When Kate visited in October, I mentioned how much I love simple home tips, and she suggested that I track down this book. All Things Wise and Wonderful: A Big Little Book of Hints was published by the Pasadena Art Alliance in 1975. The Pasadena Art Alliance is an independent organization that formed in 1955 to support the arts in southern California. From the beginning, fund-raising was an important component of the organization’s mission. They began raising money for the arts by holding Treasure Sales. Members collected, appraised, priced and displayed donated items, which were sold to the public. Between 1975 and 1994, the Pasadena Art Alliance decided to supplement their Treasure Sales with book sales. The women of the art alliance brainstormed household hints, tips and related quotations, and All Things Wise and Wonderful was born. In the first 12 years of publication, the book sold 150,000 copies. The ladies were on a roll, and they wrote five more books. Some of the advice is pretty out there: “For large parties, use a washing machine to store ice, cool beer, etc.” But it makes for good reading. And all told, the six books raised more than $500,000 for the arts in southern California. Pretty wonderful. — Amy Azzarito
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