Exalting Home and Family

Dear Mr. James Lipton,

I’ve had your book, An Exaltation of Home and Family, decades before I made the discovery that you are the host of the TV series “Inside the Actor’s Studio”. It was such a pleasant surprise, as is your book.

According to the remarks on the jacket, it’s part of a series called Exaltation. I don’t know if I’ve seen the other books or I was just unaware when I saw them. I found my copy inside a used books store. It was easy to finish the book without buying it. I think it was also the same time that I began to read Lemony Snickett’s A Series of Unfortunate Events so the images in your book – the ones that echoed bygone decades and centuries – made me want to keep the book. It was like looking at a mash of illustrated pages from random pamphlets and postcards. This is just conjecture on my part but I think that some of them are caricatures used by newspapers or similar types.

While I am sure that I also bought it to be used for an English class, I forget which class. Although I do remember sharing the book with classmates who smiled and laughed while they read the book, specially during those moments when there was a lull in the discussion. I even think that my teacher in the history of English would appreciate the prelude you wrote.

“Lipton’s Fourth Law states that most garages run out of room for cars, hence contain none.” Your observations are witty and amusing.

Every time I open to a page of your book, I’m brought back to my freshman year in high school. That was when I began to learn about collective nouns. The list that my teacher had us copy was lengthy! I’m uncertain if I’ve used half of those terms, much less remember them. It was upon reading your book that I made another discovery: I could create my own.

I’ve lost track of the times I’ve read An Exaltation of Home and Family. Certain people and special moments always come to mind whenever I do. And I could never close the book without reading the Solatium. While it’s one of the shortest sections of the books, it’s where I linger the most, particularly at the last page.

A panacea of laughter
A deliverance of tears
A tower of strength

Thank you so much for exalting the home and the family.



Mati Serrano

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