Cover Image: The Secret Life of Hidden Places

The Secret Life of Hidden Places

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A book that might have been right up my street – but still provided a few hours entertainment, courtesy it dithering round the right neighbourhood, if nothing else. This is a well-presented look at many near-Fortean instances of things being hidden. We're talking big things, like communities of bones and grand estates, and smaller things, from the priest's hole to the privy.

The first chapter certainly was a delight, however familiar the topic. We start with the chap who, despite his mahoosive above-ground Nottinghamshire pile, built something almost as large underground – a ballroom, when he hated company, a billiard room fit for six full-sized tables, and so on. Was it his skin problems, his one love being unrequited, or just his hatred of pandering to his kin, that meant he was never to be looked at, and had tunnels such as one a third of a mile in length built under his lawns?

Next it's a French abbey, and the scholarly book thief who started taking their Latin prizes from the library shelves – and got to continue doing so when he became the only person aware of the secret antechamber linked to the book rooms. Other treasures are the Amber Room – truly secret and hidden in that nobody officially knows what happened to it during WW2, that there Winchester House, and a round-up of all those potential sites of alchemy the Germans might think of as a Laborkerner.

Unfortunately, some of the chapters are too close to just being a round-up, fixing on one place but finding the need to define the Freemasons, the Knights Templar and anyone else vaguely relevant. Some sites visited read more like tourist guides – Versailles, in particular – than a guide to what is really behind the world's best examples of those invisible jib doors.

Still, the photos are fine, the box-out-styled extra matter of further examples for each chapter are great, and the breadth of topics from secret museum collections to speakeasies still in operation at the start of covid lockdowns to satanic societies is all ripe for enjoyment. Less so is the constant way of introducing each chapter with a second person preamble, but a lot can be forgiven here. This is definitely a strong four stars, and a book whose rationing as well as purchase is definitely recommended.

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What is it about "hidden" anything that demands and fairly launches a full-on search mode within our hearts and souls? We are ready to dive into the dangerous unknown places, risking life and limb. . .what is it??

Well, Readers, here's a book with some places you've heard of and some you haven't, and every bit of it is interesting and filled with nuggets of entertainment. Great photos accompany eighteen categories of secret, hidden, unknown or long-forgotten places.

Either send all your housemates out, or grab your favorite and turn out the lights. Claim a cozy corner, get under a blanket with a flashlight and enjoy a few chapters, a few nights at a time. You're welcome. Fun stuff to consider as you think about the secret and hidden places in your own locations - they are everywhere, you know. Just a little research'll find 'em.

*A sincere thank you to Stefan Bachmann, April Genevieve Tucholke, Workman Publishing Company, and NetGalley for an ARC to read and independently review.* #TheSecretLifeofHiddenPlaces #NetGalley

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This book was simply magical! Covering 18 hidden spaces in depth, it takes us on an adventure to see what is hidden underground, behind the walls, or simply in an apartment building. Where this book branches off from others on similar topics is the way it provides context to what was going on at the time of the creation of the hidden space and delves into the story of the people who created each space. Another fun aspect is that each chapter starts with a little fantastical opening where you are coming across this hidden location or utilizing it in its heyday. It then moves on to the historical background. Multiple beautiful pictures accompany each chapter. I learned a great deal about places I had never heard of before, as well as learning additional details on places I had encountered, such as the Winchester House.

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“The Secret Life of Hidden Places,” by Stefan Bachmann and April Genevieve Tucholke

Eighteen architectural mysteries and the minds that created them.

This book was super interesting. It’s full of short stories and the histories of unique places in our current world. It’s poetic, fun, and strange, this book has it all. I had no idea that there was so many cool lore around architecture the world we live in has. It was a super fun read. 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you for the ARC, Netgalley.

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This book is everything it promises: a look at all types of secret rooms and passages and the history of how they came to be there. If the title grabbed your attention, go ahead and grab the book. The things I loved about the book were the wide variety of places highlighted and the way they were grouped together by type. For example, there's a chapter on speakeasies and hidden bars, a chapter on labyrinths and mazes, a chapter on secrets hidden in dollhouses, etc. The book covers locations around the world, though admittedly American and European places are the majority. My only qualm with the book is that I wish there had been some deeper analysis and insights, but that wasn't really what this book was doing. In that vein, I really would have liked a final word from the author tying everything up.

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Thank you for the EArc NetGalley and Workman Publishing. I haven’t finished this book yet but for fear of it getting archived without being able to review I will; give it a go. So far I love this book. The stories about all of the hidden places plus the photos are really captivating. ,ore than once I’ve stopped to google ,ore about the story as they are so intriguing. Great book, can’t wait to finish it.

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this eARC.

