The Joy of JunkBy Mary Randolph Carter (Rizzoli, 2018) Buy It Now
The lesson is right on the title page: “Go right ahead, fall in love with the wackiest things, find the worth in the worthless, rescue and recycle the curious objects that give life and happiness!” If that doesn’t convey Mary Randolph Carter’s contagious exuberance, the photo of the self-proclaimed “ragpicker” jumping for joy in front of the Rose Bowl Flea Market should do it. The Dutchess County resident, Ralph Lauren executive, and clutter maven illuminates the sport of the hunt, from “junker’s vest” to the art of haggling, with colorful portraits of fellow collectors and the treasures they CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT. Her coast-to-coast junkers’ guide prominently features Hudson Valley emporia, from Hudson’s antiques row to the Mystery Spot in Phoenicia. “There are many joyful stages in the junker’s journal,” Carter writes in this over-the-top ode to the life-changing magic of excess.