty well, but sometimes I couldn't make out a couple words, so that left me confused about the overall message. But please pick this up it was really, really neat.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Hayli

    I loved this book. I really love old photographs. I love thinking about who the people in the photographs could have been. I've got a good box full of them from a flea market from a few years back. Mostly portraits, though. In this book, there are many wondrous photos with funny, sad, and strange captions. I loved this book. I really love old photographs. I love thinking about who the people in the photographs could have been. I've got a good box full of them from a flea market from a few years back. Mostly portraits, though. In this book, there are many wondrous photos with funny, sad, and strange captions.

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