The Secret Life of Hidden Places is a fascinating exploration of some of the world's most mysterious and intriguing architectural wonders. From the Amber Room that vanished during World War II to the underground city of Derinkuyu in Turkey, the authors take us on a journey through history, art, and culture, revealing the secrets behind these hidden places and the curious minds that made them.

This book is divided into eighteen chapters, each focusing on a different location or theme. The authors combine lush photographs, lyrical prose, and engaging anecdotes to bring these places to life. They also provide historical and cultural context, as well as insights into the motivations and personalities of the people who created or discovered these places. Whether it is the obsession of a mad king, the ambition of a visionary artist, or the curiosity of a daring explorer, the book reveals the human stories behind these architectural marvels.

The Secret Life of Hidden Places is a book for anyone who loves adventure, mystery, and beauty. It is a book that will inspire you to look beyond the surface and discover the hidden wonders of our world.

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This book is full of true histories of secret rooms, underground mansions, abandoned apartments, and more. They include stories of places that are familiar to many people like the Winchester Mystery House and King Tut's tomb as well as places that are not so well known like a cupboard in a museum that holds objects considered too scandalous for display and a hidden room in an Abbey that allowed a book thief access to steal books. Each chapter consists of a main story along with several other related tales. There are plenty of pictures throughout the book as well. Anyone who enjoys historical mysteries should really enjoy this thrilling and fascinating tome.

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This is one of those book that can only defined as intriguing as it broght me back to when I was reading stories featuring lots of secrets passages and I was living in an house full of ancient furniture with a lot of hiding places.
Well written and researched, fascinating,f ull of illustrations.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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"The Secret Life of Hidden Places" is a delightful book filled with beautiful color photos and stories of places not easily accessible. Journey from Japan to Mexico to Europe to discover a host of thrilling rooms, entertaining tales, and descriptions of places in the past. I enjoyed this book immensely. I thought the authors did a wonderful job entertaining the reader with slight bits of historical facts and anecdotes.

Thank you to Workman Publishing Company and NetGalley for this ARC.

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Thanks to Stefan Bachmann, April Genevieve Tucholke, Workman Publishing Company and Netgalley for access to the advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Enjoyable book about places around the world that might be overlooked. Although there are some familiar places, there are plenty of new ones as well. The book also includes frequent sidebars to highlight additional places similar to the one in the main topic. Interesting and recommended.

Review posted to Goodreads manually - technical issues with using the link:

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The Secret Life of Hidden Places: Concealed Rooms, Clandestine Passageways, and the Curious Minds That Made Them
Stefan Bachmann, April Gene
Many buildings have secrets. There are 18 tales in this book. This book shares the secrets of each building and discuss the se creator The rooms are fascinating.
Thank you NetGalley for the review copy.

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The Secret Life of Hidden Places by Stefan Bachmann and April Genevieve Tucholke is an astonishing book to experience for those of us with insatiable curiosity about what is around the next bend or down the rickety steps or behind the locked door. As a rabid traveler, I am fortunate to have been to several of the places mentioned but the more we learn, the more we realize we don't know. The thrilling chapters kept on coming, dazzling and surprising in the best way possible.

Of the hidden places mentioned, my favourites include catacombs in Paris, an ossuary in the Czech Republic, the comparatively recent breathtaking discovery by a man beneath his home in Turkey, lesser-known Russian labyrinths (I once got lost in a hedge maze), a locked untouched apartment in Paris full of treasures, American Sarah Winchester's mysterious higgledy-piggledy house, the multitudinous secrets at Versailles and the creative world beneath the manor of a shy man whose desire was to avoid people. But the one which tickled me most was the world of dollhouses, one in particular with its tiny hidden treasures handcrafted using precious objects from all over the world.

Not only is the photography stunning and enticing but the authors have a wonderful witty conversational writing style which drew me in under a nanosecond. My brain feels smarter!

If you are remotely intrigued by hidden places, whether you travel or not, this book is for you. It is the epitome of perfection on a page. My hope is the authors have thousands (!) of future ideas to highlight as this wonderful world is absolutely jam packed with them.

My sincere thank you to Workman Publishing Company and NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this phenomenal book!

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This was such a fun book to read (Explore?) I always wonder what is hidden behind what we see. Is there a secret room behind the bookshelves? Or tunnels? I wasn’t expecting an underground Manor!

The book has a few pages and images. It’s great to pick up and read about a place and then be able to put it down and read about another one. A perfect gift or coffee table book would start some great conversations.

Thank you, NetGalley and Workman Publishing, for the ARC.

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This is a fun book for history buffs and armchair travelers. The author takes you to many places around the world and reveals details of their hidden history. Escape rooms, labyrinths, caves, secret tunnels and lost treasurers.
He shares a wealth of information even about the sites that are better known than others (Versailles, for example.) It is nice that some places he includes are located in America making the information in the book less esoteric. He has a distinctive voice and writing manner. The plentiful photographs enliven the narrative. All this can attract people who ordinarily may not be huge nonfiction fans.

