All the Time in the World: A Book of Hours (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday), is the natural successor to Jessica Kerwin Jenkins’ Encyclopedia of the Exquisite, a non-fictional foray into all the whimsical and wonderful ways in which people have passed their hours over the centuries.
Booklist gave All the Time in the World a starred review, calling the book a “lovely and lovingly researched literary gem,” as well as a “scholarly and highly entertaining book of exuberance.”
The Kirkus Review deemed the book “a small Cabinet of Wonder.” And Powell’s Books judged it to be, “Entertaining, unexpected, and full of charm…a miscellany of engaging stories, detailing the intriguing customs, traditions, and guilty pleasures pursued throughout the ages.”
While Encyclopedia of the Exquisite took inspiration from encyclopedias of the 16th century, All the Time in the World takes its cues from the Medieval book of hours, arranged by time of day and meandering through the ages to present only the most fantastic ways to while away the hours. Seventeenth century Japan’s early morning kabuki fans get their due, as do 1920s era expats, sunning themselves on the French Riviera in the late afternoon. Proustian demimondaines bicycle through the Bois de Bologne. Americans discover the pleasures of the flaming dessert, and along the way everyone from Oscar Wilde to Casanova to Catherine de Medici and Marcel Duchamp puts in a cameo.
All the Time in the World revives forgotten treasures, while inspiring a passion for good living in the present, and suggesting some bold and wonderful ways to spend whatever time we’ve got left.