In a world without wood, we might not be here at all. We wouldn't have had the fire, heat, and shelter that allowed us to expand into the planet's colder regions. If civilization somehow did develop, our daily lives would be vastly different: there would be no violins, baseball bats, chopsticks, or wine corks. The book you are now holding wouldn't exist. Spike Carlsen's A Splintered History of Wood is a grand celebration of all things wooden and the characters who lovingly shape them-eccentric artisans and passionate enthusiasts who have created some of the world's most beloved musical instruments, feared weapons, dazzling architecture, and bizarre forms of transportation. From champion chainsaw carvers to blind woodworkers, from the Miraculous Staircase to the Lindbergh kidnapping case, here is a passionate, personal, amazingly entertaining exploration of nature's greatest gift.