Everything Else Is Bric-a-Brac:
Notes on Home


A collection of 60 short prose pieces by author and design critic Akiko Busch that reflect, in her classic style of observation, on the human condition and offer insights on family, domestic space, and a changing environment. Beautifully illustrated with 20 pieces of watercolor art, this collection makes an inspirational gift.


In Everything Else Is Bric-a-Brac, Akiko Busch explores place, memory, and the ambiguities of domestic life. At once thought-provoking, humorous, and meditative, these essays illuminate the emotional resonance of inanimate things; ideas of placement and displacement; the simultaneous frailty and tenacity of human recollection; the beauty of usefulness and uselessness alike; and how we do—and don’t—find our place in things.

Advance Praise


“Akiko Busch’s short prose pieces are precise, evocative, honest, and graceful. In one essay she writes that “…there is a thin line between what is ordinary and extraordinary” and in Everything Else is Bric-a-Brac, I found myself in an extraordinary world of the everyday as seen through her eyes. The momentum of the writing carried me the way that poems can, taking me to new and unexpected places of depth and resonance.”


—Stuart Kestenbaum, Author and Maine Poet Laureate (2016-2021)

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Book cover for Everything-Else-is-Bric-a-Brac

Release date: September 13, 2022

Not long ago, my husband and I arrived home to find a message from our neighbor tacked on the door: “Hey—Half-grown black bear in our yard. Friday, about 6:00 pm. Headed in your direction —Tillman.” The bear never showed up, but I was so taken with the note that I framed it and hung it on the doorframe. Seeing it now, every time I come home, has me imagining that a black bear might stroll into the yard at any moment. But as the months pass, I realize it is more than that. We live is at the edge of the woods at the bottom of a mountain, and in less than twenty words, the little memo reminds me several times a day of all the things headed in our direction that I will never see and never know.