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I had added this book to my tbr without knowing much about it, solely because it was written by April Genevieve Tucholke. However, it turned out to be very different from what I had anticipated. The book was quite intriguing to read, and I particularly enjoyed learning about the mysterious passages and secret rooms that exist all over the world. Additionally, the photographs included in the book were beautiful. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. If you also like spooky and mysterious things, then I would definitely recommend this book to you. I am looking forward to getting my own copy once it comes out.

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This book is laid out beautifully from the graphics to the pictures to the anecdotes. However, it severely lacked appropriate coverage of diversity. Yes, it does have a few token places like a shrine in Japan, but many of these weren't secret in the same way. Egypt's tombs for King Tut, for example, is very well-known and the whole passage was white-washed that spoke to colonialism. The rest of the Secret Places were in Europe or white-owned places in America.

If another a revision/another edition is made, I hope it is just a beautiful and more inclusive.

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Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of The Secret Life of Hidden Places.

When I saw the premise, I knew I had to request this!

If you like to read about the odd and wonderful, spooky and strange, sad and forgotten places, this is the book for you!

This was definitely the ideal book for me!

I love reading about the world's mysteries artifacts, buildings, and structures and this book fit the bill!

Packed with facts and great photos, the authors provides historical context of these mysterious and strange places, some I've heard of like the Initiation Well which I saw personally when I was in Lisbon last month. It's actually not as spooky as you may think, but it's a must-visit.

I really enjoyed the section on the Japanese temples and how well they were constructed and built with devious and elaborate traps. Fascinating!

All the stories are fascinating and the authors did a great job in researching the histories and backgrounds of each architectural mystery.

I look forward to reading the authors' next book!

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My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Workman Publishing Company for an advanced copy of this book on the hidden places that exist in buildings, the secrets that they contain, and the stories that surround them.

I am not a big social media user, but for some reason I am fascinated by people who post things about going into abandoned buildings and what they find there. Huge hallways, clean and lit in derelict buildings, tanks of rotting barrels under churches, entire abandoned neighborhoods in the midwest. To me, these reels are like a good Hitchcock film; I peak around the corners with the explorers, jump when something unexpected happens, and wonder at why these hidden areas were built. And what happened there. Human nature is to question and wonder, and be brave enough to look for answers. Probe for hidden doors, abandoned clubs and hideouts, even entire ballrooms buried beneath the Earth, never danced on or even seen by people at the time. The Secret Life of Hidden Places: Concealed Rooms, Clandestine Passageways, and the Curious Minds That Made Them by Stefan Bachmann and April Genevieve Tucholke is a travel guide to the clandestine, the ignored, the forgotten or memento mori to these places, build for a variety of reasons, but of fascination to everyone today.

The book features 18 chapters mostly on one location, a few chapters dealing with a variety of places that are off the beaten path. Sometimes hidden by walls, doors that can't be opened, or even in some cases rooms without doors. Each chapter has a little fictional tale in the beginning a kind of you are there moment for the reader to set the mood. The rest of the book is a historical look at these places, why it was built, if known, how it was found, and how they were used. Also included are some really splendid pictures, or art from the time, that really give readers a strong sense to what these places are or were like. The places vary in use in meaning. Some are deep tunnels, to hide certain people from others who might mean them harm. Some build off existing tunnels, with an architecture that is amazing to see, along with the patience to build them. A few like the Winchester house are built on the blood and greed of families, a house with many doors, passages leading nowhere, rooms with no entrances, to protect a family from vengeful ghosts, killed in the taming of the West. A bar from prohibition, an apartment from the Second World War. And the saddest being Welbeck Abbey, owned by a lonely man, shunned by the one he loved, who built a ballroom that was never danced on, and rooms for art he alone gazed at, under his manor home.

A travel guide for those who like the odd, a touch of the eerie, and some history behind it. Complete with pictures. The tale at the beginning really set the mood. The chapters are not long, but very complete, and really give a good sense to why these secret areas came about, how they were lost and found. There is a lot of research and work here and it shows. Each place sounds fascinating, a few sad, and others down right horror movie terrifying, and best explored from the comfort of one's home.

Recommended for people who love to read about strange and mysterious places, and for people who plan trips around seeing these kind of sites. In addition this would be a great reference book for people who make or enjoy escape rooms, writers of fantasy and horror, and game designers, especially role players for cool places to send their adventuring parties. A really fun book.

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This book is great for the person who loves spooky facts. I wish it was coming out before Halloween because I feel like it would get a lot more love. But I will make sure it is on display when it comes out for people to see.

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